Twitter shareholders to meet amid Elon Musk’s takeover drama
Elon Musk on Wednesday revised the financing plan for his proposed $44 billion purchase of Twitter, raising investor hopes that the unpredictable billionaire still intends to pull off a deal roiled by market turbulence and Musk's own unpredictable fixation with the number of fake accounts on Twitter.
Twitter says it's testing an 'edit' button
Twitter tweeted Tuesday that it is indeed working on a way for users to edit their 280-character messages, although it says the project has nothing to do with the fact that edit-function fan Elon Musk was just revealed as the company’s largest shareholder and now sits on its board.
Prince Harry says he warned Twitter CEO of U.S. Capitol riot
Britain’s Prince Harry has sharply attacked the failure of social media companies to challenge hate online, revealing that he warned the chief executive of Twitter ahead of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots that the site was being used to stage political unrest.
Foundations, new donors build $51M fund to support workers
A fund created by a group of social-justice-minded foundations including Ford and Rockefeller and donors like Jack Dorsey and MacKenzie Scott shortly after COVID hit has more than quadrupled in size to $51 million and is now pouring money into activities and advocacy to strengthen the social safety net and increase worker pay.
The Latest: Twitter grilled about blocking a NY Post article
Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON – The latest news from a House committee questioning the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter. ___2:30 p.m.Rep. Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, raised the long-running conservative talking point that Twitter, Facebook and Google are biased against conservative viewpoints and censor material based on political or religious viewpoints. Scalise highlighted Twitter’s blocking of a New York Post article on Hunter Biden, which CEO Jack Dorsey said was a mistake that the company corrected within 24 hours. AdThis would include product vice presidents of integrity, trust and safety and vice presidents of platform policy — at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (rather than Google, which owns YouTube) and perhaps an upstart like TikTok. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Sundar Pichai, CEO of YouTube parent Google, are facing questioning at a hearing by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Lawmakers press Big Tech CEOs on speech responsibility
Republicans raised long-running conservative grievances, unproven, that the platforms are biased against conservative viewpoints and censor material based on political or religious viewpoints. There is increasing support in Congress for legislation to rein in Big Tech companies. The tech CEOs defended the legal shield under Section 230, saying it has helped make the internet the forum of free expression that it is today. Trump enjoyed special treatment on Facebook and Twitter until January, despite spreading misinformation, pushing false claims of voting fraud, and promulgating hate. The tech blog Gizmodo eventually revealed the device was a “BlockClock” that shows the latest prices of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum.
Report: Extremist groups thrive on Facebook despite bans
More than two-thirds of the groups and pages had names that aligned with several domestic extremist movements, the report found. Facebook acknowledged that its policy enforcement “isn't perfect,” but said the report distorts its work against violent extremism and misinformation. In October, it banned QAnon groups across its platform. It has also banned extremist and militia movements and boogaloo groups with varying degrees of success. ___This story has been corrected to show that the groups were still active on the platform as of Feb. 24, not March 18.
Stripe continues cash haul, now valued at $95 billion
The online payment company continues to attract investors, raising $600 million in funding to reach a company valuation of $95 billion, making it the most valuable private fintech company in the world. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)The online payment company Stripe continues to attract investors, raising $600 million in funding to reach a whopping company valuation of $95 billion. Stripe is by far the most valuable private fintech company in the world. Robinhood, the trading platform recently making headlines, just raised $3 billion to reach a valuation of around $11.2 billion. Companies that enable online payments have thrived in the pandemic.
Square, Inc. to buy majority of Tidal and put Jay-Z on board
FILE - In this July 23, 2019, file photo, Jay-Z makes an announcement of the launch of Dream Chasers record label in joint venture with Roc Nation, at the Roc Nation headquarters in New York.Financial technology company Square, Inc. says it has reached an agreement to acquire majority ownership of Tidal, the music streaming service partly owned by Jay-Z. (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP, File)SAN FRANCISCO – Financial technology company Square, Inc. said Thursday that it has reached an agreement to acquire majority ownership of Tidal, the music streaming service partly owned by Jay-Z. Under the deal, Square will pay $297 million in cash and stock for Tidal, Jay-Z will be named to Square's board of directors, and he and other artists who currently own shares in Tidal will remain stakeholders. Tidal has presented itself as the artist-friendly alternative to other music streamers, and Square says it will take that phenomenon further for musicians just as it has for businesses with its financial systems. AdJay-Z said in the statement that the “partnership will be a game-changer for many.” I look forward to all this new chapter has to offer!"
