2021.03.19 Last Week in Digital Media


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




  • which countries hate online ads the most? There’s an interesting infographic from VPN provider SurfShark that looked at search trends to index internet population to searches for adblocking.
  • Edison Research has released its 2021 Infinite Dial report (PDF link). The 70+ page document covers a wealth of topics with key callouts being that TikTok is taking share in the 12-34 demo (pp25), across all-users Facebook is used most often, but the use is declining (pp28), and that on-average US users listen to 5.1 podcasts per week (pp64).
  • the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism published a report titled “Democracies Under Threat” that examines the role social media plays in the rise of extremism. The full report (33 pages) looks at how social media has been weaponized across several countries. Of its many recommendations, this one, “(ensuring) engagement (algorithms) do not favor hate content, conspiracies, polarization, and disinformation,” stands out. In the same week, twitter is soliciting public comment on reviewing its policies towards world leaders.
  • Adobe released some research on the impact of the pandemic on eCommerce titled the “Adobe Digital Economy Index” (free registration required). The key takeaways being that it drove the equivalent of the holiday-season boost in eCommerce, with the growth trends continuing into this year, and buy online pickup in-store (BOPIS) is gaining more traction (up 67% YoY).
  • if you feel like you’re getting more spam calls and emails, you may be interested in the FBI’s 2020 Internet Crime Report (PDF link). pp19 provides a list of the most common types of crime, and the report details the incidence of victims of crimes by country and US state. Or if you want to be entertained, you must watch how Mark Rober tracked down scammers with his glitter bomb.



  • Facebook released a policy update with a commitment to defend human rights. One of the updates includes a promise to publish a human rights impact report, the first of which will be available later this year.
  • Instagram is adding some additional features to keep teens safe. This includes (borrowing an idea from TikTok) restricting adults’ ability to direct message teens who don’t follow them, encouraging teens to keep their account private, and increased use of AI to detect underage users.
  • TikTok has expanded the availability of brand safety controls, in partnership with OpenSlate, to additional markets. Australia, Canada, and the UK have now been added, with the US having had access since October 2020.
  • Facebook is making changes to improve the trust and safety of Facebook Groups. This includes changing the way groups are recommended, requiring moderators to exercise more control, and stricter enforcement of blocking when an individual violates a group.

Stay safe, well, and be kind.


PS. The distraction of the week is this Grow with Google online certification program. It is intended to open the door to a career in IT and technology with courses ranging from Project Management, IT support, to UX design and Android App Development.

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