April 14, 2017 Last Updated 8:22 am

North Korea does not act well to tweet threats; Facebook takes down 30,000 accounts in France

Morning Brief: Financial Times looks at the luxury category and finds traditional magazines starting to feel the effects of new titles from retailers that are marrying content and commerce

This Good Friday begins with the North Koreans warning that nuclear war could break out “at any moment,” the press going gaga over a bomb dropped in Afghanistan, and the president off to play more golf at his resort in West Palm Beach.

Meanwhile, I had new windows installed in my house yesterday, quite a project, but I now realize that I failed to ask the guy from Renewal By Andersen if the glass being used was blast resistant.

What has the Koreans rattled is something Americans have grown used to ignoring: Trump’s tweets. Often written by one of his aids, often sounding like written by a grade schooler, the tweets not to be taken too serious – yet until recently everyone has taken them far too seriously. The Koreans just aren’t there yet.

The New York Times, Gerry Mullany and Chris Buckley:

North Korea Says Nuclear War Could Break Out ‘At Any Moment’

Alluding to the Trump administration’s decision to send a naval flotilla to the region amid fears that Pyongyang is about to test a nuclear weapon, North Korea accused the United States of introducing “nuclear strategic assets” to the peninsula and of “pushing the situation there to the brink of war.

“This has created a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out any moment on the peninsula,” the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s Institute for Disarmament and Peace said in a statement published by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

Recent satellite images from North Korea suggest that it might soon carry out another underground detonation, analysts say, despite pointed warnings by the United States not to do so. On Saturday, the North will celebrate the 105th anniversary of the birth of its founder, Kim Il-sung, and it often uses such occasions as an opportunity to show off its military advances.

The Hill, Ben Kamisar:

North Korean official warns of preemptive strike of its own

Vice Minister Han Song Ryol on Friday told The Associated Press that President Trump’s tweets are part of a “vicious cycle” of escalated tensions in the region, adding that North Korea will continue to stockpile more nuclear warheads and improve on the country’s nuclear program…

“We’ve got a powerful nuclear deterrent already in our hands, and we certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a U.S. pre-emptive strike,” Han said. “Whatever comes from the U.S., we will cope with it. We are fully prepared to handle it.”

France goes to the polls on April 23rd, and assuming the world will still be here, much of Europe will be riveted to their family room chairs watching for the results.

But unlike the US election, where it appears that social media outlets ignored the flood of trolls and bots, Facebook has taken action to lessen the influence of nefarious actors.


Facebook cracks down on 30,000 fake accounts in France

Facebook Inc said on Thursday it suspended 30,000 accounts in France as the social network giant steps up efforts to stop the spread of fake news, misinformation and spam.

The move, which comes 10 days before the first round of a hotly contested French presidential election, is among the most aggressive yet by Facebook to move against accounts that violate its terms of service, rather than simply respond to complaints.

Facebook is under intense pressure in Europe as governments across the continent threaten new laws and fines unless the company moves quickly to remove extremist propaganda or other content that violates local laws.

TechCrunch, Romain Dillet:

Facebook runs full page newspaper ads against fake news in France ahead of the election

…it looks like Facebook wants to avoid another fake news scandal as the company is preemptively running full page ads in major French newspapers.

The ad gives ten tips to spot fake news on the internet. You’ll find it today in the paper edition of Le Monde, Les Échos, Libération, Le Parisien, 20 Minutes and potentially other newspapers. Facebook tells you to check the URL, the date, the photos, the facts in the article and more. It’s similar to the tips that started to appear at the top of the news feed in the Facebook app. You can check it out at the end of the article.

If there has been one category of magazines that have survived the digital ad trend it has been the luxury category. Almost all the economic gains in recent years have been achieved by the top 1 percent of wage earners, and publishers and brands have noticed. This has meant that while many magazine categories have been experiencing sharp declines in ad pages, lifestyle brands and new luxury magazine launches have remained healthy.

That may be changing.

Financial Times, David Bond (paywall):

Luxury magazines face digital headwinds
Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair readers and advertisers switch to online rivals
The luxury magazine market, for so long a well-heeled haven from the turmoil facing the rest of the print media industry, could be about to confront the same headwinds battering other magazines and newspapers.

Analysts say that glossy magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair are starting to see a shift in readers and advertisers to online social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.

But they are also being hit by forces specific to the industry that has for so long offered them protection.

Retailers such as Net-a-Porter are emerging as new rivals, marrying content and commerce in one place and blurring the old lines between editorial and advertising. They are offering fashion-conscious consumers a direct way to buy clothes and other luxury items online. Vogue responded by setting up its own online retail site, Style.com.

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