The Morning After: Pornhub faces the same strict EU rules as social media platforms

So far, three porn sites have been designated as ‘very large online platforms.’

NurPhoto via Getty Images

The European Union says three porn sites are now subject to stricter rules under the Digital Services Act (DSA). It has designated Pornhub, Stripchat and XVideos as “very large online platforms” (VLOPs) after determining they each have an average of more than 45 million monthly users in the EU. This means they will face the same rules as Facebook, X, and TikTok. (Is the discourse in comments really worse than parts of X? Yes. Probably.)

The three porn sites have four months to comply with additional obligations. That includes measures to prevent the spread of illegal content, which includes “child sexual abuse material and content affecting fundamental rights, such as the right to human dignity and private life in case of non-consensual sharing of intimate material online or deepfake pornography.”

The penalties for failing to comply with the DSA’s requirements are severe. Platform holders can be fined up to six percent of their annual global revenue.

— Mat Smith

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E-scooter rental company Bird files for bankruptcy

It will continue to operate as usual, for now.

REUTERS/Mike Blake

After laying off nearly a quarter of its staff last year, e-scooter rental company Bird has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Bird launched in multiple cities in 2017, amid a lot of hype framing e-scooters as a sustainable urban mobility solution. The company continued to expand despite a lack of profitability (following the Uber model), but the COVID pandemic forced the company to halt operations in multiple locations around the world. Since then, cities have also become more hostile to e-scooter rentals. This filing doesn’t affect Bird Canada or Bird Europe, which are separate organizations. Unfortunately. So, I can expect to keep tripping over the e-scooters dotted around London in 2024.

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Watch an AI robot learn to demolish humans at a marble maze game

CyberRunner beat Labyrinth faster than any previously recorded time.

ETH Zurich

ResearSo I can expect to keep tripping over e-scooters dotted around London in 2024.chers have developed an AI-powered robot they claim can beat Labyrinth, the physical marble game, faster than humans. The aim of these games is to guide a marble through a maze without falling into any holes, using two dials to angle the board. Thomas Bi and Raffaello D’Andrea of ETH Zurich created CyberRunner, which combines model-based reinforcement with the dexterity needed to beat the game. The joke is on AI, though — marble mazes are boring.

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Sony has sold 50 million PS5 consoles so far

It’s estimated to have outsold the Xbox Series X and S by three to one this year.

The PlayStation 5 has officially hit the 50 million sales milestone, despite all the supply chain issues that kept PS5s in limited supply. Oh, and a pandemic. Fun fact: It took the PS5 a week longer than PlayStation 4 to reach 50 million sales. According to the Financial Times, Sony has also outsold the Xbox Series X and S by almost three to one this year, based on data from Ampere Analysis. While Microsoft doesn’t release official Xbox sales numbers (I wonder why…), Ampere estimated Microsoft sold 7.6 million next-gen systems this year, while Sony’s sales reached 22.5 million units.

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