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Media Bits and Bytes - October 20, 2020

Media election shenanigans, a backlash against QAnon, and more news from the world of tech and spectacle


Democracy Dies in the Light

By June Hollar

Trump has openly pressured his cabinet members to use the levers of state power to target his opponents and aid his re-election. Bizarrely blasé front-page reports frame the story as a spat between Trump and his cabinet.

FCC: Social Media Must Spread Trump’s Lies

By Jon Brodkin
Ars Technica

As Trump requested, FCC head Ajit Pai proposes to limit social media websites’ legal immunity.

Embattled Thai Government Targets Media

Peoples Dispatch

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Thailand’s police ordered a probe against four media outlets, a social media protest page and over 300,000 URLs, under emergency laws imposed last week.

NBC’s Trump Town Hall Sparks Behind-the-Scenes Fury

By Marc Caputo

“We’re rewarding Trump’s bad behavior and playing his game,” said a top source at NBCUniversal.

What They Mean By ‘Transparency’

By Svea Windwehr and Jillian C. York

Facebook’s approach to transparency misses the mark, as actual transparency should allow outsiders to see and understand what actions are performed, and why. 

TikTok Takes Over

By Angela Lashbrook

TikTok offers radically different content than other social media platforms.

Social Media Corps Ax QAnon

By Rachel E. Greenspan
Business Insider

QAnon is facing a wave of bans by tech companies. These are the platforms that have and haven't responded to the conspiracy theory.

3D Video Game ‘Pandemic’ Looks at Racism During COVID-19

By Kurt Schlosser

Chanee Choi’s “Pandemic” is a video game and it is art. And the “art game” is not an escape from reality as we know it right now.

Unions Protect App Drivers Rights

By Jessica Schulberg

Uber, Lyft and DoorDash are funding a ballot initiative that would enable them to avoid complying with California’s labor protections.

YouTubers of the World Unite

By Jelena Prtorić
Equal Times

What happens when a grassroots, international creators’ movement and a traditional trade union join forces.