Platforms & Communities Reporter, The Verge
Mia Sato is a reporter at The Verge covering tech companies, platforms, and users. Since joining The Verge in 2021, she’s reported on the war in Ukraine and the spread of propaganda on TikTok; Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter; and how tech platforms and digital publishers are using artificial intelligence tools.
Sato has written about tech platforms and communities since 2019. Before joining Vox Media she was a reporter at MIT Technology Review, where she covered the intersection of technology and the coronavirus pandemic. Prior to that she served as the audience engagement editor at The Markup. As a freelance reporter, she’s written about the subversive Hmong radio shows hosted on conference call software, online knitting activism, and the teens running businesses in Instagram comment sections. Her work has appeared in outlets like The New Republic, The Appeal, and Chicago Magazine. She is based in Brooklyn.
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Users in more than 160 new countries will be able to add music they find on TikTok to their streaming platform of choice, TikTok announced today. The “add to music app” feature launched in the US in November, integrating platforms like Spotify and Apple Music with the video app.
Music discovery is huge on TikTok, but the relationship between labels and the tech company are tenuous: earlier this month UMG pulled its entire catalogue from TikTok, including Taylor Swift and Drake, due to disagreements on compensation.
House Fresh, a blog focused on air quality, is just the kind of source you might want when you’re shopping for an air purifier — but it’s getting harder and harder to find them.
In a post titled, “How Google is killing independent sites like ours,” managing editor Gisele Navarro explains how bigger publishers like BuzzFeed, Better Homes & Gardens, and Rolling Stone outrank the independent site in Google Search:
These Digital Goliaths shouldn’t be able to use product recommendations as their personal piggy bank, simply flying through Google updates off the back of ‘the right signals,’ an old domain, or the echo of a reputable brand that is no longer.
As a team that has dedicated the last few years to testing and reviewing air purifiers, it’s disheartening to see our independent site be outranked by big-name publications that haven’t even bothered to check if a company is bankrupt before telling millions of readers to buy their products.
With more than 8 million concurrent live streams for the event, spokesperson Allison Toh says Super Bowl LVIII is now the most-watched event ever on YouTube TV — and more broadly was the “most-watched telecast in history.”
TV is shaping up to be a focus for YouTube. Earlier in February, YouTube CEO Neal Mohan announced that the platform’s subscription TV service had more than 8 million subscribers.
Kids applying to high school are using ChatGPT to write their personal essays — and then paying editors to de-AI them to evade detection.
Consultants on platforms like Fiverr told Forbes that like other AI-generated writing, the essays have repetitive “tells” that indicate AI tools were involved. Some clunky phrases like “aligns seamlessly with my aspirations” and “stems from a deep-seated passion” understandably set off alarm bells. Then there are the innocuous words that are now apparently red flags:
“I no longer believe there’s a way to innocently use the word ‘tapestry’ in an essay; if the word ‘tapestry’ appears, it was generated by ChatGPT.”
I love living in New York because there’s always something exciting happening — like a curbside demo of a very normal-looking garbage truck lifting a bin while Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind” is blasting in the background.
New York is undergoing “trash containerization,” meaning buildings won’t be able to just throw bags of garbage on the sidewalk (yes, it’s disgusting, and yes, the rats love it). The new trucks will be able to pick up extra large bins made to accommodate millions of pounds of trash everyday.