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FTC Strengthens Regulations on Fake and Manipulative Reviews

The Federal Trade Commission has proposed new regulations that protect consumers from fake positive reviews to promote services or products.


The new rules will aim to combat the practice of posting fake positive reviews by extinguishing bad ones.


"Our goal is to crack down on fake reviews and other forms of misleading marketing while warning marketers who try on stealth advertising that targets kids." Director at the FTC's Bureau for Consumer Protection, Samuel Levine had this message for those trying to scam consumers with their manipulative reviews.


People are more likely to buy from a brand if they see reviews and recommendations. Fakers make things difficult for honest businesses by posting fake ones, hiding the fact that their posts were paid content meant especially for clicks or likes (the latter being called 'influencer marketing'), which results in customers paying more for services or goods when there's nothing special about them at all.


The Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning to social media platforms about their insufficient methods for disclosing sponsored posts. This could open them up in court if fake reviews are posted on social media sites.


It is clear that fake reviews are covered under the new rule, and advertisers should not misquote what consumers believe of their products or services by editing, suppressing, or boosting their reviews. All social media posts and those made by virtual influencers must follow these rules as well.


The Federal Trade Commission has announced that they will be holding a public event in October 2022 to focus specifically on the capacity of children at different ages and developmental stages to discern advertising content and determine it from others.


We take a realistic approach to reviews because our reputation is more important than the product itself. We don't aim for negative feedback, but if it's necessary, we'll provide constructive criticism that can help them improve.


We are committed to providing adult gamers, tech enthusiasts, and parents of gamers with responsible advice on what they're buying when making these decisions so that they know exactly where they will be getting without regrets.


There's value in keeping it real, and we get a warm fuzzy feeling when our audience loves products they purchased based on... our reviews (because then you can look at us and know exactly what we're talking about). To be honest, I've recommended more products than I've reviewed, and that was one of my motivations to write reviews (the love was already there). - Blu


Digital Grace | SDGT Contributor




Time to get the hate out of... tech!

If you haven't heard, 13 innocent people were shot in Buffalo, NY with 10 of those people losing their life. Most if not all were Black citizens of the area and could have been the mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, and so on... to even members of our audience. They were attacked for their race because someone felt a hatred so deeply for Black people, that he planned, and made the desired purchases for the evil act he pulled off that day at the Tops Supermarket.

We agree with Toronto's own, Brendan Sinclair when he said, "Racists are comfortable in gaming communities because platforms haven't done enough to get rid of them". I won't put it all on gaming, but the tech industry overall hasn't been as effective as it could be in terms of getting rid of them.

You have the racists in gaming that will shout stuff or make comments to pump out their daily dose of hatred during online sessions, which needs not only more of a crackdown, but also more actual reporting of it. Ultimately, it doesn't help them if they mess up a gaming community by attacking other gamers supporting it, but studios who sit back and let abuse occur... deserve to lose their online community. The racists don't care, they simply destroy one online community and go to the next.

At times they get brushed off as just being a racist idiot waiting in a queue to be blocked, but others look to take action in a deadly way. I don't want to minimize the ones who merely use their words online, because sometimes those words are followed by the actions of others.

This terror attack again revealed the depths and dangers of these platforms that spread and promote hate without consequence. The fact that an individual can post detailed plans to commit such an act of hate without consequence, and then stream it for the world to see is bone-chilling and unfathomable. - New York Attorney General Letitia James

The New York Attorney General also announced that her office will be investigating the role Twitch, Discord, and other sites played in the planning + the streaming of the shooting. He didn't just travel 100's of miles and randomly begin to shoot his victims, he had a plan in place. This is bigger than gaming, but violent White Supremacist + use social media + send an email, and the list goes on. If you see something say something (this is for everyone) and if there is something else that can be linked to the case of this shooter, may it be uncovered.

The President has yet to announce anything along the lines of an Anti-Black Hate Crime Bill, as seen with the overwhelming approval for the previously signed Anti-Asian Hate Crime Bill. It's worth an inquiry, but... regardless of what he decides, we all must do our part to combat terrorism... which should be a bit easier to do domestically. The shooter literally threatened to commit a mass shooting at a graduation or do something afterward. He was not only released but wasn't seen as a threat when he purchased the guns ahead of the shooting (a year later). If you're thinking "WTF?!", then you're thinking the same thing that crossed my mind. Whoever made that decision deserves part of the blame.

Overall, our country could be even better if more people actually leveled up to become better and less hateful. The shooter is facing life in prison, as he deserves, and I hope it's a message to others that they should really consider being better humans. The wrong decision is all it takes to send you in the wrong direction, and his friends + family won't be in the cell with him. The only thing that may be accompanying him during the rest of his existence... is regret. I've seen racists in televised prison features who said they're reformed racists, defaced ink, and everything else. They realized they were alone and life changed in the blink of an eye, and it's very different living than you and I have access to.

