News of the Week; February 20, 2019


  1.  The U.S. is About to Hit Facebook With a Multi-Billion Dollar Fine: It could be the largest tech fine in history.
  2. Facebook may face multi-billion dollar fine for Cambridge Analytica scandal
  3. Facebook is a law-breaking “digital gangster,” UK government report says
  4. It’s time for a “radical shift in the balance of power between the platforms and the people,” the British parliament says: Facebook acts like “digital gangsters,” “Mark Zuckerberg has shown contempt” toward governments
  5. Facebook, Google, CDC under pressure to stop anti-vax garbage from spreading
  6. Behold, the Facebook phishing scam that could dupe even vigilant users 
  7. Leaked Zuckerberg Email Reveals Facebook’s XR Strategy, ‘Our goal is not only to win, but to accelerate its arrival’ 
  8. The Hatebook: Inside Facebook’s thriving subculture of racism
  9. Facebook Blames Users for Its Latest Privacy Scandal as Lawmakers Ask to Chat
  10. Roger McNamee: ‘It’s bigger than Facebook. This is a problem with the entire industry’
  11. Zuckerberg defends big tech, says Facebook should remain free 
  12. Mark Zuckerberg is ‘potentially interested’ in putting Facebook login on the blockchain: ‘There’s a lot of things I think would be quite attractive about that’
  13. Zuckerberg, forgetting about Facebook’s Portal: ‘We definitely don’t want a society where there’s a camera in everyone’s living room’ 
  14. ‘They have no clue about network security’: China data leak exposes mass surveillance across Muslim Xinjiang
  15. When surveillance meets incompetence: Evil, and poorly done at that
  16. A Court Just Sent a Man to Prison For 3D Printing a Gun
  17. Someone Impersonated New Jersey’s Attorney General To Demand Cloudflare Takedown 3d Printed Gun Instructions
  18. Florida inmate says prison sold him $569 of music, then took it away
  19. Hollywood tries to cripple several alleged pirate TV services in one lawsuit
  20. Study Reinforces How Much The Internet Has Enabled Content Creators To Make Money
  21. Sony Using Copyright To Take Down Its Own Anti-Piracy Propaganda
  22. HuffPost Fires Social Media Editor For Being Incredibly Racist On Social Media
  23. Disinformation and ‘fake news’: Final Report published
  24. This Site Uses Deep Learning to Generate Fake Airbnb Listings: The future of the internet is lots and lots of fake stuff.
  25. Twitter CEO Says Users Could Get a Feature to ‘Clarify’ Their Bad Tweets
  26. Another Politician Probably Violated the First Amendment By Blocking a Constituent on Twitter–Campbell v. Reisch (Eric Goldman) 
  27. Indian Lawmakers Considering TikTok Ban, Calling App “Inimical To Law And Order”
  28. European Parliament Approves Controversial “Meme Ban”
  29. The EU’s Digital Copyright Directive – where are we now? 
  30. EU Moves Forward With Agreement To Fundamentally Change The Internet From Open To Closed
  31. The Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive: text agreed in trialogue discussions
  32. EU Commission Decides To Mock The Public; Insists Fears About EU Copyright Directive Are All Myths 
  33. As EU Politicians Insist That It’s All Just ‘Bots’ And ‘Astroturf’ Tons Of People Showing Up In Real Life To Protest
  34. Beijing’s denial of Huawei control bucks expert analysis
  35. Can Russia Actually ‘Unplug’ From The Internet? 
  36. Nestle and others have suspended YouTube ads over news of a pedophile network on the site
  37. Disney Reportedly Pulls YouTube Ads Over Child-Exploitation Controversy
  38. Disney reportedly pulls ads from YouTube following child exploitation controversy: Following Nestlé and Epic Games
  39. The YouTube Pedophile Commenting Scandal, Explained: The predator problem has been public knowledge since at least 2017. But the online video giant has been done nothing meaningfully to fix it.
  40. How YouTube reactionaries are breaking the news media 
  41. Texas Study Finds Majority Of ‘Flat Earthers’ Are Indoctrinated On YouTube
  42. Study blames YouTube for rise in number of Flat Earthers: Conspiracy theories shown on video-sharing site persuade people to doubt Earth is round 
  43. YouTube revamps community guidelines strike system: In an effort to make policies clearer and consistent
  44. YouTube Is Changing Its Community Guidelines Strike System For The First Time In A Decade
  45. How Kids YouTube Star Blippi Used Copyright Law to Hide His Harlem Shake Poop Video: Someone claiming to represent Blippi filed DMCA copyright takedown requests to Google in order to get an embarrassing viral video hidden.
