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2023: Trump’s Return To Facebook Could Be Major Fundraising Boost

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NEW YORK – The decision by the company that owns Facebook to quickly restore Donald Trump’s account comes at a crucial time in the former president’s campaign to get back into office.

The only declared candidate in the 2024 race, whose campaign has been criticized for a slow start, could make a lot more money if he took back control of his social media accounts.

Trump is also thinking about going back to Twitter, which he used to connect with his supporters in the past in a way that was both effective and personal.

He was barred from posting on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites for his role in inciting violence in the deadly insurgency at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.

By thinking about going back to the platforms that turned him down, Trump is admitting that Truth Social, the social media company he started last year, doesn’t come close to the reach of the biggest platforms. He currently has 4.84 million Truth Social followers, far fewer than the 87.7 million who follow his Twitter account, the 34 million who follow him on Facebook, and the 23.4 million who follow Meta’s Instagram.

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Trump’s Social Media Was Unlocked In November

Trump’s Twitter account was unlocked in November, shortly after Elon Musk bought the company, but Trump has refused to use it, claiming that he is happier on Truth.

However, while Twitter has long been Trump’s platform for airing his grievances — and has received far more attention — for his new campaign, Facebook is ultimately about money.

The business executive and reality TV star’s 2016 campaign was a first of its kind because it used the power of Facebook’s digital advertising tools. And his 2016 and 2020 campaigns spent millions of dollars on advertisements critical to his small-dollar fundraising efforts.

Meta, the company that owns Facebook, decided to bring him back on Wednesday. This is likely to help his current campaign raise millions of dollars, collect emails, and find voters.

“I think this is first and foremost about fundraising for Trump,” said Katie Harbath, a Bipartisan Policy Center fellow and former Facebook public policy director. “He wants to keep getting emails and addresses for fundraising, which the platform has always been very important to the campaign.”

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Personal Appeals From Users

During his suspension from Facebook, Trump’s political operation continued to fundraise on the site but could not run ads directly from him or in his voice — appeals that Harbath said are far more powerful.

“Personal appeals are always the most effective,” she says. “And people haven’t seen that in a long time in their feeds.”

The reinstatement comes at a great time for Trump, who has been struggling in the first few months of his 2024 campaign to bring back the energy of his first two campaigns. On Saturday, he plans to visit two early-voting states, New Hampshire and South Carolina, for his first official campaign event.

Even though Trump and his team are thinking about using the social media brands that helped him get where he is now, big problems could come up.

After being banned from Twitter and Facebook, the former president founded Truth Social, a Twitter clone. He typically posts multiple times per day on his social media site, sharing thoughts, insults, and campaign videos, as well as reposting messages from his supporters, as he did on Twitter.

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Cannot Post On Another Site For 6 Hours

According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last May, Trump agreed to make Truth Social the “first channel” for “any social media communications and posts coming from his profile” as part of his deal with Digital World Acquisition Corp. to take it public.

This includes a clause that says the former president is “generally required to make any social media post on TruthSocial and can’t make the same post on another social media site for 6 hours.” This clause goes into effect on December 22, 2021, and lasts for 18 months, until December 22, 2025.

However, Trump “may make a post from a personal account related to political messaging, political fundraising, or get-out-the-vote efforts on any social media site at any time,” according to the statement.

Some people who support Trump think that this line gives him the right to post political messages whenever he wants, even though he is still not running for office.

Former Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, CEO of Trump Media & Technology Group, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Trump’s obligations are clear from the SEC filing, but he declined to elaborate. Requests for comment were returned by something other than Digital World or its CEO, Patrick Orlando.

trump

Trump Spouting More Hatred

“I think this is more of an ego question than a legal question,” Harbath said, adding that he expects Trump to start advertising on Facebook before resuming messaging. “The man enjoys putting on a show.”

There are questions about whether federal stock exchange regulators will let Digital World merge with Truth Social and go public. Trump, who owns the most shares of Truth Social, will not get shares in the new company, which could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Stock in Digital World has plummeted since rumors spread that Trump may resume posting on rival social media platforms. Even though the broader comparative market has barely moved, the potential Truth Social partner has dropped 30% since Twitter reinstated Trump’s account last year.

So far, Trump has insisted on sticking with Truth, claiming that he prefers the engagement on the site, where fringe content predominates.

But, according to two people familiar with the discussions who spoke anonymously to disclose private conversations, Trump has been talking about returning to Twitter in recent weeks. NBC News says that this has included talking about possible first tweets that would have the most effect.

