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‘Further complicate the Twitter-Musk litigation’: Ad execs seek to understand specifics of Twitter whistleblower’s claims for advertisers

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‘Further complicate the Twitter-Musk litigation’: Ad execs seek to understand specifics of Twitter whistleblower’s claims for advertisers

Advertisers’ apathy toward Twitter may have just gone from bad to worse given Tuesday’s news of a whistleblower detailing alleged security and privacy issues at the platform

The whistleblower, Twitter’s former chief security officer Peiter Zatko, detailed the various ways he believed the company’s security problems may cause issues for users, company shareholders as well as the country in a 200 page disclosure sent to Congress and various federal agencies last month, according to CNN. That this news comes on the heels of the Elon Musk vs. Twitter case, with Musk citing bot and spam accounts as a major concern as he sought to terminate the deal to buy the platform for $44 billion this past July certainly doesn’t help, agency execs told Digiday.

Agencies are looking to understand the specifics of the security claims made to better assess how to hold Twitter accountable where necessary as well as how to guide clients as the public response so far has been vague. In a statement to CNN, Twitter noted that Zatko was fired in January and stated that the disclosure is “riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies and lacks important context” and that “security and privacy have long been company-wide priorities at Twitter and will continue to be.” (Twitter did not respond to a request for comment from Digiday.) Some agency execs say they haven’t received outreach from Twitter reps to discuss the issue yet. Until then some agencies are holding off on specific guidance for clients.

“Unless there is a claim that user data was inappropriately made available to advertisers, then this is a matter between regulators and Twitter,” said one senior agency exec who requested anonymity when asked about the matter. “It will also no doubt further complicate the Twitter-Musk litigation.”  

The belief that this news coupled with the ongoing battle between the platform and Musk will be an issue for the company is a common sentiment among agency execs and industry analysts. One ad exec explained that it will likely continue to stir up feelings of uncertainty and hesitation about spending ad dollars with the platform that have been ongoing since the stalled Musk acquisition.

“Peiter “Mudge” Zatko is a well-respected member of the security community so the fact these allegations are coming directly from him will warrant some pause at least in the privacy and security circles,” said Paul Roberts, CEO and founder of digital ad software platform Kubient.

Twitter had already seen a slight slowdown in its most recent earnings report, which showed total revenue of $1.18 billion or a decrease of 1% year-over-year. Advertising accounted for $1.08 billion of that or an increase of 2% year over year. Even at the time, Twitter put the responsibility of those figures on “advertising industry headwinds associated with the microenvironment” and “uncertainty” surrounding Musk’s acquisition.

“This news already reinforces the perception that’s out there, which likely won’t diminish the brand’s relevance to users, but will further undermine the stock price and give Elon [Musk] more ammunition to get out,” said Allen Adamson, co-founder of brand consultancy Metaforce.

That said, aside from the focus on what the news could do for the Musk case, advertisers and agency execs seem unfazed by the news. Some say that’s because Twitter isn’t a main focus for many advertisers and represents little of performance marketing budgets. Others note that security issues are common for platforms in today’s day and age. 

“We haven’t heard anything from our reps but to be extremely honest every single time this happens it: a) Isn’t shocking or surprising,” said one ad exec who requested anonymity. “Like any platform or anything within the digital realm, it is susceptible to hacking or nefarious activities. b) Some form of this stuff always seems to be happening (just the other day it was TikTok’s ability to record keystrokes in the browser, etc). At this point we’re desensitized. c) Any compromise or breach is going to be negative for the respective platforms.”

Julian Cannon and Michael Burgi contributed reporting to this piece.

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are
A player shouldering the ball



(Image credit: EA)

FIFA 23 might be the best game soccer game yet for terrible sports fans, as it lets you turn off commentary that criticizes your bad playing.

Now that the early access FIFA 23 release time has passed, EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can hop into the game ahead of its full release. But as Eurogamer (opens in new tab) spotted, they’ll find a peculiar option waiting for them.

