‘Downton Abbey’ Movie Isn’t Streaming Yet, Sorry

Downton Abbey: A New Era, the latest feature-length film drawn from the popular period drama series, hit US theaters Friday. But fans who want to take it in from the comfort of home will need to wait a while before it’s available on a streaming service. 

Last year, an unprecedented number of new theatrical movies streamed online the same day they hit cinemas. But this year, as COVID-19 restrictions have eased and audiences have returned to cinemas, the practice has nearly vanished. Pretty much all movies now get at least a month and a half in theaters exclusively — often longer. 

Where is Downton Abbey: A New Era streaming?

For now, nowhere. The latest Downton Abbey movie is being released exclusively in theaters at first. 

But it’ll stream on Peacock eventually. The Downton Abbey movie is being distributed in the US by Focus Features, which is owned by NBCUniversal. Peacock is owned by the same company, and the service has a deal to be the first place to stream movies distributed by Focus. 

Where can I stream the original Downton Abbey show and its 2019 theatrical film? 

If you want to catch up on Downton Abbey’s past, all six seasons of the show are currently streaming on both Peacock and Amazon Prime Video in the US, and Peacock is also streaming the 2019 Downton Abbey movie. 

When will Downton Abbey: A New Era start streaming? 

Peacock hasn’t confirmed the streaming release date for the movie yet. But the publicly announced terms of Peacock’s deal to stream movies like A New Era gives us a timeframe to expect it. Downtown Abbey is likely to start streaming sometime after it has 45 days in theaters but before hitting four months since its theatrical release. 

If the Downton Abbey movie hit Peacock exactly after the 45-day period, then it would become available to stream there on or around July 5. 

But if it takes nearly the full four months before landing on Peacock, then the movie would start streaming sometime in mid- to late September. 

Will Downton Abbey be free to stream on Peacock? 

No, Peacock routinely puts new movies like Downton Abbey: A New Era behind its paywall. 

If you don’t already have a premium Peacock subscription, you’ll need to sign up for a $5-a-month or a $10-a-month premium tier if you want to watch A New Era or any of Peacock’s other paywalled programming (like YellowstonePremier League matchesWWE, The Office and other popular stuff.)

Peacock has some deals that could reduce — or even eliminate — your cost of being a premium member.  

But the movie is expected to be available to Peacock premium subscribers without any additional fee. So if you’re already a premium subscriber to Peacock, then you’ll be able to stream Downton Abbey just like anything else on the service. 

How long will Downtown Abbey: A New Era be on Peacock? 

Once the Downton Abbey movie arrives on Peacock, it’s expected to stay there for four months. 

Source link

Even Among Corporate Raiders, Elon Musk Is a Pirate

The history of mergers and acquisitions is filled with ruthless corporate raiders, bruising wars of words and people trying to stiff each other.

T. Boone Pickens, the oil tycoon who rampaged through the 1980s, took small stakes in energy companies, attacked management and forced sales of the firms. Carl Icahn, the activist investor, amassed shares of companies and threatened to oust their boards if they did not agree to a deal. And Robert Campeau, the Canadian real estate investor known for engineering buyouts, was unafraid to take legal action against companies that sought to deflect his advances.

Yet even with all those cutthroat tactics, the world of deal making has never seen a buyer like Elon Musk.

In the weeks since Mr. Musk, the world’s richest man, struck a $44 billion agreement to buy the social media service Twitter, he has upended the deals landscape. Usually, when two sides agree to negotiate an acquisition, they spend weeks poring over financials and hammering out details. The action takes place mostly behind closed doors, inside boardrooms and at prestigious law firms and investment banks.

But Mr. Musk waived due diligence to get the Twitter deal done, according to legal filings. Since then, he has publicly criticized Twitter’s service — on Twitter, naturally — attacked some of its top executives and unleashed tweets taunting the company’s board. And with memes and a poop emoji, he has appeared to try to renegotiate the deal’s price downward on social media.

In essence, Mr. Musk, 50, has turned what was largely a friendly deal into a hostile takeover after the fact. His actions have left Twitter, regulators, bankers and lawyers flummoxed over what he might do next and whether the blockbuster deal will be completed. And Mr. Musk has made past corporate raiders look positively quaint by comparison.

“Elon Musk plays in his own gray area — you could almost say in his own rules,” said Robert Wolf, the former chairman of the Americas for the Swiss bank UBS. “This is certainly a new way” of doing deals, he said.

