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Former area resident co-founds 'game-changer' social media platform – BradfordToday

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A former Orillian is hoping a new social media platform he co-founded will pay off — for the users.

Dan Swinimer, who grew up in Orillia and now lives in Surrey, B.C., is among the founders of Trybe, a new app that allows users to receive money for the attention their posts get.

The idea came about after Swinimer’s friend, Felipe Freig, realized how much attention his son’s videos of scooter tricks were receiving online.

“He had an issue watching his son getting close to semi-pro status as a scooter rider,” Swinimer said, noting the boy practised for hours, spent plenty of time editing the videos and invested money on equipment. “He’d get a lot of ‘likes,’ but that was it. Felipe said, ‘There’s got to be a way to monetize this.’”

Swinimer and Freig sat down to discuss that idea further, and Trybe is the result.

Users will have the option to simply ‘like’ content on the app, but they can also reward other users by sending “gems,” Swinimer explained, in various amounts, starting as low as 10 cents. A post that goes viral on Trybe could mean big bucks.

Swinimer used the example of Orillia’s Brian Fernandez, whose Facebook post about made-in-Canada French’s ketchup went viral in 2016.

“It was the textbook definition of a viral post,” Swinimer said. “If Trybe was a thing back then, the money he would’ve made on a post like that would’ve changed his life, and it should’ve changed his life.”

He even used that example when pitching to investors. It worked. Enough people have come on board to make the Trybe idea a reality.

It wasn’t as simple as that, though. Founders Swinimer and Freig knew they needed someone with ample business experience as well as someone who had friends in high places.

So, they pitched the idea to Bill Swinimer, Dan’s father, an Orillia man who founded Uniplast Industries.

“That’s the single best thing we did,” Dan said of bringing his dad on board as a partner.

They then pitched Chad Kroeger, lead singer of Nickelback and co-founder of 604 Records.

Dan, who owns the production company Manicdown Music Inc. and used to perform with Freig in the band Jet Black Stare, met Kroeger as a result of them having the same manager.

When the idea of Trybe was explained to Kroeger, “Chad just went off,” Dan recalled.

“He said, ‘This is a game changer.’”

Kroeger is now a partner and has sung the app’s praises through posts on social media. Avril Lavigne also gave Trybe a shout-out in a post to her 21 million Twitter followers.

Kroeger’s confidence in Trybe and what it could mean for musicians was obvious. Before long, Freig, Dan and Bill were on Kroeger’s private jet, bound for California’s Silicon Valley.

Bill has a good friend there who has invested more than $2 billion in start-ups.

“I sent him the idea and he thought it was great,” Bill said.

Word began to spread among investors and the project took off, and that’s when Bill was officially brought on board to help set up the company.

“It’s really been fun, and we’re now at that stage where it’s really getting traction,” Bill said, noting about 25 per cent of Trybe’s shareholders are from Orillia.

Bill believes the app will be “the next big one” in social media. He foresees those who use other platforms, like Instagram, including social media influencers, making the jump to Trybe.

“Our platform will do all the things you need in one platform,” he said. “It has endless possibilities.”

Dan also thinks so, and that was thanks to the experience in Silicon Valley.

“I was a little skeptical that someone had not come up with this already. It’s such a simple idea,” he said.

When investors told him they, too, were surprised a similar app hadn’t been developed yet, “that was our green light,” Dan said.

He described Trybe as a “win-win” for users. Whenever they reward another user, they have the ability to have their own posts boosted.

“The more people who see your post, the better chance you have to make money,” he said.

That user incentive could also pay off for charities that might use Trybe, he added.

Trybe is still in the beta-testing stage and is expected to officially launch to the public in a month or two.

For more information about Trybe, check out its website. To get on the wait list to join, download the app.

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Social Media and the Hunter Biden Report – The New York Times

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Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have invested a significant amount of time and money trying to avoid the mistakes made during the 2016 election.

A test of those new policies came last week, when The New York Post published a story that contained supposedly incriminating documents and pictures taken from the laptop of Hunter Biden. The provenance and authenticity of that information is still in question, and Joe Biden’s campaign has rejected the assertions.

While YouTube largely did nothing, Facebook deprioritized the Post story and Twitter initially moved to ban all links to the piece on its platform. Those actions infuriated some Republican lawmakers and conservative media figures, who accused the social networks of censorship and election interference.