English soccer at breaking point over abuse on social media
Racist abuse. And social media accounts allowed to stay active even after spreading bile. English football has reached breaking point with players, coaches, referees and officials aghast at the ongoing proliferation of hate aimed at them on Instagram and Twitter. This is being enforced almost two years after players in England boycotted social media for 24 hours. The government is also introducing legislation — the online safety bill — that could see social media companies fined for failing to protect their users.
English soccer heads ask Zuckerberg, Dorsey to act on racism
The leaders of English soccer have asked the heads of Facebook and Instagram to show basic human decency by taking more robust action to eradicate racism and for users identities to be verified. There has been growing outrage that players from the Premier League to the Womens Super League have been targeted with abuse on Twitter and Facebook-owned Instagram. “The language used is debasing, often threatening and illegal,” the eight English soccer leaders, including from the Football Association and Premier League, wrote to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook chairman Mark Zuckerberg. The letter was signed by the CEOs of the English Football Association (Mark Bullingham), Premier League (Richard Masters), English Football League (Trevor Birch), Professional Footballers’ Association (Gordon Taylor) and League Managers’ Association (Richard Bevan). Threats of violence on social media have also alarmed English soccer this week.
EXPLAINER: What is Clubhouse, the buzzy new audio chat app?
The icon for the social media app Clubhouse is seen on a smartphone screen in Beijing, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. You can also download the app and get on a waiting list to be let into Clubhouse. Although Clubhouse hasn't divulged how many people are using its service, its app has been downloaded 5.3 million times, according to analytics firm App Annie. Thousands of Chinese users have flocked to the app in recent months, lured by the unfettered discussions it allowed with people abroad — particularly about democracy, Taiwan and other sensitive topics. Users still could download it if they had access to an Apple app store abroad.
Twitter posts strong Q4 results as user base, revenue jumps
Twitter posted solid results for the last three months of 2020, capping what CEO Jack Dorsey called an extraordinary year for the platform. Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of 29 cents per share and revenue of $1.18 billion, according to a poll by FactSet. Twitter had 192 million daily users, on average, in the third quarter, up 27% year-over-year. By comparison, Facebook had 1.84 billion daily users on average in December 2020, an increase of 11% year-over-year. But he added that advertising revenue should remain strong as the company continues to invest in ad infrastructure.
Bezos and Bloomberg among top 50 US charity donors for 2020
Bezos is one of the 50 Americans who gave the most to charity in 2020, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropys annual rankings. “There has been change building among private donors.”All told, the 50 biggest donors contributed $24.7 billion in 2020, compared with $15.8 billion in 2019. The $1 billion-plus of giving by each of the top five on the Philanthropy 50 matches last year’s record. No more than three donors gave $1 billion or more in any of the previous years. Colleges and universities received $2.2 billion from Philanthropy 50 donors in 2020.
Facebook's oversight board to rule on Trump ban
But it said it's referring the matter to the oversight board for what it called an “independent judgment” on upholding the decision. The board does not set Facebook policies or decide if the company is doing enough to enforce them in the first place. The first four board members were directly chosen by Facebook. Facebook also pays the board members’ salaries. CEO Jack Dorsey defended his company’s Trump ban in a philosophical Twitter thread last week, saying that resulting risk to public safety created an “extraordinary and untenable circumstance” for the company.
Trump to leave Washington on morning of Biden’s inauguration
FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, file photo, President Donald Trump arrives on the South Lawn of the White House, in Washington, after returning from Texas. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump will leave Washington next Wednesday morning just before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration to begin his post-presidential life in Florida. He has not invited the Bidens to the White House for the traditional bread-breaking, nor has he spoken with Biden by phone. Stewart D. McLaurin, the president of the White House Historical Association, said he had reached out to the White House chief usher, who manages the building's artifacts with the White House curator, because of questions raised by the images. That includes White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
Twitter CEO defends Trump ban, warns of dangerous precedent
Dorsey broke his silence to defend his companys ban of President Donald Trump as the right decision, but warned that it could set a dangerous precedent. The ban, he said, revealed Twitters failure to create an open and healthy space for what Dorsey calls the global public conversation. (Michael Reynolds/Pool Photo via AP, File)SAN FRANCISCO – Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defended his company’s ban of President Donald Trump in a philosophical Twitter thread that is his first public statement on the subject. “I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter,“ Dorsey wrote. The Twitter co-founder, however, had little specific to say about how his platform or other Big Tech companies could avoid such choices in the future.
