Discover more from The Perfect Iconoclast
😵 Can the Supreme Court kill Section 230?
Block CEO fired, Shibuya raises $6.9M, goblin mode, Apple's Tax 🍎
Gm lovely readers,
Last year’s word of the year was the metaverse. This year, it gave the crown to.. goblin mode? No no not because of goblin town (though I wouldn’t be surprised if floor increased) Oxford defines “Goblin mode” as a slang to express “unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy behavior” that flies in the face of social norms. Great word for a great year (!) Was tech layoffs a close second?
In other amazing news, Winter Olympics is stalling on choosing a venue for 2030 because they’re afraid next host city will be too warm when the time comes. That’s what we love to hear !! Don’t worry — I got some fun and interesting news below. 👇
Come chat about this week’s news tomorrow at 1pm PST/4pm EST.
The Block CEO Controversy. 🧯
I really don’t want to have SBF on the news every week but the story keeps getting bigger. Turns out he was secretly funding crypto media site The Block and its CEO Michael McCaffrey for the last two years. McCaffrey received three ‘loans’ from SBF: The first was for $12 million and was used to buyout other Block investors. The second was for $15 million to fund day-to-day operations. The third was for $16 million that McCaffrey used to buy a nice place in the Bahamas.
Web3 is a family business for Atari. 🕹️
Atari has partnered with arcade-gaming start-up Polycade (founded by Atari’s founder’s son) to release new versions of classic games such as Asteroids, Pong, and Missile Command as ‘Polycade Limiteds’ NFTs. The NFTs will be available in three tiers: 1,000 Artist editions, 10 Silver editions, and one Gold edition, which will include a uniquely-designed arcade console. The NFTs will be playable on Polycade’s website and software, as well as on all public Polycade arcade machines. Owners will be able to log in on a machine and start playing without any additional steps. This portable aspect of the “Digital Cartridges” is one of their standout features. The games will be redesigned by 12 visual artists, including Shantell Martin, to mark Atari’s 50th anniversary. Congrats to the artists & initiative looks like an innovative project.
Decentralized Storytelling. 🎥
Shibuya, a video platform that allows NFT owners to interact with its original content, has raised $6.9 million in seed funding to build the ‘A24 of Web3’. The platform allows viewers to purchase NFTs that both fund new content and give them the ability to vote on the story’s direction across chapters, effectively creating a decentralized choose-your-own-adventure story. This is a significant achievement, particularly given the current state of the market.
Section 230 under question. ⚠️
The upcoming Supreme Court case, Gonzalez v. Google, could have major implications for the future of social media algorithms. The case, filed by the family of Nohemi Gonzalez, an American woman who was killed in the 2015 ISIS attacks in Paris, alleges that YouTube’s recommendation algorithms played a role in radicalizing the attackers. The case argues that by recommending ISIS videos, YouTube violated the Antiterrorism Act of 1990, which prohibits providing material support to foreign terrorist organizations. The Biden Administration has filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs, stating that platforms like YouTube should not be given legal cover for aiding foreign terrorist organizations.
If the Supreme Court sides with the plaintiffs, it could significantly change the way social media algorithms operate. Currently, platforms like YouTube and Facebook are protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which states that they cannot be held responsible for the content that users post on their platforms. This has been the savior of tech platforms. However, if the court determines that YouTube acted as a “publisher or speaker” by recommending ISIS videos, it could open the door for similar lawsuits against other social media platforms. This could make platforms more hesitant to host or recommend potentially controversial content in order to avoid legal action.
Jail Time? 👩⚖️
Sam Bankman-Fried will appear before the House Financial Services Committee tomorrow to answer questions about the collapse of FTX. SBF has been conducting a media tour in recent weeks to tell his side of the story, though unclear how much of it is real and how much is coordinated shrug. The committee is expected to ask him how the bankruptcy occurred and how responsible he is for it. If interviews were any indication, he will reject any culpability of fraud, but is expected for Bankman-Fried to face jail time. He also just announced today that he will “call in” and not go to DC to avoid ‘paparazzi effect.’ Hmm maybe it’s easier to lie on Zoom.
Bonus: Both of SBF’s parents, who have been teaching at Stanford since 1987, won’t be continuing to do so in the next semester.
Apple Tax reflected on the Customer. 🍎
Twitter Blue might be rolling out for good today. Users will be able to add a verification checkmark to their profile and gain access to other features, such as the ability to edit tweets. What’s interesting is they are doing it $8/month if purchased on the web or $11/month if bought via Apple’s App Store, passing through the Apple’s tax in an obvious way.
Speed Round 🕺
Starbucks is rolling its royalty program called Odyssey to a group of early waitlisters.
On Thursday, the Layer 1 network Gnosis Chain became the second blockchain to transition to Proof of Stake consensus via a chain merge.
Decentraland will be again hosting the Metaverse Fashion Week 2023 on March 28-31, 2023.
Meta and the FTC are now in a legal battle over Meta’s acquisition of VR workout app developer Within.
Kevin Hart, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Justin Bieber are among the defendants in a class-action lawsuit that accuses stakeholders of Yuga Labs.
Blockparty co-founder and CTO Rikesh Thapa is charged with fraud.
A DAO is trying to buy the US Constitution again. (I still got half of my $PEOPLE tokens!)
Pre-orders went live for the new Ledger hardware wallet with help of iPod creator Tony Fadell.
Bloomberg reported that investment portfolios owned by individual investors have lost a combined $350 billion this year. bummer
Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has handpicked an eight-person crew including DJ Steve Aoki, K-pop rapper T.O.P., and YouTuber Tim Dodd to bring on the trip that he’s paying for around the moon in a not-yet-completed SpaceX Starship rocket.
Reddit’s NFT program continues to onboard users into Web3, with more than 4.25 million unique wallets holding the Polygon assets and more than 5 million Collectible Avatars minted.
Tweet Check. 🐦
Fun Activity 🤩
Please if you haven’t, go use ChatGPI. It is one of the best pieces of new technology I’ve seen in a while. Drop your convos here:
Disclaimer: Investing in NFTs comes with inherent risk including technical risk, human error, platform failure and more. This newsletter is strictly educational and nothing we offer is financial advice. We are not professionals or licensed advisors. Views my own and not any other company I’m affiliated with.
Thanks for reading NFTimes! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.