  46. German Politician Thinks Gmail Constituent Messages Are All Faked By Google
  47. Jimmy Fallon Becomes First Late-Night Host To Hit 20 Million YouTube Subscribers
  48. Vox lawyers briefly censored YouTubers who mocked The Verge’s bad PC build advice
  49. Users alarmed by undisclosed microphone in Nest Security System
  50. Google Says Unlisted, Built-In Microphone on Nest Devices Wasn’t Supposed to Be ‘Secret’
  51. Google’s Waymo risks repeating Silicon Valley’s most famous blunder
  52. Google partially backtracks on Chrome changes that would break ad blockers
  53. Google Play apps with >10 million installs drain batteries, jack up data charges
  54. YouTuber Matt Watson Uncovers “Wormhole” Of Fetishizing Comments On Videos Of Young Children
  55. Fitness Influencer ‘Scammer’ Brittany Dawn Is “Getting This Business In Order,” Though Some Fans Are Unconvinced
  56. 7-Year-Old YouTube Megastar Ryan ToysReview Is Getting His Own Nickelodeon Series
  57. Victoria Beckham Launching YouTube Fashion Channel
  58. Matthew Patrick Slams Defy Media’s Bank For Comparing Itself To YouTubers Who Lost Money 
  59. The latest Instagram influencer frontier? Medical promotions.: Big pharma is partnering with influencers to sell new drugs and medical devices.
  60. The Latest In Trademark Abuse Is Registering Marks To Obtain Ownership Of Instagram Accounts 
  61. Meet The Beauty Influencer Who Isn’t Afraid To Say What She Thinks: Jackie Aina has been unapologetic about holding the makeup industry accountable to the black women who buy its products.
  62. Elon Musk Says He Filmed PewDiePie Collab As T-Series Subscriber Race Heats Up
  63. Rooster Teeth Resurrects Select Machinima Series, Including ‘Inside Gaming’, In Wake Of Shutdown
  64. Hulu Acquires Award-Winning Documentary About 16-Year-Old Influencer 
  65. Hulu Ad Campaign Spells Out That Its Influencers Get Paid
  66. Hulu’s New ‘Sellouts’ Ad Campaign Tells Viewers It Pays Influencers To Endorse It
  67. Snapchat Expands NHL Pact to Add Hockey Highlights, Curated Stories
  68. The New York Times quietly paused its Snapchat channel
  69. New Algorithm Detects Fake Online Dating Profiles 
  70. Netflix Unveils Canadian Production Hub To Accommodate Projects From Guillermo Del Toro, John Green
  71. Claiming for Unlawful Prophets – $50 Million Satanic Netflix Suit Settled
  72. Netflix’s The Punisher and Jessica Jones Are Officially Cancelled
  73. Netflix makes it official, canceling Punisher and Jessica Jones 
  74. How Dark Horse is building its own movie and TV empire out of comic books, from Netflix to a ‘Hellboy’ reboot 
  75. Netflix isn’t talking about itself like a tech company anymore
  76. “Hollywood is now irrelevant,” says IAC Chairman Barry Diller
  77. Feeling unwelcome, Amazon ditches plans for New York hub
  78. Facing opposition, Amazon scraps New York HQ2 plans
  79. Amazon Abandons HQ2 Campus in New York
  80. Bill de Blasio Does Not Appear to Be Taking the Amazon HQ2 Breakup Well
  81. Amazon’s grave HQ2 mistake: The political landscape changed but the company’s playbook didn’t 
  82. Amazon Launches Social Media Strategy For Massive ‘Lord Of The Rings’ Prequel
  83. Amazon Alexa And The Search For The One Perfect Answer
  84. Amazon caught selling counterfeits of publisher’s computer books—again
  85. India is turning its back on Silicon Valley
  86. The Big Data Revolution Will Be Sampled: How ‘Big Data’ Has Come To Mean ‘Small Sampled Data’
  87. Are the algorithms that power dating apps racially biased?: If the algorithms powering these match-making systems contain pre-existing biases, is the onus on dating apps to counteract them?
  88. Two Pricing AIs Went Rogue and Formed a Cartel to Gouge Humans: Capitalism is just another game that the AI intends to win.
  89. AI Executive Order – What’s Next? 
  90. Elon Musk-backed AI Company Claims It Made a Text Generator That’s Too Dangerous to Release
  91. The AI Text Generator That’s Too Dangerous To Make Public
  92. OpenAI built a text generator so good, it’s considered too dangerous to release
  93. Researchers, scared by their own work, hold back “deepfakes for text” AI
  94. Robots Are Already Driving and Painting, Now They’re Directing Films Too: A new documentary lets robots interview and film humans.
