Facebook’s Libra code chugs along ignoring regulatory deadlock

“5 months and growing strong” the Libra Association announced today in a post about its technical infrastructure that completely omits the fierce regulatory backlash to its cryptocurrency. Forty wallets, tools and block explorers plus 1,700 GitHub commits have how now been built on its blockchain testnet that’s seen 51,000 mock transactions in the past two […]

Despite bans, Giphy still hosts self-harm, hate speech and child sex abuse content

Image search engine Giphy bills itself as providing a “fun and safe way” to search and create animated GIFs. But despite its ban on illicit content, the site is littered with self-harm and child sex abuse imagery, TechCrunch has learned. A new report from Israeli online child protection startup L1ght — previously AntiToxin Technologies — […]

PR pitch to Ola reveals the inner workings of UK ride-hailing politics

A UK PR firm pitching to run an account for Ola has proposed running a campaign to politicize ride-hailing as a tactic to shift regulations in its favor. The approach suggests that, despite the appearance of ride-hailing platforms taking a more conciliatory position with regulators that are now wise to earlier startup tactics in this […]

Ex-Facebook CPO Chris Cox now advises on climate & campaign tech

Chris Cox’s motivational speeches were at the heart of Facebook’s new employee orientation. But after 14 years at the social network, the Chief Product Officer left in March amidst an executive shake-up and Facebook’s new plan to prioritize privacy by moving to encrypt its messaging apps. No details on his next projects were revealed. Now […]

Vape lung ‘breakthrough’ suggests lethal culprit in THC products could be vitamin E acetate

Official word has come down from federal authorities on one potential cause of the mystery illness affecting vape users: Vitamin E acetate, a chemical found in some vaping products that has been demonstrated to linger in the lungs long afterwards. The finding has been called a “breakthrough” but is far from the last word on […]

I ran digital ads for a presidential campaign, and Twitter is right to ban them

Aaron Bartnick Contributor Aaron Bartnick (@AaronBartnick) served as Digital Director for Congressman Seth Moulton’s presidential campaign. He is currently completing graduate studies at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. As the digital director for Congressman Seth Moulton’s 2020 presidential campaign, I was responsible for everything the campaign did on the internet: the emails you claim […]

Banning digital political ads gives extremists a distinct advantage

Jessica Alter Contributor Jessica Alter is co-founder and chairman of Tech for Campaigns, an organization building the lasting tech and digital arm for Democrats and has helped over 200 campaigns on this front since 2017. Jack Dorsey’s announcement that Twitter will no longer run political ads because “political messages reach should be earned, not bought” […]

Zuckerberg defends politician ads that will be 0.5% of 2020 revenue

As Jack Dorsey announced his company Twitter would drop all political ads, Facebook CEO Zuckerberg doubled-down on his policy of refusing to fact-check politicians’ ads. “At times of social tension there has often been an urge to pull back on free expression . . . We will be best served over the long term by […]

Facebook staff demand Zuckerberg limit lies in political ads

Submit campaign ads to fact checking, limit microtargeting, cap spending, observe silence periods or at least warn users. These are the solutions Facebook employees put forward in an open letter pleading with CEO Mark Zuckerberg and company leadership to address misinformation in political ads. The letter, obtained by The New York Times’ Mike Isaac, insists […]

Axon adds license plate recognition to police dash cams, but heeds ethics board’s concerns

Law enforcement tech outfitter Axon has announced that it will include automated license plate recognition in its next generation of dash cams. But its independent ethics board has simultaneously released a report warning of the dire consequences should this technology be deployed irresponsibly. Axon makes body and dash cams for law enforcement, the platform on […]