Posts tagged with "Facebook"

Pace University, Randi Priluck P.h.D. , professor, social media, marketing

Twitter Bans Free Speech?

Twitter has banned all political ads on its platform becoming a hero for a day. It was a surprising move given the reluctance of tech companies to get involved in the content posted on their sites. Like most such actions, the actual impact will hardly be noticeable. Since Twitter is the only site to ban political ads, people will still be exposed to paid content from candidates on other larger networks. According to ComScore, Facebook and Google have significantly more unique users in the US than Twitter, so people will still be exposed to online political advertising. Second, Twitter makes news when influential people tweet. The more outrageous the statement, the more likely the information will spread, not only on Twitter, but in traditional news outlets as well. Pairing that with the fact that people tend to trust paid less than organic content, the tweets will still hit their targets who will be even more likely to believe what they read.

So, is it a public good that Twitter is banning political ads or not? It’s certainly a relatively easy thing for Twitter to do. It is much more difficult to monitor the ads and determine their veracity. This process would require flagging suspicious content and hiring people to evaluate the messages. The problem is that banning all political ads means that candidates who do not have strong Twitter followings will be less able to reach audiences with their messages, thus giving even more power to the powerful.

Artificial intelligence techniques are improving and tech firms may have more tools in the future to effectively monitor. In 2018 Instagram announced that they are using a machine learning platform called DeepText to detect bullying language. This kind of technology could be applied to political ads to flag them for internal review. However, the platforms may be reluctant to adopt the monitoring technologies because of the potential for increased scrutiny of their businesses by political and governmental entities.

Professor Randi Priluck P.h.D.
Priluck is Professor of Marketing and Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies at Pace University. She also serves as Director of the Masters in Social Media & Mobile Marketing program in the Lubin School of Business, Pace University.


EVOLIX

Evolix is a contemporary pop group comprised of two siblings – Alexis and Korina. In 2016, the Boston natives officially began releasing songs under their current stage moniker. Having drawn a significant amount of influence from recording artists like Zedd, Jessie J and Dua Lipa, their original compositions primarily consist of dance-pop as well as EDM.  “Evolix strives to make a global impact where the lives of all are affected in some way by the empowering messages we are trying to promote,” said Korina.

Although both members contribute to Evolix equally, Korina is the principal songwriter of the group. She has built her foundation of lyrical content upon love, empowerment, heartbreak and other life experiences which teenagers face such as depression. The group’s other lead vocalist, Alexis, often provides the aesthetics which enhance her younger sister’s vision. “Because Korina and I are so close, we are able to play to each other’s strengths, and we are able to understand the overall creative vision. I can create a visual that will portray the true underlying message of Korina’s music,” said Alexis.

Social Links:

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Evolix’s newest single here.

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, bronx

Avoiding Cyber Threats on Facebook: A Guide

Facebook’s reputation has certainly taken a hit in recent years, especially on its main account, Facebook. Scandal after scandal have rocked this company, which is why it is more important than ever before that you, whether you are a business or an individual, work hard to dismantle your account so that your online data cannot be used against you.

Threats on Facebook

There are many threats to Facebook. Knowing these threats is key to avoiding them and to reduce the risk of your more personal accounts, like your bank account or even information that can lead to identity theft are not accessible to thieves online.

Use of Personal Information Against You

Public profiles are not Facebook’s fault. It is up to you to share information publicly or privately. By sharing information publicly, however, you run the risk of breaches. Most notably, a hacker could determine the answers to security questions on your accounts, and then work their way into more important accounts through the back door.

In the past, Facebook was a massive company that seemed completely impenetrable. Today it has been fraught with scandals and become a breeding ground for misinformation. In 2018, over 50 million users’ data was hacked into. The year before the Cambridge Analytica scandal proved that firms could pay their way to access private information and even skew election results. According to the NYTimes, this scandal has possibly even led to the deaths of individuals around the world.

Harassment Online

Cyberstalking and harassment are both very serious issues, especially for those who have public information that makes it easy for the cyberstalker to find you in the real world.