Mr. Musk did not respond to a request for comment.

On Thursday, Twitter executives said at a company meeting that Mr. Musk’s purchase was moving forward and that they would not renegotiate, according to two attendees who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Earlier this week, the company’s board also declared, “We intend to close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement.”

Twitter’s board has contended that it has the legal upper hand with the deal. In addition to a $1 billion breakup fee, the agreement with Mr. Musk includes a “specific performance clause,” which gives Twitter the right to sue him and force him to complete or pay for the deal, so long as the debt financing he has corralled remains intact.

“He signed a binding agreement,” Edward Rock, a professor of corporate governance at the New York University School of Law, said of Mr. Musk. “If these agreements aren’t enforceable, that’s kind of a problem for every other deal out there.”

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Musk has already pushed some legal boundaries. The Federal Trade Commission is looking into whether the billionaire violated disclosure requirements by failing to notify the agency that he had amassed a sizable stake in Twitter earlier this year, said a person with knowledge of the inquiry. Investors typically must notify antitrust regulators of large share purchases to give government officials 30 days to review the transaction for competition violations.

The F.T.C. declined to comment. The Information, a tech news site, previously reported on the F.T.C.’s interest in Mr. Musk.

The archetype of the mercenary corporate buyer has existed for decades. Jay Gould, a robber baron of the late 19th century who helped build the U.S. railroad network system, funded deals partly with wealth accumulated through his Wall Street gambles. He consolidated dying railroads and was known for planting rumors in the press.

Mr. Gould, wrote one of his biographers, Edward Renehan Jr., was a “maestro of margins” who was “capable of creating capital out of thin air and gaining control of companies by using just a few dollars reflected in a hall of financial mirrors: fun houses of convertible bonds, proxies and leveraged cash.”

That same decade, Mr. Campeau used buyouts to build a retail empire that included Bloomingdale’s and Abraham & Straus, which eventually buckled under the debt he loaded onto them. A new kind of hostile raider also appeared — private equity firms — which deployed take-no-prisoners takeover tactics that were memorably chronicled in “Barbarians at the Gate,” a 1989 book about the private equity firm KKR and its acquisition of RJR Nabisco.

In recent years, deals that fell apart or got renegotiated have not been uncommon. After Sallie Mae, the student lending giant, sold itself in 2007 to a consortium of financial firms for $25 billion, a credit crisis unfolded and new legislation threatened its finances. The buyers tried recutting the deal, insults flew, and the effort collapsed.

That same year, a $6.5 billion deal by Apollo Global Management — combining a chemical company it owned, Hexion, with a rival, Huntsman — cratered when Huntsman’s earnings plunged and each side sued. In 2016, the telecom giant Verizon slashed its $4.5 billion price for Yahoo’s internet business after Yahoo disclosed it had suffered an enormous security breach.

Yet in many of those deals, actual “material adverse changes”— whether a financial crisis or a security breach — were behind a change in price or the end of an acquisition. That’s not so now with Twitter and Mr. Musk, where no obvious factor has surfaced for trying to alter the contours of the agreement. (Mr. Musk, who has seized on the issue of the number of bots on Twitter, has said he doubts the veracity of the company’s public filings.)

Mr. Musk seems free to do as he pleases with deals partly because of his extraordinary personal wealth, with a net worth that stands at around $210 billion and that lets him ignore a deal’s economics. And unlike a private equity firm, he does not buy multiple public companies a year, making it less important to present himself as a consistent closer.

While Mr. Musk is accountable to shareholders at other companies he runs — including the publicly traded carmaker Tesla — those shareholders generally invest in his endeavors because he is an inventor, not because he is a deal maker.

Ann Lipton, a professor of corporate governance at Tulane Law School, said much of what keeps the mergers and acquisitions world within boundaries is “reputational sanctions.” But Mr. Musk, she noted, “does not care about reputational sanctions.”

And that leaves just about everyone guessing.

Mike Isaac and Cecilia Kang contributed reporting.

Source link

Refinance Rates for May 20, 2022: Rates Keep Declining This Week

A few closely followed refinance rates declined again today, as they have been since the start of this week. Both 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed refinances saw their mean rates drop. In addition, the average rate on 10-year fixed refinance also sank.

