My Five #420

The second week of 2021 turned out to be a riot, didn’t it? Find out why Parler and Facebook are on the naughty step as a result.

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Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.

This week’s My Five is by Vic.

1. Having a riot

Well, I think we can all agree that 2021 is off to a great start.

The utterly bonkers events that unfolded last week in the US saw Donald Trump banned across numerous social media platforms, including Facebook, where after years of allowing him to post whatever the heck he wanted, Mark Zuckerberg (finally) decided enough was enough.

That being said, they haven’t done much to prevent people from buying military tactical gear (because America) and to make matters worse, the ads shown on Facebook are popping up next to news stories about the riot at the Capitol.

I mean, kudos to the ad targeting for relevancy, but yikes.

2. It won’t be alt-right on the night

Another huge blow to the alt-right this week came with the ban on Parler – an app popular among those who were banned from Twitter for spouting radical right-wing views.

The app was first pulled from Google and Apple stores, and finally, Amazon, who were hosting the site, shut it down completely. It has since found another host – Epik – who has no such issues with hosting sites linked to literal nazis, apparently.

In a letter to Parler, Amazon stated: “We cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others”.

In related news, a developer has created an interactive map of Parler videos from the riots to assist law enforcement in tracking down those who were streaming during the insurrection. Which is neat, I guess, but the FBI didn’t seem to be having the same issues with tracking down people who attended BLM marches… but I’m sure that’s just a weird coincidence!

3. Relive the horror of 2020

If 2021 hasn’t been distressing enough for you yet, fear not! You can now replay every insane moment of 2020 – as a game.

2020 Game allows you to play through all the major events of last year, including the Australian wildfires, the start of COVID-19, and the US elections.

4. Google makes some improvements

Google has been busy, with two announcements on improvements it’s made to reporting data this week.

The first relates to providing better information on its index coverage data in Google Search Console:

  • Removal of the generic “crawl anomaly” issue type – all crawls errors should now be mapped to an issue with a finer resolution
  • Pages that were submitted but blocked by robots.txt and got indexed are now reported as “indexed but blocked” (warning) instead of “submitted but blocked” (error)
  • Addition of a new issue: “indexed without content” (warning)
  • Soft 404 reporting is now more accurate

And the second is a handy update for publishers who utilise Google News – the Google News performance report. As well as basic metrics like impressions, clicks and CTR, publishers can now also answer questions like:

  • How many times have my articles appeared to users in Google News?
  • Which articles performed well in Google News?
  • How does user behaviour vary by country?

5. Nightmares on wax

And finally, because holy cow, did I struggle to find anything remotely positive online this week, is this, a waxwork museum in a Brazillian church.

How many famous faces can you identify?

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