We speak to Kevin Roose, a technology columnist for The Times, about how the episode reveals the tension between fighting misinformation and protecting free speech.


INSIDE ‘THE DAILY’ For an exclusive look at how the biggest stories on our show come together, subscribe to our newsletter. Read the latest edition here.

  • Kevin Roose, a technology columnist for The New York Times.

Credit…Democratic National Convention

There are a lot of ways to listen to ‘The Daily.’ Here’s how.

We want to hear from you. Tune in, and tell us what you think. Email us at thedaily@nytimes.com. Follow Michael Barbaro on Twitter: @mikiebarb. And if you’re interested in advertising with “The Daily,” write to us at thedaily-ads@nytimes.com.


Kevin Roose contributed reporting.

“The Daily” is made by Theo Balcomb, Andy Mills, Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Annie Brown, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Wendy Dorr, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, Kelly Prime, Sindhu Gnanasambandan, M.J. Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Neena Pathak, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Daniel Guillemette, Hans Buetow, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Bianca Giaever, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi and Rachelle Bonja. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Mikayla Bouchard, Lauren Jackson, Julia Simon, Mahima Chablani, Nora Keller, Sofia Milan and Desiree Ibekwe.

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InvestorChannel's Media Watchlist Update for Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 16:30 EST – InvestorIntel

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InvestorChannel’s Media Stocks Watchlist Update video includes the Top 5 Performers of the Day, and a performance review of the companies InvestorChannel is following in the sector.
Sources Include: Yahoo Finance, AlphaVantage FinnHub & CSE.
For more information, visit us at InvestorIntel.com or email us at info@investorintel.com

Watchlist Companies:
– Quizam Media Corporation (QQ.CN) CAD 0.50 (16.28%)
– Moovly Media Inc. (MVY.V) CAD 0.07 (7.69%)
– WOW! Unlimited Media Inc. (WOW.V) CAD 0.38 (7.04%)
– Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. (TBRD.V) CAD 2.13 (0.47%)
– Wix.com Ltd. (WIX) USD 278.65 (0.13%)
– Glacier Media Inc. (GVC.TO) CAD 0.22 (0.0%)
– GVIC Communications Corp. (GCT.TO) CAD 0.14 (0.0%)
– Media Central Corporation Inc. (FLYY.CN) CAD 0.01 (0.0%)
– Postmedia Network Canada Corp. (PNC-A.TO) CAD 1.60 (0.0%)
– QYOU Media Inc. (QYOU.V) CAD 0.07 (0.0%)
– Adobe Inc. (ADBE) USD 494.58 (-0.13%)
– Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR-B.TO) CAD 2.95 (-0.34%)
– HubSpot, Inc. (HUBS) USD 309.79 (-0.59%)
– MediaValet Inc. (MVP.V) CAD 2.50 (-1.19%)
– Stingray Group Inc. (RAY-A.TO) CAD 5.50 (-2.65%)
– Slack Technologies Inc. (WORK) USD 30.81 (-4.47%)
– Zoom Video Communications Inc. (ZM) USD 537.02 (-5.51%)
– Network Media Group Inc. (NTE.V) CAD 0.14 (-6.67%)
– Lingo Media Corporation (LM.V) CAD 0.09 (-10.53%)
– ZoomerMedia Limited (ZUM.V) CAD 0.06 (-21.43%)

InvestorChannel

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MAGA world, GOP unite on social-media bias after Hunter Biden story – POLITICO

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MAGA world is uniting with mainstream conservatives to whip up a frenzy over social-media bias in the final weeks of the election, convinced that the handling of a New York Post story about Hunter Biden has presented a validating example of years-old MAGA complaints.

Twitter and Facebook’s attempts to limit sharing of the Post story, citing policies meant to throttle the distribution of hacked materials and fact-challenged articles, is being used as proof positive in MAGA world that social media firms have a liberal agenda, and are using whatever means necessary to censor conservatives and protect liberals. And Republicans across the ideological spectrum are agreeing.

The incident has fueled Republican plans to vote on subpoenas that would force testimony from the CEOs of both Twitter and Facebook on the issue. That hearing would come on top of another one already planned for next Wednesday, when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will face a grilling over liability protections the tech industry enjoys for content posted on their platforms. Other Republican lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, have signaled shifts in how they wanted to regulate social-media platforms. And at the White House, chief of staff Mark Meadows has threatened to sue the two companies over the issue.

