Google CEO’s sunny new message: We want to be helpful

Google CEO Sundar Pichai takes the stage during the presentation of new Google hardware in San Francisco on Oct. 4, 2016. Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote the annual Founders’ Letter for its parent company Alphabet this week, and he sounded a theme familiar from his on-stage appearance at the company’s Google I/O conference in May: Google wants to help you. Pichai writes, “Now we are focused on building an even more helpful Google for everyone. “One of our most helpful products is YouTube,” he wro


Google CEO Sundar Pichai takes the stage during the presentation of new Google hardware in San Francisco on Oct. 4, 2016. Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote the annual Founders’ Letter for its parent company Alphabet this week, and he sounded a theme familiar from his on-stage appearance at the company’s Google I/O conference in May: Google wants to help you. Pichai writes, “Now we are focused on building an even more helpful Google for everyone. “One of our most helpful products is YouTube,” he wro
Google CEO’s sunny new message: We want to be helpful Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-20  Authors: matt rosoff
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, ceos, products, pichai, wrote, sunny, google, help, letter, helping, videos, company, helpful, message


Google CEO's sunny new message: We want to be helpful

Google CEO Sundar Pichai takes the stage during the presentation of new Google hardware in San Francisco on Oct. 4, 2016.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote the annual Founders’ Letter for its parent company Alphabet this week, and he sounded a theme familiar from his on-stage appearance at the company’s Google I/O conference in May: Google wants to help you.

Although Pichai is not a founder, this is his second shot at the note — his first was in 2015, and actual co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have each written one since then.

But Pichai is clearly the public face of the company these days, and was the top Alphabet exec present to answer questions from shareholders on Wednesday as well.

His note reads like a response to growing scrutiny from regulators, press and employees. Over the last two years, Pichai has testified before Congress about political bias and privacy and faced a walkout from employees angry over reports that the company had paid big payments to departing execs accused of sexual misconduct. He has also faced criticism over reported plans to re-enter China with a censored search engine and to sell artificial intelligence technology to the U.S. military.

The affable CEO has handled this pressure with calm grace — as Page and Brin stayed out of the spotlight. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Justice is reportedly gearing up for a possible antitrust investigation.

In his letter, which appeared in an Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Wednesday, Pichai sounded a consistently sunny theme:

The company has moved on from its original goal of “organizing the world’s information.” Pichai writes, “Now we are focused on building an even more helpful Google for everyone. We aspire to give everyone the tools they need to increase their knowledge, health, happiness, and success.”

“Our products are designed to save you time in ways that add up over the course of a day,” he wrote, citing features like Google Translate and Smart Compose, which helps write emails more quickly.

“One of our most helpful products is YouTube,” he wrote, pointing out all the helpful educational how-to videos that people watch there. This comes after months of criticism about the site, including allegations that it radicalizes teenagers by guiding them toward extremist content, promotes videos of children to people who have already watched erotic videos, and applies rules about hate speech unevenly. (Later, Pichai does address these problems, noting that “removing hate speech is both a hard computer science problem and a hard societal problem ” and “problematic or borderline content on YouTube accounts for less than 1% of the consumption on the platform.”)

He writes: “We want to help you connect with the people and things you love,” like photos of family and friends, and “help you disconnect from technology when you want, with Digital Wellbeing features like WindDown to help you switch off at night, or our FamilyLink app, which helps you to manage your kids’ screen time.”

“We’re also challenging the notion that products need more data to be helpful” — a direct response to the criticism that Google and other large digital platforms invade users’ privacy.

The letter continues, highlighting how Google is helping people in developing countries with cheaper options to get online, helping local communities by investing in housing, helping save journalism with the $300 million Google News Initiative and so on.

Look for this theme of helpfulness to continue to be a big part of Google’s messaging as scrutiny of the company continues to grow.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-20  Authors: matt rosoff
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, ceos, products, pichai, wrote, sunny, google, help, letter, helping, videos, company, helpful, message


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Facebook content moderators break NDAs to expose shocking working conditions involving gruesome videos and feces smeared on walls

Conditions at the Tampa site are so strenuous that workers regularly put their health in danger, several people told The Verge. Following an earlier report that uncovered shocking working conditions at the vendor’s Phoenix facility, The Verge spoke with 12 current and former Cognizant content moderators in Tampa, Florida. Three of those former workers agreed to break their nondisclosure agreements signed as a condition of employment, according to The Verge. Cognizant told The Verge it is “transp


Conditions at the Tampa site are so strenuous that workers regularly put their health in danger, several people told The Verge. Following an earlier report that uncovered shocking working conditions at the vendor’s Phoenix facility, The Verge spoke with 12 current and former Cognizant content moderators in Tampa, Florida. Three of those former workers agreed to break their nondisclosure agreements signed as a condition of employment, according to The Verge. Cognizant told The Verge it is “transp
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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-19  Authors: lauren feiner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, facebook, content, walls, shocking, gruesome, feces, moderators, videos, work, tampa, involving, ndas, smeared, according, working, verge, site, told, cognizant


Facebook content moderators break NDAs to expose shocking working conditions involving gruesome videos and feces smeared on walls

Three former Facebook content moderators agreed to put themselves in legal jeopardy to expose the appalling working conditions they experienced while employed by a vendor for the tech giant, according to a new report by The Verge.

Workers reported a dirty office environment where they often find pubic hair and bodily waste around their desks. Conditions at the Tampa site are so strenuous that workers regularly put their health in danger, several people told The Verge. One worker kept a trash can by her desk to throw up while she was sick since she had already used all her allotted bathroom breaks. Cognizant is not required to offer sick leave in Florida. One man had a heart attack at his desk and died shortly after, The Verge reported, and the site has not yet gotten a defibrillator.