A spokesperson for Trump’s campaign wouldn’t say anything about Trump’s plans for social media, including his possible return.

But, while Meta deliberated, Trump’s campaign lobbied for his reinstatement.

Metas Vice President Is Ready For Trumps Return

In a letter this month, lawyer Scott Gast asked the company to let Trump back. He said that keeping the ban in place “would be, in Mr. Clegg’s words, a deliberate effort by a private company to silence Mr. Trump’s political voice.”

That’s Meta’s vice president of global affairs, Nick Clegg.

“Moreover, every day that President Trump’s political voice is silenced contributes to an inappropriate interference in the American political and electoral processes,” wrote attorney Gast.

Trump may also face restrictions on the type of content he can share on the platform.

Clegg stated in a blog post announcing Meta’s decision that “the public should be able to hear what their politicians are saying — the good, the bad, and the ugly — so that they can make informed choices at the ballot box.”

At the same time, he said that the company would set up new “guardrails” and that Trump would be suspended again if he posted “more content that broke the rules.”

And if Trump or anyone else posts material that does not violate Facebook’s rules but is otherwise harmful — for example, content that attempts to delegitimize an upcoming election or is related to the QAnon conspiracy theory — Clegg said Meta would take action to limit the material’s reach.

It could also temporarily bar Trump from using its advertising tools.

SOURCE – (AP)

 

Business

Sony To Lay Off 900 At PlayStation As Tough Times For The Video Games Industry Persist

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Sony said on Tuesday that it will lose 900 jobs, or 8% of PlayStation’s global workforce.

According to a PlayStation news statement, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s layoffs will affect all regions, with its in-house London studio, which is responsible for the competitive singing video game “Singstar,” closing entirely.

“These are incredibly talented people who have contributed to our success, and we are very grateful,” said Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. “However, the industry has changed immensely, and we need to future ready ourselves to set the business up for what lies ahead.”

sony

Sony To Lay Off 900 At PlayStation As Tough Times For The Video Games Industry Persist

According to Bloomberg, the personnel cut comes after the business lowered its sales expectations for the year and Naomi Matsuouka, Sony’s senior vice president, stated that the PlayStation 5 console was nearing the end of its lifecycle.

Ryan stated in September that he would resign as president of Sony Group Corporation in March. Hiroki Totoki, the COO and CFO, will serve as interim CEO.

sony

Sony To Lay Off 900 At PlayStation As Tough Times For The Video Games Industry Persist

The incoming CEO will face an entire tech sector in turmoil, with industry giants laying off 5,500 staff in the first two weeks of 2024 alone.

Specifically, the video gaming industry has seen employment losses from 2023 into this year, with Epic Games slashing 830 workers last September and Tencent’s Riot Games laying off 11% of its workforce in January.

sony

Sony To Lay Off 900 At PlayStation As Tough Times For The Video Games Industry Persist

In his email to employees, Ryan echoed the leadership of those other game firms, saying, “We had to step back, look at our business holistically, and move forward focusing on the company’s long-term sustainability and delivering the best experiences possible for our community.”

Sony Group Corporation’s (SONY) stock declined less than 1% after the announcement on Tuesday.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Sideways Moon Landing Cuts Mission Short, Private US Lunar Lander Will Stop Working Tuesday

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – A private US lunar lander’s mission was cut short after landing sideways near the moon’s south pole. It is likely to stop operational on Tuesday.

Intuitive Machines, the Houston-based firm that developed and flew the spacecraft, announced Monday that it will continue to collect data until the solar panels no longer receive sunlight. Officials estimate this to happen early Tuesday, based on the Earth’s and moon’s positions. That falls two to three days short of the week that NASA and other clients had anticipated.

The lander, dubbed Odysseus, is the first U.S. spacecraft to land on the moon in over 50 years, carrying experiments for NASA, the primary sponsor. However, it arrived too quickly last Thursday, and the foot of one of its six legs caught on the surface, forcing it to tip over, according to company authorities.

According to photographs taken by NASA’s lunar reconnaissance orbiter, Odysseus landed within a mile (1.5 kilometres) of its planned target at the Malapert A crater, roughly 185 miles (300 kilometres) from the moon’s south pole.

The LRO shots from 56 miles (90 km) above show the lander on the surface, but it is hardly visible in the blurry images. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s camera-ejecting experiment, which was supposed to record photographs of the lander as they both dropped, was called off shortly before touchdown due to a last-minute navigation difficulty.