  95. India’s first RoboCop: Kerala Police inducts robot, gives it SI rank: Chief Minister Vijayan welcomed the Sub Inspector (SI) ranked robot into the service with an honorary salute and the ‘RoboCop’ responded with a perfect salute. It has been named KP-Bot.
  96. Gambling Commission announces new rules for online gambling 
  97. New WIPO study on A.I. inventions and EDPB opinion on clinical trials 
  98. This is why AI has yet to reshape most businesses
  99. We should treat algorithms like prescription drugs
  100. Ocasio-Cortez is right, algorithms are biased – but we can make them fairer
  101. On WhatsApp, Rumours, and Lynchings
  102. Did an employer breach its duty of care to an employee when it changed the passwords on his personal internet accounts on his company-provided mobile?
  103. What happens when you create a fake music record label and upload bad music to Spotify: A scholarly experiment to figure out how Spotify works (and how to trick it) 
  104. Spotify Paid Nearly $340 Million to Buy Podcast Startups Gimlet and Anchor
  105. SoundCloud Launches Tool to Distribute Music to Other Streaming Services
  106. DJ Deadmau5 Quits Twitch After Platform Suspends Him For Homophobic Remarks 
  107. The Record Label of The Future is No Label At All: Spotify’s acquisitions of Gimlet and Anchor signal ambitious plans to disintermediate the music industry.
  108. It Sounds Like It Could Be a While Until We Actually Get Apple’s Streaming Service
  109. Apple Taps Reese Witherspoon, J.J. Abrams, More For Video Service Launch Event On March 25
  110. Gambling, porn, and piracy on iOS: Apple’s enterprise certificate woes continue
  111. Apple reportedly planning to combine iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps by 2021
  112. Samsung’s foldable phone is finally official—meet the Galaxy Fold
  113. Microsoft culls secret Flash whitelist after Google points out its insecurity
  114. Florida Court Finds Virtual Currency Subject to Money Service Businesses Law 
  115. Trouble in Paradise: Florida Court Rules that Selling Bitcoin is Money Transmission
  116. JPMorgan is creating a cryptocurrency pegged to the dollar
  117. Inside the London tech scene’s frantic plan to stop Brexit: Britain’s techies still want to bring Brexit crashing down – and they’re scrambling to build the tools to do so
  118. The Internet Was Built on the Free Labor of Open Source Developers. Is That Sustainable?: A look at the complicated business of funding open source software development.
  119. GoFundMe: Hope, but no solution, for the needy 
  120. Judges Are Struggling To Interpret Emoji In Court Cases
  121. How Would You Feel Having Your Emoji Messages Read Out in Court?
  122. Queensland drivers set to get emoji number plates: Apparently there’s no stopping the spread of emoji – and road users are about to start seeing more of the little characters.
  123. Ong’s Hat: The Early Internet Conspiracy Game That Got Too Real
  124. Welcome to the cyber world: The real-world tech behind Alita: Battle Angel


  1. Alec Baldwin Wants to Know if Donald Trump Is Threatening Him
  2. Fox News Bans Ad For Documentary About American Nazi Rally in 1939
  3. Justice Thomas Is Apparently Serious About Completely Upturning Over 50 Years Of 1st Amendment Law
  4. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, threatens to sue Mail on Sunday: Paper published letter from royal saying father Thomas Markle had ‘broken her heart’
