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Big Revolution - When the cards collapse [Members only]

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Welcome, Big Revolution members. Here's your update on what's happening in the world of tech and medi
 
December 27 · Issue #303 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome, Big Revolution members. Here’s your update on what’s happening in the world of tech and media while you (hopefully) put your feet up.
Martin

Big things you need to know today
  • The crypto crash is having a real effect on companies that support the ecosystem. Bitmain, which offers Bitcoin mining equipment, is among the companies slashing staff headcounts.
  • Snapchat now lets you use its AR lenses on dogs. Woof woof.
The big thought
What happens when the house of cards collapses? Credit: Jack Hamilton on Unsplash
When the cards collapse
A New York Magazine article yesterday highlighted something we all know deep down but never really think about too deeply – the internet as we know it is built on lies.
Web traffic stats, social media stats… they’re all fake, padded out by an unknowable number of bots, duplicate users and other anomalies. This wouldn’t be a big problem if the economy of the internet wasn’t built on these figures. It’s a web of lies that publishers, advertisers, adtech firms, platforms and others all agree to believe because the alternative is to admit that no-one really knows anything.
And what happens when the house of cards comes crashing down? When some people stop believing? When the big fraud is revealed?
Publishers won’t be able to afford to operate, and social media services’ revenues and stock prices will collapse. But in the long run, all of this is probably for the best, as only by completely burning the current masquerade to the ground will we find the will to explore new, more sustainable business models. But the internet will look very different as a result, and sadly, probably a whole lot less free and open.
The digital world was supposed to give us a precision of media measurement that the analogue world could never match up to. Instead, it’s allowed us to build empires on the shakiest of foundations. Let’s hope 2019 doesn’t bring that recession many fear, eh?
One big read
I Used to Write for Sports Illustrated. Now I Deliver Packages for Amazon. I Used to Write for Sports Illustrated. Now I Deliver Packages for Amazon.
A journalist who used to interview US presidents now delivers Amazon packages for a living. Here he discusses his work – but doesn’t address what the contracting firm he works for thinks of him writing this article.
One big tweet
The official Black Mirror Twitter account just announced that a new episode, ‘Bandersnatch,’ will be available on Netflix tomorrow. Click through for the trailer.
Black Mirror
10:00 AM - 27 Dec 2018
That’s all for today...
Back with a members-only weekend edition this Saturday the 29th. See you then!
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