Twitter bans Trump, citing risk of violent incitement
This Friday, Jan. 8, 2021 image shows the suspended Twitter account of President Donald Trump. On Friday, the social media company permanently suspended Trump from its platform, citing "risk of further incitement of violence." (AP Photo/Tali Arbel)Twitter banned President Donald Trump's account Friday, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence" following the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. On Thursday, Facebook suspended Trump's account through Jan. 20 and possibly indefinitely. Twitter merely suspended Trump's account for 12 hours after he posted a video that repeated false claims about election fraud and praised the rioters who stormed the Capitol.
Timeline: After years of slow steps, Facebook muzzles Trump
Nov. 10, 2016: Days after Trump's election, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls the idea that “fake news” on Facebook had influenced the election “a pretty crazy idea." Jan. 4, 2018: Zuckerberg declares his 2018 resolution is to “fix” Facebook. October-November 2018: Ahead of the 2018 U.S. midterm election, Facebook removes hundreds of accounts, pages and groups for suspected links to foreign election interference. May-June 2020: Facebook declines to remove Trump posts that suggest protesters in Minneapolis could be shot. Facebook also declines to take action on two Trump posts spreading misinformation about voting by mail.
Amazon's Bezos tops list of richest charitable gifts in 2020
– The world's richest person made the single-largest charitable contribution in 2020, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy's annual list of top donations, a $10 billion gift that is intended to help fight climate change. Amazon's founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, whose “real-time” worth Forbes magazine estimates at roughly $188 billion, used the contribution to launch his Bezos Earth Fund. According to the left-leaning Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies, from March 18 through Dec. 7, 2020, Bezos' wealth surged by 63%, from $113 billion to $184 billion. Bezos and the Zuckerbergs made up the next spots on last year's top 10 list, with $100 million donations — Bezos for Feeding America to aid food banks across the country and the Zuckerbergs to the same election security group. In February, the Chronicle will publish its list of the 50 biggest donors, which counts cumulative donations, not individual gifts.
Twitter launches disappearing tweets that vanish in a day
Twitter is launching tweets that disappear in 24 hours called “Fleets” globally, echoing social media sites like Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram that already have disappearing posts. Twitter tested the feature in Brazil, Italy, India, and South Korea, before rolling it out globally. Fleets are a “lower pressure” way to communicate “fleeting thoughts” as opposed to permanent tweets, Twitter executives Joshua Harris, design director, and Sam Haveson, product manager, said in a blog post. The news comes the same day Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced questions from a Senate Judiciary Committee about how they handled disinformation surrounding the presidential election. Such features are increasingly popular with social media users looking for smaller groups and and more private chats.
Twitter, Facebook CEOs vow election action; GOP touts curbs
Republican senators, including Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, revived complaints of censorship and anti-conservative bias against the social media platforms. The actions that Twitter and Facebook took to quell the spread of disinformation angered Trump and his supporters. They have focused their concern on hate speech and incitement on social media platforms that can spawn violence. Twitter and Facebook have both slapped a misinformation label on some content from Trump, most notably his assertions linking voting by mail to fraud. For days after the election as the vote counting went on, copycat “Stop the Steal” groups were easily found on Facebook.
Facebook, Twitter CEOs to be pressed on election handling
The committee summoned the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google to testify during the hearing. (Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON – The CEOs of Facebook and Twitter are being summoned before Congress to defend their handling of disinformation in the 2020 presidential election, even as lawmakers questioning them are deeply divided over the election's integrity and results. Twitter and Facebook have both slapped a misinformation label on some content from Trump, most notably his assertions linking voting by mail to fraud. Facebook insists that it has learned its lesson from the 2016 election and is no longer a conduit for misinformation, voter suppression and election disruption. The organization had pressed Facebook to take down the “Stop the Steal” group.
Social media CEOs rebuff bias claims, vow to defend election
The committee summoned the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google to testify during the hearing. Dorsey said Twitter was working closely with state election officials. Dorsey told Cruz that he does not believe that Twitter can influence elections because it's only one source of information. GOP senators raised with the executives an array of allegations of other bias on the platforms regarding Iran, China and Holocaust denial. “We approach our work without political bias, full stop," Pichai said.
