In this week’s issue: What should Ireland’s Data Centre strategy be? Is the NDRC value for money? Apple blocks Fortnight. Facebook removes Trump’s video. How we regulate the web. TikTok opens it’s algorithm for regulators. And a podcast recommendation.
How should we feel about Data Centres? This week I wrote a piece about Ireland’s current industrial policy of attracting Data Centres to locate here and ask if they’re really worth the environmental cost? Read more.
NDRC up for tender. The NDRC was Ireland’s first tech accelerator. It is privately run but Government funded, with a mission to invest in and support new Irish tech companies. Over the last 10 years the company who runs it have received €43m from the state and the results have been fairly middling. They paid their 18 staff €111k on average, and the CEO over €250k, which is wild. The contract is up for tender, which should be announced next month. Link.
Fortnight vs. Apple. Apple’s app store is fairly tightly regulated. They refuse apps for a whole host of reasons, to keep quality high or to remove apps that might be unsafe for users. They also have strict commercial terms, taking a 30% cut on all in-app payments (and companies often have no other options but to pay). This has lead to a few high-profile clashes in recent weeks, with app makers accusing Apple of profiteering. The latest of which is Epic games, makers of Fortnight. Yesterday they gave people the option of paying them directly in-app, using a credit card, bypassing Apple’s in-app payments and their 30% tax, so Apple swiftly removed the wildly popular game from the App Store. If you’re a parent of young kids, you’ve probably already heard about this. Link.
Facebook finally removes a Trump post. The post was removed because it contained false information about COVID (that kids are ‘almost immune’), so it was a pretty clear violation of Facebook policies, but it’s the first time they have removed any of his posts. Link.
Regulate the Web. An excellent overview of the history of how we have built and regulated the internet, and where we might go from here. Link.
Simon McGarr has a piece on Ireland’s Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill and it’s ambitions to create an Online Safety Commissioner tasked with regulating… everything? Link.
TikTok have launched a new Transparency Centre, saying they “believe all companies should disclose their algorithms, moderation policies, and data flows to regulators. We will not wait for regulation to come, but instead TikTok has taken the first step by launching a Transparency and Accountability Center for moderation and data practices. Experts can observe our moderation policies in real-time, as well as examine the actual code that drives our algorithms.” Link.
Podcast recommendation – Wrongfully accused by an algorithm, from The Daily. Link.