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👩🏽‍⚖️ Parents are Big Tech’s new problem

The Hustle

Zoom’s new Avatars feature lets you show up to meetings as a rabbit, fox, dog, and more. All we have to say is that we foresee many more viral Zoom moments in the near future.

📣 P.S. To celebrate the launch of HubSpot Creators, we’re giving away an iPhone, Airpod Pros, and a bunch more goodies. Find out more here.

In today’s email:

  • Parents vs. tech: A new bill would let parents sue social media companies.
  • Chart: Americans’ warped perception of millionaires.
  • USPS: Can the agency compete in fast delivery?
  • Around the web: An audio-driven magazine, secret secrets, Telegram tips, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s 10-minute podcast to hear about Maine’s insane potato industry, Petco’s inflation prediction, parents vs. Big Tech, Russian oligarch shenanigans, and more.

The Big Idea
Facebook logo on a screen

A California bill would let parents sue predatory social media companies

Some people might think it’s a parent’s job to limit screen time, but what if companies are doing everything they can to keep kids scrolling?

The Social Media Platform Duty to Children Act is a California bill that would allow parents and guardians to sue social media companies that fail to prevent addiction in children.

The bill would only apply to companies that earn $100m+ in annual revenue and excludes things like search engines, streaming services, email providers, and comment sections.

But it mentions Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok by name.

Penalties for violators include:

  • A civil penalty of up to $25k per child user
  • Damages of $1k+ per child in a class-action suit

Companies can avoid liability by regularly auditing features and removing those determined to cause harm.

How social media hooks kids

The more time we spend on social media, the more those companies profit — thus, incentivizing them to keep us engaged.

Some tactics, however, are known to be addictive:

  • Endless scroll
  • Social rewards, like “Likes”
  • Collecting data so that algorithms can feed users targeted content

This can lead to significant harm in some users.

Documents leaked by the Facebook whistleblower included studies that found Instagram worsened eating disorders and self-esteem issues in teen girls.

The Wall Street Journal investigated TikTok algorithms’ negative impact on eating disorders.

Would this bill work?

The bill suggests the best way to get companies to stop causing harm is to make “harmful things risky or unprofitable.”

But one expert told Time the law is “too vague to be… actionable,” and thinks it’d be best to prevent data collection in the 1st place.

To that end, there are other bills in the pipeline:

  • A Minnesota bill would prohibit social media from using algorithms to target content to anyone under 18.
  • California’s Age-Appropriate Design Code Act lists several protections for children, including restricting data collection.
  • At the federal level, the Kids Online Safety Act would limit data collection, addictive features, and allow users to opt out of algorithm-based recommendations.

BTW: The Addiction Center has some tips for identifying social media addiction, as well as preventing or curbing it.

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PepsiCo and Beyond Meat’s PLANeT Partnership will debut a plant-based jerky this month in original, hot and spicy, and teriyaki flavors. #ecommerce-retail

Occidental Petroleum Corp. will sell “net-zero oil” to a South Korean refiner that will convert it into net-zero products once fully operational in 2024. #clean-energy

Metafund: Qualcomm announced a $100m metaverse fund to invest in various AR/VR applications. #emerging-tech

A new chart shows global interest in virtual currencies has waned, now 70% below 2021 highs. NFT searches are 65% lower than January 2022 highs. #fintech-crypto

YouTube will add ~4k episodes of TV shows, including “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Andromeda,” and “Heartland.” They’re free, but you have to watch the ads. #big-tech

Guess what
guesstimating $1m+ income households

Singdhi Sokpo

It appears Americans suck at guesstimating

Recent YouGov polls that ask folks to guess the percentage of US adults that fall into small subgroups show sizable discrepancies when compared to true proportions.

On average, for example, respondents said they perceive 20% of the US adult population to have a household income of $1m+. In reality, it’s less than 1%. Other interesting findings include:

  • Have a college degree: 47% perceived, 33% actual
  • Have flown on a plane: 59% perceived, 88% actual
  • Have a $25k+ household income: 62% perceived, 82% actual
  • Are left-handed: 34% perceived, 11% actual
  • Are Jewish: 30% perceived, 2% actual

For fun, let’s do our own poll right now: If you had to guess, how many Bitcoin millionaires are there?

If you said 86,048, you’d be correct.

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Free Resource

4 templates for flawless memos

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Upgrade my memo game →
Delivery Disruptor
USPS driver delivering mail

USPS wants in on the fast-delivery wars. Can it compete?

USPS has been called many things, but “disruptor” is not one of them.

A new offering called USPS Connect pits the agency against other fast-delivery players, and could be a game changer for ecommerce upstarts.

So what is it?

USPS Connect gives businesses of all sizes fast delivery options using the Postal Service network, previously only available to high-volume shippers, per Modern Shipper.

Specifically, Connect includes 4 services:

  • Local, offers same-day delivery in select locations, and next-day delivery in all locations
  • Regional, offers next-day regional delivery across most locations
  • National, offers a range of options from 1st-class to ground shipping
  • Returns, allows businesses to offer customers free returns via en route pickup

The offering also gives all customers access to the USPS Click-N-Ship platform, where they can buy postage and print labels online.

USPS ran a trial of Connect in Texas in 2021 and has already started rolling it out nationwide.

Will it be successful?

On one hand, USPS already has a sophisticated delivery network, with drivers visiting customers’ homes on a daily basis.

On the other, fast delivery isn’t exactly an untapped market — key players include FedEx, UPS, and, oh yeah, a little startup called Amazon.

It’s been said that “slow and steady wins the race,” and in the context of fast delivery, USPS is likely hoping that’s the case.

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🛢️ On this day: In 1989, oil tanker Exxon Valdez crashed in Prince William Sound, Alaska, gushing 11m gallons of oil — one of the worst environmental disasters of all time.

🤫 That’s interesting: Why do people let secrets about others slip? This study suggests people do it to punish each other when they believe the secret is immoral.

🗒️ How to: Popular Science shares some tips for getting the most out of messaging app Telegram.

🎧 That’s cool: Hii Magazine is a collection of articles about sound that you can read or, naturally, listen to.

🐕 Aww: A dog that’s clearly loving snow more than its owner.

Meme of the day
Mark Zuckerberg meme

When a nation of parents line up to sue. (Source: Distractify)

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How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

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