Welcome to the Mozilla News Beat, a glance at the best and worst internet news this week. We usually start off with the awesome news but we’ll cut right to the less-than-awesome chase: This will be our final issue of the News Beat!

Thank you’s are in order! There are more thank you’s below but I’d like to spend space here showing appreciation to Anna, Audrey, Nancy and Alexander. This couldn’t happen each week without you all. Xavier out! Enjoy the last News Beat!

Cat’s All Folks

Before a scraggly, young writer named Xavier took over News Beat it was written by one of Mozilla’s best: Jen Caltrider of *Privacy Not Included fame (she actually created the News Beat!). To finish things off, we’re going with her choice of funny animal video this week. Her request: that we go full cat. Below you’ll find a video of the funniest cat videos to have ever hit the internet. Sit back, tap the link and enjoy.

Via PetWard on YouTube

Lift Every Voice

AI assistants like Siri and Alexa can be useful if you speak common languages like English and Spanish, less so if you speak any one of the 1,000 languages in Africa, or even just speak with an accent. We’re making a database of voice samples so software developers can more easily include your language and accent, and we’re building it in a way that makes sure no language is left behind. You can contribute your vocals to help improve voice-based AI on our Common Voice site right now (it takes seconds).

Via Mozilla

Think Of The Children

We’ve called out YouTube in the past for low quality content that viewers ultimately regret watching. Now Google, YouTube’s parent company, is taking action against those making low quality videos for kids. YouTube Partners (the accounts that can earn money from their YouTube videos) could see fewer ads against their videos or ads removed from their videos completely if they upload content deemed “low quality” — defined by Google as videos that are overly commercial or encourage bad behaviors.

Via Engadget

Transaction Costs

We know you don’t come here for the crypto news, but this one’s fascinating. A new study by MoneySuperMarket notes one single Bitcoin transaction draws a ton of electricity — enough to “power the typical American home for six weeks.” The problem is bigger than Bitcoin. Even the second most popular cryptocurrency, Ethereum (which plans to cut its energy draw by as much as 99% in 2022), still uses more power to perform a single transaction than it takes to make 100,000 VISA transactions.

Via Fortune

Royal Abuse

83 accounts are responsible for 70% of the social media trolling directed at Meghan Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, on Twitter. Combined, the accounts have over 187,000 followers. The news is reminiscent of similar stats that point to how a small group of users can have an outsized effect — like how just twelve accounts have been found to be responsible for a large proportion of the vaccine misinfo on social media. Despite Twitter prohibiting harmful content, it shows that the platform, and other social media companies, can still do better when it comes to protecting its users (celebrities or otherwise).

Via BuzzFeed News

Getting Meta

Facebook has had quite the week. Where do we begin? Maybe here: Earlier this week, 17 news outlets shared articles based on what have become collectively known as The Facebook Papers — leaked company documents and memos, courtesy of whistleblower Frances Haugen. We learned about all the ways Facebook prioritizes engagement over everything, from a formula that prioritized strong reactions like anger over the average “like,” to hesitating to combat misinformation. This deluge comes hot on the heels of Haugen’s explosive revelations just a few short weeks ago, a major outage for Facebook and its apps, and Congress calling on Zuckerberg to explain how he plans to protect children on Instagram. And that doesn’t even touch on the company’s name change to Meta. And yet, despite the bad press, profits at the company are better than ever.

Via CNN

And that’s it for the News Beat! Keep following Mozilla all the places you usually do — Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and the Mozilla Foundation blog. Bye for now!

The final Mozilla News Beat. Bye!

The News Beat

Written By

Xavier Harding

Edited By

Anna Jay, Xavier Harding

Art Direction

Nancy Tran

Social

Audrey Hingle

Email Production

Alexander Zimmerman

Special Thanks To Ashley Boyd, Anil Kanji, Kaili Lambe and (last but not least) Jen Caltrider! It’s been a pleasure reading the news with you all.

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