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Big Revolution - What did we expect?

Sometimes I like to get a head start on the newsletter by lining up news stories the night before. I
April 4 · Issue #38 · View online
Big Revolution
Sometimes I like to get a head start on the newsletter by lining up news stories the night before. I did that last night, and then as I closed my laptop, the sad news started to come through from YouTube…

Big things you need to know today
Credit: SCBY / Wikimedia Commons
- Tragic news from California overnight. A woman with an apparent grudge against YouTube entered the company’s HQ, then shot and injured three people before dying of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot. BuzzFeed has what we know about the woman so far.
- Spotify went public yesterday, via an understated direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Meanwhile, Recode reports that Spotify’s future plans involve signing direct deals with mid-tier artists – well-known but not superstars – as a way of helping to secure a future independent of established labels.
- Facebook now lets you disconnect apps from your account in bulk. Long overdue.
- Snapchat is taking on Houseparty, with 16-person video chat. And 32-person audio chat – which sounds very noisy and confusing indeed. Oh, and you can tag other users in your Stories too, which is long overdue.
- Ever wanted to browse the Web in a VR headset? No? Well, Mozilla thinks you might one day want to, so it’s building Firefox Reality. While it’ll mainly let you navigate normal websites floating in front of you, it can also act as a jumping-off point for VR, and even augmented reality, experiences from those websites if they support them, if you use it with a suitable headset.
- The Washington Post’s editor has come out swinging against Trump’s claims that Jeff Bezos uses the newspaper he owns to boost Amazon’s interests. 
The big thought
Credit: Facebook
I mean, what did we expect?
Mark Zuckerberg confirmed something yesterday that will make privacy activists sigh with a sense of ‘why did we expect any different?’
Zuckerberg told Reuters that Facebook won’t roll out the tough new EU data protection rules worldwide in full. That’s despite them being the closest we have a 'gold standard’ for responsible use of data.
He hasn’t said exactly which parts of the law won’t be implemented worldwide. For all we know, it could be obscure parts that make no meaningful difference, or that require government oversight to work. Maybe Zuck is just being practical.
But he’s evasive on the details at a time when Facebook really can’t afford to lose any more trust. You can’t blame people for getting angry that we might end up with a world where companies offer differing levels of protection depending on what local governments force them to do.
User interests and safety now need to be visibly, unarguably front and centre of everything Facebook does. It needs to be the gold standard, even if its business model makes that a real challenge.
One big read
“If the Financial Times were a person, it would be a man.” Here’s how the paper is trying to change that. “If the Financial Times were a person, it would be a man.” Here’s how the paper is trying to change that.
“Only 20 percent of the FT’s subscribers were women. Renée Kaplan, the paper’s head of audience engagement, is doing a lot of things to change that.”
Among the steps taken, the company took an unusual route of setting up “a dashboard that monitors, in real time, what our female subscribers are reading most and least, and what the proportion of female readers is for each section of the paper.”
One big tweet
A BuzzFeed journalist spent the hours after the YouTube shooting debunking the usual range of hoaxes that instantly flooded social media. The hoaxers weren’t happy, and…
Tom Namako
People are literally upset that our fake news debunking reporter has debunked fake news around this shooting and have now made her fake news. I die.
11:12 PM - 3 Apr 2018
That’s all for today...
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