Following an earlier report that uncovered shocking working conditions at the vendor’s Phoenix facility, The Verge spoke with 12 current and former Cognizant content moderators in Tampa, Florida. Three of those former workers agreed to break their nondisclosure agreements signed as a condition of employment, according to The Verge. The Tampa site is Cognizant’s lowest-performing site under the Facebook contract in North America, according to the Verge, with an accuracy score of 92 compared with Facebook’s stated target of 98.

Shawn Speagle, one of the former moderators who went on the record, said he was not made aware of the extent of graphic content he would be exposed to while working for Cognizant. Cognizant told The Verge it is “transparent” about the type of work new hires will be expected to complete. Speagle told The Verge he has a history of anxiety and depression and has been diagnosed with PTSD since leaving the role at Cognizant.

On the job, Speagle recalled his first assignment involved watching a video of two teenagers smashing an iguana on the ground “until the thing was a bloody pulp.” The video was allowed to stay up under Facebook’s policies, according to The Verge.

“We work with our content review partners to provide a level of support and compensation that leads the industry,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “There will inevitably be employee challenges or dissatisfaction that call our commitment to this work and our partners’ employees into question. When the circumstances warrant action on the part of management, we make sure it happens.”

In a separate statement, a Facebook spokesperson addressed the death of the moderator who had a heart attack at the Tampa site and later died.

“Our thoughts go out to Keith Utley’s family, friends and everyone who worked with him,” the spokesperson said. “We go to great lengths to support the people that do this important work, and take any reports that we might not be doing enough incredibly seriously.”

In a statement, Cognizant said it “strives to create a safe and empowering workplace for its more than 40,000 employees in the US and their colleagues around the world. Like any large employer, Cognizant routinely and professionally responds to and addresses general workplace and personnel issues in its facilities. Our Tampa facility is no different. Cognizant works hard to ensure a safe, clean, and supportive work environment for all of our associates.”

Read the full report at The Verge.

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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-19  Authors: lauren feiner
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YouTube CEO says ‘sorry,’ but defends hosting videos with homophobic slurs

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki speaks during the opening keynote address at the Google I/O 2017 Conference at Shoreline Amphitheater on May 17, 2017 in Mountain View, California. Maza said that he has been the subject of targeted harassment for years that included both anti-gay and anti-Mexican slurs. But, she added, YouTube looked at the videos in question, “and in the end, we decided it was not violative of our policy.” Wojcicki said that YouTube has a “high bar” for what counts as malicious mater


YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki speaks during the opening keynote address at the Google I/O 2017 Conference at Shoreline Amphitheater on May 17, 2017 in Mountain View, California. Maza said that he has been the subject of targeted harassment for years that included both anti-gay and anti-Mexican slurs. But, she added, YouTube looked at the videos in question, “and in the end, we decided it was not violative of our policy.” Wojcicki said that YouTube has a “high bar” for what counts as malicious mater
YouTube CEO says ‘sorry,’ but defends hosting videos with homophobic slurs Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-11  Authors: dylan byers, david ingram
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, homophobic, hosting, videos, harassment, conference, ceo, youtubes, defends, susan, slurs, youtube, sorry, wojcicki, services


YouTube CEO says 'sorry,' but defends hosting videos with homophobic slurs

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki speaks during the opening keynote address at the Google I/O 2017 Conference at Shoreline Amphitheater on May 17, 2017 in Mountain View, California.

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — YouTube’s chief executive apologized on Monday for the hurt she said is caused by videos with anti-gay slurs, but said the company was right to let the videos remain on its service.

CEO Susan Wojcicki, in an on-stage interview at the tech-focused Code Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, spoke publicly for the first time since YouTube last week imposed a stricter ban on hate speech, including videos that promote ideas of racial superiority.

But rather than being lauded for tackling Nazism, Wojcicki was met with a barrage of questions about videos she has decided to leave up. The questions were prompted by journalist Carlos Maza launching a campaign last month to bring attention to homophobic abuse and harassment he says he received from a conservative YouTube personality.

Maza said that he has been the subject of targeted harassment for years that included both anti-gay and anti-Mexican slurs. Several activists are lobbying to ban YouTube’s parent company, Google, from the San Francisco Pride march this month over what they see as the service’s inaction.

“I know the decision we made was very hurtful to the LGBTQ community,” Wojcicki said. “That was not our intention at all. We’re really sorry about that.”

But, she added, YouTube looked at the videos in question, “and in the end, we decided it was not violative of our policy.”

“I do agree this was the right decision,” she said.

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Wojcicki, a high-profile Silicon Valley executive, faced a skeptical crowd at the annual conference for tech and media professionals. When Ina Fried, a journalist from Axios, suggested during a question-and-answer period that Wojcicki wasn’t actually sorry, the audience greeted the question with applause.

YouTube, like Facebook and other online services that rely on users for content, is facing growing scrutiny over material that shows violence, promotes hatred or is objectionable in other ways. The service’s rulebook bans harassment, for example, but only when it is “malicious.”

Wojcicki said that YouTube has a “high bar” for what counts as malicious material, and that the service faced a challenge in being consistent. She said the same rules needed to apply across the board, including to late-night comedy shows or rap music videos.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-11  Authors: dylan byers, david ingram
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, homophobic, hosting, videos, harassment, conference, ceo, youtubes, defends, susan, slurs, youtube, sorry, wojcicki, services


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YouTube flip-flops on suspending video blogger accused of harassment

Vox.com producer Carlos Maza, who identifies as gay, initially complained to YouTube on June 1, saying that Crowder, a popular YouTube user, made homophobic and racial slurs toward him in his videos. Crowder, whose account has 3.84 million subscribers, earns an estimated annual revenue of $81,000 from YouTube, according to social analytics company SocialBlade.com. YouTube responded Tuesday, saying that after a four-day long “in-depth investigation” it determined Crowder’s videos were “hurtful” b


Vox.com producer Carlos Maza, who identifies as gay, initially complained to YouTube on June 1, saying that Crowder, a popular YouTube user, made homophobic and racial slurs toward him in his videos. Crowder, whose account has 3.84 million subscribers, earns an estimated annual revenue of $81,000 from YouTube, according to social analytics company SocialBlade.com. YouTube responded Tuesday, saying that after a four-day long “in-depth investigation” it determined Crowder’s videos were “hurtful” b
YouTube flip-flops on suspending video blogger accused of harassment Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-05  Authors: jennifer elias
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, suspending, crowder, content, violate, blogger, user, tweeted, youtube, videos, harassment, crowders, accused, video, company, saying, flipflops


YouTube flip-flops on suspending video blogger accused of harassment

YouTube has suspended the monetization of a popular user, Steven Crowder, for “a pattern of egregious actions that has harmed the broader community” — only hours after defending it.

