FRI-nally! So good to see you again. We hear the weekend calling our names, so let’s get right to it!
In this week’s roundup: Britain’s plans to regulate big tech, Faith Goldy’s ban from Facebook, a new kind of social media, the world’s first-ever image of a black hole, and Toronto’s newest most-Instagrammable hotspot.
For Friday Fun, we’re celebrating a very good boy who’s proving cones can be cool.
Britain Reveals Plan to Regulate Big Tech
Britain has revealed plans to take a leading role in regulating the world’s biggest tech companies.
Dubbed the world’s “first online safety laws,” the crackdown would regulate content on social media, search, messaging and file-sharing platforms causing “online harm” — an umbrella term for content related to self harm, sexual abuse, violence, hate speech, terrorism, and underage sexting.
If the proposals are adopted, associated fines could reach billions of dollars for big companies. Concerns have been raised by smaller startups who don’t have the deep pockets of players like Facebook, Google, and Twitter – they worry the proposed new laws could effectively shut them down while allowing the big organizations to simply pay a fine and carry on.
Facebook Bans Faith Goldy Following Crackdown on White Nationalist Content
Prominent Canadian white nationalist Faith Goldy has been banned from Facebook following new rules barring hate content.
Just last week, Facebook reported that Goldy’s videos did not violate the platform’s “organized hate” policy, but rather served as a discussion about immigration and population statistics. Hmm.
It’s not clear what prompted Facebook’s change of heart, but Goldy’s not the only one being banned – also being shown the door are Soldiers of Odin, the Canadian Nationalist Front, the Aryan Strikeforce and neo-Nazi Kevin Goudreau.
The ban will also take effect on Instagram, which Facebook owns.
Influencers and Fans Flock to Escapex
Over 300 influencers with a collective audience of over 3.5 billion are flocking to Escapex – a platform that gives them their own apps. Escapex is like a private, mini Instagram for uber fans of public figures, from models to actors.
It’s the newest wave of social media that focuses on smaller, more private groups and gives influencers more control over their content without having to worry about Instagram’s pesky algorithms.
Fans can connect with influencers on Escapex for a small fee – a win/win solution for diehard fans seeking exclusive content as well as for influencers looking to monetize their popularity.
Would you pay to connect with other fans on a platform like Escapex? Do you see a future for similar smaller apps with streamlined content? Let us know in the comments below.
The World’s First-Ever Image of a Black Hole is Totally Memeable
By now, we’ve all seen this amazing image of a black hole floating around the Internet. And if you haven’t, where have you been?!
Scientists have obtained the first image of a black hole, using Event Horizon Telescope observations of the center of the galaxy M87. The image shows a bright ring formed as light bends in the intense gravity around a black hole that is 6.5 billion times more massive than the Sun pic.twitter.com/AymXilKhKe
— Event Horizon 'Scope (@ehtelescope) April 10, 2019
And it didn’t take long for the image to become a meme.
wait… zoom out pic.twitter.com/D9gXZtjqY7
— Matt Buechele (@mattbooshell) April 10, 2019
— Eric (@Elrexx_) April 11, 2019
Profile pic vs tagged pic pic.twitter.com/QG3bwCk7q1
— Ben Machell (@ben_machell) April 10, 2019
Can we also take a minute for Katie Bouman, a seriously talented MIT grad student, without whom the algorithm that made this image possible wouldn’t exist? You go, girl!
Utopia Toronto is Boosting the Instagram Game
Looking for some “grammable” opportunities in the Toronto area? Utopia is the city’s latest Instagram-centric popup. Choose from eight nature-themed rooms that feature props like paper lanterns, lifesize clam shells and stuffed sheep (seriously).
Interested? Better get there before everyone else gets the “unique” shots.
Very Good Boy Proves Cones Can Be Cool
This week’s Friday Fun doubles as a shout out to our totally adorable mascot, Maggie, who’s currently rocking a cone.
Say goodbye to the “cone of shame”, and hello to the “cone of fame”.