Hello - this week I have been mostly re-engaging with the climate movement.
The arrival of COP26 reminded me of one of my favourite fictional news interviews of all time, so I wrote about it:
I also chaired a Q&A with filmmaker Sasha Snow, at a screening of his documentary The Troublemaker, about the UK’s Extinction Rebellion movement. It’s a brilliant film that has pushed me to commit to re-engaging with climate activism - something I dropped a few years back.
There’s no time left to ignore it, and the hypocrisy/wilful ignorance I had chosen has become more difficult than useful to me. Maybe you’re feeling the same?
I spend a lot of my time watching and reading stuff online. So, imagine my joy when I read Streaming’s dirty secret: how viewing Netflix top 10 creates vast quantity of CO2 by Mark Sweney for The Guardian:
“The world’s largest video-sharing site, YouTube, is responsible for emitting enough carbon dioxide annually to far surpass the equivalent greenhouse gas output of Glasgow, the Scottish city where world leaders will be gathering from Sunday at the Cop26 climate summit.”
Not only do I need to personally change my way of life, but I need to commit to pressuring the government, and corporations, and other people, to do the same.
No pressure, then.
It’s Friday November 5th, 2021
Facebook has announced it will shut down its facial recognition system and delete the face scan data of more than one billion users, saying it wants “to find the right balance” with the technology it’s developing. (NYT)
A poll of 2258 people in the UK by Left Foot Foward, asking whether we should be able to create anonymous accounts on social media, found twice as many people oppose online anonymity as support it. (Left Foot Forward)
Snap, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have lost a combined $10 billion in ad revenue across the second half of 2021, due to Apple's recently implemented tracking transparency policy for iOS apps. The feature introduced in iOS 14.5 gives users the choice as to whether they want apps, and the advertisers who fund them, to be allowed to track them across the web. (FT)
The Rothermere family is reportedly paying £3.1 billion to take DMGT, the company that owns the Daily Mail, the Metro, and i, private, ending its 90-year run as a publicly listed company. (The Guardian)
Just 10 publishers including Breitbart, RT, and the Federalist Papers are responsible for 70% of online users’ interaction with climate denial content on Facebook, according to a new report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate. (WaPo)
Belarus has declared Belsat, a satellite channel based in Poland that “provides Belarusians an alternative to Belarusian state media”, an “extremist organisation”, meaning staff and viewers could face up to 7 years in prison. (Reuters)
After defending its editorial stance on a piece about coercive sex between lesbian and trans women this week, the BBC has amended the article to remove a quote from Lily Cade. Cade had subsequently posted a call on her website for the lynching of numerous high-profile trans women, labeling them “pedophiles”. (The Guardian)
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has publicly pledged to stop using any real firearms on projects produced by his company, Seven Bucks Productions, after the Rust tragedy in which Halyna Hutchins was killed. (Variety)
Russia has expelled another journalist. Tom Vennink’s visa was revoked for “administrative violations”; he is the second journalist expelled by the Kremlin since the summer. (Reuters)
The state-backed news channel Russia Today (RT) has lost its appeal over a £200k fine by the UK’s broadcasting regulator Ofcom, for breaching impartiality rules in reporting on the Salisbury poisoning and the war in Syria. (Press Gazette)
CBC, Canada’s largest broadcaster, has decided to keep Facebook comments disabled on its articles, citing improvement in the mental health and safety of its journalists. (CBC)
In a Twitter exchange this week, Elon Musk invited the UN’s World Food Program to show him how $6 billion could solve world hunger, saying if they could do so with “open source accounting” he would sell Tesla stock to fund it. However the figure was based on a misunderstanding (not proposed directly by the WFP, but by researcher and tech exec Eli David) - WFP Chief David Beasley said he would like to speak to Musk directly to discuss the possibility of a donation, but that $6bn is in fact only the shortfall caused by the pandemic. (CNN)