traction. issue #28

TECH CEO’S CHALLENGED BY US SENATORS OVER CONTENT MODERATION

The CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Google faced more than three and a half hours of questions from US senators over the spread of misinformation and censorship –something US lawmakers want the tech companies to be more accountable for. At present, the companies cannot be sued over what their users post online or the decisions they make over what to leave up and take down. Some politicians have raised concerns this “sweeping immunity” encourages bad behaviour. However, the chief executives say they need the law to be able to moderate content. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Google’s Sundar Pichai were summoned before the Senate after both Democrats and Republicans agreed to call them in for questioning.

Much of the debate centres around current legislation called Section 230which is the main legal protection preventing social networks being sued. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told the committee Section 230 “is the most important law protecting internet speech” and its abolition “will remove speech from the internet”. But he found himself faced with pointed questions over the implementation of Twitter’s policies about what it removed or labelled misinformation. Asked why Twitter would label a post from US President Donald Trump about the security of mail-in ballots but leave posts by Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that threatened violence against Israel unlabelled, Mr Dorsey replied the Iranian leader’s tweets were considered “sabre rattling”, which did not violate its terms of service.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the committee Section 230 encouraged free expression and “helped create the internet as we know it”. But he added: “The internet has also evolved and I think that Congress should update the law, to make sure that it’s working as intended.”

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, though, fiercely defended the law. “Our ability to provide access to a wide range of information is only possible because of existing legal frameworks like Section 230,” he said.”The United States adopted Section 230 early in the internet’s history and it has been foundational to our leadership in the tech sector.“ he added.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE UP FOR EIGHTH WEEK IN A ROW, NOW AT 8 MONTH HIGH

ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence increased 1.6 pts to 99.7 last weekend and is now 10.7 pts lower on the comparable weekend a year ago and is now 5.6 points above the 2020 weekly average of 94.1. Consumer Confidence has now increased for eight straight weeks and is up 9.5 pts since ending August at 90.2. Driving this week’s increase is more confident about personal financial situations compared to this time a year ago. Brisbane was the only major Australian city not to show an increase, with all cities showing at least a 3 point increase.

ANZ Head of Australian Economics, David Plank said “Overall sentiment is just below the neutral level and at a six-month high. It remains well below the long run average, however. People remain cautious about the current economic outlook and, consistent with this, are also cautious about their current financial circumstances. This may constrain spending in the near-term. Confidence in future economic and financial conditions is much more positive, however, holding out the prospect of a recovery in spending if the labour market holds up.”

Source: ANZ/Roy Morgan

WA PROVES TO HAVE STRONGEST ANNUAL GROWTH IN LATEST COMMSEC REPORT

However the report reveals that Tasmania is ranked as having the best overall economy in the latest “State of States” report. You can download the full report here

Source: Commsec

CRICKET AUSTRALIA REVEALS SUMMER SCHEDULE AMIDST DISPUTE WITH SEVEN

Cricket Australia has delivered the schedule for the blockbuster Border-Gavaskar series between India and Australia, as a behind-the-scenes dispute continues. CA announced the four-Test series would begin in Adelaide on December 17 before the remaining three Tests were played in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The series will see the number one nation, Australia, takes on India at number three in the follow-up to a brilliant series in 2018.

In recent months, Seven West Media’s chief executive, James Warburton, has been waging an open war with Cricket Australia (CA), calling it a “bumbling, stumbling administration” and “a train wreck”, while questioning the pulling power of the Big Bash and demanding a reduction in its rights payments. CA officials have privately asked why Seven West has been talking down the very product it effectively owns. The dispute is all about money for a company that lost $444 million last financial year. In 2018, Seven West Media agreed to pay $450 million over six years for the rights to broadcast Test matches and the BBL in what could be the last of the big free-to-air TV deals for Australian sport.

NINE STARTS CASTING CALL FOR NEW SHOW “THE PARENT JURY”

Nine is casting for their upcoming The Parent Jury which will feature Jo Frost (from Supernanny fame).

A casting notice announces: “We are looking for families across Australia who are willing to share their parenting tips and advice with the rest of the country. All members of your household must be willing and confident to be filmed during their day to day activities and to share on camera their ideas around raising children.”

All families will be compensated for their time. Each family shoots for one to two weeks and filming commences in early 2021. Interested applicants can apply here.

