The Weekly Download – November 1, 2019

Weekly Download Nov 1Welcome back to another edition of The Weekly Download. Are you feeling the candy hangover today? Ease into things with our fun weekly recap! 

On today’s agenda: the details on #Halloweengate, Twitter’s ban on political ads, Facebook employees protest, more changes to Instagram, Apple’s user privacy ad, a look at the newest emojis, and of course, some Friday Fun.

Ready? Here we go!

#Halloweengate Divides Quebec Towns

The appeal by some Quebec towns to postpone Halloween by a day in light of yesterday’s weather forecast has proven to be a divisive one, sending the Internet into a frenzy.

After Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante appealed to delay trick-or-treating by a day, people across Canada chimed in with their thoughts. The news led many to social media to share their reactions using the hashtag #Halloweengate. 

Twitter to Ban Political Advertising Globally

In a tweet thread on Wednesday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that his company would stop running paid political ads. Dorsey also delivered a jab at Facebook, which has come under fire for the way it’s handled political advertising to date.

Said Dorsey, “We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought.”

The decision won’t result in a large financial sacrifice for the company, but drew both criticism and praise from politicians. Twitter plans to publish a new political ads policy which will outline the change in the coming weeks, and put it into effect on November 22.

Though critics have called on other social media giants to make similar changes, Facebook asserted that it will not fact-check politicians or their campaigns, which could allow them to lie freely (more on that later). According to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, politicians have the right to free speech on Facebook. 

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with Twitter’s big move? Would you like to see Facebook adopt a similar policy? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

Facebook Employees Launch Their First Major Protest Against Mark Zuckerberg

And further to the above article, hundreds of Facebook employees are protesting the company’s decision to allow politicians to post false statements in ads on the platform.

According to a letter obtained by the New York Times, employees say the “current policies on fact checking people in political office, or those running for office, are a threat to what FB stands for.”

Protesters add that they “strongly object to this policy as it stands. It doesn’t protect voices, but instead allows politicians to weaponize [the] platform by targeting people who believe that content posted by political figures is trustworthy.”

The letter was directed to Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook leader, and was signed by more than 250 Facebook employees. According to Vice, it arguably marks the “most aggressive campaign that Facebook employees have launched against their employer to date.” Employees outline a list of demands aimed to “democratize” the platform and increase transparency for all who use it. 

A Facebook representative said that the company remains committed to not censoring political speech, and will continue exploring steps to bring increased transparency to political ads. 

Instagram Now Forces You to Login to View Public Profiles

If you’ve ever used a desktop or mobile device to check in on public Instagram profiles without logging in, there’s a change happening on the platform that will affect you. The photo-sharing social network has locked down its platform, preventing signed-out users from having limited platform access.

Now, users will be prompted to either sign up or login after they’ve browsed a set number of posts on mobile or desktop web. 

According to Instagram, the change is to “help people see photos on Instagram and then understand how to get the best Instagram experience by being part of the community, connecting and interacting with the people and things they love.”

All the New Emojis in iOS 13.2

iPhone users, rejoice! 

There’s a slew of new emojis for you to use – 398, in fact – several of which include gender neutral options (finally!).

Other great additions to the library include 67 new accessibility-focused emojis, including people in wheelchairs, using walking guides, and wearing hearing aids.

You can check out the new icons in full at Emojipedia.

Apple’s New Ad Gets Serious About Privacy

Apple’s usually playful, fun ads have taken a bit of a detour for their newest commercial which focuses on personal data privacy.

The ad, which aired for the first time during the World Series, includes a narrator who explains that nothing is more personal than your personal data – from your messages to your heart rate.

The company has often said it believes user privacy is a “fundamental human right,” and this ad certainly backs up this claim. 

What do you think of Apple’s new ad? 

Friday Fun

Cinderblock the Cat and Her Exercise Routine Go Viral

Since the Northshore Veterinary Hospital shared a video of an adorable cat named Cinderblock reluctantly using a treadmill last month, she’s become a bit of an Internet celebrity.

Since then, the vet has continued to share updates documenting Cinderblock’s progress, and the Internet is here for it! 

Many have cheered her on, and frankly, we’ve become a little emotionally invested. 

Go, girl!

Line drawn peony from Spodek & Co Digital marketing site