The flip-flop shows how Google-owned YouTube struggles to define and enforce clear standards for content on its platform, as it faces pressure from lawmakers and the public to remove hateful content and misinformation.

Parent company Alphabet reported a slowdown in ad revenue growth in Q1, which some analysts believed was partly a result of algorithm changes meant to reduce the prominence of harmful content on YouTube.

Vox.com producer Carlos Maza, who identifies as gay, initially complained to YouTube on June 1, saying that Crowder, a popular YouTube user, made homophobic and racial slurs toward him in his videos. Crowder, whose account has 3.84 million subscribers, earns an estimated annual revenue of $81,000 from YouTube, according to social analytics company SocialBlade.com.

YouTube responded Tuesday, saying that after a four-day long “in-depth investigation” it determined Crowder’s videos were “hurtful” but didn’t violate any of the platform’s policies.

Maza became the target of more harassment as a result of that decision, he told CNBC.com, adding that death threats from Crowder supporters had increased since Tuesday night.

Wednesday morning, the company announced a new anti-harassment policy that will crack down on users and accounts that express supremacy over other groups. However, Crowder’s videos remained available and YouTube continued to tell CNBC that they didn’t violate the policies.

Two hours later, the company publicly tweeted at Maza, saying it had decided to suspend Crowder’s monetization after all.

Adding to the confusion, YouTube then tweeted that Crowder had to stop selling t-shirts with offensive messages on them in order to be reinstated.

It then clarified later that Crowder would also have to address other problems, as well, in order to be reinstated.

YouTube declined to provide a statement on the flip-flop.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-05  Authors: jennifer elias
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, suspending, crowder, content, violate, blogger, user, tweeted, youtube, videos, harassment, crowders, accused, video, company, saying, flipflops


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YouTube recommended videos of underage girls after users watched erotic videos, research finds

In the aftermath of the discovery earlier this year that pedophiles had infiltrated comment sections of YouTube videos with children, the Google-owned video platform disabled comments on many videos of children. But researchers say disturbing patterns remain: A New York Times report published Monday said watching erotic videos and following the platform’s recommendations can eventually lead to videos of children. They said users who watched erotic videos might be recommended videos of women dres


In the aftermath of the discovery earlier this year that pedophiles had infiltrated comment sections of YouTube videos with children, the Google-owned video platform disabled comments on many videos of children. But researchers say disturbing patterns remain: A New York Times report published Monday said watching erotic videos and following the platform’s recommendations can eventually lead to videos of children. They said users who watched erotic videos might be recommended videos of women dres
YouTube recommended videos of underage girls after users watched erotic videos, research finds Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-03  Authors: megan graham
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, videos, report, york, watched, children, changes, erotic, youtube, times, minors, finds, recommended, youtubes, research, underage, girls, users, recommendations


YouTube recommended videos of underage girls after users watched erotic videos, research finds

In the aftermath of the discovery earlier this year that pedophiles had infiltrated comment sections of YouTube videos with children, the Google-owned video platform disabled comments on many videos of children.

But researchers say disturbing patterns remain: A New York Times report published Monday said watching erotic videos and following the platform’s recommendations can eventually lead to videos of children.

The researchers at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University were examining YouTube’s impact in Brazil. They said users who watched erotic videos might be recommended videos of women dressing as young girls, and eventually may be recommended videos of “girls as young as 5 or 6” wearing bathing suits or getting dressed, the report said.

According to the report, YouTube’s recommendation system changed to no longer link some of the revealing videos together, but the company told The New York Times it was “probably a result of routine tweaks to its algorithms, rather than a deliberate policy change.” YouTube also said that turning off its recommendation system on videos of children would “hurt ‘creators’ who rely on those clicks” but did say it would limit recommendations on videos it deems putting children at risk, the report said.

A YouTube spokesperson pointed to a blog post published Monday titled “An update on our efforts to protect minors and families.”

The post outlined some changes made in recent months, along with newer changes, which include limiting recommendations of “videos featuring minors in risky situations.” YouTube has also made changes to its machine learning classifier, which it said will help make it better identify videos that put minors at risk.

Read the New York Times report here.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-03  Authors: megan graham
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, videos, report, york, watched, children, changes, erotic, youtube, times, minors, finds, recommended, youtubes, research, underage, girls, users, recommendations


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Facebook says the doctored Nancy Pelosi video used to question her mental state and viewed millions of times will stay up

Facebook has decided to keep an altered video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on its site that makes her speech appear slow and slurred, The Guardian reported Friday. Commenters, including President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, have used the video to call into question Pelosi’s competence and mental state. In a since-deleted tweet, Giuliani shared a link to the altered video and wrote, “What is wrong with Nancy Pelosi? Versions of the altered video could still be foun


Facebook has decided to keep an altered video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on its site that makes her speech appear slow and slurred, The Guardian reported Friday. Commenters, including President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, have used the video to call into question Pelosi’s competence and mental state. In a since-deleted tweet, Giuliani shared a link to the altered video and wrote, “What is wrong with Nancy Pelosi? Versions of the altered video could still be foun
Facebook says the doctored Nancy Pelosi video used to question her mental state and viewed millions of times will stay up Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-24  Authors: lauren feiner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, times, twitter, speech, post, pelosi, facebook, used, youtube, policies, question, videos, viewed, stay, altered, video, nancy, millions, state


Facebook says the doctored Nancy Pelosi video used to question her mental state and viewed millions of times will stay up

Facebook has decided to keep an altered video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on its site that makes her speech appear slow and slurred, The Guardian reported Friday. Commenters, including President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, have used the video to call into question Pelosi’s competence and mental state.