Though refinance rates do fluctuate slightly on a daily basis, homeowners can expect to see rates rise over the course of this year. In recent months, rates have been trending up from historic lows seen during the pandemic, and are now closer to 2018 rate levels. That means if you’re looking to shave dollars and interest off your current monthly mortgage payments, these could be the lowest rates of 2022. Make sure to think about your goals and circumstances, and compare offers to find a lender who can meet your needs.

30-year fixed-rate refinance

The current average interest rate for a 30-year refinance is 5.33%, a decrease of 20 basis points over this time last week. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) One reason to refinance to a 30-year fixed loan from a shorter loan term is to lower your monthly payment. If you’re having difficulties making your monthly payments currently, a 30-year refinance could be a good option for you. In exchange for the lower monthly payments though, rates for a 30-year refinance will typically be higher than 15-year and 10-year refinance rates. You’ll also pay off your loan slower.

15-year fixed-rate refinance

The average rate for a 15-year fixed refinance loan is currently 4.68%, a decrease of 15 basis point from what we saw the previous week. With a 15-year fixed refinance, you’ll have a larger monthly payment than a 30-year loan. But you’ll save more money over time, because you’re paying off your loan quicker. 15-year refinance rates are typically lower than 30-year refinance rates, which will help you save even more in the long run.

10-year fixed-rate refinance

For 10-year fixed refinances, the average rate is currently at 4.65%, a decrease of 14 basis points from what we saw the previous week. A 10-year refinance will typically feature the highest monthly payment of all refinance terms, but the lowest interest rate. A 10-year refinance can help you pay off your house much quicker and save on interest. However, you should analyze your budget and current financial situation to make sure you’ll be able to afford the higher monthly payment.

Where rates are headed

At the start of the pandemic, refinance rates dropped to historic lows, but now interest rates are hovering around pre-pandemic levels. The Federal Reserve recently raised rates for the second time in 2022, and plans to increase them several more times throughout the year. Given this policy, along with strong economic growth and inflation, which reached its highest in four decades, rates are expected to keep going up this year. While there have been some temporary dips in interest rates, it’s impossible to predict when another drop might occur. That means it’s a good idea to try to take advantage of refinancing now and lock in a decent rate.

We track refinance rate trends using data collected by Bankrate, which is owned by CNET’s parent company. Here’s a table with the average refinance rates reported by lenders across the US:

Average refinance interest rates

Product Rate Last week Change
30-year fixed refi 5.33% 5.53% -0.20
15-year fixed refi 4.68% 4.83% -0.15
10-year fixed refi 4.65% 4.79% -0.14

Rates as of May 20, 2022.

How to find the best refinance rate

When looking for refinance rates, know that your specific rate may differ from those advertised online. Your interest rate will be influenced by market conditions as well as your credit history and application.

Having a high credit score, low credit utilization ratio, and a history of consistent and on-time payments will generally help you get the best interest rates. You can generally get a good feel for average interest rates online, but make sure to speak with a mortgage professional in order to see the specific rates you qualify for. And don’t forget about fees and closing costs which may cost a hefty amount upfront.

You should also know that many lenders have had stricter requirements when it comes to approving loans in the past few months. This means that if you don’t have great credit ratings, you might not be able to take advantage of lowered interest rates — or qualify for a refinance in the first place.

Before applying for a refinance, you should make your application as strong as possible in order to get the best rates available. You can do that by monitoring your credit, taking on debt responsibly, and getting your finances in order before applying for a refinance. Also be sure to compare offers from multiple lenders in order to get the best rate.

When to consider a mortgage refinance

Generally, it’s a good idea to refinance if you can get a lower interest rate than that your current interest rate, or if you need to change your loan term. While interest rates have been low in the past few months, you should look at more than just the market interest rates when deciding if a refinance is right for you.

A refinance may not always make financial sense. Consider your personal goals and financial circumstances. How long do you plan on staying in your home? Are you refinancing to decrease your monthly payment, pay off your house sooner — or for a combination of reasons? Also keep in mind that closing costs and other fees may require an upfront investment.

Note that some lenders have tightened their requirements since the beginning of the pandemic. If you don’t have a solid credit score, you may not qualify for the best rate. Refinancing can be a great move if you get a good rate or can pay off your loan sooner — but consider carefully whether it’s the right choice for you.