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Sideways Moon Landing Cuts Mission Short, Private US Lunar Lander Will Stop Working Tuesday

According to NASA, the lander landed in a small, deteriorated crater with a 12-degree slope. That is the closest a spacecraft has ever gotten near the south pole, which is important due to probably frozen water in the permanently shadowed craters.

NASA, which intends to land astronauts in this region in the coming years, paid Intuitive Machines $118 million to bring six experiments to the surface. Other customers had things on board.

moon

Sideways Moon Landing Cuts Mission Short, Private US Lunar Lander Will Stop Working Tuesday

Instead of landing upright, the 14-foot (4.3-meter) Odysseus landed on its side, limiting its connection with Earth. The overturned lander covered up some antennas, and those that remained exposed ended up near the ground, resulting in intermittent communications. The solar panels were much closer to the surface than expected, which was less than optimal given the mountainous terrain. Even in the best circumstances, Odysseus only had a week to function on the surface before the long lunar night began.

Since the 1960s, only the United States, Russia, China, India, and Japan have successfully landed on the moon, with the United States being the only one with crews. Japan’s lander also ended up on the wrong side last month.

Despite its tilted landing, Intuitive Machines was the first private company to join the privileged group. Another American company, Astrobotic Technology, attempted it last month but could not reach the moon due to a fuel leak.

moon

Sideways Moon Landing Cuts Mission Short, Private US Lunar Lander Will Stop Working Tuesday

Intuitive Machines almost failed as well. Ground teams only activated the lander’s navigational lasers after its launch from Florida on February 15. The mistake was noticed when Odysseus circled the moon, forcing flight controllers to rely on a NASA laser-navigating gadget only on board as an experiment.

As it turned out, NASA’s test lasers guided Odysseus to a nearly perfect landing, marking the first moon landing by a U.S. spacecraft since the Apollo programme.

Twelve Apollo astronauts walked on the moon from 1969 to 1972. While NASA occasionally sent satellites around the moon, the United States launched another moon-landing mission this month. Astrobotic’s aborted voyage was the first in NASA’s programme to promote commercial lunar delivery.

Both Intuitive Machines and Astrobotics have NASA contracts for additional lunar landings.

SOURCE – (AP)

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AI Chip Firm Nvidia Valued At $2tn

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Nvidia’s market value has reached $2 trillion (£1.58 trillion), marking a new milestone in the chipmaker’s meteoric rise to the ranks of the world’s most valuable corporations.

Shares of the Silicon Valley corporation gained more than 4% in opening trading on Friday before falling slightly.

The gains built on the company’s impressive earnings announcement earlier this week.

nvidia

AI Chip Firm Nvidia Valued At $2tn

The company is profiting from improvements in artificial intelligence (AI), which has boosted demand for its processors.

The company’s turnover doubled last year to more than $60 billion, and CEO Jensen Huang told investors this week that demand was “surging” worldwide.

The corporation, which became worth $1 trillion less than a year ago, is now the world’s fourth most valuable publicly traded company, trailing Microsoft, Apple, and Saudi Aramco.

nvidia

AI Chip Firm Nvidia Valued At $2tn

After shares fell from their early Friday highs, the company’s market capitalization ended the day just under $2 trillion.

Nvidia was founded in 1993 and was originally recognized for producing computer processors that processed images, primarily for computer games.

Long before the AI revolution, it began adding capabilities to its chips that it claims to aid in machine learning, which has helped it acquire market dominance.

It is currently regarded as a vital company to monitor how quickly AI-powered technology spreads throughout the commercial world.

The firm’s stock price has more than tripled the previous year, from less than $240 per share to about $800 in midday trading on Friday.

On Thursday, the day after its earnings release, purchasers snapped up shares, boosting its value by $277 billion, the greatest one-day rise in Wall Street history.

He research has also contributed to a larger market rise, appearing to persuade investors that, as Derren Nathan of Hargreaves Lansdown put it, the AI boom is “living up to the hype”.

nvidia

AI Chip Firm Nvidia Valued At $2tn

“It’s being used in automotive for design, in telecommunications for network planning, and in mainstream companies to figure out and get insights into data that they haven’t been able to get before,” Bob
O’Donnell, a technology analyst based in the United States, told the BBC earlier this week.

“This is now really starting to hit the kinds of companies across the board, not just specialized tech companies and that’s a real tipping point for the industry.”

SOURCE – (BBC)

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