How to Avoid These Cyber Threats

To avoid these cyber threats, you will want to:

Set Up Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication, though not perfect, can stop a general hack.

Create a Unique Password for Facebook

Create unique passwords for every account so that breaches which involve your password being stolen are isolated.

Delete All Unnecessary Information

Go through your profile and old posts and delete all unnecessary information that can be used to correctly enter security questions.

Audit Your Friends List

If you aren’t actually friends with them, unfriend them. You don’t need strangers accessing your personal information.

Use Facebook’s Privacy Settings

Limit who can see your posts and sensitive information. Only your name and profile photo should be visible to a non-friend.

Remove Listing From Google

There is a setting which will remove your profile from Google and other search engines. Use this feature.

If you get harassment via messages, report, block, and do not engage.

Use Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)

What is EDR? EDR, or Endpoint Detection and Response, is a way to analyze your endpoints. Perfect for companies, this can help ensure that a Facebook login on your server doesn’t inadvertently let hackers into your Cloud account where they can then access your data. With EDR, you will be able to monitor your endpoints and respond to attacks before they become an issue.

You should never use Facebook, as an individual or as a company, without considering the risk and how you can mitigate it. By taking these steps, you can minimize and avoid cyber threats altogether. Continue to audit your accounts and use new security features to reduce the risk associated with putting your data online.

Tech’s Impact on Journalism

In the epicenter of big tech, Representative Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) joined Audrey Cooper, the Executive Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, CEO of CalMatters and the former Executive Editor of Bay Area News Group Neil Chase, and Save Journalism Project co-founders Laura Bassett, a laid-off HuffPost reporter, and John Stanton, laid-off former D.C. bureau chief of BuzzFeed, to shine a light on the plight of local news and a key culprit: big tech.   

n the first quarter of 2019, the media has shed more than 2,400 jobs – including East Bay Express staffers – and, over the past 10 years, newsrooms have declined in size by 45%. The plight of the journalism industry has generated bipartisan congressional action, a rather unique occurrence in this polarized political climate. And while the journalism industry faces many challenges, the focus of Congress’ current action is to halt big tech’s negative impact on the economic sustainability of the free press. Wednesday’s speakers will address this unusual bipartisan action and the widespread consequences of the loss of local news.

According to Representative Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), “Not that long ago, the Bay Area was home to over 1,500 journalists, but now there are less than 300 serving roughly 7 million people. This problem is not unique to our community—it is happening in every corner of the country, and we need to act. During a time when fact and accountability are under constant attack, today’s conversation about ways to preserve and protect local news and high-quality journalism is critical to the health of our democracy.”

According to Neil Chase, CEO of CalMatters and the former Executive Editor of Bay Area News Group, “I’m glad we had such a deep, meaningful conversation about the challenges facing journalism today, right here in downtown San Francisco. If we can’t solve it here, we can’t hope to help the places across America that don’t have the technology and financial resources that are available in a place like this.”

According to Laura Bassett, laid-off HuffPost senior politics reporter and co-founder of the Save Journalism Project, “As our country grapples with natural disasters, political turmoil, violence, and everyday life, Americans rely on journalists and the news industry to explain and break through the chaos. But, for that process to survive, we need well-staffed newsrooms and a blossoming industry. Instead, big tech is decimating journalism. Facebook, Google, and big tech have consumed the digital landscape and continue to threaten local and national journalism. We need our elected officials to weigh in, to reign in big tech, and to save the journalism industry, before this goes any further.”

And, according to John Stanton, laid-off former D.C. bureau chief of BuzzFeed and co-founder of the Save Journalism Project, “The irony of all ironies, we live streamed today’s event on Facebook to ensure it reached the largest audience. The mere fact that we had to rely on the conglomerate proves our point: Facebook and Google have too much power. Together, they control the landscape, the audience, and the content. I saw this first hand at BuzzFeed, when Facebook, without notice, changed its algorithm, resulting in huge viewership and financial losses for the company. As more and more local and national news outlets feel the death grip of big tech, we need Congress to step in and save journalism.”