FIFA 23 includes a toggle to turn off ‘Critical Commentary’. The setting lets you silence all negative in-match comments made about your technique, so you can protect your precious ego even when you miss an open goal or commit an obvious foul. The more positive commentary won’t be affected. 

Spare your feelings

A player dribbling the ball in FIFA 23

(Image credit: EA)

The feature looks tailored toward children and new players, who don’t want to have their confidence wrecked within mere minutes of picking up the controller. But even experienced players who just so happen to be terrible at the game might benefit.

It’s not perfect, though. According to Eurogamer, the feature didn’t seem to work during a FIFA Ultimate Team Division Rivals match, with critical comments slipping through the filter. Still, who hasn’t benefited from a light grilling every now and then?

Polite commentary isn’t the only new addition in FIFA 23. It’s the first game in the series to include women’s club football teams, and fancy overhauled animations that take advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S’s new-gen hardware. EA will be hoping to end on a high, as FIFA 23 will be the last of its soccer games to release with the official FIFA licence.

If disabling critical commentary doesn’t improve your soccer skills, maybe building a squad of Marvel superheroes will. Although you might not do much better with Ted Lasso wandering the pitch.

FIFA 23 is set to fully release this Friday, September 30.

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games. 

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch
The backs of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro



(Image credit: Google)

We’re starting to hear more and more Google Pixel 7 leaks, with the launch of the phone just a week away, but tech fans might be getting a lot of déjà vu, with the leaks all listing near-identical specs to what we heard about the Pixel 6 a year ago.

It sounds like the new phones – a successor to the Pixel 6 Pro is also expected – could be very similar to their 2021 predecessors. And a new price leak has suggested that the phones’ costs could be the same too, as a Twitter user spotted the Pixel 7 briefly listed on Amazon (before being promptly taken down, of course).

Google pixel 7 on Amazon US. $599.99.It is still showing up in search cache but the listing gives an error if you click on it. We have the B0 number to keep track of though!#teampixel pic.twitter.com/w5Z09D28YESeptember 27, 2022

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According to these listings, the Pixel 7 will cost $599 while the Pixel 7 Pro will cost $899, both of which are identical to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro starting prices. The leak doesn’t include any other region prices, but in the UK the current models cost £599 and £849, while in Australia they went for AU$999 and AU$1,299.

So it sounds like Google is planning on retaining the same prices for its new phones as it sold the old ones for, a move which doesn’t make much sense.


Analysis: same price, new world

Google’s choice to keep the same price points is a little curious when you consider that the specs leaks suggest these phones are virtually unchanged from their predecessors. You’re buying year-old tech for the same price as before.

Do bear in mind that the price of tech generally lowers over time, so you can readily pick up a cheaper Pixel 6 or 6 Pro right now, and after the launch of the new ones, the older models will very likely get even cheaper.

But there’s another key factor to consider in the price: $599 might be the same number in 2022 as it was in 2021, but with the changing global climate, like wars and flailing currencies and cost of living crises, it’s a very different amount of money.

Some people just won’t be willing to shell out the amount this year, that they may have been able to last year. But this speaks to a wider issue in consumer tech.

Google isn’t the only tech company to completely neglect the challenging global climate when pricing its gadgets: Samsung is still releasing super-pricey folding phones, and the iPhone 14 is, for some incomprehensible reason, even pricier than the iPhone 13 in some regions. 

Too few brands are actually catering to the tough economic times many are facing right now, with companies increasing the price of their premium offerings to counter rising costs, instead of just designing more affordable alternatives to flagships.

These high and rising prices suggest that companies are totally out of touch with their buyers, and don’t understand the economic hardship troubling many.

We’ll have to reach a breaking point sooner or later, either with brands finally clueing into the fact that they need to release cheaper phones, or with customers voting with their wallets by sticking to second-hand or refurbished devices. But until then, you can buy the best cheap phones to show that cost is important to you.

Tom’s role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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