Popular YouTuber Desmond ‘Etika’ Amofah found dead


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Desmond Amofah, a popular YouTube personality known as Etika who created Nintendo-centric videos, was found dead, the New York Police Department said today. The NYPD had been searching for Amofah since he went missing last week after posting a video discussing suicidal thoughts.

The NYPD first confirmed Amofah’s disappearance as a missing person’s case on June 20th, approximately 36 hours after Amofah uploaded an eight-minute video to his secondary YouTube channel, TR1Iceman, voicing suicidal thoughts. The video was later removed by YouTube for violating the company’s community guidelines. It has since been reuploaded by other people. Police later discovered Amofah’s belongings on the side of the Manhattan Bridge on Saturday night, as r…

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YouTube looks to demonetization as punishment for major creators, but it doesn’t work


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When YouTube wanted to punish political pundit Steven Crowder amid widespread outcry over his homophobic comments, its first move was to disable Crowder’s ability to run ads on his videos. The punishment was meant to revoke a key source of income, presenting a strong incentive for Crowder to change his behavior. But Crowder didn’t care, “This really isn’t that big of a ding for us,” he said.

Crowder sells T-shirts, hats, stickers, and subscriptions for more videos through his website, which is where he’s indicated most of his channel’s money comes from. Selling merchandise and subscriptions through other platforms isn’t just a way for creators to make more money, it’s also a way for creators to insulate themselves from YouTube’s…

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Warner Bros. hires first female CEO in studio history


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Warner Bros. has hired former BBC executive Ann Sarnoff as its new CEO, marking the first time in studio history that a woman is at the helm of the company.

Sarnoff will join John Stankey, CEO of WarnerMedia, as a top executive overseeing content as the company heads into a streaming-heavy future. She’s stepping in to replace Kevin Tsujihara, who left the company after a Hollywood Reporter story about using his influence to help Charlotte Kirk’s acting career after they began a sexual relationship. Sarnoff is the only woman among a sea of men at the WarnerMedia executive level, including Bob Greenblatt, Jeff Zucker, Kevin Reilly, and Casey Bloys.

“Ann has shown the ability to innovate and grow revenues and has embraced the evolution…

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YouTube can’t remove kid videos without tearing a hole in the entire creator ecosystem


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Jake Paul (left) with four-year-old vlogger, Tydus.

As a federal investigation into YouTube’s problems with children enters its late stages, the platform needs a solution. But as YouTube struggles to find a fix that addresses policymakers’ concerns, it’s left with a major roadblock: children have become integral to the overarching creator community.

Whether it’s six-year-olds reviewing toys and landing on YouTube’s Trending page, kids’ reaction videos attracting millions of views, or top-tier vloggers teaming up with four-year-olds to create more family-centric content, the platform has become a destination for videos starring kids. In 2017, Time magazine reported being told by YouTube that “time spent watching family vloggers is up 90 percent in the past year.” Melissa Hunter, a…

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Good Omens protesters demand show be removed from completely wrong company


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It’s a truth universally acknowledged, that an angry fan online must be in search of a website to launch a mostly useless petition. A recent protest from a Christian group asking Netflix to remove Good Omens from its library is a perfect example — except that Good Omens isn’t part of Netflix’s library, because it’s an Amazon show.

The petition was first reported by The Guardian, which discovered that a Christian organization known as the Return to Order campaign launched the petition on its website asking Netflix to remove the series, which is an adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s beloved satirical novel from 1990 about the apocalypse. The petition argued the show was another flagrant attempt to “make satanism appear…

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Dr Disrespect’s suspension is a big moderation moment for Twitch


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Guy “Dr DisRespect” Beahm at E3.

Last week, Twitch banned one of its top streamers — Guy Beahm, better known as Dr Disrespect — for broadcasting from a public bathroom at E3. The ban now puts Twitch in a tricky position: Twitch needs to show that violating the company’s guidelines comes with real punishment, but a lengthy suspension means losing one of the platform’s biggest stars to competitors, like YouTube.

Beahm is one of Twitch’s most popular streamers, with more than 3.2 million followers and approximately 20,000 paid subscribers, according to analytics firm SocialBlade. Subscribers pay at least $5 per month, which Twitch typically takes a 50 percent cut of, while non-subscribers are served with ads before the stream kicks in, with Twitch earning the majority of…

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YouTube facing investigation from federal government over inability to protect children


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YouTube’s ongoing problems surrounding content that involves children has led to an investigation from the federal government, according to a new Washington Post report.

