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Media Bits and Bytes – May 14, 2024

TikTok, AI, iPad and Black Twitter

  1. Big Tech’s Walled Gardens
  2. Social Media for the Revolution
  3. Superhero Fatigue
  4. The Beginning and the End of the iPad
  5. Divergent Paths on AI
  6. Black Twitter
  7. How E-Commerce Took Over TikTok
  8. Journalists and Cops
  9. Saving NPR from Congress Cuts
  10. Digital Guillotine


Big Tech’s Walled Gardens

By Cory Doctorow
Canadian Dimension

The history of technology is one long guerrilla fight where the established giants wield network effects against scrappy upstarts whose asymmetrical warfare weapon of choice is low switching costs.

Social Media for the Revolution

By Reina Sultan

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Corporate monopolies, increasing authoritarianism, and dangerous legislation have tightened control over the digital public square that once organically fostered grassroots organizing and real-time access to information.

Superhero Fatigue

By Zack Sharf

“You know, it’s a very different moment in time than it’s ever been. And so I think everyone, including Marvel, is experiencing the same thing, this transition. And I think that really is probably what’s at play more than anything else.”

The Beginning and the End of the iPad

By David Pierce
The Verge

People seem to really hate Apple’s new ad in which the company crushes centuries of creative tools because, in the future, there is only iPad.

Divergent Paths on AI

By Mathew Ingram
Columbia Journalism Review

Last July, the Associated Press became one of the first outlets to sign an agreement with OpenAI. In return for giving OpenAI access to its archive of news stories, the AP said, it would gain the ability to “leverage OpenAI’s technology and product expertise.”

Black Twitter

By Angie Han
The Hollywood Reporter

While Black users have been on Twitter as long as Twitter has existed, a Wired article and a documentary series on Hulu pin the start of Black Twitter as a distinct phenomenon to around 2009, with Ashley Weatherspoon’s #UKnowUrBlackWhen as one of its first uniting viral moments. 

How E-Commerce Took Over TikTok

By A.W. Ohlheiser

TikTok has long been good at guessing what its users might want to see, but less good at monetizing that trick. When the platform launched its Shop feature in the United States last fall, the For You page shifted, pushing video after video like those made by @tybuggyreviews in the hope that its users will start buying the products that go viral on TikTok directly from their store.

Journalists and Cops

By Neil deMause

Videos from several recent incidents, and countless others from over the years, have shown what many Black Americans have long maintained: that police officers lie.

Saving NPR from Congress Cuts

By Craig Aaron
Free Press

While Congress has a role in overseeing the operations and financial management of NPR, threats to defund it based on a perceived failure to cover certain topics or hire certain people strike at the heart of journalistic freedom.

Digital Guillotine

By Angela Yang
NBC News

Hundreds of celebrities are on the “digital guillotine” as social media users campaign for a #blockout — urging one another to block the social media accounts of big names who have remained silent about the ongoing humanitarian atrocities in Gaza.