TOP 10 METRO TELEVISION PROGRAMS (TOTAL PEOPLE, 7 DAYS TO OCTOBER 29th)

Ranking

Program

Network

Projection

1

SEVEN’S AFL: GRAND FINAL:

RICHMOND V GEELONG

Network 7

2,978,955

2

SEVEN’S AFL: GRAND FINAL:

PRESENTATIONS

Network 7

2,275,488

3

SEVEN’S AFL: GRAND FINAL: ON THE

GROUND

Network 7

2,180,715

4

NRL GRAND FINAL DAY -MATCH

Network 9

2,103,374

5

SEVEN’S AFL: GRAND FINAL: PRE

MATCH ENTERTAINMENT

Network 7

1,480,720

6

NRL GRAND FINAL DAY –

ENTERTAINMENT

Network 9

1,144,535

7

NINE NEWS SUNDAY

Network 9

1,107,563

8

SEVEN NEWS – SUN

Network 7

1,077,740

9

SEVEN NEWS – SAT

Network 7

1,016,536

10

SEVEN NEWS

Network 7

984,382

Source: Oztam

Tweet of the week

Following the success of the new Borat release, the Kazakhstan Tourism Board has announced they will be using the famous “very nice” slogan as their own. You can watch the new campaign video below.

GOOGLE TREND OF THE WEEK :VICTORIA EASES RESTRICTIONS TO HUGE RELIEF

Source: Google

TRUE CRIME SERIAL “DR DEATH” RISES TO #1 IN AUSTRALIAN PODCAST CHARTS

Source: ITunes

CHART OF THE WEEK: DOES NETFLIX HAVE NOWHERE LEFT TO GROW?

Last week Netflix released its third-quarter results, reporting that its subscriber growth had significantly slowed down.

The fact that Netflix has reached, or is very close to reaching, complete saturation in North America means that there’s only one way to grow its revenue there: price increases. This move may however backfire in a market where competition is yet to peak.

Sources: Netflix, Chartr

AMAZON ORDERS NEW NICOLE KIDMAN DRAMA “THINGS I KNOW TO BE TRUE”

Based on the award-winning play by Australian writer Andrew Bovell, the series will premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide.

Things I Know To Be True is about the resilience of an enduring marriage and the evolving nature of a family’s love, as Bob and Fran Price watch their adult children make unexpected decisions that change the course of their lives.

Bovellsaid: “I’m thrilled that a company of Amazon Studios’ significance has shown such confidence in the story and will take it to a global audience.”

CAMPAIGN OF THE WEEK: SAMSUNG’S INCREDIBLE HALLOWEEN DISPLAY

In the week that Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee passed away at the age of 78, the company revealed an incredible Halloween campaign in the UK, taking over a 300-year-old house and equipping it with the latest SmartThings technology. The campaign followed research which showed that 63% of Brits planned to celebrate Halloween at home this year. The show was created using state-of-the-art projecting mapping and features a custom-built 13ft high mechanical skeleton and field of rotating pumpkins.

THE LONG READ: WHY DO ARTS AND CULTURE MATTER TO AUSTRALIA?

“Games have been a go-to for millions during the pandemic. And yet…games receive no federal funding nor any tax offsets, despite employing many designers, visual artists, musicians and writers –and despite being part of a $200bn global industry in which Australians spent $3.6bn in 2019.”

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2020/oct/24/why-do-arts-and-culture-matter-to-australia-you-may-as-well-ask-about-the-meaning-of-life

TIKTOK PARTNERS WITH SHOPIFY FOR SOCIAL COMMERCE PUSH

Canadian e-commerce company Shopify said on Tuesday it will partner with TikTok to help its one million-plus merchants more easily advertise their products on the video-sharing app, as it looks to grow its customer base.

The link-up with Shopify, which provides an e-commerce platform and distribution services to mostly small and medium-sized businesses, comes as a proposal for Walmart Inc to buy a stake in the Chinese-owned firm is stuck in limbo.

Shopify said the partnership will allow its merchants to sell product in the form of shoppable video ads, where TikTok users can click on an ad to buy the product. There are plans to roll out the global partnership across Europe and South East Asia early next year.

“We’ve seen that our community loves connecting with the brands they’re passionate about,” said a TikTok spokesman.

 

Quote of the week

The chess was my biggest worry. I was obsessed with finding a way to capture the games, but make them dramatic for people who don’t know a whit about chess.

Scott Frank, Director of the new Netflix drama “The Queen’s Gambit” which is being heralded as one of the best shows of the year. The trailer can be seen here.