 

Journalism in America is facing an existential threat from the monopolistic control of tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple. Big tech’s dominance over the digital advertising market and their unrivaled capacity to monetize its platforms are having drastic effects on journalism as a whole.

Can Facebook’s Libra Make Cryptocurrency Mainstream?

When Facebook announced plans for a stablecoin called Libra, the reaction from the cryptocurrency world ranged somewhere between skeptical and cautiously optimistic.

But, regardless of any specific merits of Facebook’s version of a digital coin, the social-media giant’s move could help speed the adoption of cryptocurrency to a larger audience, says Kirill Bensonoff, a serial entrepreneur and an expert in blockchain.

The biggest issue now is that most people are not familiar with crypto; they think it’s difficult to use, and they may not trust it,” Bensonoff says. “Facebook will put a digital wallet on many phones and computers, and sending payments with crypto will become commonplace.”

Facebook’s Libra is proposed as a stablecoin, which is a form of cryptocurrency. Using Libra, people would be able to buy things or send money to others while paying, at most, minor fees. Unlike other cryptocurrencies such as , the value of stablecoins is tied to an asset such as gold, the U.S. dollar, the Euro or other currencies.

Facebook won’t have complete control of Libra. It’s just part of a bigger group of partners that’s creating the stablecoin.

What might all this mean for the future of cryptocurrencies – and for the average person who still knows little about them? Bensonoff says a few things worth knowing about Libra in particular and stablecoins in general include:

Bringing stability to cryptocurrency. As the name implies, the idea of stablecoins is to bring more stability – and more peace of mind for wary investors – to the world of cryptocurrency. “I don’t think Facebook will bring stability immediately,” Bensonoff says. “I believe it’s going to take a lot more in terms of mass adoption, but Libra could be a step in the right direction.”

The SEC’s view. Regulators at the Securities and Exchange Commission have been eyeing stablecoins with the possibility that some of them could be classified as securities. “That could put stablecoins in the same category as stocks, subject to the registration, disclosures, and accreditation of investors that demands,” Bensonoff says.

Will Libra replace PayPal? Maybe not, considering that PayPay is one of the founding members of Libra, Bensonoff says. “I think they will have some influence on the direction,” he says. “However, crypto in general is a threat to all existing payment processors, including PayPal. I believe PayPal is smart and will adopt and accept crypto payments, and they will figure out a way to monetize it. The downside for them is they won’t be able to charge nearly as much as they do now.”

“I believe Libra is going to have a positive impact in terms of awareness, adoption and interest in cryptocurrency from both businesses and consumers,” Bensonoff says. “But at the same time, with that could come more regulatory scrutiny.”

About Kirill Bensonoff

Kirill Bensonoff has over 20 years experience in entrepreneurship, technology and innovation as a founder, advisor and investor in over 30 companies. He’s the CEO of OpenLTV, which gives investors across the world access to passive income, collateralized by real estate, powered by blockchain. In the information technology and cloud services space, Kirill founded U.S. Web Hosting while still in college, was co-founder of ComputerSupport in 2006, and launched Unigma in 2015. All three companies had a successful exit. As an innovator in the blockchain and DLT space, Kirill launched the crypto startup Caviar in 2017 and has worked to build the blockchain community in Boston by hosting the Boston Blockchain, Fintech and Innovation Meetup. He is also the producer and host of The Exchange with KB podcast and leads the Blockchain + AI Rising Angel.co syndicate. Kirill earned a B.S. degree from Connecticut State University, is a graduate of the EO Entrepreneurial Masters at MIT, and holds a number of technical certifications. He has been published or quoted in Inc., Hacker Noon, The Street, Forbes, Huffington Post, Bitcoin Magazine and Cointelegraph and many others.

HipHop artist AK Releases New Single

HipHop artist AK gets emotional on self-produced “Ignorance Is Bliss”

On “Ignorance Is Bliss,” AK gets real and reveals the all-too-relatable truth behind the feelings of the rise to success – claiming it to be ‘a gift and a curse.’ The single sonically mimics the peaks and valleys of this emotional journey. While his quick-witted verses reiterate the raw emotional battle of figuring out who can and cannot be trusted on the rise to the top; AK’s aching chorus evokes the intense desire to remain ignorant to the deterrents discovered along the way in the people and places in life that once felt safe and secure.

