CES 2019: Sex tech is everywhere and nowhere Now playing: Watch this: Startups Facebook Sex Tech 19:34 0 Mobile Tech Industry Culture Mobile Apps Wellness The protestors brought posters showing rejected ads. Dame Products/Unbound Supporters, founders and employees of sex tech and women’s wellness startups like Dame Products and Unbound Babes assembled outside Facebook’s New York office Wednesday. The crowd protested the social media site’s policies, which don’t let the companies run ads for their products. Polly Rodriguez, CEO and co-founder of Unbound Babes, told CNET the event had a turnout of 40 to 50 founders, activists and educators. “Our goal was to raise awareness … and I feel pretty strongly we did just that,” Rodriguez said in an emailed statement. Tags Alexandra Fine, CEO and co-founder of Dame Products, added that the inability to advertise “created a great deal of drag on our mission.” “Advertising is a necessary and important part of connecting people to valuable solutions,” she said Wednesday. “There are millions of people who stand to improve their lives with our products, and they will have no idea we exist until we’re allowed to make contact with them. This doesn’t just impact a few businesses — it impacts the health and happiness of everyone who has sex.” The protests were along the lines of the Approved, Not Approved website that the two startups launched earlier this month. Approved, Not Approved is a game that lets you guess whether an advertisement was OK’d for public consumption. Dame Products / Unbound In June, Dame Products also sued the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority for rejecting its ads for vibrators. The sex tech protest isn’t the first protest Facebook’s New York office has seen. In June, dozens of anticensorship activists shed their clothes to protest the social media site’s nudity rules. In the wake of the protest, Facebook began talks with the activists over a compromise.The social media site appears to be taking the same approach this time. “We have had open lines of communication with both companies about our policies and are always taking feedback. We are working to further clarify our policies in this space in the near future,” a Facebook spokesperson said in an email. Facebook also pointed out its advertising policy that refers to adult products and services. The policy says ads can’t promote any adult products and services apart from family planning and contraception. In the case of contraceptives, the ad must focus on the “contraceptive features” of the product and not “sexual pleasure or sexual enhancement.” The ad also has to be targeted to users 18 years or older. Post a comment Share your voice Turned On Today a group of female founders protested in front of Facebook’s NYC office to raise awareness on the double standard in their ad policies. Head over to https://t.co/gKBK0mB7kq to see for yourself. https://t.co/QXXn59s1MF via @qz https://t.co/6GzkjhBlGv— Polly Rodriguez (@polly_claire) July 31, 2019
Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. ReutersMalaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said Wednesday he wants to develop an island on a cluster of rocks previously disputed with Singapore, a move that could anger its neighbour.The strategically located area has long been a flashpoint between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, and they previously took a territorial dispute to the United Nations top court.The International Court of Justice in 2008 awarded two rock clusters, called Middle Rocks, to Malaysia while a nearby island was deemed to be Singaporean territory.Malaysia launched a challenge to that ruling last year but Singapore’s foreign ministry said Wednesday it had been withdrawn by Kuala Lumpur.However, at the same time Mahathir announced Malaysia wanted to develop an island on Middle Rocks, at the eastern entrance of the strategic Singapore Strait.The 100-kilometre (60-mile) strait is one of the world’s busiest commercial shipping routes, with vessels using it to access the city-state’s port.“It is our intention to enlarge Middle Rocks into a small island for us,” the 92-year-old-who started his second stint as premier this month after a surprise election win-told a press conference.He gave no more details about what the proposed island would look like or how long it would take to build.Mahathir added that Malaysia had already built a structure on Middle Rocks. Reports said Malaysia inaugurated a maritime base there last year.James Chin, a Malaysia expert from the University of Tasmania, told AFP that Singapore would see the move as “hostile”.“Among the Singapore elite, they will see it as part of Mahathir’s anti-Singapore stance,” he said.It came after Mahathir announced this week that he was scrapping a planned high-speed railway between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, as he seeks to improve the nation’s finances.Both developments are likely to alarm the Singapore government, already wary of Mahathir’s return as ties between the neighbours were famously stormy during his first stint as premier from 1981-2003.Still, Kuala Lumpur’s decision to drop its case at the ICJ could assuage fears.Malaysia had lodged its challenge in February 2017, calling for the court to overturn its earlier ruling granting its neighbour sovereignty over the disputed island.
00:00 /01:17 Listen Share X AP Photo/John LocherRandy Tussing, an Airbnb host, looks at his phone while standing in his home, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, in Las Vegas.Starting May 1, people who host paying guests through Airbnb in Texas won’t get around paying the 6 percent state hotel occupancy tax.Laura Spanjian, public policy director at Airbnb’s southwest region, said many hosts didn’t know they had to pay those taxes or couldn’t figure out how to.“So we decided, could we actually take on the responsibility of the host and have Airbnb collect and remit the tax?” she said. “So we realized, legally, we could do that if we had agreements with cities and states that in essence transferred responsibility from a host to us.”Texas is not the only place where the company is doing this.By next month, Airbnb will have similar agreements with 250 jurisdictions in the United States, including 20 states.David Stacy has hosted guests through Airbnb for the past two years in his garage apartment north of downtown Houston.He said he has never paid hotel occupancy taxes before, but he’s not concerned that the additional charge will deter potential guests.“I’ve looked at lots of websites for Airbnb in cities that I enjoy traveling to, and I see Airbnb there for a lot less than I would have to pay for a hotel,” he said. “So to me, I think it’s still a good bargain.”Stacy said he wants to abide by the law and is glad Airbnb is stepping in.The city of Houston, by the way, does not yet have an agreement with the company and will still be missing out on a lot of revenue from the local hotel occupancy tax, which is 7 percent.Spanjian said she is in talks with Houston as well. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:
Popular on Variety This year, Patreon wants to simplify sending out physical goods to patrons with its own merchandise solution, it announced Wednesday. And last year, Patreon acquired Memberful to offer bigger artists a chance to provide membership services through their own websites.While Patreon is growing, it is also increasingly getting competition from other platforms looking to offer creators alternative revenue streams in addition to advertising. For instance, Facebook started testing paid memberships last March, and both Twitter and YouTube have been allowing live streamers to raise funding from their audiences.However, this clearly hasn’t stopped fans from using Patreon to support their favorite creators. The service’s number of patrons increased by 1 million in 2018, Patreon announced Wednesday. Membership services platform Patreon now has more than 3 million patrons who pay to support any of its over 100,000 creators every month, the company announced Wednesday. It’s also on track to pay more than $0.5 billion to creators this year.Patreon’s business is growing at a healthy rate. Payouts have been nearly doubling year-over-year for the past few years, and the company expects to surpass $1 billion in total payouts this year. In other words: Patreon will pay as much to creators this year as it has paid since its launch six years ago.Patreon has been primarily targeting smaller and independent creators, ranging from musicians to podcasters. The company is offering these creators an easy solution to ask their fans for monthly membership fees, and give them special content as well as other perks in exchange. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15