Hashtag Trending May 6 – Mixed reactions to Netflix’s password sharing charge; head of FDA says misinformation is the leading cause of death; Big Tech might have to start sharing data with researchers

Survey shows mixed reactions about Netflix’s extra “out-of-home user” charge, the head of the FDA says misinformation is the leading cause of death right now, and Big Tech may have to begin sharing data with researchers.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Friday, May 6, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

While Netflix continues to look for ways to combat password sharing between households, new research from Aluma Insights found that if Netflix charged $3 per month for additional out-of-home users, 13 per cent of adult Netflix users would probably cancel their subscription. On the other hand, the research also revealed that 12 per cent would likely add at least one out-of-home user who otherwise wouldn’t be monetized. Netflix has been trying to crack down on password sharing, and more importantly, make money off of those additional users. Netflix disclosed that in addition to paid accounts, the service is being shared with over 100 million additional households, including 30 million in the U.S. and Canada. Netflix raised its prices in January of this year. The company’s next steps would be to monetize account-sharing households and introduce a lower cost ad-supported tier in order to grow revenue. Netflix has already started testing the $3 per month per extra household charge in three Latin American countries.

Source: Fierce Video

The head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that misinformation is the leading cause of death. Robert Califf, FDA commissioner cited resistance to the COVID-19 vaccination, along with the number of people taking the anti-parasite drug Ivermectin, and the increasing use of electronic cigarettes as outcomes of misinformation issues. Califf noted that generally, the FDA has been relatively quiet and puts out definitive information through guidance or labels or regulatory actions that are then transmitted to consumers and patients through trusted intermediaries. However, he said “the world has changed at this point,” as a huge misinformation problem emerged over the past year. He urged reporters to avoid clickbait and truly focus on fact-checking when it comes to stories about COVID-19 and other related health concerns.

Source: NKY Tribune

This week, members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee contemplated legislation that would allow researchers to study big tech platforms. According to The Verge, the Senate specifically called upon advice from Brandon Silverman, the co-founder of the transparency tool CrowdTangle. CrowdTangle allows researchers and journalists to view the popularity of links and posts on Facebook in real-time, and understand how they are spreading. A tool like this is useful for researchers studying the effects of social networks on democracy and, according to the article, researchers would benefit from having similar insight on other platforms. Silverman said that TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube are some of the largest platforms in the U.S., and yet they provide almost no functional transparency into their systems. Europe has already implemented an Act which targets this issue. The Digital Services Act includes provisions that require big platforms to share data with qualified researchers.

Source: The Verge

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT World Canada. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected].

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