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Money Dysmorphia, TikTok Prepared to Battle, and the Kendrick Lamar and Drake Feud Spirals

Words by
Jackie Baucom

MAY 09, 2024

Money Dysmorphia, TikTok Prepared to Battle, and the Kendrick Lamar and Drake Feud Spirals

In a week filled with contention and battles, artificial intelligence has managed to impress — offering a glimmer of hope and progress for the future.

Let’s dive into this week’s news roundup.

Rap Rivalry Turns Dangerous

A Kendrick Lamar and Drake feud escalated over the weekend with a flurry of diss tracks and accusations — all while millions of riveted fans watched this unfold online.

Lamar’s first diss track accused Drake of deception, prompting a diss track from Drake alleging domestic violence and infidelity.

After several more diss tracks (including accusations of pedophilia and album artwork featuring Drake’s Toronto home), the feud reached new heights on Tuesday, when a security guard was shot outside of Drake’s house.

Kendrick Lamar vs. Drake Beef Goes Nuclear: What to Know | The New York Times

TikTok Sues U.S. Government Over New Bill

TikTok is suing the U.S. government to block enforcement of a bill mandating its Chinese owner, ByteDance, either sell the app or face a ban.

The lawsuit alleges the bill violates free speech rights, deeming it an unprecedented breach of the First Amendment. 

TikTok claims Congress hasn’t proven the app poses national security risks.

TikTok sues U.S. government, saying potential ban violates First Amendment | NBC News

New Law Addressing Sextortion in Mississippi

“Walker’s Law,” named after a Starkville, Mississippi teenager who died by suicide, has been signed into law by Gov. Tate Reeves.

The law, House Bill 1196, addresses sextortion, and establishes penalties, including prison time, for threatening to distribute private images to coerce others.

The bill takes effect on July 1 and accompanies additional legislation for parental consent on social media use by minors.

Sextortion bill named “Walker’s Law” passes, signed by governor | WTVA

The Battle Between Financial Literacy and FOMO

Young Americans increasingly rely on TikTok for news and financial advice, shaping their spending habits and outlook on money.

Influencers offer conflicting messages, promoting both frugality and luxury consumption.

Dubbed “money dysmorphia” by experts, this skewed perception of financial well-being may lead to increased debt and economic uncertainty among Gen Z.

How TikTok is Wiring Gen Z’s Money Brain | The Wall Street Journal

AI Tracking Depression Via Social Media

Researchers from Stony Brook University collaborated with Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania to develop an AI system that tracks depression and anxiety rates in nearly half of American counties using social media data.

The AI-generated measurements proved more reliable than traditional surveys, offering potential for real-time mental health monitoring and intervention.

Using AI and social media to track depression in communities could offer more reliable assessments than surveys | Medical Xpress

AI Illusion at the Met Gala

Singer, Katy Perry, posted images of herself at the Met Gala. The problem is Perry was actually working in a studio at the time and the gala images were created by AI.

The rise of AI-generated images, particularly in the context of events like the Met Gala, is raising concerns about authenticity and media literacy.

Experts warn of the potential threats posed by deepfakes, highlighting the importance of education and awareness in how to discern between real and fake content.

Katy Perry’s own mom fell for her Met Gala photo. Do you know what to look for? | NPR

The Rise of AI Girlfriends on Social Media

Thousands of ads promoting sexually explicit “AI girlfriend” apps are flooding Facebook and Instagram.

Human sex workers argue that Meta is applying a double standard by unfairly targeting their posts while allowing chatbots and AI ads to thrive.

Despite policy violations, Meta is struggling to effectively remove these ads, sparking debate over censorship and Meta’s inability to control its platforms. 

Ads for Explicit ‘AI Girlfriends’ Are Swarming Facebook and Instagram | Wired

Randy Travis Returns with AI-Crafted Melody

Country Music Hall of Famer, Randy Travis, regained his voice with AI assistance after suffering a stroke.

Travis’ first song in over a decade, “Where That Came From,” was developed by AI experts.

The process restores his distinctive style, marking a poignant moment for the artist and industry.

With help from AI, Randy Travis got his voice back. Here’s how his first song post-stroke came to be | AP News

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