The Social Media Report #5
A look at the week's news at the intersection of social media and society
Welcome to the latest edition of The Social Media Report, a review of the week’s developments in technology, digital and social media. In this edition we take a look at what Biden’s ascent to presidency means for social media, for the technology industry, and for Donald Trump.
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The week in review
What will post-Trump social media hold? The Trump era appears to be over. Although Trump’s tweets suggest he isn’t letting this go, and we may see a fight on our hands, Biden’s time surely has come. Perhaps Trump’s will was boosted by his supporters’ social media swell, when the #RiggedElection movement gathered pace, and the Facebook group Stop The Steal amassed over 350,000 members before Facebook pulled the plug on it. This week we saw a truly unprecedented level of intervention from the social networks, with the President of the United States’ Twitter feed littered with warning labels.
For better or worse, Trump has changed the fabric of social media over the last four years. I expect he will continue to in whatever role he assumes in 2021, and thus Biden will no doubt fight for a more tightly-regulated web. The world will watch for what Biden will do now, and especially what he will to the social networks, with his experience first hand of the power an individual has been able to wield online. It is well documented that Biden is pro-regulation of social media, with his ‘stinging attacks’ on the social media CEOs. So watch for the next few months, as changes are already afoot, and the social media landscape under Biden will be much different to how it has been of late.
What we have seen from the Trump presidency is a change in how leaders communicate, with a focus on speed, impact, abrasion, confrontation, control and the mainstream (lamestream) media painted as the global villain. I seriously doubt this will continue from the top. But I bet my bottom dollar it will from the sidelines.
Follow Joe Biden on Twitter. His username is @JoeBiden and he already has ‘President Elect’ in his bio. He may only have 15m followers compared to Trump’s 88m, but what a difference four years makes.
Here are the most interesting stories from what I have been reading this week.
A summary of Biden’s tech policy expectations. “Biden has been the overwhelming favourite in the presidential race among those in the tech sector. The industry has butted heads with the Trump administration at almost every turn of his presidency.”
How FB announced the president: “Facebook alerted millions of U.S. users that Joe Biden was the projected winner of the presidential election at the top of Facebook and Instagram feeds even as President Donald Trump vowed to fight on.”
Twitter doubles down on Trump tweet warnings: Trump’s wild claims have been a theme of this week. Good analysis by NYT.
Facebook removes disinfo group that amassed 350k members in one day: Facebook has taken down the #StopTheSteal disinformation group. The same hashtag was also trending on TikTok which took action too, blocking #sharpiegate, #stopthesteal & #riggedelection.
TikTok teen safety: BBC investigation into TikTok’s safety specifically for young users.
Edit wars on Wikipedia: Wired takes a look at the ‘edit-warring’ on Wikipedia in India.
FTC plans to sue Facebook: the US Federal Trade Commission is reported to have been planning a case for 16 months against FB for anti-competitive practices regarding both M&A and data.
Foursquare changes CEOs: David Shim to leave on Jan 1, after arriving in 2019 from Foursquare’s acquisition of his company, Placed. Foursquare pivoted from being a consumer app to supplier of location data to other apps.
Even Apple’s election riot hoarding is pristine.
Spotify subscription podcasts: there are hints that Spotify could be launching a new premium service for podcast subscriptions.
Among us IRL: Sidemen take the Among Us craze and do it in real life.
EA tanks: profits and stock down after earnings, as the retailer underperforms versus pre-lockdown life
Nintendo demand soars: the Japanese game maker forecasts positive results. Perhaps its investment in mobile gaming over recent years has paid off.
Why think more? Sydney Morning Herald asks a financial services leader about how to spend the extra time that lockdown life affords.
An essay on team ethos. Why the team is more important than the warrior.
HBR on balanced visionaries: how to be a visionary leader but still have a personal life.
Thank you for reading. If you have any suggestions for stories you can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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