Sunnier Side of the Office – December 19, 2019

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“Alright… I can see it."

- Courteney Cox's response after being mistaken for Caitlyn Jenner

Instagram Adds New Influencer Tools
By: Jessica Bedussi 

This week, Instagram started testing a tool that makes partnerships between brands and influencers more seamless. The Brand Collab Manager (which has currently rolled out to a select group of Creators) helps influencers share insights with brands as well as find opportunities.

This news follows the removal of public likes on the platform—a move many noted would affect influencers’ ability to gain new brand partnerships with an inability to prove value through engagement. With this update, sharing analytics will be easier as brands previously have only seen public engagement or relied on screenshots of analytics or third-party apps to learn how influencer content performed. 

It’s no surprise Instagram is investing more into the relationship between brands and influencers as the industry is valued at over $8 billion. However, it will be interesting to see how influencers react to Instagram’s more active role and how it will shift the overall industry.

Content Moderation: A Noble Undertaking or Clockwork Orange?
By: Jiho Chung

My perpetual Sunday includes a tangential tapestry of YouTube videos accompanied by a party-size bag of Tim Cascade’s. (And apparently, I’m not alone in my YouTube binge with an estimated 3.25 billion hours of videos watched on YouTube each month). With an incredible 300 hours of content uploaded each minute, we at one point have wondered: how is this all regulated? Verge’s latest piece explores the dark side of Google at a firm in Austin. 

Motivated by driving positive impact to the digital world and swept up by the notion of working for Google, an army of content moderators in Accenture (Google’s largest content moderation firm) remove an alarming number of disturbing and fraudulent content on YouTube monthly. (More than 160,000 pieces of violent extremism such as beheadings and animal torture were removed from Blogger, Google Photos, and Google Drive alone in October.) Aside from graphic violence, content also includes hate rhetoric, terrorism, and child exploitation. 

What’s worse is that moderators are under heavy scrutiny (with software tracking their mandatory daily five-hour quota) and overworked with vacation requests often stricken due to the increasing demand. To make matters even worse, they’re judged by a daily “utilization” score, a measurement of time actively spent moderating videos. With conditions like this along with signing to non-disclosure agreements, the emotional toll that these individuals take on it’s no wonder how prevalent PTSD symptoms are and few can make it past a year.

Although Google is working on making changes for its employees in Austin such as developing technology to reduce manual labor, the change isn’t immediate.

There’s still more dirty work ahead for digital ahead especially with cultural shifts constantly happening like Brexit. But, it’s also important to be grateful for what we do have for now because not all heroes wear capes.

The Adam Driver Interview Heard Around the Internet
By: Emily Menken

The Internet’s current hot guy is stoic, former-Marine Adam Driver. Driver stars in two of winter’s hottest films, “Marriage Story” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”. This week, he made headlines for his Fresh Air interview - an interview that will never be heard, since he walked out halfway through while listening to a clip of himself from “Marriage Story” - after asking host Terry Gross to refrain from playing sound bytes of his voice.

The Daily Beast broke the scoop first - since then, the story has gone viral. And like everything else on the Internet, everyone has an opinion. On one hand, part of the role of a celebrity is to promote their film and play to the PR circuit. If that means an occasional interview with Terry Gross (beloved, esteemed NPR icon), so be it. On the other hand, the dramatic exit is being seen as “self-care”. Anxiety and mental health should be taken seriously - anxiety attacks can lead to shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, fainting, etc. 

The relationship between us, the audience, and stars and their private neurosis versus their public persona is often tangled. In this case, it’s led to a public relations nightmare and potentially has marred Adam Driver’s cult-y following.

According to Deloitte, the average household is planning to spend nearly $1,500 this holiday. More than three-quarters of shoppers say they are likely to spend the same or more than last year.
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