Hebrew Speakers Mock Facebook’s Corporate Rebrand To Meta

Social media users in Israel are mocking Facebook’s company name change to Meta, as it sounds similar to the Hebrew word for “dead.”

Many Twitter users scoffed at the social media company’s rebrand — revealed by founder Mark Zuckerberg earlier this week — using the hashtag #FacebookDead. “Somebody did not do their #branding research,” one post read.

Dr Nirit Weiss-Blatt, author of The Techlash and Tech Crisis Communication, tweeted: “In Hebrew, *Meta* means *Dead* The Jewish community will ridicule this name for years to come.”

“Grave error?? Facebook’s new name Meta means dead in Hebrew. Hilarious. #FacebookDead” another user tweeted.

Zuckerberg’s efforts to revamp Facebook come as the company faces what could be its most potent scandal since it launched in 2004.

The social media giant is under the spotlight following the publication this week of “The Facebook Papers,” a series of internal documents obtained by 17 news organizations, including CNN, that underpin whistleblower Frances Haugen’s claims the company is riddled with institutional shortcomings.

The documents reveal how Facebook has propelled misinformation, struggled to eliminate human trafficking-related content on the site, and tried to increase its teenage audience, despite internal research suggesting that its platforms, especially Instagram, can have an adverse effect on their mental health.

Facebook isn’t the first company to be ridiculed after its branding didn’t translate abroad.

In 2019, Kim Kardashian West was accused of cultural appropriation after debuting her shapewear brand, which she initially named Kimono. Kardashian even appeared to have trademarked the word “kimono,” a decision that the mayor of Kyoto, Daisaku Kadokawa, criticized in an open letter on Facebook.

“We think that the names for ‘Kimono’ are the asset shared with all humanity who love Kimono and its culture therefore they should not be monopolized,” Kadokawa wrote.

Kardashian changed the name of her brand to Skims later that year.

In 2017, McDonald’s name change in China raised eyebrows. Customers were left confused when the company swapped Maidanglao, a Chinese iteration of the English name, to Jingongmen, which loosely translates to “Golden Arches.” One customer said it “sounds like a furniture store.”

Source: CNN

Documents Show Amazon Is Aware That Their Delivery Drivers Pee In Bottles

If employees actually had to pee in bottles, Amazon said, “nobody would work for us.” That’s a lie.

In anticipation of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s scheduled trip to Bessemer, Alabama, to support the unionization drive by Amazon workers there, Amazon executive Dave Clark cast the $1 trillion behemoth as “the Bernie Sanders of employers” and taunted: “So if you want to hear about $15 an hour and health care, Senator Sanders will be speaking downtown. But if you would like to make at least $15 an hour and have good health care, Amazon is hiring.”

Rep. Mark Pocan replied via tweet: “Paying workers $15/hr doesn’t make you a progressive workplace when you union-bust & make workers urinate in water bottles,” echoing reports from 2018 that Amazon workers were forced to skip bathroom breaks and pee in bottles. Amazon’s denial was swift: “You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you? If that were true, nobody would work for us.”

But Amazon workers with whom I spoke said that the practice was so widespread due to pressure to meet quotas that managers frequently referenced it during meetings and in formal policy documents and emails, which were provided to The Intercept. The practice, these documents show, was known to management, which identified it as a recurring infraction but did nothing to ease the pressure that caused it. In some cases, employees even defecated in bags.

Amazon did not provide a statement to The Intercept before publication.

One document from January, marked “Amazon Confidential,” details various infractions by Amazon employees, including “public urination” and “public defecation.” The document was provided to The Intercept by an Amazon employee in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who, like most of the employees I talked to, was granted anonymity to avoid professional reprisal.

The employee also provided an email sent by an Amazon logistics area manager last May that chastised employees for defecating into bags. “This evening, an associate discovered human feces in an Amazon bag that was returned to station by a driver. This is the 3rd occasion in the last 2 months when bags have been returned to station with poop inside. We understand that DA’s [driver associates] may have emergencies while on-road, and especially during Covid, DAs have struggled to find bathrooms while delivering.”

