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Industry round up - July 31, 2020

Here we go again with the next Industry Round Up! Across the globe, we have seen a host of activity, from inspiring events, trending social media updates and some social media backlash. Check it out below…

“Our stories are your stories”

Over in the UK, The BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 have joined forces for the first time in history to broadcast a short film simultaneously across their major channels. The film titled “Our Stories” is a celebration of the role broadcasters have played in bringing people together before and during the Covid-19 pandemic. With the launch itself aiming to reach 50% of the country’s adult population, this is the first time such a collaborative and coordinated approach across the UK public service broadcasters to launch a campaign has been undertaken. The global pandemic has shown us more than ever the value of national broadcast media, and we loved seeing it in film! Take a peak for yourself here.

The Sound of Resilience in Lebanon

The Baalbeck Festival has long celebrated Lebanon’s remarkable cultural depth and diversity as well as the country’s resilience. This year’s event was perhaps the most impressive response yet to the challenging times. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis that Lebanon is facing now, the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra played a moving concert, without an audience in attendance, in the spectacular Bacchus Temple at Baalbeck. The concert was called “The Sound of Resilience.” It featured 150 musicians, as well as local Lebanese musicians playing music and symphonies from an international classical repertoire including renowned Lebanese composers. You can watch the performance here.

“Reels” is coming soon to Instagram

Some exciting news in social media! Instagram has confirmed that it will launch its TikTok like “Reels” functionality in more regions next month, including the US. While TikTok itself faces more questions over its future, Reels is built into Instagram, enabling Instagram users to create looping, 15-second clips, set to music. Reels can be shared on Instagram Stories as well as more permanently on user profiles. Rather than trying to establish a new audience for the feature in a brand-new app, Instagram is exploring how to utilize its large scale and audience, in the hopes of quelling TikTok’s rise. With so many TikTok-ers looking at their options, we suspect that Reels could see significant popularity as it expands across regions, for brands and users alike!

Social Media Backlash

Instagram and Twitter have been widely criticised by many in the last week for failing to quickly remove anti-Semitic posts by grime artist Wiley. Twitter has been accused of "ignoring antisemitism" given that Wiley's tweets were still visible 12 hours after they were first posted. The musician has since been given a seven-day ban from Twitter. A number of his tweets have also been removed from the site by Twitter, as Twitter stated that Wiley's account had been temporarily locked for violating its “hateful conduct policy", while Facebook said there was "no place for hate speech on Instagram". UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has since demanded explanation from Twitter and Instagram over 'abhorrent' Wiley tweets, stating that “Social media companies must act much faster to remove such appalling hatred from their platforms”. It begs the ongoing question - what level of responsibility should social media platforms have today?

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