Don’t trust the internet
Image: Visuals / Protocol
Good morning! This Friday, social networks are struggling to fight misinformation, Epic is gleefully fighting against the App Store and Uber can't wait to fight for the gig economy some more.
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Election night was only the beginning. The worst (so far) of the misinformation, vitriol and outright lies came last night, as Biden edged closer to a potential victory.
Figuring out what to do is like a half-hearted Philosophy 201 thought experiment: What do you do when someone is telling obvious lies, but that person is the president of the United States? If someone's lying, is it more productive to repeat the lie so you can explain the truth or simply hope nobody heard it?
The content that tech companies said they were ready and able to stop is proving basically unstoppable. And there's one specific problem: It's not just coming from bots or state actors (though there's plenty of that). In many cases it's starting with the president himself.
This whole year has been a test of how information moves online, and whether it's even possible to make it work properly. Now, as things get wilder post-election, Facebook is reportedly taking new steps to slow down misinformation, adding the same kind of extra-click friction that Twitter's been experimenting with. Facebook and TikTok are both blocking certain hashtags, like #stopthesteal, where people are finding this content.
All the platforms have framed the actions as temporary, but it's hard to imagine a world in which these "emergency measures" aren't necessary. The whole internet feels like an emergency right now.
You have to hand it to Epic: Its legal battle with Apple may not work, but it's dominating the troll wars. Most recently, the company seems to have found a way to get Fortnite back on the iPhone: by adding it to Nvidia's GeForce lineup.
Cloud gaming still looks like a make-or-break moment for Apple, and one in which it has few easy answers. If it kicks a bunch of very popular cloud gaming companies out of the App Store, but allows them to stream through Safari, what's Apple really accomplishing? On the other hand, Apple blocking specific websites through Safari would be a disastrous decision.
Epic's probably going to want to put Fortnite in every cloud-gaming service over time, given that its business model puts a heavy incentive on just getting the game in front of as many people as possible. And the company's going to try and prove to itself and other developers that you don't need the App Store to work well on the iPhone. If it can do that, Apple's in trouble.
A Biden presidency would be a win for electric vehicles, Volkswagen's Herbert Diess said:
Emboldened by Prop 22, gig-work companies are planning to take the fight elsewhere, Uber's Dara Khosrowshahi said:
NASA has concerns about a startup putting satellites into orbit, but AST & Science's Abel Avellan said that's unfair:
Read more to find out how cities will reimagine what growth means for everyone in today's digital economy. Mastercard's experts weigh in on the future of cities.
Andrew Low Ah Kee is the new president of Opendoor. He was previously COO at GoDaddy.
Reddit made two big promotions this week: Roxy Young is the company's new (and first) chief marketing officer and Nellie Peshkov is its new (and first) chief people officer.
Skydio hired several new executives: Roy Goldman to run product management, Ryan Reading to run software engineering, and Mike Ross to be senior director of product management.
Miles Taylor, "Anonymous" himself, is no longer a Google employee. He'd been on leave since August.
That's it. That seals the deal. I've been using Twitter for years and in all my time of being here I've never seen a worse botnet. I've had enough of it, until you fix this botnet. I'll be packing my bags to Russia where they actually know how to run a botnet.
Today's Source Code was written by David Pierce, with help from Shakeel Hashim. Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, or our tips line, email@example.com. Enjoy your day, see you tomorrow.