“We’ve noticed an uptick recently of all kinds of unsanitary garbage being left inside bags: used masks, gloves, bottles of urine,” the email continues. “By scanning the QR code on the bag, we can easily identify the DA who was in possession of the bag last. These behaviors are unacceptable, and will result in Tier 1 Infractions going forward. Please communicate this message to your drivers. I know if may seem obvious, or like something you shouldn’t need to coach, but please be explicit when communicating the message that they CANNOT poop, or leave bottles of urine inside bags.”

Halie Marie Brown, a 26-year-old resident of Manteca, California, who worked as a delivery driver for an Amazon delivery contractor, Soon Express, until quitting on March 12, told The Intercept that the practice “happens because we are literally implicitly forced to do so, otherwise we will end up losing our jobs for too many ‘undelivered packages.’”

An email that Brown received from her manager this past August has a section titled “Urine bottle” and states: “In the morning, you must check your van thoroughly for garbage and urine bottle. If you find urine bottle (s) please report to your lead, supporting staff or me. Vans will be inspected by Amazon during debrief, if urine bottle (s) are found, you will be issue an infraction tier 1 for immediate offboarding.”

While Amazon technically prohibits the practice — documents characterize it as a “Tier 1” infraction, which employees say can lead to termination — drivers said that this was disingenuous since they can’t meet their quotas otherwise. “They give us 30 minutes of paid breaks, but you will not finish your work if you take it, no matter how fast you are,” one Amazon delivery employee based in Massachusetts told me.

Asked if management eased up on the quotas in light of the practice, Brown said, “Not at all. In fact, over the course of my time there, our package and stop counts actually increased substantially.”

This has gotten even more intense, employees say, as Amazon has seen an enormous boom in package orders during the coronavirus pandemic. Amazon employees said their performance is monitored so closely by the firm’s vast employee surveillance arsenal that they are constantly in fear of falling short of their productivity quotas.

One email, provided to The Intercept by a Houston-based driver associate who works for an Amazon contractor, alludes to company cameras that can find workers who leave urine bottles behind in the vans. “Data from these cameras can be sent to Amazon in the event of any incident on the road. (We have had several bad accidents, a stolen van, drivers leaving piss bottles etc in the vans).”

The employee said, “Every single day of my shift, I have to use the restroom in a bottle to finish my route on time. This is so common that you’ll often find bottles from other drivers located under seats in the vans. … The fact that Amazon would tweet that is hilarious.”

Public reports that Amazon employees skipped bathroom breaks originated in a 2018 book by the British journalist James Bloodworth. That book, “Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain,” alleged that Amazon workers at a warehouse in Staffordshire, U.K., resorted to urinating in bottles in order to meet production quotas. While most of the employees I spoke to were drivers who delivered products, workers said the practice was commonplace in factories as well.

The vote by Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama on whether to unionize has become a flashpoint for organized labor. While Amazon has publicly criticized Sanders, he is far from the only prominent politician to voice support for the employees’ right to form a union. Last month, President Joe Biden released a video statement saying, “Every worker should have a free and fair choice to join a union,” which “should be made without intimidation or threats by employers.”

The election, which ends on March 29, would determine if the more than 5,000 warehouse workers will join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. None of Amazon’s 800,000 employees in the U.S. are currently unionized.

Source: The Intercept

How Some Collegiate Athletes Are Making It Clear They’re #NotNCAAProperty​

Rece Davis talks with Michigan Wolverines’ Isaiah Livers, Jordan Bohannon of the Iowa Hawkeyes and Geo Baker of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights about their college experiences and what they are hoping to accomplish from the #NotNCAAProperty​ movement.

0:00​ Livers, Bohannon and Baker describe what their college experiences have been like throughout their four years at their respective schools.
4:56​​ They describe the reaction on social media, especially with Livers wearing the shirt that says “Not NCAA Property.”
12:24​ Bohannon explains what they hope to accomplish in their upcoming meeting with NCAA president Mark Emmert.
17:00​ Livers says the Michigan coaches, including Juwan Howard, have been very supportive of what he is trying to achieve.
21:07​ Baker and Livers explain what the impact would be if college athletes are able to make money off their likeness.