In a since-deleted tweet, Giuliani shared a link to the altered video and wrote, “What is wrong with Nancy Pelosi? Her speech pattern is bizarre.” Giuliani later appeared to apologize on Twitter for sharing the video.

Experts told The Washington Post that the video, which is taken from Pelosi’s appearance at a Center for American Progress event, appears to have been slowed down to about 75% of its original speed and modified for pitch. The alteration gives Pelosi an unnaturally slow, slurred speech pattern, which made several commenters wonder if she was drunk during the talk.

In a statement to the Guardian, a Facebook spokesperson said, “There’s a tension here: we work hard to find the right balance between encouraging free expression and promoting a safe and authentic community, and we believe that reducing the distribution of inauthentic content strikes that balance. But just because something is allowed to be on Facebook doesn’t mean it should get distribution. In other words, we allow people to post it as a form of expression, but we’re not going to show it at the top of News Feed.”

As of Friday, an altered version of the video remained on the Facebook page Politics WatchDog and had been viewed more than 2 million times.

Facebook did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Versions of the altered video could still be found on Twitter Friday as well. One user posted the altered video with the comment, “Please come get your drunk grandma @AOC #pelosi,” and the video had been viewed over 400 times. Twitter declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Google-owned YouTube removed the video from its platform, apparently determining the alteration did go too far. Like Facebook, YouTube has also suffered its share of criticism in the past for continuing to host content that walks the line of its policies.

“YouTube has clear policies that outline what content is not acceptable to post and we remove videos violating these policies when flagged to us,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement to CNBC. “These videos violated our policies and have been removed. They also did not surface prominently. In fact, search results and watch next panels about Nancy Pelosi include videos from authoritative sources, usually at the top.”

The video has drawn attention to the potential dangers of new technology that enables convincing alterations. Even though experts believe simple aspects like pitch and speed were changed in the Pelosi video, so-called deepfake technology uses artificial intelligence to modify videos even further. With the ability to mimic facial expressions, the possibilities for spreading misinformation could greatly expand.

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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-24  Authors: lauren feiner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, times, twitter, speech, post, pelosi, facebook, used, youtube, policies, question, videos, viewed, stay, altered, video, nancy, millions, state


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YouTube and its users face an existential threat from the EU’s new copyright directive

Like other content creators who have built brands and businesses on tech platforms like YouTube, they fear their livelihood and creative outlet could be threatened by a new copyright directive passed by the European Union in March. If creators take their work elsewhere, that would mean fewer videos to watch on YouTube and fewer chances for YouTube to generate ad revenue. But under the new directive, YouTube would likely have to rethink this claiming process. “It could create serious limitations


Like other content creators who have built brands and businesses on tech platforms like YouTube, they fear their livelihood and creative outlet could be threatened by a new copyright directive passed by the European Union in March. If creators take their work elsewhere, that would mean fewer videos to watch on YouTube and fewer chances for YouTube to generate ad revenue. But under the new directive, YouTube would likely have to rethink this claiming process. “It could create serious limitations
YouTube and its users face an existential threat from the EU’s new copyright directive Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-10  Authors: lauren feiner
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YouTube and its users face an existential threat from the EU's new copyright directive

Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube. Michael Newberg | CNBC

Samuel Jones largely lives off the money he makes from YouTube as a TV and film reviewer. “In terms of paying rent, buying food, buying cigarettes, it’s all YouTube money,” he said. While his channel’s co-creator Max Bardsley is in university, Jones works on “NitPix ” full-time. The U.K.-based pair also nurture a small fashion business on the side that mostly provides some spending change. Recently, Jones and Bardsley have been thinking about a backup plan. Like other content creators who have built brands and businesses on tech platforms like YouTube, they fear their livelihood and creative outlet could be threatened by a new copyright directive passed by the European Union in March. Under the new rules, which member states have two years to formally write into law, tech platforms like YouTube could be held liable for hosting copyrighted content without the proper rights and licensing. That’s a big change from the status quo, which generally assumes platforms are not legally liable for their users’ uploads so long as they take down infringing content once flagged. But according to the directive, companies like YouTube can soon be held liable unless they can also prove they made “best efforts” to get authorization for the content and prevent it from being shared without rights in the first place. YouTube and other tech platforms have argued that the only practical way to avoid liability will be to install even more restrictive content filters than the ones they currently have to prevent infringement. The EU directive does not require tech companies to do that and it makes exceptions for using copyrighted material in parody or commentary, as would be the case in Jones and Bardsley’s reviews. But experts say it will be difficult for platforms to create automated filters that can distinguish this context, at least at first. That could mean a channel like “NitPix” would have to avoid using any movie or TV clips in their reviews to ensure their videos upload to the site in a timely manner. Jones and Bardsely, along with four other YouTube creators interviewed for this article, remain optimistic that the final version of the laws will be more flexible than the vague language of the directive. But YouTube isn’t leaving things up to chance.

