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Media Bits and Bytes – September 19, 2023

Gearing up to de-monopolize Google

Drew Sheneman/The Star-Ledger
  1. First Week of Google Antitrust Trial
  2. Stephen Fry Sounds the Alarm
  3. Did NBC Normalize Trump?
  4. Ransomware Attacks Education
  5. Mainstream is Mum on Stop Cop City RICO Indictment
  6. Corporations Choosing What You Get to Stream
  7. Senate Confirms Biden's FCC Pick
  8. Worse Than Fox News
  9. Who Foisted Robotaxis on San Francisco?
  10. Regulating AI


First Week of Google Antitrust Trial

By Adi Robertson
The Verge

In one of the largest antitrust trials in recent memory, the government argues that Google owes its dominance not simply to a good design but to a series of coercive deals that have let the search engine market stagnate — while Google complains it’s being punished for success.

Stephen Fry Sounds the Alarm

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By Chloe Taylor

Actor Stephen Fry says his voice was stolen from the Harry Potter audiobooks and replicated by AI—and warns this is just the beginning.

Did NBC Normalize Trump?

By Oliver O’Connell
The Independent

There had been significant backlash and calls for a boycott of the Meet the Press episode after clips were released earlier this week that appeared to show little pushback to the former president’s lies about a number of topics ranging from January 6 to abortion.

Ransomware Attacks Education

By Arielle Waldman

Ransomware rocked the education sector and caused delays at some institutions as the school year kicked off last month. Despite data indicating that the majority of schools don’t give in to ransom demands, attacks have typically increased as classes resume in August and September.

Mainstream is Mum on Stop Cop City RICO Indictment

By Adam Johnson
The Column

The extraordinary RICO indictment of over 60 protestors opposing the creation of a “police training” facility in Atlanta has been met with conspicuous silence by several major media outlets, namely MSNBC, CNN, CBS News, ABC News, and NBC News. 

Corporations Choosing What You Get to Stream

By Richard Brody
The New Yorker

There is an implicit permanence to owning a disk. With streaming, availability is out of one’s control and movie-watching becomes an activity conducted under the aegis of a big brother, however well-meaning.

Senate Confirms Biden FCC Pick

By Julia Conley
Common Dreams

The U.S. Senate confirmed State Department policy adviser Anna Gomez to join the Federal Communications Commission. Progressives expressed hope that the end of the deadlock will allow the FCC to end “digital redlining” by internet service providers that provide low-income communities with slower service for the same rates as wealthier customers.

Worse Than Fox News

By Maud Newton

The viewer-supported Christian nationalist Victory Channel is owned and run by the church of self-proclaimed prophet Kenneth Copeland. The network is a tax-deductible 501(c)(3) religious organization. A donation link leads to a description of the site as a streaming network “that reaches millions of people with the uncompromised Word of God 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” 

Who Foisted Robotaxis on San Francisco?

By Freddie Brewster

Driverless taxi companies Waymo and Cruise have long track records of crashes, near misses, and interfering with emergency personnel. But after spending nearly $2 million on lobbying in California, the robotaxis have been given free rein in San Francisco.

Regulating AI

By Emmanuelle Andrews
Red Pepper

The industry is resisting statutory regulation while simultaneously advocating for their own, industry-created and managed checks and balances as proof that they are taking these issues seriously. For examples of this practice, just take a look at the plethora of ‘ethical codes of conduct’ springing up, steered by the potentially dangerous assumption that industry can voluntarily regulate itself.