Ticketmaster To Require Negative COVID-19 Test Result Or Vaccination Verification In Order To Attend Concerts

Many details of the plan, which is still in development phase, will rely on three separate components — the Ticketmaster digital ticket app, third party health information companies like CLEAR Health Pass or IBM’s Digital Health Pass and testing and vaccine distribution providers like Labcorp and the CVS Minute Clinic.

Here’s how it would work, if approved: After purchasing a ticket for a concert, fans would need to verify that they have already been vaccinated (which would provide approximately one year of COVID-19 protection) or test negative for coronavirus approximately 24 to 72 hours prior to the concert. The length of coverage a test would provide would be governed by regional health authorities — if attendees of a Friday night concert had to be tested 48 hours in advance, most could start the testing process the day before the event. If it was a 24-hour window,  most people would likely be tested the same day of the event at a lab or a health clinic.

Once the test was complete, the fan would instruct the lab to deliver the results to their health pass company, like CLEAR or IBM. If the tests were negative, or the fan was vaccinated, the health pass company would verify the attendee’s COVID-19 status to Ticketmaster, which would then issue the fan the credentials needed to access the event. If a fan tested positive or didn’t take a test to verify their status, they would not be granted access to the event. There are still many details to work out, but the goal of the program is for fans to take care of vaccines and testing prior to the concert and not show up hoping to be tested onsite.

Source: Billboard

Playboy Suing Fashion Nova Over Halloween Bunny Costume

Playboy’s pissed at Fashion Nova for rolling out new bunny costumes, just in time for Halloween, which it claims are plainly “an attempt to piggyback off the popularity and renown of Playboy’s iconic bunny costume.”

Translation: Quit bitin’ our bunny!

In docs, obtained by TMZ, Playboy says Fashion Nova completely ripped off its iconic costume — which includes cuffs, collar, bowtie, corset, ribbon name tag, bunny ears and tail — and is selling them as Halloween costumes on its website. According to the suit, Fashion Nova’s even using the description “Bunny of the Month,” which Playboy says is a clear reference to its Playmate of the Month trademark.

Source: TMZ

Facebook launches Instagram Reels in 50 countries, hoping to lure TikTok users

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With TikTok’s future uncertain, Instagram is hoping to lure some creators away with the rollout of a direct competitor, Reels, which is launching in more than 50 countries today, including the US, UK, Japan, and Australia, on both iOS and Android.

Similar to TikTok, Reels lets people create short-form videos set to music that can be shared with friends and followers and discovered while browsing the app. It’s the newest opportunity for Instagram to bring in users, increase the amount of time people spend in the app every day, and establish itself as a video entertainment platform.

Reels allows people to record videos up to 15 seconds long and add popular music, as well as an array of filters and effects, over top of them. For creators looking to use Instagram Reels as a new way to build a following, Instagram has revamped its Explore page to create a specific landing spot for Reels at the top of the screen that people can vertically scroll through — similar to TikTok’s “For You Page.”

Source: The Verge

Atlanta Hawks unveil trio of new 2020-21 uniforms with franchise’s classic colors and updated wordmarks

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ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks today revealed new uniforms, inspired by the franchise’s signature colors and marks synonymous with the team and its history in the city of Atlanta since 1968. In addition to the uniforms, the team also released new primary and secondary logos along with new ‘Atlanta Hawks’ wordmarks. The team will begin wearing these uniforms to start the 2020-21 season.

Infinity Black and Legacy Yellow rejoin Torch Red and Granite Gray to create a visual identity derived from the Hawks proud heritage. These core colors have been present throughout the Hawks’ time in Atlanta, having adorned more than five decades of Hawks Basketball including Hawks Legends Lou Hudson, Pete Maravich, Dikembe Mutombo and Dominique Wilkins.

Source: NBA

Mark Henry on Stepping to WWE Writers to Stop Racist “Silverback Gorilla” Storyline

In this clip, Mark Henry speaks about dealing with racism in all aspects of his life, including when he was working with the WWE. He went on to share a story of addressing writers who wanted to push a “silverback” gorilla storyline about him, which Mark said was racist. He added that he spoke to WWE CEO Vince McMahon about his thoughts on the situation, and Vince told him that he should tell the writers that he wasn’t going to tolerate the storyline. When asked about the most foolish purchases he made during the beginning of his career, and Mark joked about putting a lot of dancers through college. You can hear more above.