Twitter blocks state-controlled media outlets from advertising on its social network – gpgmail


Twitter is now blocking state-run media outlets from advertising on its platform.

The new policy was announced just hours after the company identified an information operation involving hundreds of accounts linked to China as part of an effort to “sow political discord” around events in Hong Kong after weeks of protests in the region. Over the weekend over 1 million Hong Kong residents took to the streets to protest what they see as an encroachment by the mainland Chinese government over their rights.

State-funded media enterprises that do not rely on taxpayer dollars for their financing and don’t operate independently of the governments that finance them will no longer be allowed to advertise on the platform, Twitter said in a statement. That leaves a big exception for outlets like the Associated Press, the British Broadcasting Corp., Public Broadcasting Service, and National Public Radio, according to reporting from BBC reporter, Dave Lee.

 

The affected accounts will be able to use Twitter, but can’t access the company’s advertising products, Twitter said in a statement.

“We believe that there is a difference between engaging in conversation with accounts you choose to follow and the content you see from advertisers in your Twitter experience which may be from accounts you’re not currently following. We have policies for both but we have higher standards for our advertisers,” Twitter said in its statement.

The policy applies to news media outlets that are financially or editorially controlled by the state, Twitter said. The company said it will make its policy determinations on the basis of media freedom and independence including editorial control over articles and video, the financial ownership of the publication, the influence or interference governments may exert over editors, broadcasters and journalists, and political pressure or control over the production and distribution process.

Twitter said the advertising rules wouldn’t apply to entities that are focused on entertainment, sports, or travel, but if there’s news in the mix, the company will block advertising access.

Affected outlets have 30 days before they’re removed from Twitter and the company is halting all existing campaigns.

State media has long been a source of disinformation and was cited as part of the Russian campaign to influence the 2016 election. Indeed, Twitter has booted state-financed news organizations before. In October 2017, the company banned Russia Today and Sputnik from advertising on its platform (although a representative from RT claimed that Twitter encouraged it to advertise ahead of the election).

 




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Aluminum packaging is coming for your water as Coca-Cola’s Dasani brand takes the plunge – gpgmail


Coca Cola’s Dasani brand is the latest company pitching bottled water to go the aluminum can route.

It’s part of a broader rejiggering of the water brand’s plans to use mostly recycled material for their water bottles by 2030.

The company is debuting a hybrid bottle that’s made from half renewable and recycled PET plastic in addition to new PET plastic. Consumers can expect those bottles to hit store shelves by mid-2020, according to the company.

Coca-Cola is also going to be rolling out more Dasani PureFill water dispensers (fancy water fountains) for its corporate installations as an expansion of its Coca-Cola Freestyle mix and match soda dispensing products, the company said.

Finally, and most interestingly (at least to this reporter), Coke is going to introduce aluminum cans across the northeastern U.S. in the fall. A national expansion and a rollout of new aluminum bottles is planned for 2020, according to the company.

“Designing our packages to reduce the amount of raw materials used and incorporating recycled and renewable content in our bottles to help drive a circular economy for our packaging is an important part of our commitment to doing business the right way,” said Sneha Shah, Group Director, Packaging Innovation, Coca-Cola North America. “We are working diligently to continually reduce our overall environmental footprint through smarter package design, procurement of recycled and renewable materials while continuing to deliver exceptional consumer experiences.”

Coke’s moves follow similar announcements from the competition.

Earlier this year, Pepsi’s Aquafina brand announced the introduction of aluminum cans for its own water distribution business.

All of these companies are responding to concerns about the profusion of plastics in the environment and increasing consumer concerns about what this proliferation of plastic waste may mean for human life and health.

Researchers recently discovered plastic microfibers in rainwater in the Rocky Mountains, and plastics are also showing up in the food supply (primarily in fish). It’s unclear what impact these plastics may have on people, but perhaps the best recourse is not to have to find out?

There’s another reason that both Coke and Pepsi are beginning to roll out aluminum packaging for their water. Competition.

The brains behind Vitacoco recently launched a new water brand called Ever and Ever, which the company claims is taking significant market share from Dasani and Aquafina in the places where it’s being sold.

And aluminum is better for the environment.  “Because the majority of aluminum is made from recycling… emissions on a recycled aluminum product are much lower than a PET,” says Michael Kirban, the chief executive of VitaCoco. 

The company launched its own foray into the aluminum-packaged water category after working with Lonely Whale, a non-profit that focuses on ocean environmental issues.

“We’re in mostly tetrapack and mostly in cans and in certain instances in plastic bottles,” said Kirban. “We brought them in last year to talk about how we could offset our own impact. The idea came about with them as they were launching a campaign against plastic water bottles.”

Then there’s Liquid Death, the company whose over $1 million financing from the venture investment studio Science launched a thousand sneers on Twitter before eventually being embraced.

If anything, the moves by Coke and Pepsi (along with Liquid Death, Ever and Ever and other brands) shows that corporations are finally taking at least some small steps to try to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging and logistics decisions.

It’s worth noting that there are other ways to ensure that potable water is available universally without having to pay for additional packaging — paying money to upgrade water infrastructure so everyone in the U.S. has access to clean, delicious drinking water. Tap water could be good enough, if cities and states were willing to adhere to already established laws around water quality.


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