With lyrics ‘blessings around me / still feel like I’m sinking,’ AK takes a deep dive into the reality of the rarely touched on emotional side effects that come along with a fast track to success – a track that AK can definitely relate to as he has become quite the chart topper in a mere couple of years since first releasing music.

AK’s series of original singles have garnered the #1 spot on the U.S. iTunes Hip Hop Chart, the U.S. Top 20 iTunes Hip Hop Chart, graced the Top 25 iTunes Charts in four other countries, and landed on YouTube Music’s ‘Flow Superior’ Playlist. With his recent releases “Why Would I?,” “Déjà Vu” and “Like I Got It,” AK has hit a sweet spot of blending Hip Hop and R&B genres that pack the perfect punch of his versatility as an artist in terms of tone, lyrics and vocal range.

While his single “Broken” strikes an emotionally raw chord, with an accompanying music video to match. The single perfectly portrays AK’s masterful vocal ability, carried by a chorus of his raw and emotive vocals. While the dark and dreary music video for “Broken” mirrors the tormented tongue-twister verses and pained falsetto-laced vocals evoked by the feeling of a purely broken heart and the one who broke it. With each music release bigger than the last, it goes to show that AK is the next big thing in Hip Hop.

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AK MUSIC & SOCIAL MEDIA:

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How Big Tech Is Destroying Our Press

Ahead of today’s House Judiciary Hearing, the Save Journalism Project held a press call with Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11); journalists Laura Bassett, laid off by HuffPost; and John Stanton, laid off by BuzzFeed; and Neil Chase, CEO of CalMatters and former executive editor of The Mercury News and East Bay Times.

The monopolistic power of big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple is destroying the economic model of the entire journalism industry, whether its traditional circulation newspapers or digital news outlet.

 This week’s hearing on how digital platforms affect news organizations marks the much-needed return of congressional antitrust scrutiny to big tech companies, which have gained a monopolistic position that lets them dominate the digital advertising marketplace and distribute massive amounts of content from news publishers on their platforms without paying to produce the content. 

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) said, “I don’t think there’s anything more important right now than this issue. Being from the Bay Area, I have been to every big tech company. After meeting with them, I think it’s time to make it easier for licensing like the music and movie industries have done. We are members of Congress, you are journalists, and we have to keep an appropriate Constitutional distance, but there are policy proposals in our legislation that protect the freedom of the press and are necessary to keep the industry alive. When I was first elected to the Concord City Council there was a reporter who was consistently in the front row keeping officials accountable. His presence made local government work, and it is vital that we protect the journalism industry to make sure leaders are kept accountable and communities are informed.”

Laura Bassett, a reporter who was laid off by HuffPost, commented, “In the first few months of 2019, I was one of about 2,400 journalists and media staffers who lost our jobs. Even though I was aware the cuts were coming, it was still shocking to be laid off after nearly a decade in my newsroom. The reason for the mass layoffs, I found out, was that Big Tech companies like Google and Facebook are dominating the digital ad market, swallowing about 60 percent of all revenue and making it difficult for journalism to survive. News publishers are being forced to give a cut of their ad revenue to these companies- revenue that would otherwise go to hiring journalists. Because a well-funded news media is vital to a healthy democracy, the public needs to be aware of Big Tech’s death grip on publishers. At the House Judiciary Hearing today, lawmakers in Congress need to address this bipartisan issue and find legislative solutions that regulate tech giants and restore fairness to the digital ad market. Journalists are taught not to be the story, but as Big Tech’s digital ad monopoly benefits off of our revenue streams, it’s incumbent upon us to fight for the future of our industry. One or two companies should not have the power to cripple the free press.”

