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The Week That Was: IT and Media news week 18

Social media is now the largest advertising channel worldwide having overtaken paid search and is forecast to total $247.3 billion this year, up 14.3% year-on-year. Time spent with social platforms has increased by 50% since 2014, from an average daily consumption of 95 minutes to 152 minutes in 2024. Worldwide user numbers across social platforms have risen 169% since 2014, marketing giant WARC says in a report on global advertising trends.

78% think social media have too much power and influence in politics, according to a new US-survey by Pew Research Center published prior to the US election in November. The EU Commission is also focusing on social media’s influence prior to the European Parliament elections in June. The Commission has just opened formal proceedings to see if Meta, owner of Facebook and Instagram, may have breached the Digital Services Act by not stopping deceptive advertising and political content on its services. 

91% in the European advertising industry are already using or experimenting with GenAI, a report from Microsoft Advertising and IAB Europe shows. The survey found that those using GenAI daily note that it can be a solution for a variety of business cases such as developing content and creatives. “However, when it comes to trust in Generative AI, opinions were more varied. 45% neither agree nor disagree that they trust Gen AI.”

States and other political forces are playing a decreasing role in protecting press freedom, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says in its World Press Freedom Index published on World Press Freedom Day on May 3. “The war in Gaza has been marked by a record number of violations against journalists and the media since October 2023. More than 100 Palestinian reporters have been killed by the Israel Defence Forces, including at least 22 in the course of their work”, says Anne Bocandé, RSF editorial director.

The lack of cybersecurity specialists can threaten economic stability and technological innovation. In today’s hyper connected digital landscape, the cybersecurity industry faces a critical global shortage of nearly 4 million professionals, World Economic Forum says in a White Paper. “With a consistent year-on-year increase in demand for qualified practitioners, the deficit shows no sign of abating.”

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