Don't allow hate to ruin your life and rob you of Joy... for the sake of racism. Think of all the things you can do with the time you invested in hate, and when you look back, ask yourself was it worth it. There are elderly people living with regret as we speak, and I've worked in health care (imagine seeing someone with an illness wishing they lived life better). Will that be you? Doesn't have to be.

Tech gives us access to some pretty cool experiences and options to do a variety of things with, but... accountability is still a thing for end-users and developers. As for the average person, we definitely recommend some type of self-defense because we have the right to be safe. Live and let live!


Update:

After this post, another mass shooting occurred in Uvalde (Texas) where 2 teachers and 18 Elementary students were killed. The motives of this shooter were unclear, but he reportedly shot his grandmother before driving to the school to carry out the mass murder. One thing remains the same, he posted online. His post showed guns, but he also messaged someone who was allegedly a complete stranger to him on Instagram. He didn't come out and say directly that he was going to commit a mass shooting, but that's exactly what he did.

We can look at Tech for sure, there should be more done to make sure that precautions are taken in terms of gun pics being posted online. Maybe there needs to be some sort of phone notification that shares location if gun pics are to be posted. I don't know, but fingers can't only be posted in the direction of the tech industry or the average Joe who saw something and said nothing, we need the Government to be a bit more proactive. You never want to get that call that something like this happened and your little one might be harmed, ever. I wish this monster would've said more to warrant the IG user to report him, but who knows if it would've been taken seriously as it should? The same applies to the monster mentioned above. What safeguards can be put in place for schools, that make them a place safer to actually attend? So many questions, but with precious lives on the line, they're worth answering.

I know that tech company have setups that don't allow certain entry into the buildings, and one person can't just follow behind someone else to gain entry in some cases (aka no piggybacking). So there are options, and I hope to see more of them put into practice. Be safe out there, and (again) if you see something, say something.




Support this post by being safe and not spreading hate!

Top Audiences Last Week + Galak-Z!

Congrats to the 2022 Graduates!

Top 10... let's go!

USA

Germany

Canada

United Kingdom

France

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Netherlands

Australia

Sweden

Belgium


So Close:
Indonesia
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FTS: Return of the PC Gaming Show

Get Ready for the Return of the PC Gaming Show on
Sunday, June 12, at 12:30 PM PDT / 3:30 PM EDT / 8:30 PM BST

Tune in to watch reveals, trailers, and interviews from more than 45 outstanding titles from across the gaming world

LOS ANGELES  May 19, 2022 – The world's first and only annual showcase of upcoming PC games and hardware returns on Sunday, June 12, at 12:30 PM PDT / 3:30 PM EDT / 8:30 PM BST on Twitch and YouTube. Now in its eighth year, the PC Gaming Show will feature a mix of exclusive world announcements, brand-new trailers, and interviews with developers from all over the globe.

"We want the PC Gaming Show to convey just how permanently vibrant this hobby is," says PC Gamer Global Editor-in-Chief Evan Lahti. "PC gaming contains multitudes – it's a big tent of creativity. This year's show puts high-end projects like Arma 4 side-by-side with boutique gems from Klei, tinyBuild, and Maximum Games, stunning indie sci-fi, and an ambitious modding project that builds on the acclaimed Half-Life: Alyx."

This year’s PC Gaming Show will be hosted by Sean 'Day[9]' Plott and Mica Burton. PC Gamer’s 2010 “Gamer of the Year,” Sean 'Day[9]' Plott is a gaming and esports player, host, and personality whose videos attract more than two million views each month. Mica Burton is an actress, digital content creator, live event presenter, and professional cosplayer whose credits include hosting the Overwatch League for Blizzard Entertainment and Star Trek Day for CBS.

Last year’s PC Gaming Show attracted more than 36 million viewers, and this year’s event will feature more games than ever before, with over 45 exciting titles included. Here’s a sneak peek at some of this year’s incredible lineup:

  • An unannounced game from 11-bit studios
  • A brand-new project from Klei Entertainment
  • An exclusive interview on Arma 4 with Bohemia Interactive
  • The final trailer for Sam Barlow's mind-bending Immortality
  • New gameplay of the ambitious mod project Half-Life: Alyx - Levitation
  • An update on Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2 from Saber Interactive's Tim Willits
  • First gameplay from the highly anticipated grand strategy game Victoria 3

"We feel more strongly than ever that the PC deserves its own place amidst the hectic schedule of summer reveals," says PC Gamer Brand Director Tim Clark. "I've been blown away by the sheer quality and variety of projects that we've been able to include, and we can’t wait to pull the curtain back on our biggest show yet."

During the show, one viewer will also have the chance to win a dream PC from the custom builders at iBUYPOWER.



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