“After 20 years of covering Congress and the White House for BuzzFeed, I found out layoffs were coming in a tweet from the Wall Street Journal,” said John Stanton, former Buzzfeed Washington Bureau Chief before being laid off. “Despite the great work my colleagues and I were doing for the publication, there simply wasn’t enough money. Because stories that lead to changes in state and federal law, jailing of criminals and exposing wrongdoing — cost money. Money that is increasingly gobbled up by Google and Facebook. To try to survive, slashes had to be made. To entire desks. The reason advertising revenue has fallen so steeply is that Google and Facebook dominate the digital ad market, consuming more than 60 percent of all revenue. And their share is growing, because they devour nine out of every ten new dollars that are spent on digital advertising. Big Tech’s monopoly has a death grip on publishers. Congress needs to be discussing how to regulate this imbalance and restore competitive fairness in the digital market.”

Neil Chase, CEO of CalMatters and former executive editor of The Mercury News and East Bay Times, added, “We all believe journalism is central to democracy. Newspapers have experienced a decline not in the past five years, not in the past ten or fifteen years, but in the past seventy-five years. Newspapers have been declining since World War II. The problem is that we are essentially sitting on a 200 year-old product, but are trying to compete with new and changing technologies. Newspapers have maintained a monopoly for over 200 years. This is how people historically gained all their information; how they found where to buy clothing, where to buy their groceries, and where they got their news. With the change in how society works, all we have is the news. In order to solve this problem, we need a multi-pronged approach. We need to engage in philanthropy, which my company is already focused on this aspect. We need newspapers with benevolent leaders, not the leaders that we have at some major news organizations now. We need support from legislators. And, we need people paying for the news. We need a lot of support from a lot of different places in order to make this work.”

Facebook Agrees To Work With The NCAC

The National Coalition Against Censorship has announced that Facebook is willing to collaborate with the group after the nude art action #wethenipple in New York City on June 2nd where 125 people posed nude in front of Facebook’s HQ. The Art Action, organized by the NCAC and world renowned photographer Spencer Tunick, was covered by CNN and picked up worldwide. 
 
Grab Them By The Ballot Founder, Harvard Law educated Dawn Robertson, participated in the photo shoot and worked with the NCAC to promote the event. She is optimistic about the collaboration but has some additional concerns to add.
 

Grab Them By The Ballot, a nude photo campaign to empower women and increase voter turnout in 2020, joined the art action to protest the behemoth’s policies regarding artistic female nudity used for activism and the shaming of women’s bodies. Frustrated by their own experience of censorship on the social media platforms and worried it could end their campaign, the grassroots non-profit eagerly got involved. Robertson posed in the photo shoot (details available upon request). 

Robertson wants to see the policies loosen and also be executed consistently with the context taken into consideration. She wants a fair appeals process with actual people readily available and the permanent disabling of ad accounts and use of an automated system addressed. 

“I was honored to be involved and respect that the NCAC and Tunick are primarily addressing the censorship and rights of artists. We are concerned about the censorship of the intersection of art, activism and the representation and treatment of female nudity. We want to create a cultural shift and normalize female sexuality and nudity” says Robertson. 

The NCAC said Facebook has agreed to put together a group including artists, art educators, museum curators, activists, and employees to consider new nudity guidelines for images posted to its social-media platforms.

“I’m a bit concerned and suggest that feminist activists and sex-positive healers, educators and entrepreneurs be included in this group to address nude expression used outside of the art world as well as the censorship of sexually related written content. Facebook may still censor content related to women’s sexual education, healing, sovereignty and empowerment.” adds Robertson.

Robertson is also concerned about the distinction between Facebook’s advertising policies and community standards and wants it to be addressed. “They are two different beasts and when advertising the censorship is far greater” she says. Robertson adds “Regarding the advertising policies, most importantly, they should apply the general community standards regarding female artistic nudity- including the exceptions allowing nudity as a form of protest -to their advertising policies. Facebook could have a opt-out feature so users aren’t solicited unexpectedly as that is their apparent concern. 
 
The strict advertising policies limit activists, artists, educators and healers from profiting from their message and building an audience” adds Robertson. “We are selling female empowerment and Facebook also needs to have actual people looking at the context of ads.”
 
