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12:40 PM ET, July 8, 2020

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 Top News: 
New York Times:
How the Harper's letter grew from a core of about 20 people, led by Thomas Chatterton Williams, and how blowback built especially to J.K. Rowling's inclusion  —  An open letter published by Harper's, signed by luminaries including Margaret Atwood and Wynton Marsalis, argued for openness to “opposing views.”
RELATED:
Harper's:
Over 150 journalists, academics, and writers sign a letter criticizing what they see as narrowing boundaries of debate and increasing self-censorship  —  We welcome responses at letters@harpers.org  —  Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial.
Discussion: @harpers, @jennyboylan, American Press Institute, New Republic, @lindaholmes, The Guardian, @mattwelch, New Republic, @emilyvdw, @jessesingal, @jordanfreiman, @jonathanchait, @parkermolloy, NME, @ositanwanevu, @juddlegum, Tangle, Reason, @yascha_mounk, @popehat, @sapinker, bookforum.com, @greenidgekerri, Fox News, Bookninja, SPLICETODAY.com, @jk_rowling, @benyt, @darrengrimes_, The World Is Yours*, @ritapanahi, @popehat, @neontaster, @mccormick_ted, @llw902, @sarahjamielewis, @nberlat, @baddiel, @divinadecampo, @bethlynch2020, @bealelab, @popehat, @dennismhogan, @benyt, @mizzousundevil, @jmrivera02, @elivalley, @tomcoates, Conquest of the Useless, @nberlat, @jbenton, @nicolacoughlan, @dancow, @jk_rowling, @revrrlewis, @samthielman, @nishachittal, @emilyvdw, The Week, @lostblackboy, @lostblackboy, @talkingbiznews, @sanasaeed, @ericrweinstein, @labuzamovies, @nilegardiner, @wwwritingclub, @aidanctweets, @catespice, @originalspin, @davereaboi, @asteadwesley, Variety, @tage_rai, @tage_rai, @jonhaidt, @tage_rai, @paulbloomatyale, @paulbloomatyale, @erinbiba, @kyebarker, @mathewi, @internethippo, @sharonwaxman, @sharonwaxman, @sharonwaxman, @mathewi, @musiccitymark, @mathewi, @gothamgirlblue, @scottmgreer, @sbarolo, @mazmhussain, @horowitz39, @owillis, @megbasham, @brinyfeminist, @blueboxdave, @aetherlev, @mountain_goats, @maxwellstrachan, @juliacarriew, @juliacarriew, @lindaholmes, @lindaholmes, @lindaholmes, @erinbiba, @erinbiba, @popehat, @jackshafer, @nototally, Deadline, @mathewi, @rafiletzter, @dianelyssa, @anitathetweeter, @velocciraptor, @coriewhalen, @inezfeltscher, @monachareneppc, @edmerea, @boringstein, @umm_catie, @mobute, @rottenindenmark, @paulconstant, @shane_burley1, @thomaschattwill, @parkermolloy, @thomaschattwill, @thomaschattwill, @thomaschattwill, @mattbc, @parkermolloy, @paulcrider, The Ludic Log, @kerrymflynn, @kerrymflynn and Breitbart
Mike Isaac / New York Times:
An independent audit commissioned by Facebook harshly criticizes the company, arguing that some of its decisions were “significant setbacks for civil rights”  —  An independent audit faulted the social network for “vexing and heartbreaking decisions” that affect its users — and potentially the November elections.
RELATED:
Free Press:
After meeting between leaders of Facebook, ADL, Free Press, NAACP, and Color Of Change, boycott organizers are unconvinced meaningful change will occur  —  Contact: Timothy Karr, 201-533-8838  —  WASHINGTON — On Tuesday afternoon, leaders of four of the organizations coordinating …
Devin Coldewey / TechCrunch:
Facebook's Oversight Board says it won't be operational until “late fall”, likely after the US Presidential election  —  Facebook has announced that the limp “Oversight Board” intended to help make difficult content and policy decisions will not launch until “late fall,” which is to say, almost certainly after the election.
Torrey Hart / The Streamable:
Comcast launches an app for Dish's Sling TV on its Xfinity Flex boxes, making it the first live TV streaming service available for its broadband customers  —  Comcast Xfinity Flex users now have access to the Sling TV app as a way to stream live television without a cable deal.
Discussion: Variety
RELATED:
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Amazon Fire TV adds live content from Sling TV, YouTube TV, and Hulu + Live TV  —  Amazon is upgrading its Fire TV's live TV experience through new integrations with several live TV streaming services, including Sling TV, YouTube TV, and Hulu + Live TV.  Live content from these services …
Sheila Dang / Reuters:
TikTok launches a self-service ad platform globally, with a music library and video editing tools to help brands make ads that match the style of TikTok videos  —  (Reuters) - TikTok's launch on Wednesday of a new platform to court small business advertisers is fraught with challenges …
RELATED:
CNN:
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the US is “looking at” banning TikTok and other Chinese social media apps amid rising tensions between US and China
Anthony Ha / TechCrunch:
London-based Permutive raises $18.5M Series B to help publishers target audiences more effectively using their own first-party data  —  Permutive is announcing that it has raised $18.5 million in Series B funding, as the London-based startup works to help online publishers make money in a changing privacy landscape.
Discussion: Tech.eu
Tonja Renée Stidhum / The Root:
NYT will adapt The 1619 Project into a portfolio of films, TV, and other content, in partnership with Lionsgate and with Oprah Winfrey as a producer  —  On August 14, 2019, on the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans' arrival into the English colonies that would become the United States …
Discussion: Variety and The Wrap
Nat Ives / Wall Street Journal:
Omnicom announces a deal to spend $20M on ads in podcasts distributed by Spotify in the second half of this year  —  Podcasters try to lure more marketers with high-profile talent and better ad technology  —  Omnicom Media Group plans to spend $20 million on advertising in podcasts distributed …
Discussion: Axios and @sarafischer
Jake Kanter / Deadline:
WarnerMedia hires Johannes Larcher, a former Hulu exec and current boss of Arabic language streamer Shahid, to lead the global rollout of HBO Max  —  EXCLUSIVE: WarnerMedia has hired Johannes Larcher, the former Hulu executive and current boss of Shahid, the word's largest Arabic language streamer …
 
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 More News: 
Taylor Soper / GeekWire:
Some best-selling authors team up with Amazon and Penguin Random House in a suit against Kiss Library, which they say sold unauthorized ebooks of their work
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Comcast plans to invest $2B in Peacock by 2021, expects it to generate $2.5B in revenue by 2024 with 30M-35M users, says users gravitate to its curated channels
 Earlier Picks: 
Adam Rawnsley / The Daily Beast:
Conservative news sites like Newsmax have published opinion pieces from a network of at least 19 fake personas pushing Middle East propaganda over the past year