Social media CEOs to face grilling from Republican senators
WASHINGTON – Less than a week before Election Day, the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google are set to be grilled by Republican senators making unfounded allegations that the tech giants show anti-conservative bias. With the election looming, Republicans led by President Donald Trump have thrown a barrage of grievances at Big Tech’s social media platforms, which they accuse without evidence of deliberately suppressing conservative, religious and anti-abortion views. The tech platforms are gateways to news online. It proposes that Congress enact rules preventing tech platforms from taking local news content without fair payment. “For too long, social media platforms have hidden behind Section 230 protections to censor content that deviates from their beliefs,” Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., the committee chairman, said recently.
Facebook, Twitter CEOs ordered to testify by GOP senators
FILE - This combination of photos shows logos for social media platforms Facebook and Twitter. (AP Photo/File)WASHINGTON – The GOP push against Facebook and Twitter accelerated Thursday after Republican senators threatened the CEOs of the social media companies with subpoenas to force them to address accusations of censorship in the closing weeks of the presidential campaign. Russia backed President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign through hacking of Democratic emails and a covert social media campaign. It was the first time in recent memory that the two social media platforms enforced rules against misinformation on a story from a mainstream media publication. With Trump leading the way, conservatives have stepped up their claims that Facebook, Twitter and Google, which owns YouTube, are biased, charging without evidence Silicon Valley’s social media platforms are deliberately suppressing conservative views.
Nigeria's anti-police brutality protests block major roads
Nigerian protests against police brutality continued Friday for the ninth day, with demonstrators fending off attacks from gangs suspected to be backed by the police, warnings from the Nigerian military, and a government order to stop because of COVID-19. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)LAGOS – Nigerian protests against police brutality continued Friday for the ninth day, with demonstrators fending off attacks from gangs suspected to be backed by the police, warnings from the Nigerian military, and a government order to stop because of COVID-19. In Lagos, Nigeria's largest city, protesters blocked the road to the international airport and the main highway into the city. The Lagos-Ibadan highway, one of Nigeria's busiest, is the main road linking the port city to the rest of Nigeria. The protests erupted last week after a video circulated online showing a man being beaten, apparently by police from the SARS unit.
Twitter CEO says it was wrong to block links to Biden story
Twitter was wrong to block weblinks to an unverified political story, CEO Jack Dorsey said on Friday, as the company responded to criticism over its handling of the story that had prompted cries of censorship from the right. “Straight blocking of URLs was wrong, and we updated our policy and enforcement to fix,” he tweeted. Dorsey was weighing in after an executive at the social media company announced changes late Thursday to its policy on hacked content following an onslaught of criticism. And instead of blocking links from being shared, tweets will be labeled to provide context, Gadde said. San Francisco-based Twitter initially responded by banning users from sharing links to the article in tweets and direct messages because it violated the company’s policy prohibiting hacked content.
Why tech giants limited the spread of NY Post story on Biden
OAKLAND, Calif. – When Facebook and Twitter moved quickly this week to limit the spread of an unverified political story published by the conservative-leaning New York Post, it led to predictable cries of censorship from the right. But if social media titans aren’t careful, their attempts to clamp down on a story can amplify it further. For the first time in recent memory, the two social media platforms enforced rules against misinformation on a story from a mainstream media publication. Twitter, meanwhile, blocked users from tweeting out the link to the story and from sending it in private messages. In part because of this, and in part by the mere act of trying to limit the story, the tech platforms soon became the story, especially in conservative circles where purported bias from Big Tech is already a prime talking point.
CEOs of 3 tech giants to testify at Oct. 28 Senate hearing
WASHINGTON – The CEOs of technology giants Facebook, Google and Twitter are expected to testify for an Oct. 28 Senate hearing on tech companies’ control over hate speech and misinformation on their platforms. It marks a new bipartisan initiative against Big Tech companies, which have been under increasing scrutiny in Washington and from state attorneys general over issues of competition, consumer privacy and hate speech. With Trump leading the way, conservative Republicans have kept up a barrage of criticism of Silicon Valley’s social media platforms, which they accuse without evidence of deliberately suppressing conservative views. The Justice Department has asked Congress to roll back long-held legal protections for online platforms, putting down a legislative marker in Trump’s drive against the social media giants. Democrats, on the other hand, have focused their criticism of social media mainly on hate speech, misinformation and other content that can incite violence or keep people from voting.