“It’s important to note that there’s an option to advertise to only those who like your page which is akin to dispensing content to friends on a newsfeed. At the very least, we should be able to promote and advertise to this audience as they have essentially opted-in. It’s just as we can to our friends through our personal accounts.” Robertson adds.

Save Journalism Project Launches To Protect Our Press From Big Tech

BuzzFeed Reports on Recently Laid Off Journalists Serving  As Spox For New Campaign To Save Journalism From Monopolistic Power of Big Tech Companies

Today, BuzzFeed reports on the Save Journalism Project that’s launching to raise awareness and engagement about the critical need to save journalism as it faces an existential threat—the monopolistic power of big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple destroying the economic model of the entire journalism industry, whether its traditional circulation newspapers or digital news outlets. At the same time, Google and Facebook have made acquisition after acquisition, gaining a monopolistic position that lets them dominate the digital advertising marketplace and distribute massive amounts of content from news publishers on their platforms without paying to produce the content. Just now are Facebook, Google, and other tech giants facing federal government and Congressional antitrust scrutiny.

Two recently laid off reporters will serve as spokespeople for the Save Journalism Project, Laura Bassett  and John StantonLearn More and Join the Fight at SaveJournalism.org and@SaveTheNews.

BuzzFeed: These Reporters Lost Their Jobs. Now They’re Fighting Back Against Big Tech.

“John Stanton and Laura Bassett are warning about what they believe the tech industry is doing to journalism, as thousands have lost their jobs this year alone.

By Rosie Gray”

Two prominent reporters who were recently laid off from digital media outlets are forming a new advocacy group formed to raise awareness about big tech’s impact on the journalism industry.

John Stanton, a longtime congressional correspondent and former BuzzFeed News Washington bureau chief, and Laura Bassett, a former culture and political reporter for nearly 10 years at the Huffington Post, have teamed up to launch a new initiative called the Save Journalism Project. The two have first-hand experience with the troubled state of the news industry: Stanton was laid off from BuzzFeed News during a round of layoffs that affected 200 people company-wide this winter and spurred a unionization drive among the news staff. Bassett lost her job in similar fashion in January after Huffington Post laid off 20 employees as part of larger cuts at its parent company, Verizon Media.

This year has been one of the worst in recent memory for journalism jobs. Across the industry, thousands have lost their jobs: from BuzzFeed News, Vice, CNN, and others across the country at local publications. Media organizations have been imperiled by crashing advertising revenues as Facebook and Google vacuum up available ad dollars.

Their new project will be set up as a nonprofit, according to Eddie Vale, a Democratic consultant whose firm is providing the man-power to launch the effort. Vale pitched Bassett on the idea, and the two of them brought in Stanton. Vale said initial funding had been secured from “someone who doesn’t want to be public so Google and Facebook don’t go after them,” and the group plans to continue to fundraise. So far, the pair have co-authored testimony given to the Senate Judiciary Committee highlighting the tech giants’ impact on the news industry — “since being laid off, we’ve made it our mission to understand how the digital marketplace works and how Big Tech is killing the journalism industry,” they wrote — flown a plane above Google’s I/O conference, and authored op-eds.

A key part of their goal is to get journalists, who aren’t known for showing a keen interest in the business side of their publications or for engaging in advocacy themselves, to take an active role in defending the future of their jobs. In an interview, Stanton said they were “trying to educate the public and members of Congress and also start encouraging our colleagues to speak up.”

“Reporters are not generally super interested in speaking about their own problems and about things that affect them directly because they feel like it becomes a conflict of interest, and in certain ways that’s true,” Stanton said. “But when the future of the free press is being pretty seriously endangered by something, I think it’s incumbent upon us to stand up for ourselves.”

Like many reporters, Bassett said she had “never really had to pay attention to the financial side of journalism.”

But “after getting laid off, I started to become really interested in why all of these amazing news publishers were sort of going under, having to lay off staff, why we were losing local newspapers. It’s a tragedy, it’s really bad for democracy.”