A threat to YouTube

YouTube is ready to put up a fight against the EU measure, which threatens to force it to block a wide swath of content and slow down the process of uploading videos to the site to avoid liability. If YouTube chose to block copyrighted content with stricter upload filters, everything from a family video of a couple’s first wedding dance to a potentially viral dance challenge video like a “Harlem Shake ” flash mob could be blocked from the site. Frustrated creators and users may flee the platform if it no longer provides the outlet for their creativity or boredom. If creators take their work elsewhere, that would mean fewer videos to watch on YouTube and fewer chances for YouTube to generate ad revenue. The company is already under pressure to grow ad revenue after changes to its algorithms over the past year have likely hurt engagement in favor of winning back scorned advertisers worried about their brands appearing next to unseemly videos. Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat blamed YouTube in part for the company’s decelerating ad revenue growth in its first quarter 2019, which sent Google’s stock plunging more than 7% following the report. “While YouTube clicks continue to grow at a substantial pace in the first quarter, the rate of YouTube click growth rate decelerated versus a strong Q1 last year, reflecting changes that we made in early 2018, which we believe are overall additive to the user and advertiser experience,” Porat said on a call with analysts after the report. YouTube recognizes the importance of keeping its creators happy on the platform. In an April 30 blog post, CEO Susan Wojcicki said YouTube will aim to further promote a wider array of creator videos in its trending tab to answer concerns that the same creators seemed to be featured all the time. Wojcicki also said YouTube is working on improving its “Manual Claiming” tool so that YouTubers aren’t unfairly penalized for copyright claims stemming from extremely short or incidental content usage. But under the new directive, YouTube would likely have to rethink this claiming process. “The incentive structure here for YouTube would be to delete everything where it has its doubts about its illegality,” said Stephan Dreyer, a senior researcher of media law and media governance at the Hans-Bredow-Institut in Germany. “In cases of doubt, the machine must always decide against the content creator and that’s something that paragraph 7 does not really cope with,” he added, alluding to the section that allows for commentary and parody exceptions. In its final iteration, the directive makes specific exceptions for content that is used for criticism, quotation or parody, which legal experts said should wipe away fears of what critics labeled a “meme ban. ” Opponents of the directive originally argued the measure would prevent the spread of memes since copyrighted images that make up the basis of many of these satirical posts could end up filtered off of platforms. But even after the text was revised, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in Germany the week of the EU parliamentary vote, pledging to “save your internet.” YouTube did not make a representative available for an interview for this article, but it has said on its site that revisions made to the directive before its passage were an “improvement.” But the company still remains wary of how it will be implemented. “While we support the rights of copyright holders — YouTube has deals with almost all the music companies and TV broadcasters today — we are concerned about the vague, untested requirements of the new directive,” Wojcicki wrote in the blog post. “It could create serious limitations for what YouTube creators can upload. This risks lowering the revenue to traditional media and music companies from YouTube and potentially devastating the many European creators who have built their businesses on YouTube.”

Creators’ frustrations

YouTube creators often use copyrighted material as a way to highlight a point or comment on a specific piece of media. In many of these cases, this use is allowed under the principles of “fair use,” similar to the exceptions made in the EU’s final version of the directive. In interviews, YouTube creators said these materials aren’t just an added plus for their videos — they’re a core part of what makes them work. “I don’t want to have to spend half the video or three-quarters of the video just explaining things that I could show instead, and I think that when you do that, it kind of detracts from the video’s appeal,” said James Dancey, whose political commentary-focused channel “The Right Opinion ” has over 300,000 subscribers. “We have an audience that I feel like is waiting on us to deliver quality content, and one of the things I’ve realized as a YouTuber is there are many people who find my videos make a difference to their day.” Arun Maini, who runs the technology review channel “Mrwhosetheboss ” with over 2 million subscribers, said he intersperses relevant copyrighted material in about half of his videos as a way to keep viewers engaged. He dreads the thought of producing a six-minute video of simply talking to the camera. Beyond being boring, he thinks this sort of video could actually hurt a creator’s following. “If anything, you’d be better off not even trying because you’d be making such bad content that you’d be damaging your channel,” Maini said. Overall, creators are optimistic the directive won’t excessively impact their channels, if only because they believe the new laws won’t work. But they do anticipate headaches from YouTube’s own filtering system, whose current iteration known as Content ID, is already a thorn many creators’ sides. “Content ID is the only real existing model we have to work on to see what the filters would be like, and it’s been an absolute nightmare for me working under Content ID” said Dan Bull, a YouTube creator with over 1.5 million subscribers on his channel. Bull, who creates rap videos about the internet, gaming and politics, said he’s had videos flagged by the filter because it could not detect that he had a nonexclusive license. He said he’s also learned of instances where the system incorrectly redirects revenue after someone makes a false copyright claim. YouTube did not answer CNBC’s questions about Content ID or its characterizations by creators. Bull said his problems with Content ID have already changed his creative process. He’s reluctant to create videos with fair use content because it’s become so burdensome to deal with. “I don’t really want to make parody music anymore. I used to really enjoy making parody songs, but now when I think about that, I think about what a headache it would be with the copyright claims,” Bull said. “It seems to be contrary to the entire principle of what copyright was for.” The “NitPix” creators said they temporarily had one of their TV reviews removed from the platform due to copyright, but it was later reinstated. They said they haven’t had problems with it in more than a year. Given the technical limitations that already exist, legal experts say the complexity of such a system will advantage the already-dominant players. Corynne McSherry, legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has fiercely opposed the EU directive, said building this type of system is a task that “even the YouTubes of the world will not be able to accomplish,” leaving open the question of how up-and-coming platforms will tackle it.

Entrenching large platforms

A key criticism of Article 17 of the EU directive has been that it will further entrench large platforms’ foothold in digital distribution dominance. The directive gives more leniency to companies with under 10 million euros in annual revenue with a product available to the public for less than three years. But legal experts say that in trying to get tech companies to pay their fair share for copyrighted content, the directive has created a new problem that only the tech giants can solve. “A likely effect of [Article 17] will be to entrench the exact tech giants that everyone’s been complaining about all this time,” McSherry said. Legal experts interviewed for this article said platforms will likely pursue broad licensing agreements to avoid liability. YouTube already has agreements with record labels that give it certain rights to use its artists’ music in exchange for royalty payments. Experts suggested that YouTube could broaden the scope of its licenses to include a wide array films, TV shows and games as well so that licensed content is cleared by its filters. But since such broad licenses would require platforms to shell out lots of cash, this solution could actually prove even more exclusionary for emerging platforms. “I don’t really want a world where YouTube is the only platform I can look to for videos,” McSherry said. “All we are doing is making sure they can continue to be the dominant video player and make sure they can exercise enormous power over our video experience.”