The Federal Trade Commission is said to be investigating YouTube’s data collection practices and failure to protect children, according to the Post. The investigation is reported to be in its late stages and was brought about after complaints from consumer groups and privacy advocates. The investigation also follows numerous reports and investigations from publications over the last several months demonstrating how YouTube’s autoplay and recommendation feature allows predators to take advantage of content on the platform featuring children. A spokesperson for the FTC…

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Avengers: Endgame is returning to theaters with a new post-credits scene


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Avengers: Endgame is finally getting an official post-credits scene, with a limited-time rerelease in theaters this weekend.

Marvel Studios co-president Kevin Feige told Screen Rant that a new version of Endgame will appear in theaters that has a couple of additional scenes not in the original. Feige said if people “stay and watch the movie, after the credits, there’ll be a deleted scene, a little tribute, and a few surprises.”

The description suggests that Endgame’s additional materials won’t be akin to the quick post-credit scenes Marvel fans are accustomed to. Feige didn’t provide any additional details, but told Screen Rant the rerelease would roll into theaters “next weekend.” That’s one week before Spider-Man: Far From Home comes…

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YouTube executives reportedly mulling over removing all children’s content from main site


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Google executives are reportedly discussing whether to remove all children’s videos from the site and have them exist solely on the standalone YouTube Kids app, according to a new Wall Street Journal report.

The move is being discussed within Google’s executive unit, according to the Journal, with the idea to move every single piece of content starring children into YouTube Kids. The move would be the most aggressive change undertaken by Google to fight predatory behavior targeting children on the site. A YouTube spokesperson told The Verge the company considers “lots of ideas for improving YouTube and some remain just that — ideas.”

Other employees at Google and YouTube are also reportedly asking executives to consider turning off a…

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TikTok users are turning a top creator’s apology video into new TikTok creations


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TikTok’s Sebastian “RadicalSeb” Kretzmann.

TikTok users have been dueting with an apology video from one of the platform’s biggest creators in response to allegations of sexually inappropriate interactions with underage fans.

Sebastian Kretzmann, a member of the popular creator collective Strawberry Milk Gang who’s known by fans as “RadicalSeb,” was accused last week of sending graphic sexual messages to underage fans, including suggesting sexually explicit acts they wanted to perform. In response, fans have used TikTok as a way to voice their concern over the situation, many of whom are doing so with the platform’s duets feature, which lets them appear in split screen beside another person’s video to react, respond, or remix it.

Kretzmann is one of the most prolific creators on…

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J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot may sign an exclusive deal with AT&T for $500 million


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AT&T’s WarnerMedia is reportedly close to securing J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Pictures in a $500 million exclusivity deal, according to The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times, Deadline, The Los Angeles Times, and others.

Bad Robot Pictures and Abrams, which have produced television shows under the Warner Bros. TV label since 2006, were being courted by nearly every major player in the entertainment space over the last six months. Apple, Comcast, Netflix, Sony Entertainment and Amazon all reportedly held deals with Abrams, according to the Reporter. Aspects of the deal are still uncertain — including whether or not Abrams will be allowed to direct films for competitors, which was a clause in his previous deal. That’s why he could return…

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E3 proved that video game publishers want to become Netflix


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With the first details coming out around the next Xbox and PlayStation, you might expect those upcoming consoles to be the buzz of this year’s E3. But instead, subscription services have become the talk of the show, as seemingly every console maker and game publisher looks to shift the way that games are sold.

Every major publisher is racing to offer the first real “Netflix for games,” selling games to players via a monthly subscription service. Ubisoft is launching its own subscription service, UPlay Plus, and Final Fantasy publisher Square Enix is also looking to launch one too. That’s on top of Microsoft spending millions of dollars acquiring game studios in an attempt to fill out its catalog for Game Pass subscribers; EA’s Origin…

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The Doctor Sleep trailer is a terrifying return to the world of The Shining


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The Shining’s Danny Torrance is all grown up in the first trailer for Doctor Sleep.

A sequel to Stephen King’s beloved 1977 novel, Doctor Sleep follows an adult Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor) whose attempt to live a peaceful life is shattered when he encounters a teenager named Abra. Abra, like Danny, has a powerful extrasensory gift that she needs to use to take down an evil figure known as Rose the Hat and her followers, The True Knot. It’s through their inevitable team-up that Dan is forced to confront what happened to him as a child, and embrace the powers he’s lived with for so long.

The trailer is full of throwbacks to The Shining, including an ominous “redrum” spelled out on Danny’s bedroom wall. Whether it will be as terrifying…

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New Stranger Things mobile game will feel familiar to Pokémon Go players


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Finnish developer Next Games is partnering with Netflix for a Stranger Things mobile game that should appeal to Pokémon Go fans.

