It's unintentional, but everything I've got for you below is either directly or indirectly about digital media -- its all-consuming nature (Nos. 4 and 5), the uses and misues of social media (Nos. 1, 2, 6) and the things we obsess about online (Nos. 3 and 7). Only have time to read one thing? Jump ahead and click on the link in No. 7. Anyway let's get started ...
1. In a post this morning on his personal page, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg writes,
Over the last few weeks, we've seen people hurting themselves and others on Facebook -- either live or in video posted later. It's heartbreaking, and I've been reflecting on how we can do better for our community. If we're going to build a safe community, we need to respond quickly. We're working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner -- whether that's responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down. Over the next year, we'll be adding 3,000 people to our community operations team around the world -- on top of the 4,500 we have today -- to review the millions of reports we get every week, and improve the process for doing it quickly.
Head to facebook.com/zuck to read the post in full.
2. Elsewhere, as digital advertisers continue to obsess about "brand safety," this is not the best look for YouTube: "A Maryland couple lost custody of two of their five children after a series of YouTube videos featuring controversial pranks they pulled on their kids raised concern online," Time's Mahita Gajanan reports. "Mike and Heather Martin, who posted videos of the pranks under their family YouTube channel DaddyOFive, made headlines in April after fellow YouTubers expressed concern about the way they treated their children. Now, two of the children -- Emma and Cody -- have been returned to their biological mother after she won emergency custody."
3. Brad Pitt is a Twitter trending topic this morning because, well, I'll let the editors of GQ Style explain (sort of):
Summer is coming and, in America, that means it's time to hit the national parks. So we took Brad Pitt and photographer Ryan McGinley tumbling across three of them: The Everglades, White Sands, and Carlsbad Caverns. Then we sat down with Pitt at home in L.A. for a raw conversation about how to move forward after things fall apart.
That's the preamble to a cover story -- actually, covers story -- headlined "Brad Pitt Talks Divorce, Quitting Drinking, and Becoming a Better Man," though the Twittersphere seems to be fixating on the Brad-tumbling-across-the-parks thing.
4. Speaking of Twitter, last night my colleague Ann-Christine Diaz, editor of Creativity, called my attention to this tweet from New York Times technology columnist Farhad Manjoo:
What's the order in which you would drop Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook from your life, if forced to — from first to last.— Farhad Manjoo 🐣 (@fmanjoo) May 2, 2017
Ann-Christine and I then spent way too much time (on Slack; I'm in New York, she's in L.A.) debating the order and contemplating the hidden reach -- e.g., think of how much of the internet Amazon Web Services quietly powers -- of these tech conglomerates. "Such great stoner food for thought," she said, though neither of us was stoned (or at least I wasn't). Click through on the tweet above to add your response to Manjoo's query, which he says might be fodder for a future NYT column.
5. Speaking of Amazon Web Services, Business Insider serves up an eye-opening chart in a post titled "Here's where Amazon's profits are coming from (Hint: it's not from online shopping)."
6. Here's what the 45th President of the United States was up to late last night:
FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds! The phony...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2017
...Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election. Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2017
7. And finally, the fascinating Oatmeal comic by Matthew Inman linked in this tweet is a must-read:
Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.