Hope in impracticality


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-10  Authors: lauren feiner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, platforms, directive, youtube, creators, users, tech, face, threat, video, existential, copyright, videos, copyrighted, content, eus


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This guy became a millionaire at 24 by taking his shirt off on YouTube

27 year-old Canadian Greg O’Gallagher has made a career for himself on Youtube and Instagram marketing what he calls ‘The Hollywood physique.’ Greg O’Gallagher claims his fitness company Kinobody can get consumers into heroic shape without severely restricted diets and seven-day-a-week workouts. Kinobody takes a minimalist approach to dieting and working out, conveyed through his multimillion-dollar fitness programs “Warrior Shredding,” “Greek God” and “Superhero Bulking.” O’Gallagher videos rec


27 year-old Canadian Greg O’Gallagher has made a career for himself on Youtube and Instagram marketing what he calls ‘The Hollywood physique.’ Greg O’Gallagher claims his fitness company Kinobody can get consumers into heroic shape without severely restricted diets and seven-day-a-week workouts. Kinobody takes a minimalist approach to dieting and working out, conveyed through his multimillion-dollar fitness programs “Warrior Shredding,” “Greek God” and “Superhero Bulking.” O’Gallagher videos rec
This guy became a millionaire at 24 by taking his shirt off on YouTube Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-03  Authors: donovan russo
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, videos, guy, 24, ogallagher, shirt, taking, programs, million, greg, fitness, program, millionaire, physique, youtube, kinobody


This guy became a millionaire at 24 by taking his shirt off on YouTube

27 year-old Canadian Greg O’Gallagher has made a career for himself on Youtube and Instagram marketing what he calls ‘The Hollywood physique.’ Greg O’Gallagher

Want to look like a superhero, while barely working out and eating chocolate and cheeseburgers? Greg O’Gallagher claims his fitness company Kinobody can get consumers into heroic shape without severely restricted diets and seven-day-a-week workouts. And he has the physique to prove it. The 27-year-old Canadian has made a career for himself on Alphabet’s YouTube and Facebook’s Instagram, marketing what he calls “the Hollywood physique.” Kinobody takes a minimalist approach to dieting and working out, conveyed through his multimillion-dollar fitness programs “Warrior Shredding,” “Greek God” and “Superhero Bulking.” These fitness programs require working out three days per week, consisting of four to five different exercises, and each program is centered on intermittent fasting, an alternative approach to consuming calories that involves long periods of time during the day when there is no eating. O’Gallagher went viral in 2015, releasing “The Real Bruce Wayne” clip with director Michael Delmonte, one of many YouTube videos in which he portrays a fictional character from masculine cult cinema. Other notable characters he has portrayed were inspired by “American Psycho,” in which Christian Bale plays a muscled-up playboy who lives the double life of a murderer; and “Fight Club,” where Brad Pitt plays the shredded Tyler Durden. O’Gallagher often cites Christian Bale and Brad Pitt as having near-to-perfect physiques in both these films. O’Gallagher videos receive anywhere from 30,000 views per video to a few million. The Batman video has received more than 2.8 million views. He has over 482,000 YouTube subscribers. “I was always fascinated with muscle and strength,” O’Gallagher said. “So I was drawn to the physicality and loved watching the speed, power and precision in action movies. Even as a kid, I would be practicing these moves, doing push-ups and chin-ups. I just wanted to improve my body.” O’Gallagher grew up in Toronto. He is the second oldest among four siblings, three brothers and a sister. Despite making millions as the face of Kinobody, he learned at a young age what it was like to be wealthy. His father Michael O’Gallagher founded MetCap, a real estate company, in 1988. When he was just 11, O’Gallagher’s father passed away. At the time, MetCap had a portfolio of $800 million, managing apartment buildings all across Canada, and it still claims to be the largest manager of multifamily Toronto apartments. “When he passed away, I realized he wasn’t gonna be there to show me the ropes,” O’Gallagher said. “It put a lot of pressure on me to figure out how to make something of my life on my own. So I read more books and set more goals. I wanted to make him proud, and I wanted to work twice as hard.”

Becoming a fitness influencer

O’Gallagher realized at a young age that the real estate industry wasn’t his passion. And he knew since he was a child that he wanted to run a fitness company. Yet O’Gallagher ended up enrolling in the University of Guelph in Ontario. After completing his freshman year, he dropped out of a marketing management program, citing 80% to 90% of the curriculum as not being useful for his long-term goals. “I think the best education is outside university. So much of what you are learning in university is dated, and by the time you graduate, you learned stuff that you can’t utilize,” O’Gallagher said. “After my father passed, I realized that I was going to live my life for me. I had to honor my calling and had to honor my passion.”

O’Gallagher is president of Kinobody and face of its fitness and lifestyle brand. Greg O’Gallagher

After a short stint as a personal trainer at age 19, O’Gallagher moved to Los Angeles, seeking something more with his life. He started following fitness influencers and their blogs and realized that he needed to produce online content as well in order to get his name recognized. He credits Rusty Moore, founder of Visual Impact Fitness, as his first mentor. O’Gallagher ended up contacting Moore and started to learn everything he could from him. At the time, Moore was focused on an earlier start-up, titled Fitness Blackbook. O’Gallagher would write about Moore’s programs on his personal blog and would then make commission off Moore’s sales in an affiliated sales program of Fitness Book well known to workout junkies. “Some people think it happened overnight, but that is not the case,” Moore said on O’Gallagher’s career success. “He focused for months and wrote articles and made videos late into the night before he ever saw a penny for his efforts.” O’Gallagher, president of Kinobody and the face of the brand, said fans of his blog started to encourage him to make YouTube videos and write his own programs back in 2011. By 2012 he released the “Warrior Shredding” program — available for purchase as a print download for $69 — and by the end of 2012, the “Greek God program.” Both of these and his “Superhero Bulking” program have grossed more than $1 million in sales. Some of the other programs are priced at $49. O’Gallagher has since written several new programs, including female and body-weight regimes. One of O’Gallagher’s products is a downloaded “Kino Chef” cookbook, in which he offers 50 different recipes designed for consumers who practice intermittent fasting. “My goal was to be a millionaire by 25, and I ended up doing it at 24,” O’Gallagher said. “I made Kinobody because there was not a fitness protocol that I really loved. We’re about building a movie-star body like Ryan Reynolds. We are not about getting big and bulky. We’re going to build your body by only working out a few days a week and hitting personal records,” he continued. “It made fitness more like a video game, rather than being in the gym every day for two hours hoping [your physique] improves.”

