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The Biggest Social Media News of October

November 24, 2023

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Instagram, Facebook AND X are all looking to move to a subscription-based platform; SSSniperwolf doxes Jacksfilms; Tiktok is being sued by yet another US state.

Yes, October was yet another crazy month.

Here’s your monthly rundown of social media news for October!

X is Looking into a Subscription Model…

In a recent interview, Elon Musk alluded to the possibility of charging “a small monthly payment” for all users, in order to combat the platform’s ‘Bot’ issue. Now, X is actually moving to a live test of this model, with a scheme that could eventually see all new users charged $1 to create an account in the app. Musk stated,

“Starting today, we’re testing a new program in New Zealand and the Philippines, where new, unverified accounts will be required to sign up for a $1 annual subscription to be able to post, and interact with other posts. Within this test, existing users are not affected.” said the platform in a statement.

What does this mean?

New accounts will be able to read posts, but they won’t be able to create their own posts or like or reply in the app. In fact, 80% of X users don’t post anything at all, so will it be a big deal?

… And so is Meta

And Twitter isn’t the only platform rolling out subscriptions. There are reports that Meta is exploring the possibility of offering an ad-free subscription tier for both Facebook and Instagram. Imagine Meta charging you $14 USD/month for an ad-free Instagram experience or $17 USD/month for both Facebook and Instagram.

That is what Meta wants to charge Europeans for monthly subscriptions if they don’t agree to let the company use their digital activity to target ads. The EU’s evolving data privacy regulations are putting more strain on the company’s capacity to use personalization based on user activity

So Instagram is saying European users would have the option to pay a fee or agree to personalized ads. Because if Instagram can’t use your activity to give you targeted ads, it jeopardizes its main source of revenue, therefore they believe if they can’t access your activity, you will have to pay.

Would you pay for Facebook and Instagram?

Utah Sues TikTok

Utah is the latest state to file a lawsuit against TikTok, alleging the company is “baiting” kids into unhealthy and addictive social media habits.

“TikTok lures children into hours of social media use, misrepresents the app’s safety and deceptively portrays itself as independent of its Chinese parent company, ByteDance” Utah claims in the lawsuit.

“We will not stand by while these companies fail to take adequate, meaningful action to protect our children. We will prevail in holding social media companies accountable by any means necessary,” Gov. Spencer Cox said at a news conference announcing the lawsuit, which was filed in state court in Salt Lake City.

Utah’s lawsuit also cites public health concerns. Research shows that children who spend 3+ hours a day on social media double their risk of poor mental health, including anxiety and depression, the lawsuit alleges.

And it Goes Beyond Utah

This adds to the pressure Tiktok is under from the US government, with over half the states in the country banning the app from Government devices, with even a few trying to ban it completely.

Now this battle goes beyond TikTok. The U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to decide whether these state attempts to regulate any social media platforms (such as Facebook, IG, X and TikTok) violate the Constitution.

Some members believe “Online services have a well-established First Amendment right to host, curate and share content as they see fit,” and “The internet is a vital platform for free expression, and it must remain free from government censorship.”

So, even if states are filing lawsuits, we have to wait and see what the Supreme Court decides.

I think this is JUST the beginning of implementing social media laws. As AI quickly develops, I believe we will see more and more issues, concerns and laws rise up.

SSniperwolf and Jacksfilms Drama

One of the biggest stories this past month in the creator space has been the drama between Popular YouTubers Jacksfilms (Jack Douglass) and SSSniperwolf (Alia Shelesh).

Their ongoing feud escalated after SSSniperwolf posted a photo of her outside Jack’s house to her 5.6 million+ Instagram followers.

Jacksfilms described SSSniperwolf’s actions as “Creepy, gross, violating.”

So how did things get to this point? Here’s the recap:

SSSniperwolf started creating content on YouTube over a decade ago. She started as a gaming channel and now creates reaction videos, primarily reacting to TikTok clips.

Jacksfilms, who has also been creating content on YouTube for well over a decade, is known for comedy and parody videos but has recently been highly critical of “lazy” reaction videos. At the core of his criticism is SSSniperwolf, whom he accuses of creating low-effort content by stealing ideas from TikTok creators without proper credit or acknowledgment.

Jacksfilms has made several videos on YouTube calling out SSSniperwolf, even going as far as to create a parody of SSSniperwolf’s YouTube channel, titled “JJJacksfilms,” featuring 64 videos in which he makes a game of reacting to SSSniperwolf’s reaction videos while giving proper credit to videos SSSniperwolf reacts to.

This led to mid-October, where on Instagram, SSSniperwolf wrote: “Should I go visit @jacksfilms? He lives 5 mins away from my shoot.”

She then posted a photo (which I won’t be showing) of the outside of Jack’s house, writing on Instagram: “Let’s talk like adults.” SSSniperwolf removed the post very quickly after backlash started to come, where Jack then accused her of “doxxing” him.

SSSniperwolf took objection to the accusation, writing on Instagram: “I have no idea how to Dox. He literally posted his address on Google and said I threatened him and doxxed him.”

What Even is “Doxxing”?

So what is doxxing and is it illegal? Doxxing in general, refers to the act of publishing identifying information about a third party online without the victim’s permission.

Is it illegal? Well, it depends. The incident took place in Los Angeles, and California does have an “anti-doxxing” law making it illegal if done with malicious intent.

If you want a deep dive into the legalities of this situation, I recommend watching this video from LegalEgale. He explains everything SO incredibly well.

So what happened? After the incident, Jacksfilms called on YouTube to take action, posting a video titled “SSSniperwolf came to our home last night. It’s time for YouTube to step in.”

The video has since accumulated more than 3.7 million views.

How Did YouTube Respond?

YouTube’s policies clearly forbid harmful behavior, specifically “threats or doxxing,” but YouTube took several days to take action against SSSniperwolf’s channel, or even to issue a clear statement on the issue.

On October 23rd, YouTube issued a statement saying:

“Confirming SSSniperWolf has received a temporary monetization suspension per Creator Responsibility policies. Off-platform actions that put others’ personal safety at risk harm our community & the behavior on both sides isn’t what we want on YT. Hoping everyone helps move this convo to a better place.”

Which a lot of people still aren’t happy with. But it seems like the feud is over (or at least deescalated) for now, but what do you think? Should YouTube have done more?

And that’s it for the biggest news in social media during October. Was there anything I missed or want me to cover other news? Let me know in the comments of this post!

And if you want even more frequent social media news, sign up for Storyy’s weekly Trend Report. Storyy is my video editing team and they’re where I get all my news from. So sign up! It’s free!

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