Source link

Mac Studio Deals: Where to Shop For Apple’s Newest Desktop Computer

While many were expecting Apple to unveil a new model of the Mac Mini desktop at its “Peek Performance” event in March, that’s not exactly what we got. What we got instead is a whole new line of compact Apple desktops, the Mac Studio. These sleek desktops are as small as they are powerful, and are akin to a supercharged version of the Mini. One of the most notable changes is that they’re equipped with Apple’s most advanced M1 chips — the M1 Max, which is used by the latest MacBook Pro, and the brand-new M1 Ultra.

Whether you’re a developer or content creator, having a fast and powerful computer is a must, which is why Apple says this machine can “deliver an unprecedented level of performance, an extensive array of connectivity, and completely new capabilities in an unbelievably compact design that sits within arm’s reach on the desk.” 

Apple was serious when it spoke about power. You can configure the Mac Studio to come with up to 128GB of RAM, 8TB SSD and up to a 64-core GPU. Like with many other Apple desktops and laptops, you’ll need to make your configuration choices while ordering. You can make changes to the System on a Chip (Processor), Memory, Storage and opt to include preinstalled software if you wish.

Read more: Apple Mac Studio Review: A Compact Desktop for Creators

At the moment, not many retailers are carrying the brand-new Mac Studio. We expect it to become available from more places in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back for additional retailers and deals.

If you want complete customizability without having to navigate certain configurations being in or out of stock, shopping from Apple directly is the obvious choice. There are two variants, one with the M1 Max chip and one with the brand-new M1 Ultra chip. Pricing starts at $1,999 for the former and $3,999 for the latter.

If you just want the base model M1 Max Studio, Best Buy has got your covered. The big-box retailer has the M1 Max available for $2,000, while the M1 Ultra is currently sold out. There aren’t any straightforward discounts, but you you are determined to grab one of these new Mac Studios at less than list price, you can shop open-box models starting at $1,800.

Adorama currently has several different configurations of the Mac Studio M1 Max in stock, while the M1 Ultra appears to be on back order, though it’s still available for purchase. There aren’t any discounts available, but this is one of the only retailers that has multiple configurations available.

B&H Photo is in the same boat as Adorama at the moment. It has multiple configurations of the M1 Max Studio in stock now, while the M1 Ultra Studio is currently back-ordered, and expected to be available by the end of July. Like Adorama and Apple, you can customize your Mac Studio by adjusting the processor, RAM and storage.

Source link

Apple Showed AR, VR Headset to Company’s Board, Report Says

Apple’s board of directors recently previewed the company’s mixed-reality headset, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. The company’s board, which meets at least four times a year, got a demonstration of the headset during a meeting last week, according to Bloomberg, citing “people with knowledge of the matter.”

Apple has also ramped up development of its reality operating system, which will run on the headset, people familiar with the work told Bloomberg. 

The headset reportedly combines elements of augmented and virtual reality. The headset would be Apple’s first new product since the Apple Watch in 2015.

Apple has planned to unveil the headset by the end of this year or at some point next year. People might be able to get their hands on the headset by 2023. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reportedly predicted that Apple’s “goal is to replace the ‌iPhone‌ with AR in 10 years.” 

Last year, another Bloomberg report suggested internal disagreements on Apple’s AR and VR plans. The report said Apple could pursue a split strategy, meaning it would develop a VR headset first, and AR smart glass would come later. 

Apple didn’t immediately respond to CNET’s request for comment.

Now playing:
Watch this:

Apple Killed the Last iPod


Source link

Livestreams of Mass Shootings: From Buffalo to New Zealand

Many of the sites tried taking down the videos as they were uploaded but were overwhelmed. Facebook said it removed 1.5 million videos in the 24 hours after the incident, though many managed to evade detection. On Reddit, a post featuring the video was viewed more than one million times before it was removed. Google said the speed at which the video was shared was faster than after any tragedy it had previously seen, according to the New Zealand government report.

Over the next few days, some people began discussing ways to evade the platforms’ automated systems to keep the Christchurch video online. On Telegram on March 16, 2019, people who were part of a group related to white supremacy batted around ways to manipulate the video so it would not be removed, according to discussions viewed by The Times.

“Just change the opening,” one user wrote. “Speed it up by 2x and the [expletive] can’t find it.”

Within days, some clips of the shooting were posted to 4chan, a fringe online message board. In July 2019, a 24-second clip of the killings also appeared on Rumble, according to The Times’s review.

In the ensuing months, New Zealand’s government identified more than 800 variations of the original video. Officials asked Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and other sites to dedicate more resources to removing them, according to the government report.