  5. Copyright May Protect a Car Wash’s Liability Disclaimer–Rassamni v. Fresno Auto Spa (Eric Goldman)
  6. Red Sole Diaries: another chapter
  7. How sexist will the media’s treatment of female candidates be? Rule out ‘not at all.’
  8. One of Anime’s Biggest Voices Accused of Sexual Harassment
  9. We get the journalism we deserve
  10. Dentist’s failed suit demonstrates a copyright’s bite needs more than teeth 
  11. The Hard Truth About Innovative Cultures
  12. This Video Explores Starship Troopers’ Messy Satirical Relationship With Fascism
  13. Smoke and mirrors? Big Tobacco slip(stream)s back into Formula One sponsorship deals 
  14. If you call this firm a “patent troll,” it might sue for defamation
  15. Appeals Court Takes No Time At All In Rejecting Patent Troll’s Ridiculous Lawsuit Against Cloudflare
  16. Calling Out Copyright Troll Mathew Higbee
  17. When does an Oscar speech become defamatory? 


  1.  Canada’s telecom industry uses misleading and unacceptable sales practices, CRTC report confirms: CRTC report says aggressive practices harm vulnerable consumers, such as seniors, and exist across all sales channels
  2. FTC Opts Out of Updating Anti-Spam Rule 
  3. Ajit Pai orders phone companies to adopt new anti-robocall tech in 2019
  4. Ajit Pai says broadband access is soaring—and that he’s the one to thank
  5. Sprint, T-Mobile Execs Continue To Hallucinate Competitors In Their Post-Merger Dreamscape
  6. FCC Issues Staff Report on “Robocalling”
  7. How an Investigation of Fake FCC Comments Snared a Prominent D.C. Media Firm 
  8. In Wake Of Verizon Flub, New Law Would Ban Wireless Throttling Of First Responders
  9. 5G Has Become The Magic Pixie Dust Of Tech Policy Conversations
  10. Why the future of satellite internet might be decided in rural Alaska


  1. Actually, Secretly Filming Students’ Cleavage Is Illegal, Canada’s Supreme Court Rules
  2. The Supreme Court’s Jarvis ruling delivers a win for privacy, but it’s a missed opportunity for equality
  3. Right to privacy not an all-or-nothing concept, says SCC in voyeurism case
  4. “Privacy is Not an All-or-Nothing Concept”: The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in R. v. Jarvis
  5. R. v. Jarvis (2019 SCC 10)
  6. Canadian Privacy Commissioners jointly issue guidelines to organizations for obtaining meaningful consent 
  7. When a privacy policy is not enough: Canadian Privacy Commissioners issue new guidance on obtaining meaningful consent
  8. Yet Another Breach 
  9. The Lucrative Government Spyware Industry Has a New ‘One-Stop-Shop’ for Hacking Everything
  10. Deputies Sued After False ALPR Hit Leads To Guns-Out Traffic Stop Of California Privacy Activist
  11. With elections weeks away, someone “sophisticated” hacked Australia’s politicians
  12. Inside the DNSpionage hacks that hijack domains at an unprecedented scale
  13. Automakers Could Give Police Control Over Your Self-Driving Car
  14. Hard-to-detect credential-theft malware has infected 1,200 and is still going
  15. Nasty code-execution bug in WinRAR threatened millions of users for 14 years


  1. Oxford study finds no link between violent video games and teen aggression
  2. No link between violent video games and increased aggression in teens, study finds: Oxford University describes study as “one of the most definitive to date”
  3. Violent video game engagement is not associated with adolescents’ aggressive behaviour: evidence from a registered report (Andrew Przybylski & Netta Weinstein)
  4. Niantic poised to settle Pokémon Go trespassing complaints
  5. Pokémon GO Lawsuit Settlement Might Lead To Some Pokéstops And Gyms Being Removed
  6. The mythos and meaning behind Pokémon’s most famous glitch 
  7. Epic Games pulls Fortnite YouTube ads over child predator concerns  
  8. Organizers of unsanctioned Fortnite festival facing lawsuit from Epic Games
  9. Epic Games files legal claim against Fortnite Live event organizers: Organizer Exciting Events forced to stop trading to limit losses
  10. Fortnite dance off: Fresh Prince star refused copyright on ‘Carlton Dance’ 
  11. One Of The People Suing Fortnite Over ‘Stolen’ Dance Steps Gets His Dance Rejected By The US Copyright Office
  12. Alfonso Ribeiro denied copyright to Carlton dance, damaging Fortnite lawsuit: US Copyright Office says routine is too simple to be protected by law
  13. ‘Fortnite’ Publisher Pauses YouTube Ads After They Ran On Videos Where Commenters Fetishized Children
  14. Respawn has already banned over 16,000 cheaters fromApex Legends
  15. Ninja Wins Twitch’s First ‘Apex Legends’ Tournament By One Point 
  16. Apex Legends already beat Fortnite’s single-day viewership record on Twitch
  17. Apex Legends beats Fortnite record for single-day Twitch viewing: Respawn’s Twitch Rivals event racked up 8.4 million hours viewed, streaming platform’s fourth highest in five years
  18. ‘Fortnite’s’ Massively Attended Virtual Concert is a Potent Glimpse of VR’s Future
