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Articles related to "political"


Why the US government is suing Google

  • The Department of Justice and 11 states filed the lawsuit against Google in a federal court, accusing Google of using money it makes from its dominant position in search to pay other companies to help maintain its lead and block out competitors.
  • And the suit says Google uses its profits from its massive hold on the search industry to maintain that grip by paying companies like Apple, LG, and AT&T to make it the default search engine on their devices, thus making it harder for potential rivals to compete.
  • Earlier this month, the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee concluded its year-long investigation into major tech companies, concluding that not just Google, but also Amazon, Facebook, and Apple, use monopoly power to protect their dominant positions in the industry.

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Facebook is limiting distribution of ‘save our children’ hashtag over QAnon ties

  • A spokesperson for the social network confirmed the move today, noting that child safety resources will be prioritized in search above those potentially tied to QAnon.
  • The company finally took action to remove the constellation of dangerous conspiracy theories with a ban on QAnon content across both Facebook and Instagram.
  • Facebook’s crackdown on QAnon and adjacent #SaveTheChildren content come after the company allowed the dangerous conspiracy theory group to thrive on its platform for years, moving from the fringes of online life into its center.
  • While President Trump and a handful of QAnon-friendly Republican political figures have given the conspiracies a boost, mainstream social networks allowed adherents to ferry the revelations of so-called “Q drops” from the obscure and often extreme message board 8chan into the center of American political life.

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The First Covid Sports Season Is Over. Here Are the Lessons.

  • America woke on the morning of March 12 to a strange new world without sports.
  • LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers were celebrating a National Basketball Association title.
  • Major League Baseball’s season was down to four teams battling for spots in the World Series.
  • National Football League and college football games were being played with some fans in stadiums.
  • The sports industry’s first Covid season ended this week with the final game of the World Series.
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers pulled star third baseman Justin Turner in the middle of the game after learning he tested positive—only to watch him flout isolation rules and celebrate the championship with his teammates on national television.
  • The leagues had both the resources and incentives to get back to work, and sports was months ahead of other industries that depend on gathering a lot of people in one place.

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Health officials rated celebrities on Trump loyalty while planning ad campaign

  • Democratic House lawmakers have had no luck getting the Department of Health and Human Services to hand over information on its $250 million advertising campaign to “defeat despair and inspire hope” amid the devastating coronavirus pandemic.
  • Caputo is a Trump loyalist, protégé of Roger Stone, and former Moscow-based political adviser who was installed at the HHS by the White House in April.
  • A central feature of the campaign was to have celebrities interview government officials, who would discuss the pandemic and the administration’s response.
  • The documents note that, when approached about participating in the campaign, Marc Anthony sought an amendment in the contract to ensure that none of his interview would be used in advertisements for Trump’s re-election campaign.
  • It’s unclear how the campaign organizers responded to the request, but the documents do clearly indicate that Anthony ultimately refused to participate.

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‘Cash Is Trash,’ So Let’s Bet $425 Million on Bitcoin

  • MicroStrategy Inc., which recently had half-a-billion dollars in cash sitting around, thinks it can do both.
  • The company could have gotten rid of its excess cash by paying a big dividend or by buying back much of its stock.
  • As the great financial analyst Benjamin Graham observed long ago, the better a company is at producing goods and services, the more likely it is to pile up more cash than it needs to sustain the business.
  • Why keep that surplus cash locked up and idle when investors could put it to better use elsewhere?
  • Now that yields are near zero, investors need to pay attention: When cash is trash, the pressure to take unprecedented risks with it is likely to rise.
  • With software and services so cheap to produce and provide, the company keeps piling up cash.

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Facebook challenges political ad targeting research at NYU

  • Last month, Edelson and her colleagues at NYU launched a project called the Ad Observatory that, in part, allows users to download a browser extension designed to record information about the political ads they saw on the platform.
  • The browser extension, which is called Ad Observer, “allows journalists and researchers to better understand the political misinformation and manipulation that spreads daily on your platform,” the group said.
  • Facebook claims that it provides transparency with its Ad Library, which the company built in response to demand for information about promoted campaigns on its platform.
  • Since people learned that Facebook had sent a cease-and-desist letter to the researchers, thousands more volunteers have downloaded the Ad Observer browser extension.
  • There were some related political ad controversies earlier this year, including the company allowing the Trump campaign to run hundreds of misleading ads related to the census as well as ads that contained Nazi imagery.

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‘Cash Is Trash,’ So Let’s Bet $425 Million on Bitcoin

  • In volatile markets, you can use cash as offense or defense.
  • MicroStrategy Inc., which recently had half-a-billion dollars in cash sitting around, thinks it can do both.
  • The company could have gotten rid of its excess cash by paying a big dividend or by buying back much of its stock.
  • Instead, MicroStrategy bet half its total assets on bitcoin.
  • So is this a publicly traded company or is it a hedge fund?

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Instagram nixes the ‘recent’ tab from hashtag pages ahead of election

  • The company announced yesterday that it would temporarily get rid of the “recent” tab on hashtag pages to potentially stop the spread of “harmful content” around the election.
  • Facebook said earlier this month it took down 120,000 posts across both Facebook proper and Instagram that violated its voter interference policies.
  • Facebook also says it will ban ads that wrongly claim victory in the US presidential race or ads that claim rampant voter fraud could alter the results of the election.
  • In September, Facebook announced a ban on new political ads the week before the election, and earlier this month, the company said it would stop accepting US-based political ads after the election “indefinitely” to avoid confusion and chaos stemming from potential misinformation and premature announcements about the results of the race.

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Kendrick Lamar and Travis Scott Poised to Capitalize on Free Agency

  • Four years ago, Yo Gotti landed the highest-charting album of his career after joining forces with a major record label.
  • Now the established rap star is out of his contract, having delivered all four albums it called for—but he’s not rushing to sign a new long-term deal.
  • Instead, the 39-year-old Memphis rapper has said he bought full ownership of his music, suggesting he exercised an option in his contract with Sony Corp.’s Epic Records to acquire 100% of his recording copyrights, also known as master recordings.
  • Historically, such “masters” have been the music industry’s crown jewels, held by record labels in perpetuity in exchange for taking on the financial risks of recording and promoting new artists, most of whom fail to become profitable superstars.
  • As Yo Gotti weighs his options as a free agent, he’s expanding his own label by signing artists like rising Detroit rapper 42 Dugg.

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On Election Day, we’re voting for a better internet

  • This year has seen plans to change foundational internet laws, multiple federal agencies launching investigations, and a scathing 450-page congressional report about Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple.
  • Ordinary people with concrete problems — like young YouTubers targeted by child predators or Amazon workers facing inhumane working conditions — have been sidelined by politicians championing right-wing media figureheads or complaining about their follower counts.
  • We need better rules and enforcement to protect people from invasive surveillance technologies like facial recognition, algorithms that inadvertently encourage discrimination or hide deliberately unfair systems, intimate “smart” products with huge security holes, and countless other modern digital perils.
  • We also need regulation targeted at law enforcement agencies that buy data to get around the Constitution, rifle through people’s social media profiles at the border, and run secretive online snooping campaigns across the US and the rest of the world.

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