Facebook And Amazon Boosted Lobbying Spending In 2020

Facebook and Amazon topped all other U.S. companies in federal lobbying expenditures last year, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of the most recent disclosures. It was the second straight year they outspent all other companies, including stalwarts such as AT&T and Boeing.

Facebook Suspends All Political Spending

Facebook is halting all political spending until at least next quarter, company communications director Andy Stone confirmed Monday. The decision comes after Facebook indefinitely suspended President Trump from its platform last week, following the violent riots at the U.S. Capitol.

Facebook ‘Indefinitely’ Bans Trump

Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday that outgoing president Donald Trump is “indefinitely” banned from Facebook and Instagram. The indefinite banning comes one day after the Capitol came under siege by a group of the president’s supporters, sending lawmakers into a lockdown and leaving four people dead.

Facebook Pages Redesign Eliminates ‘Like’ Button

Facebook Pages has had a makeover. One of the most dramatic changes is the elimination of the “Like” button. The social network explains that rather than focusing on approval or disapproval with a “Like” button, the change will focus on Followers, a more direct measurement of how the page connects with people.

UPDATED THURSDAY, 2:28 AM

Capitol Violence Sparks Social Media Reckoning With Trump

On Wednesday, in an unprecedented step, the two companies temporarily suspended Trump from posting to their platforms after a mob of his supporters stormed the house of Congress. It was the most aggressive action either company has yet taken against Trump, who more than a decade ago embraced the immediacy and scale of Twitter to rally loyalists, castigate enemies and spread false rumors.

Google, Facebook Agreed To Team Up Against Possible Antitrust Action, Draft Lawsuit Says

Facebook and Google agreed to “cooperate and assist one another” if they ever faced an investigation into their pact to work together in online advertising, according to an unredacted version of a lawsuit filed by 10 states against Google last week.

Facebook Declares War On Apple

The social media company joins the antitrust effort against the iPhone maker, claiming that changes to the iOS that block targeted advertising that Facebook specializes in is an assault on small businesses.

Facebook Lifts Political Ad Ban For Georgia Runoffs

Facebook will allow political advertisements related to the Georgia Senate runoffs starting Wednesday, partially lifting a post-election ban. The company announced Tuesday that advertisers who have completed Facebook’s ad authorizations process will be able to begin running them again.

FTC Opens Privacy Study Into Internet Platforms

The Federal Trade Commission on Monday voted to issue orders to nine major internet platforms requiring information about how they handle data for a new study. The orders, which do not implicate any legal wrongdoing, were sent to Amazon, ByteDance (the parent company of TikTok), Discord, Facebook, Reddit, Snap, Twitter, WhatsApp and Youtube. The agency is requesting information about how the platforms collect, use, track or estimate personal and demographic information.

FTC In Cash Crunch As It Sets To Battle Facebook

The Federal Trade Commission has frozen pay and hiring, explored ways of shrinking its staff, and may need to bring fewer expensive cases, its executive director says in internal emails.

Why Facebook Antitrust Suits Face Hurdles

The U.S. and states cases against the social network are far from a slam dunk because the standards of proof are formidable.

US, States Bring Antitrust Action Against Facebook

The antitrust lawsuits were announced by the Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General Letitia James.

States, Feds Expected To File Antitrust Lawsuits Against Facebook

The filings from more than 40 attorneys general and the U.S. government will allege the tech giant engaged in unlawful tactics to buy or kill off its rivals and solidify its dominance in social networking.

Complication Tangles FTC Move To Sue Facebook

A looming vacancy on the Federal Trade Commission has created a dilemma for the agency as it decides how to pursue its expected antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, contributing to a delay in the launch of the case, three people familiar with the discussions said. While the five commissioners had been expected to file the suit by the end of this month, the agency’s commissioners are now grappling with the prospect that Republican Chairman Joseph Simons’ likely departure before the next administration could lead to 2-2 splits in future votes.

Facebook Struggles To Balance Civility, Growth

Employees and executives are battling over how to reduce misinformation and hate speech without hurting the company’s bottom line.

Zuckerberg, Dorsey Face Harsh Questioning From Lawmakers

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Jack Dorsey of Twitter testified Tuesday about their platforms, misinformation and the 2020 election.

QUARTERLY REPORT

Tech Giants Report Mixed 3Q Results

While all five — Amazon, Google parent Alphabet, Facebook, Apple and Twitter — exceeded analyst expectations, gloomy forecasts and other uncertainties led to share-price declines for all but Alphabet in after-market trading.

Big Tech Stocks Surge Ahead Of Earnings Tsunami

Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Alphabet rallied on Thursday ahead of earnings reports from the group of technology heavyweights that has helped keep Wall Street in positive territory this year, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Facebook Targeted With Six-Figure Ad Campaign

Facebook critic UltraViolet took out a six-figure TV, Pandora and online ad campaign arguing that Facebook is bad for Democracy. The ads urge the social media site to shut down hate groups, pages and online events that promote violence or spread disinformation.

Social Media CEOs Get Earful On Bias, Warning Of New Limits

The CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google were scolded by Republicans at a Senate hearing Wednesday for alleged anti-conservative bias in the companies’ social media platforms and received a warning of coming restrictions from Congress. Lawmakers of both parties are assessing the companies’ tremendous power to disseminate speech and ideas, and are looking to challenge their long-enjoyed bedrock legal protections for online speech.

