Facebook fixes Holocaust denial policy and Disney shakes up media ranks: Tuesday Wake-Up Call
Facebook made a dramatic policy reversal on Monday, banning Holocaust denial as a subject on the social network. “We are updating our hate speech policy to prohibit any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust,” the company said in its announcement.
It was a bold change, one that many critics, including the Anti-Defamation League, said was a long time coming. Others said it might not go far enough. For years, Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg have tried to walk a fine line between allowing disturbing forms of speech, including posts that question the legitimacy of the Holocaust, while still keeping a lid on hate speech. Facebook’s permissive attitudes on “free speech” have left it open to widespread ridicule, and the potential for more forceful government regulations.
On Monday, The New Yorker explored Facebook’s history of moderation, and writer Andrew Marantz said the company has mostly reacted to public criticism, rather than adopting strong, principled policies on its own. “In retrospect, it seems that the company’s strategy has never been to manage the problem of dangerous content, but rather to manage the public’s perception of the problem,” Marantz writes.
Meanwhile, Axios looks at Facebook’s sibling site, Instagram, to analyze the type of content spreading there. Facebook has earned a reputation as a more conservative-leaning platform. Axios finds that Instagram is a bit more liberal.
Walt Disney Co. is shaking up its executive ranks to adjust to the economic climate. Disney has been jolted by the pandemic, which affects its theme parks and film business. The reorg is meant to put more emphasis on Disney+ as a streaming media division that goes straight into consumers’ homes.
“In order to further accelerate its direct-to-consumer strategy, it would be centralizing its media businesses into a single organization that will be responsible for content distribution, ad sales and Disney+,” CNBC reports.
Meanwhile, NBCUniversal shuffled its leadership, too. The media conglomerate has been making massive changes to adjust to the streaming climate after launching Peacock, its direct-to-consumer app. On Monday, NBCUniversal picked Linda Yaccarino to head global advertising and partnerships. The new role oversees data and commerce initiatives, reports Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi.
All those Amazon delivery boxes piling up on the front porch could have a new use. The e-commerce giant developed an app that brings the boxes to life with a little augmented reality.
The app is called Amazon AR, and it’s basically a glorified QR code-reading app that scans the cardboard box and initiates a virtual animation that comes to life on the phone. It’s like Snapchat Filters meet Amazon boxes. “Called simply ‘Amazon Augmented Reality,’ the retailer describes the app as a ‘fun way to reuse your Amazon boxes until you’re ready to drop them in the recycling bin,’” TechCrunch writes.
Of course, what starts as a frivolous way to waste time and reuse boxes could put Amazon AR into more consumers’ hands for more sophisticated commerce and marketing programs later.
Unilever’s SheaMoisture is coming out with its first major campaign in more than two years, and it’s called “It Comes Naturally.” The brand is highlighting the fact that it was “Black-founded and Black-led,” writes Ad Age’s Jack Neff.
The stylish ad is an animated montage that celebrates the Black women that power the brand. SheaMoisture’s new CEO, Cara Sabin, led the effort with the help of Omnicom’s BBDO and Joy Collective. “This is a year where many Black women have felt not seen, not heard or appreciated,” Sabin told Ad Age. “So, we really thought it was important to assemble a group of creatives both behind the scene and at the forefront to tell our story, which is a story many Black women share of resilience and beauty and fortitude.”
The presidential campaign ads are getting wild as Election Day nears. On Monday, Ad Age “media guy” Simon Dumenco checked out President Donald Trump’s ad that paints rival Joe Biden as broken in a spot that makes fun of the concept of virtual debates. The ad features a mock-up of candidate Biden conducting a debate via a video feed that goes haywire.
Also, wild card candidate Kanye West came out with a new video on Monday. West is mounting an independent bid for president, although he appears as a vice presidential candidate on some ballots, running alongside independent Rocky De La Fuente.
Ballot bucks: Ad Age is back on the campaign trail, looking at the amount of money going toward ballot initiatives. The Ad Age Campaign Ad Scorecard tracks close to $400 million being spent on ballot proposals across the country. These are proposals going directly to voters, including Proposition 22 in California, which purports to preserve ride-sharing apps, including Uber and Lyft, in the state.
Triller till: The app that wants to take on TikTok in the U.S. is looking to raise more money in its fight. “Triller seeks to capitalize on TikTok’s woes,” Reuters reports, by taking on new investors to secure up to $250 million in a “special purposes acquisition companies” deal.
Streaming sign-ups: Ad Age Next: Streaming is set for Nov. 10 with speakers from Roku, NBCUniversal, Coca-Cola and more top brands, talking about the future of media in a streaming world. Sign up here.
That does it for today’s Wake-Up Call. Thanks for reading and we hope you are all staying safe and well. For more industry news and insight, follow us on Twitter: @adage.
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