Their effort comes at a time of increased scrutiny of the tech industry on the part of the federal government as well as Congress as public concern mounts over repeated privacy scandals, technology companies’ role in spreading misinformation, and their dominance over certain industries. The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission reportedly made a deal to divide potential antitrust investigations between them; Apple and Google will fall under the purview of the DOJ, while the FTC took Facebook and Amazon. The House Judiciary Committee announced it would “conduct a top-to-bottom review of the market power held by giant tech platforms.”

The Save Journalism Project’s founders are hoping to steer the public conversation around the negative effects of Big Tech towards its impact on journalism.

Stanton, who lives in New Orleans, mentioned examples like that city’s local paper, the Times-Picayune, which laid off its entire staff last month. Around the country, Stanton said, “local reporters are so overtaxed. They’re doing as good a job as they can but there’s not enough of them.”

At the moment, Stanton and Bassett are more focused on warning the public and the industry about the issue than on proposing solutions.

“I do think that everyone is starting to see a need to break up and regulate these companies or something along those lines,” Bassett said. “And with regards to how they’re going to make journalism viable again, I don’t frankly know…I think right now we’re starting with just getting this conversation out into the public and making people aware of exactly what’s going on. I do hope at some point we graduate into saying, ‘here’s a list of policy proposals, here’s exactly what needs to happen.'”

Stanton and Bassett plan to interview elected officials, candidates and colleagues in the media about the industry’s crisis, and started with conducting on-camera interviews with Reps. Mark DeSaulnier and Ruben Gallego. They plan to circulate a letter with which media companies can sign on to their cause. And their first official event will be at the annual Congressional Baseball Game, where they plan to distribute a physical newspaper laying out the problems on their agenda.

“The DC press corps is a really powerful constituency within our industry,” Stanton said. “If we can get our colleagues [there] to start talking about this it will help more broadly.”

LifeScale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive, and Happy Life

The book is a solution to the crisis for everyone – men, women, parents, and children — dealing with digital distraction which aims to solve the effects of digital addiction by helping us rebuild the strength to focus, learn and grow through each chapter. One of the original oracles of Silicon Valley, Brian is a world-renowned keynote speaker and has consulted for Fortune 500 companies, helped launch hundreds of start-ups and advised celebrity entrepreneurs from Shaquille O’Neal to Ashton Kutcher to Oprah!

Did you know…

The constant stimulation of tech is rewiring our brains, altering body chemistry and affecting our productivity, health, and wellness?

  • Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other popular apps/games were deliberately designed to change our behaviors (it’s called persuasive design).
  • On average it takes 23 minutes to regain focus every time you pull away from a project to check your phone or twitter feed.
  • 36% of Millennials and Gen Z employees say they spend two hours or more checking their smartphones for personal activities during the workday.
  • Digital distractions cost the U.S. economy $997 billion a year in lost productivity.
  • Multitasking, the way most Americans “get things done,” actually reduces productivity by 40% and lowers IQ scores.
  • Social Media is damaging our teens. The more time they spend on social media, the more likely they are to be depressed, suffer low self-esteem and compare themselves negatively to their peers. 50+% prefer texting to talking!

This list goes on…

Today, most people are living with persistent distraction because it’s just a fact of life now. But, like cigarettes, which were originally endorsed by doctors, many of the devices and social networks we use were designed to be addictive. It’s time for a holistic approach to putting digital distractions in their place.

More than an Author, A Digital Distraction Survivor…

Brian is a bit of a Silicon Valley legend who helped advise more than 1,000 startups as well as researching technology’s evolving effects on markets and behaviors. He’s not coming at this topic as an expert in self-help. He’s an admitted victim who confronted his own loss of focus and productivity before writing this book.

In LifeScale, Brian shares:

  • The straight dope on how the tech industry got us addicted and keeps us addicted to Facebook, gaming and more.
  • His own challenges with distraction and ineffective multitasking and explores his journey to find short-term hacks and then long-term solutions to solve this problem.
  • Maps out a plan all of us can use to regain focus and creativity while learning to use Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, emails and all those apps on our smartphones as tools that enhance our lives instead of dominating them.

Order book here