Senate panel moves to compel 3 social media CEOs to testify
(AP Photo/Amr Alfiky, File)WASHINGTON – A Senate panel voted Thursday to compel testimony from the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter as lawmakers opened a new front in the battle over hate speech, misinformation and perceived political bias on social media a month before the presidential election. With Trump leading the way, conservative Republicans have kept up a barrage of criticism of Silicon Valley’s social media platforms, which they accuse without evidence of deliberately suppressing conservative views. The Justice Department has asked Congress to roll back long-held legal protections for online platforms, putting down a legislative marker in Trump’s drive against the social media giants. At a White House event last week, officials said the legislative proposal would protect the open internet and prevent hidden manipulation by social media. The subcommittee, which is expected to issue a report on its findings soon, held a hearing Thursday at which experts discussed proposals to strengthen the antitrust laws and promote competition among Big Tech companies.
Jay-Z, Pharrell to release new song about Black ambition
NEW YORK Jay-Z and Pharrell Williams have teamed up to release a new song about Black ambition titled Entrepreneur." Black Twitter, whats that? When Jack gets paid, do you? raps Jay-Z, referring to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. For every one Gucci, support two FUBUs.On the track, Williams sings: In this position with no choice/The system imprison young Black boys/Distract with white noise." Williams told TIME the song is about how tough it is to be an entrepreneur in our country to begin with."
Rising star in Detroit departs suddenly for Silicon Valley
The chief financial officer at General Motors, Dhivya Suryadevara, is trading Detroit for Silicon Valley in a surprise departure to join Jack Dorsey's startup, Stripe. She has helped the company strengthen our balance sheet, improve our cost structure, focus on cash generation and drive the right investments for our future. Stripe is maintaining a $2 billion balance sheet, more fortress-like than besieged, as so many major companies have become during the COVID-19 crisis. Adding to Stripes client roster this year alone are the companies Caviar, Coupa, Just Eat, Mattel, NBC, and Paid. I really enjoy leading complex, large-scale businesses and I hope to use my skills to help accelerate Stripes already steep growth trajectory.General Motors named John Stapleton, GM North America chief financial officer, as acting global chief financial officer, effective Saturday.
Beyonc drops surprise single 'Black Parade' on Juneteenth
LOS ANGELES Beyonc did not let Juneteenth pass without dropping one of her signature surprises a new single called Black Parade.Im going back to the South, Im going back where my roots aint watered down," Beyonc sings, opening the track. Black joy is your right, the message said. We got rhythm, we got pride, we birth kings, we birth tribes, Beyonc sings toward the end of the nearly five-minute song. The release of Black Parade is the singers latest philanthropic effort. In 2013, Beyonc released the self-titled album Beyonc, also without any notice.
Donations to fight virus, injustice could sustain charities
In this Tuesday, June 16, 2020, photo, a pedestrian walks past the headquarters for United Way of King County, in downtown Seattle. United Way, a nonprofit that relies heavily on middle-class donors, said it has raised $900 million worldwide since mid-March. Were seeing record giving days. United Way, a nonprofit that relies heavily on middle-class donors, said it has raised $900 million worldwide since mid-March, when many states instituted virus restrictions that disrupted daily life. Love said United Way also is developing initiatives to address racial inequity as a part of its coronavirus relief efforts.
Nike, NFL and others to start giving workers Juneteenth off
Although slavery was already abolished more than two years earlier by the Emancipation Proclamation, it continued in some areas. Some businesses have professed support for the Black Lives Matter movement or pledged to donate money to organizations. Others have promised to hire more black workers or make other policy changes. This week, Nike CEO John Donahoe told workers they would get Juneteenth off starting this year as a way to celebrate black culture and history. The power of this historical feat in our countrys blemished history is felt each year," Goodell wrote in a memo.
China's companies emerge as global donors in virus pandemic
Ma's foundation also is giving ventilators, masks and other supplies in Africa, Latin America and Asia. The pandemic marks the debut of China's business elite as global humanitarian donors alongside their American, European and Japanese counterparts. Ma, Alibaba and other Chinese companies and tycoons are donating hundreds of millions of dollars of medical supplies, food and cash in dozens of countries. American companies including Walmart Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. have given medical supplies and money in Africa, India and Latin America. The company provides free online medical and psychological counseling services worldwide.
Twitter and Trump: A feud years in the making finally erupts
On the other: Twitter, the social media giant, which has grappled for years with how to handle its most prominent and divisive user. We really havent been at a place where social media companies were willing to take on this role.But it also heightens the dangers of polarization. For years, since long before he was president, Trump has used Twitter as a personal megaphone to build his personal brand, appeal to his supporters and attack his rivals of the moment. For the first time, it added fact-check links to two Trump tweets about the supposed risks of voting by mail. Not long afterward, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted that Twitter will continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally."