The Weekly Download – November 15, 2019

Weekly Download Nov 15Welcome back to The Weekly Download — we’ve got lots to share this week, so let’s jump right in!

On today’s agenda: the FTC’s new guidelines for social media endorsements, Google Chrome’s plan to “badge” slow websites, “Coach’s Corner” controversy, Twitter’s draft deepfake policy, Instagram’s “Reels”, and a potential new cryptocurrency platform for Canadians.

Then we’re finishing things off with some kindness-themed Friday Fun that’s too adorable to miss!

FTC Issues New Guidance for Social Media Endorsements

Last week, the FTC issued guidance for influencers who endorse products or services on social media platforms. The FTC’s goal is to educate influencers that they’re ultimately obligated to disclose relationships with brands when sharing their products/services on social media.

While some may think that disclosure is only necessary when an influencer is receiving some sort of payment for promotion, that’s not the case. The FTC says any “material connection” to the brand must be disclosed, including “a personal, family, or employment relationship or a financial relationship – such as the brand paying you or giving you free or discounted products or services.”

This disclosure should be prominently displayed and shouldn’t use “vague” or “confusing” terms like #sp, #spon or #collab.

You can check out the FTC’s new sponsorship guidelines in full here.

Google Chrome Plans to Identify & Label Slow Websites

If you’ve ever wondered whether there’s an issue with your connection or a website is simply slow, you’ll be happy to hear about Google’s latest plan

Announced this week, Google Chrome will identify and label websites that typically load slowly via clear badging. Google says it may also identify sites that are likely to be slow based on the user’s device and current network conditions in the future.

While there’s no word yet on how exactly this “badging” system will look, Google says some testing may play a role in design. Google hopes to identify websites that offer “high-quality” experiences and potentially use Chrome’s context menu to let users know if a site is slow before they click.

Are you a web developer who’s a little worried by this news? Google suggests visiting its resources focused on site performance, including its learning platform, PageSpeed Insights, and personalized advice tool, Lighthouse.

Don Cherry’s Anti-Immigrant Rant Sparks Heated Internet Backlash

Don Cherry, no stranger to the media spotlight thanks to his “Coach’s Corner” platform on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, was the centre of attention last Saturday for an entirely different reason.

Cherry’s rant about Canadians who choose not to wear poppies took a disappointing turn for seemingly zeroing in on immigrants, and people took to social media to share their thoughts:

Cherry was later fired from Sportsnet for his discriminatory comments, resulting in even more online conversation about the segment and subsequent backlash. 

Twitter is Working on a Deepfake Policy 

Last month, Twitter said it was working on a new policy to fight against “manipulated media” involving photos, videos or audios altered to change its original meaning or purpose. This week, the company shared a draft of its deepfake policy and is seeking public input before it goes live.

The draft states that when Twitter sees synthetic or manipulated media that’s intentionally trying to mislead or confuse people, it will:

  • Place a notice next to Tweets that share synthetic or manipulated media;
  • Warn people before they share or like Tweets with synthetic or manipulated media; or
  • Add a link – for example, to a news article or Twitter Moment – so that people can read more about why various sources believe the media is synthetic or manipulated.

The company also says that if a deepfake could threaten someone’s physical safety or lead to serious harm, it would also be removed.

You can submit your feedback by using the hashtag #TwitterPolicyFeedback or by completing a short survey from now until November 27.

“Reels” is Instagram’s TikTok Clone

Instagram is launching a video-music remix feature called Reels that will allow users to make 15-second video clips set to music and share them as Stories. Sound familiar? 

Reels is Instagram’s attempt to gain market share from social rival TikTok. Just like its competitor, Reels will give users an opportunity to go viral by highlighting the “Top Reels” within a section of the current Instagram Explore page. 

Reels is limited to Brazil for now with no word on when it might roll out to other audiences.

RBC Might be Canada’s First Bank to Launch a Cryptocurrency Trading Platform

According to a new report, the Royal Bank of Canada is considering its own digital currency trading platform, allowing customers to buy, sell and transfer digital currencies such as bitcoin and ether. 

Although there’s been no formal confirmation, the platform will reportedly be available for investments and in-store and online purchases, making RBC the nation’s first bank to develop a digital currency trading platform.

Friday Fun

These Newborns Dressed up as Mister Rogers to Celebrate #WorldKindnessDay & #CardiganDay

In honour of #WorldKindnessDay and #CardiganDay this week, UPMC Magee-Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh dressed up newborns in tiny red cardigans, knit booties, and onesies complete with ties inspired by none other than Mister Rogers.

Mrs. Rogers paid a visit to Pittsburgh’s newest “neighbours”, and her reaction was simply perfect!

Line drawn peony from Spodek & Co Digital marketing site