Building a business

Kinobody has seen a consistent increase in its overall growth. According to O’Gallagher, it grossed $2 million in 2016, $3.6 million in 2017 and $5 million in 2018 due to its growing catalog of products. Kinobody created a clothing brand in 2018 that is tailored to highlight one’s physique with an array of fitted shirts, underpants and sweats. Kinobody also launched a supplements line that features pre-workout powders, sleeping aids and amino acids. Kinobody also created a line of glasses called “Kino Vision,” which offer consumers blue-light-preventing glasses that are for everyday use. “What I really respect about Greg is his commitment to perfecting his products,” said fellow fitness icon Brandon Carter, CEO of BroLaboratories. “A lot of influencers sit on the sidelines and let the money purely dictate all their business decisions. Not Greg. As he’s told me in person, he wants to make sure his workout programs, online courses and videos are the best they can possibly be and can’t sleep at night if they aren’t. That’s why he has so many testimonials and in turn is why he’s so successful in a saturated fitness market.” O’Gallagher founded Kinobody by himself but joined forces with a marketing team in 2013 to which he gave a share of the company — after Kinobody’s rapid growth, they now share a 50-50 ownership structure. The other owners are Chris Walker (CFO), Nate Mohr (CEO), Darren Crawford and Mike Dobson.

I made Kinobody because there was not a fitness protocol that I really loved. We’re about building a movie-star body like Ryan Reynolds. We are not about getting big and bulky. Greg O’Gallagher Kinobody president


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-03  Authors: donovan russo
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, videos, guy, 24, ogallagher, shirt, taking, programs, million, greg, fitness, program, millionaire, physique, youtube, kinobody


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Alphabet had more than $70 billion in market cap wiped out, and it says YouTube is one of the problems

On Monday, after reporting that ad revenue grew 15% versus the 24% it saw a year ago, Google’s parent company Alphabet saw its stock punished. Porat didn’t expand on precisely what changes at YouTube led to the poor ad revenue growth, and Google isn’t saying anything beyond her statements from Monday. But that cleanup appears to have come at the short-term cost of ad revenue growth. Investors punished the company on Monday by vaporizing more than $70 billion from its market cap. Correction: An e


On Monday, after reporting that ad revenue grew 15% versus the 24% it saw a year ago, Google’s parent company Alphabet saw its stock punished. Porat didn’t expand on precisely what changes at YouTube led to the poor ad revenue growth, and Google isn’t saying anything beyond her statements from Monday. But that cleanup appears to have come at the short-term cost of ad revenue growth. Investors punished the company on Monday by vaporizing more than $70 billion from its market cap. Correction: An e
Alphabet had more than $70 billion in market cap wiped out, and it says YouTube is one of the problems Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-30  Authors: steve kovach
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, youtube, 70, revenue, company, youtubes, ad, cap, wiped, content, growth, billion, market, google, changes, alphabet, videos, problems


Alphabet had more than $70 billion in market cap wiped out, and it says YouTube is one of the problems

Google has a YouTube problem, according to CFO Ruth Porat.

On Monday, after reporting that ad revenue grew 15% versus the 24% it saw a year ago, Google’s parent company Alphabet saw its stock punished. It fell more than 8% Tuesday afternoon.

According to Porat, YouTube was one of the culprits.

“While YouTube clicks continue to grow at a substantial pace in the first quarter, the rate of YouTube click growth rate decelerated versus a strong Q1 last year, reflecting changes that we made in early 2018, which we believe are overall additive to the user and advertiser experience,” Porat said on the company’s earnings call Monday.

Porat didn’t expand on precisely what changes at YouTube led to the poor ad revenue growth, and Google isn’t saying anything beyond her statements from Monday.

But if you wind the clock back a year, it’s easy to see what happened.

In the first quarter of 2018, Google began making changes to YouTube’s algorithms designed to stop harmful content from appearing in the feed of recommended videos you see on the side of a video page.

The goal was to make it harder to find videos full of conspiracy theories, fake news and all that other detritus that occasionally sent advertisers fleeing from the platform. Instead of YouTube directing you to a conspiracy theory about the latest school shooting, you were shown related videos from “authoritative” news sources the company considered worthy of bringing you accurate information.

On top of that, YouTube has removed millions of channels and videos that violated the company’s harmful content policies, most notably Alex Jones.

But all of those garbage videos also kept engagement high. It kept YouTube users tuned in to their feeds beyond the video they came to watch, even if the company said they only made up less than 1% of all videos on the site.

YouTube was literally incentivized to keep its algorithms pumping junk to the top of people’s feeds so people would keep watching and the ad dollars would keep flowing. A devastating Bloomberg report earlier this month showed that for years YouTube executives ignored warnings from their own employees that the misinformation and nastiness on the site had gotten out of hand.

For a long time, they chose the money over managing the mayhem.

Today, YouTube says it’s serious about cleaning up the issues that have plagued the site for years. But that cleanup appears to have come at the short-term cost of ad revenue growth. (Although it’s possible that Porat was referring to other types of changes, or engaging in some selective disclosure to guide investors away from other reasons for the growth slowdown.)

