There’s so much going on in the world and it can be difficult to understand it all at times — by reading this newsletter, you’re getting a digest of the biggest news this week, what it means and why it matters. If you like what you see, send it to a friend or ask them to sign up here.
Jayson DeMers is a prominent writer in many publications, but built his fame on a glaring lie
Jayson DeMers is a writer for the likes of Forbes, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, NBC News and Fox News and has also written for Inc., HuffPost, Time and the Wall Street Journal. He is a successful writer and is the CEO of a marketing company named AudienceBloom, a service that promotes brands in the media through product placement (ex. reviewing a brand without disclosing being paid, or needlessly mentioning a brand in an article).
BuzzFeed News discovered more than 20 instances where DeMers linked to clients without disclosing his relationship with them, and even obtained a pitch from an employee for the "premium tier," including a mention in Mashable for between $1,200 and $2,000.
Normal people might not think anything of this, but almost all publications have policies against contributors being paid to write about a person or entity and require this to be disclosed if they are in business with them — something that is also required by Google's Webmaster Guidelines. But DeMers built his business on deceiving the public and disobeying professional ethics rules, something which is now catching up to him as publications drop him as a contributor.
This week, Gizmodo takes an investigative approach to uncover the truth behind a women whose life was destroyed after a stranger made up a malicious lie about her and posted it on the internet. Monika Glennon, the victim, suffered at her job after being falsely portrayed as a "home-wrecker" on online smear websites and after $100,000 in lawyer fees, uncovered the person behind the scheme to be a complete stranger who was offended by something she said years ago.
Number of the week
Ontario Premiere Doug Ford announced unprecedented plans to shrink Toronto City Council from 47 seats to 25 to match the federal and provincial boundaries, forcing the current election to be cancelled. With more than 220 candidates registered to run and dozens having already spent money on their campaigns, this comes as a shock to many, especially since Ford made no indication that this would happen during his campaign for office.
City Council members have voted to study any legal ways of halting this move, which could possibly be seen as unconstitutional as it violates citizens rights to a fair and effective representation. The plan would, according to Beaches-East York Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon, cost more money, instead of saving it. The city is considering asking the province to put this motion to a referendum, to be conducted before the October 22 vote.
In case you missed it
✊🏻 The City of Memphis tracked Black Lives Matter activists on social media between 2016-2017 by creating fake Facebook profiles to "friend" and gain information from activists, according to a deposition. Not only did they collect information on the people who posted the information, but also data on the people who "liked" the posts, too.
☕️ In China, Starbucks is facing more competition than ever as it battles Luckin Coffee, a Beijing-based rival that launched only months ago but already has more than 500 locations. Interestingly around half of these are delivery-only locations, forcing Starbucks to invest in delivery service Ele.me, which lets users order coffee from their phones.
🎞 The new plan for MoviePass is to restrict users from seeing new movies and raise the price by $5 per month in an attempt to make money after going bankrupt last week. Currently the service makes between $4 to $6 per quarter on each user, while making more — but not enough to support itself — with surcharges and peak pricing.
🚌A city-backed report from San Francisco has reported that SF has the slowest, most unmaintained transit system compared to 16 other cities, including Sacramento, Miami, Denver, Seattle, Washington and more. Both bus and light rail vehicle speeds are far behind other systems, being impacted by congestion, density and usage.
💻To battle Amazon and Netflix, Walmart is apparently thinking of creating its own video streaming service, and wants to undercut the competition by pricing it at $8 per month or less. This news comes based from a report that found East and West coast customers prefer existing services, but people living in the central region may be open to a lower-cost option.