3 Social Media CEOs Face GOP Senators

The Senate Commerce Committee has summoned Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai to testify for a hearing Wednesday. The executives agreed to appear remotely after being threatened with subpoenas. With the presidential 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. Above (l-r): Dorsey, Pichai and Zuckerberg.

Facebook Enters Cloud Gaming With Playable Ads

Facebook on Monday announced the beta launch of cloud-streamed games on Facebook Gaming, along with cloud playable ads and several gaming and advertising partners. The social media site estimates that 380 million people, as of August 2020, play games monthly on its platform.

FTC Discusses Potential Facebook Antitrust Case

The Federal Trade Commission’s staff have made a recommendation to the agency’s commissioners on whether to file an antitrust complaint against Facebook, three people familiar with the agency’s probe said Thursday — a potential new milestone in Washington’s fight to rein in Silicon Valley. The FTC’s five commissioners met to discuss a potential case Thursday afternoon, though a final decision isn’t expected for several weeks.

Trump Posts Unedited ’60 Minutes’ Interview

The footage, posted by the president on Facebook ahead of its scheduled Sunday broadcast, shows Trump growing increasingly prickly as CBS anchor Lesley Stahl presses him on a host of topics, including his response to the coronavirus pandemic, his slipping support among suburban women, the lack of masks at his rallies, and the “Obamacare” replacement plan he has long promised but failed to unveil.

Facebook Blocks 2.2M Political Ads

Facebook tagged warnings to 150 million misleading election-related posts, and 2.2 million ads were rejected because they failed to complete the political ad authorization process.

Twitter, Facebook Block NY Post Biden Story

Facebook and Twitter cast doubt on a New York Post story that made claims about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son, taking proactive steps to restrict dissemination of the story in the hours after it was published on Wednesday.

Facebook Bans Ads That Discourage Vaccinations

Facebook said Tuesday it is launching a new global policy that bans ads that discourage people from getting vaccines. The company previously had a policy against vaccine hoaxes that were publicly identified by global health organizations.

YouTube Tops Facebook For Sports Highlights

YouTube has supplanted Facebook as the most popular social media platform for viewing sports highlights, according to a new survey from Ring Digital. The research firm surveyed 1,400 sports video highlights viewers in August and found that 53% of respondents use YouTube for sports highlights on a regular basis, compared to 45% of respondents who said they use Facebook regularly.

Facebook Bans Holocaust Denial On Its Platform

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Monday that the tech giant would be expanding its hate speech policies to ban any content that “denies or distorts the Holocaust.”

Political Campaigns Flood Facebook With Ad $

Adding up money shelled out for the presidential contest, the congressional and gubernatorial races and from third-party groups advocating for candidates and causes, political advertisers in the U.S. spent at least $264 million on Facebook in the third quarter, according to CNBC’s compilation of data from the Center for Responsive Politics and Facebook’s ad library.

Facebook To Stop Political Ads After Nov. 3

Facebook announced significant changes to its advertising and misinformation policies, saying it will stop running political ads in the United States after polls close on Nov. 3 for an undetermined period of time. The changes, announced on Wednesday, come in an effort to “protect the integrity” of the upcoming election “by fighting foreign interference, misinformation and voter suppression”, the company said in a blogpost.

Facebook Deletes Trump COVID Post

Facebook has deleted a post in which President Trump had claimed Covid-19 was “less lethal” than the flu. Twitter hid the same message behind a warning about “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information”.

Facebook To Ban All QAnon Accounts

Facebook said Tuesday that it will remove Facebook pages, groups and Instagram accounts for “representing QAnon” — even if they don’t promote violence. The social network said it will consider a variety of factors to decide if a group meets its criteria for a ban, including its name, the biography or “about” section of the page, and discussions within the page, group or Instagram account.

CEOs Of 3 Tech Giants To Testify

The Senate Commerce Committee voted last week to authorize subpoenas for (l-r) Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Sundar Pichai of Google and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to force them to testify if they didn’t agree to do so voluntarily. Spokespeople for the companies said Monday that the CEOs will cooperate and appear at an Oct. 28 hearing.

Facebook, Twitter Flounder In QAnon Crackdown

the social media companies still aren’t enforcing even the limited restrictions they’ve recently put in place to stem the tide of dangerous QAnon material, a review by The Associated Press found. Both platforms have vowed to stop “suggesting” QAnon material to users, a powerful way of introducing QAnon to new people.

Facebook Bans U.S. Ads That Call Voting Fraud Widespread Or Election Invalid

Why Facebook’s Blocking Of New Political Ads May Fall Short

There are still many ways that voter misinformation can spread on the social network, even as it moves to cut off new political ads on Oct. 27.

Facebook Moves To Limit Election Chaos

The social network said it would block new political ads in late October, among other measures, to reduce misinformation and interference.

AT&T Aims To Change Big Tech Protections

Telecom giant AT&T plans to push for changes to a federal law that protects companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter from liability for users’ posts. “There is no longer any reason that the nation’s most powerful online platforms should enjoy legal immunities unavailable to similarly-situated traditional companies,” AT&T EVP Joan Marsh said Monday in a blog post.

Facebook Weighs ‘Kill Switch’ For Political Ads After U.S. Election