Weekly Wrap: Freelance & Creative News

YouTube shares number of deleted videos. Facebook opens up about censorship. Game of Thrones book update...And More.

Inventor ‘Guilty” of Killing Journalist

Danish inventor Paul Madsen was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for killing journalist Kim Wall.

If you don’t know the backstory… Madsen had a self-built submarine. Wall had been researching his venture and went to interview him. She set off on the submarine with Madsen, and her body was found mutilated 11 days later.

At one point, Madsen admitted he dismembered her body and tossed her overboard. But, he has changed his story numerous times, and he plans to appeal the decision, the BBC reported.

YouTube Removed Over 8 Million Videos

YouTube removed 8.3 million videos in the last quarter of 2017, and of them, around 5 million were deleted before they received a single view, the company reported. Most of the deleted videos were reportedly spam or adult content.

These revelations came from YouTube’s first Community Guidelines Enforcement Report. YouTube plans to publish these reports quarterly, and the company is rolling out a Reporting History dashboard that lets users see the status of videos they have flagged for review, say Variety.

Facebook Releases Community GuideLines

This week, Facebook published its Community Standards. These guidelines are given to the company’s content moderators, which are the people who decide whether posts get deleted. The release is reportedly an effort to be more transparent and to spark dialogue. The release is reportedly an effort by Facebook to be more transparent about its censorship polices, and the company claims they hope it spark dialogue.

According to the Washington Post, the standards have ballooned from one page in 2008 to 27 pages today.

Facebook has also tweaked its content censorship process. In the past, if your post was removed, you received a generic message saying you violated the community standards. Now, you will be informed whether your violation was due to nudity, hate speech, and graphic violence. Facebook is also allowing users to appeal deleted posts, the Washington Post reported.

Boston Globe Probing Its Columnist

The Boston Globe requested a probe of columnist Kevin Cullen’s work and placed him on paid leave in the mean time. The newspaper did not say why. However, the New York Post says Boston radio station WEEI has pointed to inconsistencies in Cullen’s coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Square To Buy Weebly

Square is buying Weebly in a $365 million deal. Most us know Square for its payment services, although the company has bought other businesses in other fields. Weebly is website building company whose niche is making website design really easy for average users.

Square says that by acquiring Weebly, it can create “one cohesive solution” for entrepreneurs looking to build an online and offline business, TechCrunch reported.

No New Game of Thrones in 2018

Author George R.R. Martin said his upcoming book The Winds of Winter will not be released in 2018. “You’re going to have to keep waiting…” he wrote on his blog.

And fans have been anxiously waiting since the fifth book in the seven book series, A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire) was published in 2011.

But, if you can’t live without something from Martin, you’re in luck because on November 20,  he is releasing Fire & Blood, a hardcover a tie-in book with illustrations, says CNN.

Jim Comey’s Book Sells 600,000 Copies in First Week

Former FBI director James Comey’s new book A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership reportedly sold 600,000 copies in its first week, including print, audio, and e-books. The publisher, Flatiron Books, has cranked out over 1 million print copies, and they’re expecting to burn through that entire stack by next week, says Deadline.

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Fallen Creators

Arthur Hulnik, ex-CIA, professor and author, died at age 82. His most notable work was Fixing the Spy Machine: Preparing American Intelligence for the Twenty-First Century, which is described as “a blueprint for improving the U.S. intelligence community.  He also wrote Keeping Us Safe: Secret Intelligence and Homeland Security.


Chicana photographer Laura Aguilar died at age 58. Her work  explored the “lived realities of members of various marginalized groups, including women, lesbians, Latinas, the working class, overweight people, and those with learning disabilities, says ARTnews.

The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University in Miami, FL has an Aguilar exhibit running until June 3.

Upcoming Podcasts

May 9: John Levenstein’s Retirement Party Emerges

Writer, actor and producer John Levenstein will tap his history in show business to offer personal stories from the writers’ room as well as advice on topics, including health, finances, dream real estate destinations, and settling feuds. The 10-episode season will be co-hosted by actress and writer Mary Kobayashi.

It will only be available to Stitcher premium subscribers.

May 17: Paul Scheer and Amy Nicholson Launch Unspooled

Actor and comedian Paul Scheer and film critic Amy Nicholson will focus on American Film Insitute’s list of 100 greatest movies. Their episodes will include talks with artists and filmmakers.

May 23: Matt McConkey Releases Lost & Found

The writer will host intimate conversations with prominent comedians, writers and actors affected by the adoption experience.


June 8: Michael Ian Black’ s Delivers Obscure

The actor and comedian read Jude the Obscure, a Thomas Hardy novel. He’ll add his commentary and have special guests.

This is also a Stitcher premium podcast.

Schedule IT

June 8: Richard Wright 7th Annual Black Tie Gala

This is a black-tie fundraiser for the Richard Wright Public Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts. The event will be hosted by 3-time Grammy-nominee Raheem Devaughn. Tickets $100

Aug 19 – 29 & Aug 31 – Sept. 10: Discovery Tours Tanzania Photography Tour

This is an 11-day experience with award-winning photographers who will offer hands-on training. It’s open to all skill levels. And it includes luxury accommodations and service. The prices $7995 for single occupancy. View the itinerary or book here.

Sept. 9: 3rd Annual Fredricksburg Independent Book Festival

Held in Fredricksburg, VA , this gathering features 100 indie authors writing in a variety of genres. There will be panels, food and drinks. I’m not sure how much it costs for the public. Maybe it’s free. But if you want to be an exhibitor, prices vary. Get details here.

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