The Social Short 2020: Week 23

Music Industry to Donate to Fight Racial Injustice 

After uniting around #blackouttuesday on June 2, the music industry soldiers on in the fight against racism in America. Following in the footsteps of Canadian star The Weeknd, who donated $500,000 to black causes, the American arm of Sony Music Group announced the launch of a $100 million fund to “support social justice and anti-racist initiatives around the world”.

Last week, Warner Music Group and the Blavatnik Family Foundation pledged a $100 million fund to “support charitable causes related to the music industry, social justice and campaigns against violence and racism”.

Meanwhile, Universal Music’s biggest label Republic (Drake, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd…) decided to remove the word ‘urban’ from the company’s verbiage. Republic deemed the word dated and an inaccurate generalisation of a number of culturally rich music genres including R&B, rap, trap, grime and hip hop. It deplores the reference to a prejudiced idea of low-incomes and unsafe spaces, which has no place in 2020 onwards.

“Music companies have rushed to pledge solidarity with the Black community since the atrocity committed against Mr. Floyd. But I often remind my team of a fact that might seem odd for a music man to point out: ‘People see better than they hear’ says Jon Platt, Chairman and CEO of Sony/AT.



(Image creds: Medium)


Pride 2020: The Show Must Go On(line)

This time last year, the LGBTQ+ community was gathering unprecedented numbers of members and allies marching on the streets of countless cities across the globe. Hopes that Pride parades would be spared by the wave of cancellations that hit the live event industry due to the virus were dashed in March. But parade bodies and LGBTQ+ media brands and allies intend to use this unique moment in time as an opportunity to amplify queer rights online.

To celebrate Pride’s golden jubilee, parade organisers are planning a foray of digital festivals. Pink News, Condé Nast are organising virtual marches under the banners ‘Pride for All’ and ‘Out Now Live’. Gay Times is capturing the experiences of LGBTQ+ members into a Pride capsule and Pride in London is introducing #YouMeUsWe, hoping to galvanize 30,000 people to unite for queer rights.

“One thing that I think far too often goes ignored is the fact that not all Prides are accessible. Whether it comes to age, to people with anxiety, to people with disability – in having a virtual pride and trying to make it as big and bold and bright as possible, you really enable people from all walks of life to engage with it in a new way,” explains Sewell, executive director of virtual LGBTQ+ festival ‘Themfest’ on the benefits of a digital Pride.



(Image creds: The Drum)


Instagram Introduces Ads on IGTV and Live

Next week, Instagram will introduce sponsored messages from major advertisers including Ikea, Puma and Sephora on the IGTV of 200 approved content creators. The initial format of ads will be a vertical 15 seconds video that appears after users click on IGTV. The platform will redistribute 55% of the advertising revenue to the content creator.

The objective is for Instagram to play a bigger role in how content creators monetise their content to both make its platform more attractive for users and generate incremental revenue. To do so, they have to ensure that the content is suitable for advertisers by imposing a special brand-friendly content policy that creators will have to abide by.

The platform is hoping to generate enough view counts to incentivise content creators to prioritise vertical video content, thus taking market shares away from YouTube. Starting next month, content creators will also be able to sell badges through their Instagram Live.



(Image creds: The Verge)


Facebook to ‘Review’ Policies on State Speech Promoting Violence

On May 29th, Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook would not take action against President Trump’s “looting” post threatening to shoot protesters, even after Twitter indicated that it was violating its rule against glorifying violence.

Last week, 140 scientists and members of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a philanthropic organisation founded by Zuckerberg and his wife Chang to use technology to solve social challenges, sent a letter to Facebook’s CEO urging him to take action.

On Friday, Zuckerberg released a statement pledging to review its controversial stance around “threats of state use of force.” This will take the shape of labels that read: “This publisher is wholly or partially under the editorial control of a state. This is determined by a range of factors, including but not limited to funding, structure and journalistic standards.” These accounts will be banned from purchasing ads on the platform starting this Summer.

In his statement, Facebook’s CEO was also one of the few tech leaders to personally support the Black Lives Matter movement: “To members of our Black community: I stand with you. Your lives matter. Black lives matter.”



(Image creds: The Verge)


Finally, for our previous #SocialShort, click here.

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