Silicon Valley Courting Content Creators [Content Made Simple]

Issue #229: Gov't uses secretly recorded Clubhouse audio, Tiktok misinfo, and more.


Hello, Content Creators. Silicon Valley’s Investors Want to Meet You.



The creator economy, which provides digital tools to influencers and helps them run their businesses, is a huge, largely unexplored market. The venture capital firm SignalFire estimates that 50 million people around the world consider themselves content creators, while the technology news site The Information estimates that venture capital firms have invested $2 billion into 50 creator-focused start-ups so far this year.

The heightened interest from traditional venture capitalists could offer legitimacy to what some may still think is a fringe business. It could also add to the notion that this growing world of dance, chat and comedy is more than ephemeral youth culture.


Fascinating article from, who else, Taylor Lorenz (and Erin Woo) on how Silicon Valley investors are figuring out how to invest in content creators by creating tools that creators use to generate revenue and make a living doing what they love.


Link #1: On TikTok, audio gives new virality to misinformation

Good reporting from Brandy Zadrozny, one of my favorite internet culture reporters and a super kind person, on how TikTok’s audio functionality is being uniquely exploited for misinformation.

“People are using TikTok to post and host harmful Covid misinformation, and it’s highly popular,” said Ciaran O’Connor, an analyst for the Institute of Strategic Dialogue and lead author of a new report about misinformation on the app. “This function is being used exactly as TikTok designed it. The audio is being shared and reacted to. But the consequence is that it creates a feedback loop of anti-vaccine narratives.”

Link #2: If Not Twitter, Then What?

Samuel James hits the nail on the head here, especially in this paragraph I cite below.

The fact that evangelicals by and large are not players in this conversation is disappointing to me. Perhaps we feel like we are still fighting full-time just to block porn on our devices, so a philosophical consideration of the Web’s place in our lives is an intellectual pastime we can’t afford right now. Perhaps there’s so much Christian content online—sermons, articles, digital versions of the Bible—that thinking critically about the inherent value of the Web just doesn’t seem intuitive. Or perhaps we still just want above all not to be thought of as backward fundies.

Link #3: Jordan’s government used secretly recorded Clubhouse audio to spread disinformation

Yeah…not cool. Also not surprising.

When Clubhouse started taking off earlier this year, some users worried that sensitive conversations on the social audio app might be secretly recorded for nefarious purposes. In places like Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong, people were increasingly using Clubhouse to discuss taboo political topics, sparking concerns that authorities could be listening in. Now, researchers say that fear has come true.


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