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This Week In Technology: YouTube, Russia, And More


YouTube To Release Free Shows

After months of pushing a subscription-based TV streaming service, YouTube announced that they would release 9 new programs for all users. On Thursday, during an event in New York for advertisers and media, YouTube made their first move in moving away from paywall content. Most of the YouTube Premium users bought the service for ad-free watching, amongst other perks. YouTube said that they have also received increased pressure from advertisers for more television-like content to put ads on.

The nine new programs include a documentary about popular channel Dude Perfect. It also includes a “choose your own adventure” type series featuring popular video gamer YouTube star Mark Fischbach, known online as Markiplier. In addition, more programs are set to be announced later in the year. However, current YouTube originals are set to remain behind the paywall for the time being.

Russia Tightens Internet Restrictions

The Russian government recently passed a law that gives it more control over the internet. With the new law, any private system that exchanges data over the internet must share even more data with Russian regulators. It also gives the regulators more power over what Russian citizens can see or post on the internet.

Currently, internet firms have until November 1st to comply with the new regulations. In response, many protests have sprung up across the country. Russia said that the move is an attempt to keep all Russian internet data within its borders. The long term plan is to have all data pass through routing points that the government has a tight watch on.

Facebook Deletes More Accounts

Facebook announced that they had deleted more accounts and pages linked to Russia and the spread of misleading information across the internet. They confirmed 97 accounts from Russia that targeted Ukraine and another 21 that focused on other European countries.

This is in addition to the staggering 3,000-odd they removed in March linked to both Iran and Russia. The removal of accounts spreading fake news is just another effort to curb the use of Facebook for propaganda. It also is an attempt to paint Facebook in a better light after it has faced increasingly more intense scrutiny.

Microsoft Launches New Cloud Service

On Thursday, Microsoft released new tools for software makers focused on creating better AI services and better blockchain services. They aimed the tools to make those services easier for businesses to use. As Microsoft continues to grow its cloud services, the gap between them and rival company Amazon continues to shrink. These new tools, released a week before a developer conference, are set to help businesses immensely.

Verizon Looks To Sell Tumblr

Verizon is currently looking to sell social blogging site Tumblr. After purchasing it back in 2017, Verizon wants to sell it to increase the attractiveness of Verizon Media Group, Verizon’s parent company. However, Verizon declined to comment on the report.