Digital Daily Dozen: 6/20/16

The music industry signs up Taylor Swift and U2 in its fight against YouTube (Recode)

The music industry is ratcheting up its fight against YouTube. Taylor Swift is one of dozens of musicians who have attached their name to an open letter to Congress, calling on lawmakers to re-write legislation used by YouTube and other platforms that they say “threaten[s] the continued viability of songwriters and record artists to survive.”  

Why blockchains can be really bad. Or: How techno-futurists can ruin things. (Recode)

Here’s what’s particularly disturbing about techno-futurists right now: Software is so widely distributed, so persistent and attainable that any fantastical idea, the wacky and the unchecked, of which Silicon Valley loves to promote, is just leading to more everyday destruction.  

FCC’s Wheeler confident Supreme Court will back net neutrality (USA Today)   

FCC Chair Tom Wheeler said he’s confident new rules requiring equal treatment of all Internet traffic — which were upheld by a federal appeals court in Washington — can survive a review by the U.S. Supreme Court. “As (U.S. cable and telecom giants) keep making record profits, it will get harder and harder to argue against it.”  

China Cracks Down on International TV Formats (Hollywood Reporter)   

China has issued a strict curb on imported TV formats in an effort to “promote domestic originality,” the country’s central media regulator said. The new directive said that local satellite broadcasters will no longer be allowed to air remakes of popular international reality shows without first getting official approval.   

Can a Social-Media Algorithm Predict a Terror Attack? (Technology Review)

Monitoring social media seems like an obvious way of predicting events such as a protest or a terrorist attack, but it has so far proved challenging. For example, Brazil was largely unprepared for mass protests in 2013 even though they were organized on social media.  

Airbnb Vows to Fight Racism, but Its Users Can’t Sue to Prompt Fairness (NY Times) 

Airbnb tells users they must agree to waive the right to sue, or to join in any class-action lawsuit or class-action arbitration, as a condition of using the service. The waiver clause and Airbnb’s more prominent placement of it allows it to shield itself now from outside pressure around the discrimination issue.  

Politico Editors Discuss How Social Media Changed the Dialogue in U.S. Elections (Media Shift)  

U.S. presidential candidates, led by presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, are increasingly turning to social media to talk directly to voters and bypass traditional news organizations, according to three leading journalists at Politico.   


Canadian telecoms are refusing to offer more data for a program that gives digitally disenfranchised people a lifeline when they need it. “Unlimited data plans aren’t really available in Canada,” said Sara Tavakolian, the project lead on the Toronto Public Libraries’ WiFi program.   

The death of apps has been greatly exaggerated (Recode)

In recent months, we’ve heard a steady drumbeat of stories about the coming death of apps. The reasons for this claim are several, and include slowing growth rates for the top 100 apps. The era of apps is far from over. Apps are evolving, and it’s worth looking at both the true state of apps today and how that’s likely to change over time.  

Apple wants to kill a bill that could make it easier for you to fix your iPhone (Washington Post)   

Because of Apple’s tight grip on the repair services of its products, many repair technicians must rely on electronic pieces from factories in China, as well as re-created design guides. The tech giant forbids official parts or device blueprints from being used outside of their Apple Genius bars, Apple facilities, or authorized third-party. 

Local news isn’t dead. We just need to stop killing it.  (Columbia Journalism Review- Commentary)   

Local journalists are often their own worst enemy in the struggle to keep their news organizations alive. That’s because they’ve been slow to adapt and have drifted away from a focus on their customers and communities. Refocusing there creates opportunity for a robust events business drawing from the news.   

Senate to Investigate Comcast, Time Warner and Dish Customer Service (Inside Sources) 

Abnormally poor customer service stories have become the norm among top pay-TV providers Comcast, Dish and others, and Congress is stepping in to investigate the increasing frequency of reports against companies with near-monopoly control in major parts of the country.    

The real threat to traditional media: Gen Z (Media Life Magazine)  

There’s a perception that Millennials could well be the death of traditional media. They are, after all, the first digital generation, growing up in an age of Netflix instead of NBC. They’re also the ones cutting the cord. But as it turns out, traditional media may have more to fear from Gen Z, people born in the 1990s, than Millennials.