Investors punished the company on Monday by vaporizing more than $70 billion from its market cap.

But if YouTube can fix its content problems and continue to grow beyond its nearly 2 billion users, it has a chance to benefit in the long term.

The new system is still far from perfect, as The New York Times’ Kevin Roose pointed out in an interview with YouTube’s chief product officer, Neal Mohan. It’s still possible to fall down a rabbit hole of horrible videos on YouTube. But, based on Porat’s comments, the changes were effective enough to hurt YouTube engagement.

In a statement to CNBC, a Google spokesperson downplayed the amount of revenue generated by bad content on YouTube. The statement did not address the impact removing that content had on revenue growth.

“There’s a misconception that YouTube makes money off of recommending ‘radical’ content, but the truth is that very little of this content makes any kind of meaningful money. In fact, when we cleaned up our partner program to remove bad actors last year, we made it clear that 99% of those impacted creators were making less than $100 a year,” the statement said.

Still, analysts on Tuesday didn’t sound too worried about YouTube’s longer-term prospects, and cautioned there are other factors playing into the ad growth deceleration.

“YouTube has increased its focus on responsibility and safety, and it adjusted its algorithm in 1Q to reduce recommendations of content that comes close to violating guidelines or is misinformed or harmful,” J.P. Morgan analysts wrote in a research note Tuesday morning. They added that, “we don’t think there’s a single clear answer for Google’s [deceleration], but a number of factors are at work.”

With billions in market cap gone and analysts already downgrading Alphabet’s stock, the biggest question surrounding YouTube today is whether it will continue making improvements to curb the spread of toxic content or be shocked back into inaction for the benefit of its shareholders.

Correction: An earlier version of this story linked to the wrong YouTube blog post announcing changes to content moderation.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-30  Authors: steve kovach
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, youtube, 70, revenue, company, youtubes, ad, cap, wiped, content, growth, billion, market, google, changes, alphabet, videos, problems


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Prosecutors will release video of Robert Kraft at massage parlor

A Florida judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked prosecutors from following through on their newly announced plans to release surveillance videos that allegedly show New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft receiving sexual services for pay at a massage parlor on two occasions in January. “Absent a Court order, the State will be releasing the requested public records once it has retrieved and reviewed the records,” prosecutors said in their filing. “The State, as custodian of the records, cannot


A Florida judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked prosecutors from following through on their newly announced plans to release surveillance videos that allegedly show New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft receiving sexual services for pay at a massage parlor on two occasions in January. “Absent a Court order, the State will be releasing the requested public records once it has retrieved and reviewed the records,” prosecutors said in their filing. “The State, as custodian of the records, cannot
Prosecutors will release video of Robert Kraft at massage parlor Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-17  Authors: dan mangan, david paul morris, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, records, parlor, release, case, massage, judge, beach, kraft, robert, prosecutors, video, videos, filed, public


Prosecutors will release video of Robert Kraft at massage parlor

A Florida judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked prosecutors from following through on their newly announced plans to release surveillance videos that allegedly show New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft receiving sexual services for pay at a massage parlor on two occasions in January.

The judge’s ruling came after a hearing in Palm Beach County court, where a flurry of motions were filed Wednesday by Kraft and others seeking to block any release of the videos depicting him and other men visiting the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida.

Kraft’s lawyers on Wednesday suggested that the Palm Beach County State’s Attorney’s office was engaging in “gross prosecutorial misconduct” by moving to release the videos despite having told a judge last week that they would hold off on doing so.

Palm Beach prosecutors — who have charged the 77-year-old billionaire with two counts of soliciting prostitution — said in a new filing earlier Wednesday said they must release the videos of him and the other men to the media and public without unnecessary delay because of Florida’s open-records laws.

“Absent a Court order, the State will be releasing the requested public records once it has retrieved and reviewed the records,” prosecutors said in their filing.

But that order, albeit a temporary one, came hours later, according to WPTV in West Palm Beach. The judge also scheduled another hearing on April 29 for arguments on whether a protective order should be issued in the case that would keep the videos from public view for a longer period of time.

Kraft’s lawyers weeks ago asked the judge in his criminal case to bar the release of the video of the Patriots owner, which they have described as “pornography” and the fruits of an illegal search warrant that allowed cops to secretly place surveillance cameras in the spa.

But prosecutors in their filing Wednesday that they could not for aanother judge’s ruling about the release of the videos in connection with a related criminal case against Lei Wang, the alleged manager of the Orchids of Asia Day Spa.

“The State, as custodian of the records, cannot delay the release of the records to allow a person to raise a constituional challenge to the release of the documents,” prosecutors wrote.

Kraft’s lawyers filed an emergency motion Wednesday to intervene in Wang’s case so they can “oppose the State’s intended disclosure” the videos, according to documents obtained by CNBC.

In a letter to a judge, Kraft’s lawyer William Burck called the stated intention to release the videos “an extraordinary and alarming development involving what appears to be gross prosecutorial misconduct.”

Burck noted that prosecutors last week had said at a court hearing they would not release the videos of Kraft “because Mr. Burck and other attorneys have filed motions for protection.”

” ‘We’re waiting for those to be heard and ruled on,’ ” the prosecutor told a judge last week, according to Burck’s letter. ” ” ‘That’s why, obviously, we’re not releasing the videos at this point,’ ” the prosecutor added, the letter noted.

Another emergency motion was filed Wednesday by a man who claims he obtained a lawful massage at the spa, and who asked a judge to bar prosecutors from releasing a video that showed him receiving that treatment.

Lawyers for Wang herself filed a new motion requesting the videos be kept from the public for now.

Spokesmen for Kraft and for the prosecutor’s office had no immediate comment when contacted by CNBC.

Kraft’s Patriots won the Super Bowl in February.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-17  Authors: dan mangan, david paul morris, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, records, parlor, release, case, massage, judge, beach, kraft, robert, prosecutors, video, videos, filed, public


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