New copies or links to the video were uploaded online whenever the Christchurch shooting came up in the news, or on anniversaries of the event. In March 2020, about a year after the shooting, nearly a dozen tweets linking to variations of the video appeared on Twitter. More videos appeared when the gunman was sentenced to life in prison in August 2020.

Other groups jumped in to pressure the tech companies to erase the video. Tech Against Terrorism, a United Nations-supported initiative that develops tech to detect extremist content, sent 59 alerts about Christchurch content to tech companies and file hosting services from December 2020 to November 2021, said Adam Hadley, the founder and director of the group. That represented about 51 percent of the right-wing terrorist content the group was trying to remove online, he said.

Source link

Chinese Hackers Tried to Steal Russian Defense Data, Report Says

Under China’s authoritarian leader, Xi Jinping, Beijing has refined its approach to cyberspying, transforming over the past decade into a far more sophisticated actor. China’s premier spy agency, borrowing a page from Russia, has recruited beyond its ranks, pulling from the country’s growing pool of tech workers. The strategy has made its attacks more scattershot and unpredictable, but analysts say it has also helped strengthen the country’s efforts, enabling spies to run stealthy attacks that target intellectual property as well as political and military intelligence around the world.

Mr. Xi has made improving China’s scientific and technical capabilities a priority in the coming years, with ambitions of becoming a global leader in high-tech fields such as robotics, medical equipment and aviation. The campaign targeting Russian defense research institutes “might serve as more evidence of the use of espionage in a systematic and long-term effort to achieve Chinese strategic objectives in technological superiority and military power,” Check Point’s report said.

More recently, hackers based in China, like their counterparts elsewhere, have taken advantage of the war in Ukraine to break into the computer systems of organizations across Europe. Hackers have preyed upon heightened anxiety about the invasion, tricking their victims into downloading documents that falsely claim to contain information about the war or pose as aid organizations raising money for charity.

Many of the attacks originating from China appear to be focused on gathering information and intellectual property, rather than on causing chaos or disruption that could sway the conflict in favor of Ukraine or Russia, security researchers said.

In late March, Chinese hackers began going after Ukrainian organizations, according to security researchers and an announcement from Ukraine’s cybersecurity agency. A hacking team known as Scarab sent a document to Ukrainian organizations that offered instructions on how to film evidence of Russian war crimes but also contained malware that could extract information from infected computer systems, researchers at the security firm SentinelOne said.

Also in March, another hacking team affiliated with China, which security researchers have called Mustang Panda, created documents that purported to be European Union reports on conditions at the borders of Ukraine and Belarus, and emailed them to potential targets in Europe. But the documents contained malware, and victims who were tricked into opening them inadvertently allowed the hackers to infiltrate their networks, researchers at Google and the security firm Cisco Talos said.

The Mustang Panda hacking group had previously attacked organizations in India, Taiwan and Myanmar, but when the war started, it turned its focus to the European Union and Russia. In March, the hackers also pursued agencies in Russia, emailing them a document that appeared to contain information about the placement of border guards in Russia, Cisco Talos researchers said.

Source link

CDC Recommends COVID Booster for Kids Ages 5 to 11

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended boosters for children ages 5 to 11, following a vote by the CDC’s independent advisory panel to endorse a third shot for younger children, five months after their second dose. 

The booster is made by Pfizer and BioNTech and is one-third the companies’ adult COVID-19 vaccine dose. On Tuesday, the US Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use authorization to Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5 to 11.

Everyone age 12 and older was already eligible for a third shot, or booster dose. In its statement, the CDC also strengthened its recommendation that everyone age 50 and older, as well as all immunocompromised people as young as age 12, get a second booster, or fourth shot. Previously, the CDC language was that those groups “may” get a shot if they choose.

Even though boosters for children ages 5 to 11 are now available throughout the US, only 28% of 5- to 11-year-olds have completed their primary COVID-19 vaccine series (two shots), according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Roughly 35% of children of the same age have gotten one dose. 

“Vaccination with a primary series among this age group has lagged behind other age groups leaving them vulnerable to serious illness,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “With over 18 million doses administered in this age group, we know that these vaccines are safe, and we must continue to increase the number of children who are protected. I encourage parents to keep their children up to date with CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine recommendations.”

