Meta’s chief operating officer says ‘I’m outta here’, Ofcom puts social media giants in the naughty corner and a life-saving NFT hits the market.

December 11, 2023



Meta’s chief operating officer says ‘I’m outta here’, Ofcom puts social media giants in the naughty corner and a life-saving NFT hits the market.

Meta’s COO steps down

Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down from her role as Meta’s chief operating officer after 14 years. Announcing her departure in a Facebook post, she said it was time for a new chapter, titled ‘ family and philanthropic work’ - (which she’ll continue to write from the board of directors). Sandberg joined Facebook as COO in 2008  and has become one of Facebook’s most prominent public faces; shaping policies, putting it on its path to becoming one of the most valuable and influential companies in the world and, crucially, navigating the myriad of public controversies it has battled - her own included. She’ll be replaced by Meta’s Chief Growth Officer Javier Olivan,  who will take on a more traditional COO role according to Zuckarberg. “I don’t plan to replace Sheryl’s role in our existing structure. I’m not sure that would be possible since she defined her role in her own unique way. But even if it were possible, I think Meta has reached a point where it makes sense to be more closely integrated,” he said in a statement. It’s the end of an era. But the question everyone is asking is, who ended it? Dun dun dun.

Social media giants are failing women

Ofcom has told social media platforms they aren’t taking women’s safety seriously enough. In a new report on online use in the UK, it found that women are significantly more affected by discriminatory, hateful and trolling conten than men, with 60% of female users expressing concern compared to 25% of men. Its study, which involved polling over 6,000 users, also found that females are much less confident about their online safety than men and feel less able to have a voice and share their opinions on the web than their male counterparts. In a statement accompanying the research, Ofcom’s CEO Melanie Dawes said; “The message from women who go online is loud and clear. They are less confident about their personal online safety and feel the negative effects more deeply. We urge tech companies to take women’s online safety concerns seriously and place people’s safety at the heart of their services.” While the regulator can’t yet force platforms to change, its new role as ‘social media harms watchdog’ will see it develop the power to fine rule breakers up to 10% of their global annual turnover in the Online Safety Bill currently before Parliament. So consider this your warning.

Live saving NFTs hit the market

A new project is using real cancer cells to create NFTs in order to fund cutting-edge cancer treatment. ‘Buy My Cancer’ takes microscopic images of real, live cancer cells and turns them into artwork to be sold as NFTs. The photos, which depict the cells of cancer patients at the Institute of Oncology in Gliwice, Poland, are transformed into paintings by Pawel Swanski - a Warsaw-based artist and designer renowned for his complex linework and murals. Described as the first NFT series designed to save lives, the project is a collaboration between the Institute of Oncology, the Alivia Cancer and Foundation and Swanski and is being used to fund a breakthrough cancer therapy known as CAR-T. “CAR-T may be the last hope for cancer patients for whom there are no other treatment options. Unfortunately, it is extremely expensive,” said Professor Sebastian Giebel, MD, PhD, who supervised the project, adding that this treatment was the beginning of a new era for cancer treatment. Once Swanski’s series of 3 paintings is sold, the participating organisations plan to kick off a #buymycancerchallenge, which will involve Swanski nominating the next artist to work on the project and so on.

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