The Indian government forced Facebook and Twitter to delete critical COVID posts
Image: Brett Jordan
Good morning! This Monday, the Indian government is forcing Facebook and Twitter to remove dozens of posts, Elon Musk is hosting SNL and streaming services had a big night at the Oscars.
In response to a huge surge in COVID-19 cases, the Indian government is cracking down … on social media.
India's government ordered about 100 posts be removed from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, The New York Times reported, and all three have so far complied. The government's justification is that the posts are misleading and could incite panic. Most people don't buy it.
India has made these sorts of requests before, and governments around the world have long done the same with Twitter and other platforms. (The Guardian's excellent recent series about how governments force Facebook's hand is a good example.)
These are tricky issues for social companies. Twitter, for one, clearly decided the tweets didn't violate its rules, and so left them up for the rest of the world. But Twitter works in India, and thus has to work with India. As India and other governments continue to be more aggressive in policing what people see online, the companies will have to decide how far they're willing to go. Or if they even have a choice.
Other tech CEOs are stepping into the conversation about COVID-19 and India. Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai both expressed their concern about what's happening in the country, and promised to use their corporate resources to help. And Google's Sanjay Gupta noted that "the biggest way we can help is through our core information products," helping Indian citizens find the info they can't through the government.
Mark your calendars: Elon Musk is hosting Saturday Night Live in two weeks, on May 8. I expect skits about Mars, lots of Dogecoin jokes, weird things happening in self-driving cars, a Joe Rogan-style podcast bit, lots of weed references and more Dogecoin jokes. Musk himself has acknowledged that he's not always the best performer or public speaker, but this is going to be fun.
Miley Cyrus is the musical guest, which actually makes perfect sense? "Best of Both Worlds" fits his Mars aspirations perfectly; what describes SpaceX better than "I put you high up in the sky / And now, you're not coming down" from "Wrecking Ball?" Plus, I bet you anything Musk has played "Party in the USA" while announcing the opening of an American Tesla factory. Plus, Cyrus is a big weed fan, so the green room should be a good time. And like Miley taught us and Elon knows, it's the climb.
Musk is a trailblazer here. Only a handful of business leaders — Steve Forbes, George Steinbrenner and longtime NBC president Brandon Tartikoff among them — have hosted the show in its almost five decades, to varying degrees of success. (Steve Forbes's appearance caused protests, so, you know, #goals.) But Musk is the first to not come from entertainment, sports or politics, which are obviously SNL's sweet spots.
On Protocol | Policy: Ro Khanna is pushing the Endless Frontier Act again, and he thinks it's going to work this time:
Britt Caldwell left her job at Webflow, and called attention to the role white women play in exacerbating corporate culture problems:
Zero trust is the way of the cybersecurity future, Ericom's Chase Cunningham said:
Sam Lessin is investing in creators, with a classic VC approach:
The internet has changed a lot in the 25 years since lawmakers last passed comprehensive internet regulations. It's time for an update. See how we're making progress on key issues and why we support updated regulations to set clear rules for addressing today's toughest challenges.
There's another tech hearing on Tuesday. Facebook's Monika Bickert, YouTube's Alexandra Veitch and Twitter's Lauren Culbertson will testify on "algorithmic amplification," POLITICO reported. Tristan Harris and Joan Donovan will also testify.
Clubhouse and the NFL are teaming up for draft coverage, which could be a look at how the company plans to do more high-touch, branded programming.
Earnings go crazy this week: Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Twitter and lots of others all report in the next few days.
There's a corner of the internet that spends most of its time and energy debating the merits of various note-taking apps. (A confession: I am a proud occupant of said corner.) Those folks took over Hacker News this past weekend, after a user asked people to share how "you organize your knowledge."
There's a lot of good information in the comments section, with plenty of mentions of Zettelkasten methods, Obsidian, Roam, and the merits of text files. If you're doing some spring cleaning or some pandemic-induced redesigning of your entire digital life, it's worth a peruse. And if you ever want to talk notes, you know how to reach me.
It's been 25 years since comprehensive internet regulations passed. But a lot has changed since 1996. See how we're taking action and why we support updated regulations to address today's challenges — protecting privacy, fighting misinformation, reforming Section 230, and more.
Today's Source Code was written by David Pierce, with help from Anna Kramer and 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.