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May 2017

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This Month's Features:

Verified Would Like to Welcome...
FCC Moves Forward With Plan to Gut Net Neutrality Rules
Events Calendar
Gannett Asks FBI to Find Fake Facebook Followers
Verified is on the Move

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Verified Would Like to Welcome...

Alameda SunAlameda Sun
Alameda Sun
Alameda, CA
Alameda Sun, founded in 2001, is Alameda's only independently owned and operated newspaper. Alameda Sun prides itself on focusing solely on Alameda news, events, people and causes. The newspaper is home-delivered free of charge every Thursday. It is the most widely circulated news source in the city of Alameda.

Electronic Musician
Electronic MusicianNewBay Media LLC
New York, NY
Electronic Musician is the resource for musicians who want to record, produce and perform better music.



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FCC Moves Forward With Plan to Gut Net Neutrality Rules

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 2-1 today to move forward with Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal to repeal key portions of the net neutrality rules.

The move formally initiates a new proceeding to evaluate Pai's proposal, named "Restoring Internet Freedom." The agency will accept comments for at least the next three months. After that, it may vote on whether to adopt Pai's approach.

The net neutrality rules, passed 3-2 in 2015, reclassified broadband as a utility service and imposed some common carrier rules on Internet service providers. The regulations include three "bright-line" prohibitions – a ban on throttling or blocking content and on charging companies higher fees for prioritized delivery. The rules also include a "general conduct" standard that broadly prohibits Internet service providers from unreasonably impeding the ability of consumers and content providers to reach each other.

Mignon ClyburnPai's proposal involves reversing the decision to classify Internet access as a utility service, regulated under Title II of the Communications Act, and the general conduct standard. The proposal also seeks comment on the "bright-line" rules.

Pai, a well-known critic of the 2015 net neutrality rules, said that today, the agency plans to "conduct a credible cost-benefit analysis of our policy decisions."

"This time, as we make our decisions, we will have our expert staff carefully review the evidence on investment and other variables," said Pai. "We will rely not on hyperbolic statements about "the end of the Internet as we know it" and 140-character commentary, but on the data."

Dissenting Commissioner Mignon Clyburn slammed today's vote. "If you unequivocally trust your #broadband provider to put the public interest over their self-interest, then today's @FCC action is for you," she wrote on Twitter.

Digital rights groups likewise criticized the decision. "The Internet is designed to serve as an open platform that encourages free expression and sparks new ideas," stated the Center for Democracy & Technology. "Unfortunately, attempts to repeal net neutrality protections are a direct threat to these values and to the rights of Internet users."

But Internet service providers celebrated the FCC's move. Comcast executive David Cohen praised the two Republican Commissioners for "remaining focused on creating a light touch regulatory environment that is pro-consumer, pro-investment, and pro-innovation."

© 2017 MediaPost Communications

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Events Calendar
Events Calendar

International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors Conference
June 28 – July 2, 2017
Washington, DC

Storytelling Through Animation
July 10 – 11, 2017
Berkeley, CA

Podcasting: Telling Stories in Sound
July 12 – 13, 2017
Berkeley, CA

Yale Publishing Course: Leadership Strategies in Magazine Media
July 23 – 28, 2017
New Haven, CT

AAN Annual Convention
July 27 – 29, 2017
Washington, DC

If you have an event that you would like to announce,
please send your information to

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Gannett Asks FBI to Find Fake Facebook Followers

Gannett Asks FBI to Find Fake Facebook FollowersGannett Co. has asked the FBI to look into an onslaught of fake Facebook followers on its page on the social media platform.

Gannett said the number of fake accounts is so large that it accounted for half of the newspaper's following on Facebook, according to a Friday report from USA Today, part of the Gannett Co.

This isn't a new problem. Last month, Facebook weeded out 200 million fake accounts from USA Today and other publishers. Those deleted accounts included more than one-third of USA Today's 15 million Facebook likes at the time.

The USA Today Facebook page now has about 8 million likes.

Executives of Gannett, which owns 109 other local news properties, said last week that millions of its remaining followers are fake and that it has tapped the FBI for help.

Maribel Wadsworth, the publisher's Chief Transformation Officer, said in the newspaper's report that Facebook told Gannett it planned to purge another 3 million accounts soon, which could bring its number of followers down to 6.5 million – a painful cut at a time when a large social following is a sign of success in the publishing world.

"After we identified the additional set of violating accounts, we notified our partners at USA Today and are taking action against these accounts," stated Shabnam Shaik, Technical Program Manager on Facebook's Protect and Care Team.

"We don't know why the scope of impact on USA Today's Facebook page appears greater than any other publisher," added Shaik. Gannett said USA Today gets about 1,000 fake followers a day on Facebook.

In Securities and Exchange Commission filings, Facebook said about 1% of its monthly worldwide active users are "misclassified" accounts, most of which it believes are outside the U.S.

Facebook has 1.94 billion users.

The Telegraph reported that Facebook has deleted thousands of fake UK accounts and launched a media campaign to educate the public about fake news. The hope is to stop the spread of fake news ahead of the UK's upcoming general election, called by Prime Minister Theresa May on June 8.

The campaign includes full-page print ads in big British newspapers published by Facebook and Full Fact, a fact-checking company. The ads provide a list of 10 tips and red flags for identifying fake news on Facebook and elsewhere.

© 2017 MediaPost Communications

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Verified is on the Move

Verified is on the MoveVerified will be moving to our new offices in downtown San Rafael shortly. Starting in July 2017, our new address will be:

Verified Audit Circulation
1101 Fifth Avenue
Suite 270
San Rafael, CA 94901-2993

Please make note of the change. If you have any questions, please contact Verified at 415-461-6006.

Please send comments and story ideas to
or contact us at:

Verified Audit Circulation
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 230
Larkspur, CA 94939-1758
415.461.6007 fax

© 2017 Verified Audit Circulation