2020.08.14 Last Week in Digital Media


Here’s your Last Week in Digital Media and all the news you may have missed:



During the Facebook Ad Boycott, the company committed to delivering on a number of items. Facebook’s progress against each of these will be reported separately to the general news.

  • Facebook published its August 2020 Community Standards Enforcement Report (CSER), which included updates on hate speech. The company identified 22.5MM pieces of content (up from 9.6MM), of which 94.5% was found by AI. Facebook also shared details on how Facebook approaches content moderation.
  • Facebook also launched its US-based Voting Information Center across Facebook and Instagram. This launched within the timeline promised by Facebook and should now be visible to all US users.

On both of the items above, Facebook is still working towards reporting on Hate Speech prevalence as well as formalizing the overall policy on labeling voting content (outside of what is now in place for elected representatives and candidates).


This last story doesn’t fit any category but I urge you to read it. There’s a deep learning AI tool called Generative Pre-trained Transformer or GPT. GPT-2 was deemed by the creators as too dangerous to release (a limited version was). The concerns about the dangers didn’t slow down development and GPT-3 is being tested. A college student got access to GPT-3 for research purposes and put it to work producing a motivational self-help blog. You can read the outcome of his GPT-3 tests here or read the content it produced on his blog. To editorialize, it’s eye-opening, concerning, and I doubt major platforms and the advertising ecosystem are prepared for the harm unethical could cause – let alone society.


PS. A distraction and more fun side of AI, if you have an iPhone running iOS 12 (or later) there’s a free app called doodlar that guesses the animal you draw and creates an AR equivalent. It’s someone hit or miss (or my drawing is awful, which could also be true) but it’s interesting to try out. Just FYI the selection of animals is somewhat limited unless you pay for the premium packs e.g. dogs are free but elephants require an in-app purchase.