The recommendation comes as COVID-19 cases are rising steeply in the US, driven by newer, more contagious versions of omicron. After last winter’s omicron surge, about 75% of children in the US had evidence of a COVID-19 infection, according to a CDC report.

“While it has largely been the case that COVID-19 tends to be less severe in children than adults, the omicron wave has seen more kids getting sick with the disease and being hospitalized, and children may also experience longer term effects, even following initially mild disease,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert M. Califf said in a statement following the authorization. 

When it authorized booster shots for children as young as 5, the FDA said its decision was based on immune response data from the ongoing randomized trial that supported the October authorization for the primary vaccine for younger kids. Antibody responses were evaluated in 67 children who received a booster dose seven to nine months after getting their second shot. Safety of the booster shot was evaluated in about 400 children. Side effects of the booster in children were similar to common side effects in adults, including pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache and fever. 

The FDA didn’t hold a meeting with its independent advisory committee prior to this authorization, which it has typically done before authorizing COVID-19 vaccines or boosters for specific age groups. Pfizer’s request for emergency use authorization “did not raise questions that would benefit from additional discussion by committee members,” that haven’t already been addressed in other discussions on COVID-19 vaccine boosters, the FDA said. The agency noted that it will make documents related to the request available on its website. 

Children under age 5 still aren’t able to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The FDA has loosely scheduled three dates next month — June 8, 21 and 22 — for its panel to discuss Moderna’s and Pfizer’s authorization requests for vaccines for babies and younger children.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

Source link

Facebook Has Been Monetizing Searches for the Buffalo Shooting Video

People searching on Facebook for footage of Saturday’s racist shooting rampage in Buffalo, N.Y., may have come across posts with footage of the attack or links to websites promising the gunman’s full video. Interspersed between those posts, they may have also seen a variety of ads.

The social network has sometimes served ads next to posts offering clips of the video, which a gunman live streamed on the video platform Twitch as he killed 10 people. For the past six days, recordings of that livestream have circulated across the internet including on Facebook, Twitter and fringe and extremist message boards and sites, despite some companies’ efforts to remove the content.

The pace at which an 18-year-old gunman’s ephemeral livestream morphed into a rapidly proliferating, permanent recording shows the challenges large tech platforms face in policing their sites for violent content.

Facebook and its parent company, Meta, rely on a combination of artificial intelligence, user reports and human moderators to track and remove shooting videos like the Buffalo one. But in some search results, Facebook is surfacing the violent video or links to websites hosting the clip next to ads.

It is not clear how many times ads have appeared next to posts with the videos. Searches for terms associated with footage of the shooting have been accompanied by ads for a horror film, clothing companies and video streaming services in tests run by The New York Times and the Tech Transparency Project, an industry watchdog group. In some cases, Facebook recommended certain search terms about the Buffalo gunman video noting that they were “popular now” on the platform.

In one search, the platform surfaced an ad for a video game company two posts below a clip of the shooting uploaded to Facebook that was described as “very graphic….Buffalo Shooter.” The Times is not disclosing the exact terms or phrases used to search on Facebook.

Augustine Fou, a cybersecurity and ad fraud researcher, said that large tech platforms have the ability to demonetize searches around tragic events. “It’s that easy technically,” he said. “If you choose to do it, one person could easily demonetize these terms.”

“Our aim is to protect people using our services from seeing this horrific content even as bad actors are dead-set on calling attention to it,” Andy Stone, a Meta spokesman, said in a statement. He did not address the Facebook ads.

Facebook also has the ability to monitor searches on its platform. Searches for terms like “ISIS” and “massacre” lead to graphic content warnings that users must click through before viewing the results.

While searches for similar terms about the Buffalo video on Google did not result in any ads, Mr. Fou said there was an inherent difference between the search platform and Facebook. On Google, advertisers can pick which keywords they want to show their ads against, he said. Facebook, on the other hand, places ads in a user’s news feed or search results that it believes are relevant to that user based on Facebook interests and web activity.

Michael Aciman, a Google spokesman, said that the company had designated the Buffalo shooting as a “sensitive event,” which means that ads cannot be served against searches related to it. “We don’t allow ads to run against related keywords,” he said.

Facebook has come under fire in the past for ads appearing next to right-wing extremist content. Following the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, BuzzFeed News found that the platform was surfacing ads for military gear and gun accessories next to posts about the insurrection.

Following that report, the company temporarily halted ads for gun accessories and military gear through the presidential inauguration that month.

Source link