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Media Bits and Bytes – March 7, 2023

Is Fox News finished? ...and more burning questions from media land

Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images
  1. UN: Digital Space Needs a Feminist Revolution
  2. Banning TikTok
  3. Is Fox News Finished?
  4. Automated Influencers
  5. 20 Years of Brasil de Fato
  6. DeSantis’s Media Dystopia
  7. Apple vs ChatGPT
  8. An Ominous Law in Utah
  9. Introducing L!NX
  10. Is Software a Means of Production?


UN: Digital Space Needs a Feminist Revolution

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

According to UN Women, 85 percent of women have witnessed digital violence against other women, while 38 percent of women have personally experienced online violence. Women are 27 times more likely to be abused online than men.

Banning TikTok

By Jessica Corbett
Common Dreams

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Data privacy and free speech advocates sounded the alarm about “hypocrisy and censorship” as U.S. House Republicans pushed for a bill to effectively ban TikTok, a video-sharing platform created by the Chinese company ByteDance, across the country. Meanwhile, the U.S.-based group Fight for the Future launched a #DontBanTikTok campaign opposing the bill (H.R. 1153).

Is Fox News Finished?

By Chauncey DeVega

Fox News is a brand that fully captured its target audience by creating an alternative reality for them that satisfies their basic human needs, especially community and validation and a larger system of meaning. In an American society where loneliness is a public health crisis, the importance of such feelings and emotions cannot be underestimated.

Automated Influencers

By Samuel Woolley

Many regular folks hold down a range of normal-seeming day jobs while running fairly complex influence campaigns on their own time. They do it simply because they want to—because they believe in the causes, politics, and viewpoints they are spreading, and they want to give them a wider currency. 

20 Years of Brasil de Fato

By Nicolau Shares
Brasil de Fato

On January 25, 2003, 7,000 participants in the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, in the south of Brazil, gathered for a historic event: the launch of Brasil de Fato, a pioneering journalistic initiative. Discussions started in 2002 in a national collective that included representatives of popular movements, unions, political parties and leftist organizations, besides key journalists of the alternative press.

DeSantis’s Media Dystopia

By Kyle Pope
Columbia Journalism Review

Ron DeSantis urged Florida’s Republican-controlled state legislature to consider a slate of breathtaking anti-press measures. The proposals include lowering the threshold for when a public figure can sue a media outlet. In a serious threat to investigative reporting, comments made by anonymous sources in news stories would be presumed false for the purposes of defamation lawsuits.

Apple vs ChatGPT

By Aaron Tilley
Wall Street Journal

Apple Inc. has delayed the approval of an email-app update with AI-powered language tools over concerns that it could generate inappropriate content for children, according to communications Apple sent to the app maker. The software developer disagrees with Apple’s decision.

An Ominous Law in Utah

By Kim Bojórquez and Erin Alberty

Utah is poised to pass a law restricting children and teens under age 18 from using social media without their parent's consent. Meanwhile, adults could lose access to their accounts, too, if they refuse to verify their age. The proposed legislation comes as experts and policymakers nationwide are warning about the mental health consequences social media may have on young users.

Introducing L!NX

Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung

L!NX is the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation’s new digital learning platform for self-learners and multipliers/educators in search of basic political content - with a critical eye and from a left-wing perspective. With interactive, multimedia and short formats, we want to establish a platform where it is possible to take the first steps in political education autonomously. 

Is Software a Means of Production?

By Shane Burley
Verso Books

Software is a product like any other, created to drive sales and profit, scraped together from surplus value. But it can also create other commodities, other pieces of software, even to the point of self-replication through Artificial Intelligence. Marx could not have foreseen it when writing Capital, but it is in line with the growth of an inherent contradiction in capitalism.