Voting technology company Smartmatic has filed defamation suits against Newsmax and One America News Network, adding them to a list that already includes Fox News, several of its on-air personalities and pro-Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell. The new suits were filed on the one-year anniversary of Election Day 2020. While Smartmatic has not specified how much money it is demanding from the two networks, it claims conspiracy theories that were aired concerning the work it did during the 2020 election have cut the company's value by $2 billion. "Despite claims to provide viewers with honest, unbiased reporting, these outlets victimized Smartmatic by spreading false information about the company following last year's election, all in their efforts to increase viewership and revenue," J. Erik Connolly, one of the attorneys representing Smartmatic, said in a statement. Dominion, another voting tech company, filed a defamation suit against the two networks in August.
Facebook is shutting down its facial recognition system. Launched in 2010, the feature has sparked privacy concerns, a class-action lawsuit and various regulatory problems. More than a third of Facebook's users have opted into the system, resulting in what the company says are more than one billion facial recognition templates. While those templates are set to be deleted, Facebook says the software used to operate the system will remain, and that it will not rule out incorporating the system into future products. The change also affects Automatic Alt Text, which is used to provide image descriptions for blind or visually impaired users. "Every new technology brings with it potential for both benefit or concern, and we want to find the right balance," Facebook VP of artificial intelligence Jerome Pesenti in a post on the company's website.
New York Times paid subscriptions hit the 8.3 million mark at the end of Q3 2021, a 21.6 percent jump from the end of Q3 2020, according to results released on November 3. According to NYT Co. president and chief executive officer Meredith Kopit Levien, there were 455,000 net new digital subscriptions in the quarter—320,000 for the paper's digital news product and 135,000 for its games, cooking and Wirecutter platforms. While print subscription revenues climbed 39.4 percent from Q3 2020, they were still down by 25.4 percent from Q3 2019's numbers. Ad revenue also rose, with digital up 40.2 percent from Q3 2020 and print up by 39.4 percent. However, the Times' earning statement notes that the print figures reflect "the comparison to weak print advertising revenues in the third quarter of 2020." Overall, operating profit jumped 23.7 percent going from $39.6 million Q3 2020 to $49.0 million in Q3 2021.