The flurry of activity caps a summer of anti-Big Tech maneuvering among conservatives, from anger over Twitter’s decision to post disclaimers on President Donald Trump’s tweets, to Attorney General Bill Barr’s rush to file an antitrust case against Google just two weeks before the election.

But now, in a matter of days, the handling of a single New York Post story has pushed long-simmering MAGA complaints about social-media bias to the top of Republicans’ talking points.

“They proved that all the lunatic ravings of the right were correct, and that there’s no objectivity [on social media platforms] whatsoever,” said Ron Coleman, a prominent conservative lawyer known for his work on tech censorship and free speech issues.

For nearly a decade, conservatives have accused social media companies of deliberately silencing them through a variety of subtle means — claiming their videos don’t always show up on their subscribers’ Facebook feeds, or that their accounts don’t show up in searches or that the platforms inappropriately label their content as promoting violence or misinformation. Researchers say such claims have never proven any intentional discrimination and note that some of the most widely shared content on social media platforms comes from conservative voices and outlets.

And notably, efforts to limit distribution of the Post story have not prevented the piece from circulating broadly on social media. The report generated 2.59 million interactions on Facebook and Twitter last week, more than double the next biggest story about Trump or Biden, even as national security specialists warned the information bore the hallmarks of a Russian disinformation campaign.

Still, anti-social media conservatives felt the handling of the story offered them a concrete, game-changing example of the type of silencing they have long claimed.

“The Rubicon was crossed [last] week, for sure,” said Rachel Bovard, a senior director of policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute, who focuses on social media and free speech issues.

Years ago, the issue of internet free speech was popular among the more populist wing of the conservative movement — specifically, people and publications that drew influence from an online presence, and that were more likely to be targeted for violating platforms’ terms of service by sharing inflammatory content.

Throughout Trump’s presidency, Republicans have increasingly paid lip service to this constituency, echoing the complaints in hearings.

And Trump himself has repeatedly used his presidential platform to bemoan social-media companies’ behavior, hosting events about conservative censorship at the White House and signing a legally toothless executive order. As the November election neared, the White House pressured key Senate Republicans to hold hearings on alleged bias.

On Capitol Hill, competing Republican bills have appeared that would drastically revise Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which stipulated that digital platforms were not legally liable for content others had uploaded.

“The objection for some on the right always was, ‘Well, these platforms don’t engage in viewpoint censorship, they’re not politically biased, this all a crock of crap,’” Bovard said.

But now, the handling of the Post story — which offered unverified emails claiming Hunter Biden had arranged a meeting between his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, and a Ukrainian business contact — has pushed more of the GOP into MAGA’s anti-social media camp. The timing (days before the election) and subject (Biden’s alleged corruption) likely helped. Some Republicans, such as McCarthy, started calling for the repeal of Section 230, while others wondered whether Twitter had taken on even more responsibilities other than simple bias.

“Is Twitter an ‘in kind donor’ to the Biden campaign? A ‘publisher?’” tweeted Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie last Thursday.

Trump was more insistent.

“If Big Tech persists, in coordination with the mainstream media, we must immediately strip them of their Section 230 protections,” he tweeted Friday. “When government granted these protections, they created a monster!”

Shoshana Weissmann, a fellow at the free market-oriented R Street Institute focused on Section 230 and licensing reform, sees the current outrage on Capitol Hill as far more political than policy focused. She argued that there are valid reasons for Section 230 to exist, saying digital platforms aren’t capable of policing all posts.

“If I threaten the president online, then Twitter’s not liable for that,” she said. “It would be me liable for that, or whoever made the threat or did something illegal online is liable for it. And it makes sense because there’s billions and billions of posts.”

And repealing Section 230 wouldn’t actually assuage conservative complaints, Weissmann insisted.

“It wouldn’t fix the partisan moderating,” she said. “These things are totally unrelated. It’s just kind of punishing them, because they’re there.”

Regardless of the policy implications, however, the handling of the Post story has played right into the hands of MAGA’s political arguments. Coleman, a prominent legal voice in the anti-social media world, said he was surprised at how Twitter and Facebook handled the story.

“For the people who control so much of the media complex now, and who understand so well what virality is about, they completely failed to make any accounting whatsoever for the Streisand effect,” he said, referencing the phenomenon where an attempt to hide something actually draws it greater attention.

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