Facebook succeeds in blocking German FCO’s privacy-minded order against combining user data

Facebook has succeeded in blocking a pioneering order by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office earlier this year that would have banned it from combining data on users across its own suite of social platforms — Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — without their consent. Pioneering because the antitrust regulator had liaised with EU privacy authorities during a […]

Facebook transcribed users’ audio messages without permission

“The future is private.” Clearly, Facebook still has a way to go. Facebook has become the latest tech giant to face scrutiny over its handling of users’ data, following a report that said the social media giant collected audio data and recordings from its users and transcribed it using third-party contractors. The report came from […]

Automattic’s bargain-bin Tumblr deal plugs right into the WordPress business model

Tumblr has been a millstone around the neck of its owners, first Yahoo and later Oath and Verizon Media, pretty much since it was acquired in 2013. They never found an answer to the question that new owner Automattic is presumably about to take a crack at: how to make this unruly erstwhile porn factory […]

Reports say White House has drafted an order putting the FCC in charge of monitoring social media

In the executive order, the White House says it received more than 15,000 complaints about censorship by the technology platforms. The order also includes an offer to share the complaints with the Federal Trade Commission. As part of the order, the Federal Trade Commission would be required to open a public complaint docket and coordinate […]

The need-to-know takeaways from VidCon 2019

VidCon, the annual summit in Anaheim, CA for social media stars and their fans to meet each other drew over 75,000 attendees over last week and this past weekend. A small subset of those where entertainment and tech executives convening to share best practices and strike deals. Of the wide range of topics discussed in […]

Twitter bags deep learning talent behind London startup, Fabula AI

Twitter has just announced it has picked up London-based Fabula AI. The deep learning startup has been developing technology to try to identify online disinformation by looking at patterns in how fake stuff vs genuine news spreads online — making it an obvious fit for the rumor-riled social network. Social media giants remain under increasing […]

Nine lessons on how Niantic reached a $4B valuation

We’ve captured much of Niantic’s ongoing story in the first three parts of our EC-1, from its beginnings as an “entrepreneurial lab” within Google, to its spin-out as an independent company and the launch of Pokémon GO, to its ongoing focus on becoming a platform for others to build augmented reality products upon. It’s not […]

How do you hire a great growth marketer?

Julian Shapiro Contributor Julian Shapiro is the founder of BellCurve.com, a growth marketing agency that trains you to become a marketing professional. He also writes at Julian.com. More posts by this contributor How do startups actually get their content marketing to work? What’s the cost of buying users from Facebook and 13 other ad networks? […]

Red Points closes $38M Series C for its ‘antivirus’ SaaS for brands

Barcelona-based Red Points has closed a $38 million Series C led by Summit Partners. Existing investors Northzone, Mangrove, Eight Roads Ventures and Banco Sabadell also participated in the funding round which follows a $12M Series B last year. The company’s software as a service platform targets brands wanting to protect products and their reseller network […]

Is Europe closing in on an antitrust fix for surveillance technologists?

The German Federal Cartel Office’s decision to order Facebook to change how it processes users’ personal data this week is a sign the antitrust tide could at last be turning against platform power. One European Commission source we spoke to, who was commenting in a personal capacity, described it as “clearly pioneering” and “a big deal”, […]