Community Notes take a hit
Elon Musk, the billionaire who seemingly flushed away $25 billion in a year, is weaponizing X’s Community Notes feature after it offended him one too many times. Any tweet that’s got a Community Note affixed is no longer eligible for monetisation after Musk mentioned that X was making a “slight change” to its monetisation programme.
Oddly enough, the idea isn’t a terrible one. It’s just, as usual, Musk’s execution that hasn’t hit the spot. By turning off monetisation on posts that essentially need to be fact-checked, it’s seeking to curb the spread of misinformation cluttering the platform. “The idea is to maximize the incentive for accuracy over sensationalism,” Musk said.
Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. It might pull off its base job and limit the number of falsehoods spread around the app. Great. We’re more concerned about the trolls that will make it their mission to Community Note any post possible to enforce Musk’s new rules. Musk addressed this instantly; “any attempts to weaponize @CommunityNotes to demonetize people will be immediately obvious, because all code and data is open source.”
Yeah, right. Whether X will stay on top of the weaponized attempts on Community Notes remains to be seen. We’ve already seen what a bunch of goal-orientated 4channers with a live stream and flag can pull off when that goal is to piss off Shia LaBeouf.
Meta goes ad-free (for a price)
Tired of Meta’s incessant ads across Facebook and Instagram? Currently residing in the Europe? If so, you can now pay to remove ads across Meta’s two most popular social media sites, Instagram and Facebook, for the small price of €10/m (R200) through the web or €13/m (R260) through Android or iOS.
Meta isn’t doing this by choice. It’s pulling itself out of a corner it was backed into by the European Union (EU) when it began questioning the company’s ad targeting and data collection practices. It’s appeasing the EU by offering a new subscription, which automatically turns users off to ad targeting. Users still have the choice to use the apps for free, simultaneously agreeing to have their data farmed.
“We respect the spirit and purpose of these evolving European regulations, and are committed to complying with them,” Meta said.
Only users residing under the EU, EEA, or in Switzerland will have access to the subscription and must be older than 18 to apply. Initially, the subscription will cover all Meta-linked accounts in the owner’s name, though Meta will eventually begin charging €6 per account that is linked to the subscription.
A separate plan is reportedly in the works for teenagers, with Meta confirming to The Wall Street Journal that ads will temporarily halt on underage accounts from 6 November 2023 with no word on how long the break will last.
back still around, baby
Apple held its ‘Scary Fast’ event last night and we were certain we’d get a look at the company’s refurbished Magic peripherals, complete with USB-C ports to appease the European Union. That didn’t happen. In fact, Apple left the Magic range, including the Magic Mouse, Keyboard and Trackpad, untouched because, well, why not? It’s got until 28 December 2024 to make the necessary changes, and it might as well clear out some of that Lightning cable stock.
Even so, we thought Apple might just embrace USB-C fully before the 2024 deadline. Everything from the new iPhone 15s to the brand-new Apple Pencil is equipped with a USB-C port. For the time being, it’s just the Magic range, AirPods Max, iPhone SE and standard AirPods that still rock a Lightning port.
There’s no telling when Apple will get around to updating the Magic line-up. It could happen on 27 December 2024 for all we know, although they’re more likely to turn up at one of Apple’s events – WWDC or whatever the company announces in March next year.
Microsoft says no to third-party controllers
Microsoft, or more specifically, Xbox, is clamping down massively on those controllers and accessories that don’t have the “designed for Xbox” seal of approval attached to the front. Those controllers or peripherals missing the approval of the Xbox hardware partner programme will essentially stop working and force your hand to pick up something befitting of the Xbox name.
The change was first noticed by a gamer on Resetera after he had plugged in an Xbox controller that didn’t meet Microsoft’s requirements. He was greeted by an error code that can be found on Microsoft’s support blog. “From the moment you connect an unauthorized accessory and receive error code 0x82d60002, you’ll have two weeks to use the accessory, after which time it will then be blocked from use with the console.”
Xbox makes it clear that it won’t be assisting with returning those now-useless controllers from whence they came. It will give you a hand purchasing one of its official controllers, though.
The move will surely drive up Xbox’s sales and kill off those third-party controller manufacturers once all is said and done. As for Sony, Xbox’s biggest competitor, we imagine a similar move from the Japanese conglomerate isn’t too far away.