The Big Story – The War In Ukraine

The Big Story podcast

This week, there’s only one big story: the Russian invasion and war in Ukraine.

The past week has been a time of traumatic firsts for the internet and for the world. The first deployment of NATO forces. The first time that supersonic jets are shooting one another out of the sky. The first TikTok how-to videos where teens demonstrate how to drive abandoned tanks.

The worlds of media, marketing and technology are reckoning with their role in a time of war. Beyond the usual questions of privacy, platforms now face the prospect of choosing sides in a major conflict – and difficult theoretical questions of content moderation and violent or state-sponsored imagery are all of a sudden not-so-theoretical.

Advertisers and agencies are figuring out their role as well. For many Americans, the reality of this war began, awkwardly, alongside an in-frame Applebee’s commercial featuring a dancing cowboy, which happened to roll just as the first air sirens went off in Kyiv.

Unfortunately, as a result of brand safety concerns, many advertisers are filtering out news stories and stories of Ukraine or Russia on TV but also, particularly, on the internet,

In this week’s episode, we examine the response by major internet platforms to the war in Ukraine, and how the war could have longstanding repercussions for US media and technology companies.

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