Simply called Stranger Things, the ‘80s cartoon-inspired game is described as a location-based puzzle RPG. Players will be able to walk around the Upside Down and “work with fellow fans to fight back its emerging evils,” according to a press release. Next Games is using Google Maps integrations so players can explore their own neighborhood with friends.

“Our core focus will be to deliver on Stranger Things’ rich and intense themes like friendship and supernatural adventure, and translate these into snack-sized entertainment on your mobile device,” Teemu Huuhtanen, CEO of Next Games, said in a press release.

N…

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YouTube is changing its notification system to address creator frustration


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YouTube creators have long bemoaned the company’s irregular and untrustworthy notification delivery system, but new product changes are looking to address those frustrations.

Notifications are now automatically set to personalized, according to a new blog post from the product team. That means that not everyone who subscribes is going to get the same videos delivered to their inbox. Under the new system — at least in theory — in order to receive notifications about every video a creator releases, people have to click subscribe, hit the golden bell icon, and ensure notifications are enabled on their account. If they don’t do this — and just hit the red subscribe button — they may not receive notifications for creators’ new videos,…

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E3 2019: 15 best trailers from the show


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Keanu Reeves in Cyberpunk 2077; Lil Jon’s “Let’s Go” playing throughout Gears 5; a new adorable droid in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. These were just a few of the best moments that helped make incredibly fun and memorable trailers at this year’s E3.

Without Sony, the show itself was a little slow — but surprise appearances from beloved actors like Reeves, Jon Bernthal, and Rob McElhenney more than made up for it. Well, them and some pretty cool gameplay footage debuted by Ubisoft, Microsoft, Square Enix, Nintendo, and EA.

From our first look at Square Enix’s Marvel’s Avengers game to a very cool new preview of CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077, here are the best trailers from E3.

EA

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

A single-player,…

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Facebook plans to unveil new Portal hardware this year


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New versions of the Facebook Portal, the social media company’s video-calling smart speaker that launched in November 2018, are coming this fall.

Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, Facebook’s vice president of AR/VR, told The Verge’s Casey Newton at Recode’s CodeCon the company has “lot more that we’re going to unveil later in this fall,” related to Portal, including “new form factors that we’re going to be shipping.”

It’s unclear what those new form factors look like, but TechCrunch speculated this could be the “Ripley” device that’s appeared in Portal firmware repositories. A report from Cheddar further suggested that “Ripley” would allow customers to attach a camera to the top of their television sets and bypass needing a device dedicated to…

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YouTube CEO apologizes to LGBTQ community after outcry


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YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki is apologizing to the LGBTQ community in the wake of the company’s failure to take more definitive action against conservative pundit Steven Crowder’s channel.

(Disclosure: Vox is a publication of Vox Media, which also owns The Verge.)

Wojcicki’s comments come after Vox host Carlos Maza tweeted a video compilation of Crowder making homophobic comments about Maza, including calling him a “lispy queer.” YouTube responded via Twitter about the situation, saying that, although the company didn’t agree with the statements Crowder made, his content didn’t violate the company’s policies. The decision led to mass outcry from YouTube creators, critics, and even employees at Google who signed a petition against…

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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is getting a story creator mode, and it’s out now


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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is getting a story creator mode, allowing players to create their own quests and share them with other players.

The mode uses a web-based tool to create narrative driven quests, according to a Ubisoft blog posted ahead of the company’s E3 presentation. There are six different quest objectives for players, including “assassination, rescue, or visiting a specific place,” according to the blog. Once the objective is chosen, people can create their own unique dialogue and path options. Players will also be able to use characters from Odyssey in their own stories. The quests that are created can be “shared and played on any platform, even if the creator and player are using different systems,” according to the blog.

U…

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Steven Spielberg is writing a horror series you’ll only be able to stream when it’s dark


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Steven Spielberg may not fully approve of digital entertainment competing with movies for eyes and accolades, but that isn’t stopping him from writing a horror series meant to be watched on phones. The twist on this one: you’ll only be able to watch it when it’s dark out.

Spielberg’s After Dark will play out over 10 to 12 episodes exclusively on Quibi (short for “Quick Bites”), a planned platform dedicated to short-form video, created by former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and former HP CEO Meg Whitman. Spielberg has already written “five or six episodes,” Katzenberg announced at the Banff World Media Festival in Canada, as reported by Variety.

Since Spielberg wanted the show to only be available at night, Quibi’s engineering…

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