NewsBytes Briefing: Wuhan lab-leak hypothesis no longer thought-crime, and more
Mainstream media, so-called fact checkers, and Big Tech censors have a busy weekend of stealth editing incriminating content and revising their algorithmic ban hammers ahead of them. In case you haven't received the memo, it is now kosher to discuss the hypothesis of the SARS-CoV-2 virus being man-made. Then again, the Pentagon has also admitted that UFOs exist. These are strange times indeed.
As the mainstream media hides embarrassing articles, Facebook and Instagram are allowing users to hide Likes and view counts. Turns out, addiction to the dopamine rush of social media affirmation might be similar to intravenous drug abuse. When the likes stop coming, users begin to experience the same unpleasant withdrawal symptoms witnessed in drug deprived junkies. It's smarter to get off social media instead.
Just hiding social media metrics isn't a complete solution to millennial anxieties, so Instagram has also thrown in a bit of retail therapy. The social media platform has now added a new Shopping section dubbed as Drops. What is Instagram dropping? Not much besides the last vestiges of ethics while exploiting the FOMO of mentally vulnerable millennials to make a quick buck.
While we're on the subject of dropping cash, Amazon just dropped a cool $8.45 billion on MGM Studios. The acquisition provides access to 4,000 films going back to the time when movies didn't have sound. However, not even that sort of money can buy you full ownership of the Bond franchise. Amazon only gets 50 percent and no creative control over the spy franchise.
Hundreds of the visitors to the Las Vegas Convention Center participated in Boring Company's test run of its expensive shuttle services involving Tesla electric vehicles plying passengers through a pair of underground tunnels. People essentially waited several minutes in line for a 90-second ride. If that sounds strange, this is the same Elon Musk-owned company that sold 20,000 units of flame throwers.