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theEweekly Wrap: Arrington, advertising and anorexia

Arrington’s Den TechCrunch founder and editor Michael Arrington was in the spotlight this week after apparently relinquishing editorial control of the popular blog. There have been hints for a while that Arrington would be launching a venture capital fund – initially of $20 million – for web start-ups. Many were quick to point out that both blogging about and investing in tech companies could be a conflict of interest.

AOL acquired TechCrunch in September 2010 and is partially backing CrunchFund. However, in what was possibly Arrington’s last post for TechCrunch, he claimed the blog had lost its editorial independence, something AOL promised to safeguard during the acquisition.

UK gets Promoted Tweets More than a year after the US launch of Promoted Tweets, the social media advertising platform is set to become available to UK brands, according to Marketing Magazine. Companies will be able to pay to have their tweet appear in a user’s Twitter feed, or in their Trending Topics list, targeted according to the other accounts they follow. Rumours of UK companies who have signed up for Promoted Tweets began circulating as early as September last year.

In other news, Twitter and Bing used their official accounts on the micro-blogging site to announce they had extended their search deal. The partnership means that tweets can appear in Bing search results – something Google can’t do since their deal with Twitter expired and the Google RealTime Search function disappeared in July 2011.

Spain versus anorexia The Spanish Ministry of Health will be asking the European Union to take action against social media pages and profiles that condone anorexia and other eating disorders. The government initially asked Twitter to regulate its own content and block such messages, but the site refused last week. A company spokesperson said: “Twitter firmly believes in the importance of freedom of speech and works to guarantee that that freedom is maximized.”

Minister Leire Pajin will now be raising the matter in a meeting with other EU health representatives in October, and petition them to make a joint request, hoping it will be taken more seriously by Twitter and other social media sites. Spanish data protection authorities demanded earlier this year that Google delete nearly 100 links from its search engine results leading to articles deemed libellous.

Written by Rachel Hand

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