  19. Wrestler Booker T Sues Activision For Copyright Infringement Over Fairly Generic Character Depiction
  20. US labor organization AFL-CIO urges game developers to unionize in open letter
  21. How did Yoshi’s Island music end up in an official US gov’t Web game?
  22. Revenue and profit up as Paradox experiences best year to date
  23. Paradox Interactive breaks new ground for modding on consoles: Independent Paradox Mods platform will provide a direct channel to console audiences “without pre-moderation”
  24. Paradox and Microsoft have created an open modding platform for Paradox titles
  25. Microsoft, Paradox allow open game modding on Xbox One for the first time
  26. Devs accuse Sony of “playing favorites” with PS4’s cross-platform support 
  27. Stubbornness over cross-play reminds us of bad old Sony | Opinion
  28. Sony: We Are Totally Open For Crossplay, Game Developers: No, You Totally Are Not
  29. Sony is readying to shut down PlayStation Vita production in Japan
  30. PS4-exclusive Dreams is launching into early access this spring  
  31. Employees at Blizzard’s France location unsure if their jobs are safe
  32. 134 jobs in danger at Blizzard’s French office
  33. Rewarding profit and nothing else | Opinion : Activision Blizzard’s mass layoffs amid record profits fits the company’s disregard for optics, but it may be self-defeating in the long run
  34. Nitro Games begins layoff talks, could cut workforce in half
  35. Mobile dev Next Games lays off 26 staff  
  36. Q&A: Non-profit Take This addresses mental health challenges among gaming community and creators 
  37. Ubisoft holds steady in Q3 despite competitive holiday 
  38. Ubisoft isn’t worried about an influx of new games stealingRainbow Six Siege’s thunder
  39. Why Ubisoft moved The Division 2 to the Epic Games store: CEO Yves Guillemot praises Epic’s terms, but says move was to “increase player exposure to our own store”
  40. Shadow of the Tomb Raider ships 4.12 million: Lara Croft’s latest adventure “got off to a weak start” for Square Enix alongside Just Cause 4 
  41. Square Enix consolidating its business divisions: Company plans to reorganize from 11 to four units, won’t involve workforce reduction
  42. Overkill’s The Walking Dead earned $3.7m from sales in Q4: Starbreeze full-year financial report underlines commercial performance of key title
  43. Report: China freezes new game approvals as regulators tackle backlog  
  44. Chinese government halts new game approvals to work through backlog: State Administration of Press and Publications to clear backlog before approving new submissions
  45. Tencent introduces streaming rules to stay on the up-and-up with Chinese law
  46. Report: Tencent wants to distribute Apex Legends in China 
  47. Tencent in talks to bring Apex Legends to China – Report 
  48. Tencent joins Netmarble consortium in Nexon bid
  49. Report: Netmarble and Tencent could buy Nexon as part of consortium  
  50. Kingdom Hearts III, Resident Evil 2 can’t stop January US sales dip: NPD Group finds gaming revenues down 19% year-over-year to $893 million; growth of Switch sales offset by declines in all other platforms 
  51. Revenue down by 5.4% at Rovio, but games segment holds firm
  52. Com2uS acquires majority stake in visual novel developer Day 7  
  53. That’s a wrap: Valve is axing Steam’s video section
  54. Valve retires non-gaming content from video on-demand service: Blockbuster movies fail to find traction on Steam
  55. Razer Game Store shutting down after 10 months
  56. Live support for Heroes of Newerth scaled back to essentials only: Former League of Legends rival to receive one last major update after ten years of live service 
  57. eSports: a new frontier for the advertising law and image rights? 
  58. EA opts Origin users out of “real-name sharing” after complaints
  59. Don’t Miss: Common problems when translating games into Japanese
  60. Anthem review: BioWare’s sky-high gaming ambition crashes back to Earth
  61. ‘Human Eye Resolution’ VR Is a Treat If You Know Where to Look
  62. Retina resolution headset puts the “reality” into “virtual reality”
  63. After Machinima Shutdown, Rooster Teeth Revives ‘Inside Gaming’ and Rescues Other Machinima Shows 
  64. Nintendo’s greatest strength this generation is self-acceptance | Opinion: The platform holder has returned to its roots, and it is stronger and more well-rounded as a result
  65. Dealmaster: As Switch sales slow, Nintendo launches a new bundle
  66. Porn Star Comes To The Nintendo Switch 
  67. Report: Early adopters of the Nintendo Switch weren’t in target demographic
  68. Tetris 99 isn’t just a great twist on a classic—it’s a gameplay revolution
  69. Breaking down categories of action in strategy games
  70. Insights: How Marshmello, MassMutual and Microsoft Are Remaking Content Marketing
  71. BOY, God of War won big at the DICE Awards
  72. God of War sweeps 2019 DICE Awards: Meanwhile, Halo boss Bonnie Ross welcomed into Hall of Fame and Celeste wins two categories
  73. Getting to the heart of art in the delightfully strange Art Sqool
  74. Enjoy a ’93 video tour of id Software while Doom was being made
  75. Blog: What is a meta-game?  
  76. Blog: Examining the issues with battle royale game design


2 responses to “News of the Week; February 20, 2019”

  1. Jon Festinger

    Great (but troubling) add Jake.