FTC tells ‘influencers’ to quit trying to hide the fact that they’re shilling for brands

The Federal Trade Commission has put dozens of so-called influencers on notice for failing to adequately document the fact that their Instagram and such like posts are in fact thinly veiled ads for which the posters are being generously compensated. The agency sent out more than 90 letters to “celebrities, athletes, and other influencers” reminding […]

Twitter is reviewing whether to store some user data in Russia

Twitter is considering localizing the storage of some of its Russian users’ personal data in order to comply with data localization laws, TechCrunch has confirmed. The Moscow Times reported earlier today that Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor has secured an agreement from Twitter to transfer Russian users’ data to local servers by mid-2018 — with the agency’s chief, Alexander Zharov, briefing press to say […]

Twitch expands subscriptions with new $9.99 & $24.99 tiers for serious fans

Confirming an earlier leak, the Amazon-owned live streaming service Twitch is today announcing an expanded lineup of subscription offerings, which introduces two new levels beyond the original $4.99 per month plan. Now, Twitch’s partnered content creators can offer $9.99 and $24.99 subscriptions that will give viewers additional ways to support their favorite creators. The new […]

Instagram on Android gets offline mode

80% of Instagram’s users 600 million users are outside the US, so it needed a way to provide a better experience for users with limited network connectivity or no data plan. Today at F8, Instagram announced it’s built support for using most of its features without Internet access. Much of this functionality is now available on […]

Facebook launches augmented reality Camera Effects developer platform

Facebook will rely on an army of outside developers to contribute augmented reality image filters and interactive experiences to its new Camera Effects platform. After today’s Facebook F8 conference, the first effects will become available inside Facebook’s Camera feature on smartphones, but the Camera Effects platform is designed to eventually be compatible with future augmented […]

The Mercury Effect

In 1999 the eponymous owner of the popular proto-blog Stile Project wrote a post called “The Mercury Effect.” In it Stile described receiving a video from some fans who had, if I remember correctly, tortured a stray cat to death in his honor; they appeared to have been inspired by the other shocking material he’d […]

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