The world turns on Huawei
Image: Richard Slade / Protocol
Good morning! This Wednesday, how is it July already? Also, the anti-Huawei chorus gets louder, Facebook boots out the Boogaloos, and company-brand face masks are heading your way.
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Reddit's policy changes are partly about becoming a platform people are proud to use again, Steve Huffman said:
On Protocol: Asking tech companies to end police contracts is beside the point, Parrot founder Henri Seydoux said:
How bad is facial-recognition tech? Detroit police chief James Craig said it's really bad:
After more than a year of pushing from the U.S. government that only persuaded a handful of countries to follow its lead, other parts of the world now appear to be turning on Huawei.
India is reportedly considering shutting the company out of its 5G rollout plan (along with ZTE, which gets most of the same bad news without as much of the bad press). It would be a big move from a country that's a huge potential market, though maybe not a surprising one after its government kicked out TikTok and other China-made apps earlier this week.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., the FCC officially named both Huawei and ZTE as national-security threats. That means none of the agency's billions of dollars earmarked for telecommunications equipment can be spent with those companies.
Boris Johnson had similar thoughts about the U.K.'s plans. Without making any specific policy statements, and while taking care to say "I'm not a Sinophobe," Johnson said that "I do want to see our critical national infrastructure properly protected from hostile state vendors, so we need to strike that balance and that's what we'll do."
Huawei and ZTE argue that they're not affiliated with the Chinese government and can be trusted around the world, an argument they've been making for a long time now.
Like so many things right now, this feels like a combination of political posturing and genuine worry. My money's on political posturing leading the charge, but it's hard to know. And what if it doesn't even matter?
Silly me: I thought it was moderation day on Monday. Turns out it's moderation week! (And we reserve the right to rename it moderation month, year and decade, should the need arise.)
The latest: Facebook removed 220 Facebook accounts, 106 groups, 95 Instagram accounts and 28 Pages related to the far-right Boogaloo movement, in what it called "a strategic network disruption."
At the end of Facebook's blog post about the crackdown, the company acknowledged that this is likely a forever cat-and-mouse game. "We will continue to study new trends," the post explained, "including the language and symbols this network shares online so we can take the necessary steps to keep those who proclaim a violent mission off our platform."
Meanwhile, the advertiser outrage continues. One study found that a third of major advertisers are likely to suspend social advertising — yesterday, Target was the largest company to jump in.
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Protocol's Janko Roettgers writes: How do you make a commercial during COVID? Productions are still shuttered, and milking the archives for sentimental pre-pandemic footage starts to get old quickly. A growing number of advertisers are turning to amateur footage instead, with some help from Jukin Media.
The Los Angeles-based company has been licensing YouTube clips to brands for years, but Jukin CEO Jon Skogmo said that this type of licensing has grown significantly since shelter-in-place. "Brands really want to be part of that conversation," Skogmo said.
Jukin is working with more than 50,000 video makers, licensing their clips to brands and TV shows while also operating its own video distribution channels, and announced this week that it has paid out $25 million in licensing fees to date.
Skogmo explained that his company issues similar take-down notices every day, and that he would have done so regardless of who lived in the White House. "Protecting our copyright is part of our business," he said.
Bozoma Saint John is Netflix's new CMO. She's run marketing teams at Endeavor, Uber and Apple, and will replace Jackie Lee-Joe, who's leaving the company for personal reasons.
Mark Kinsella is Opendoor's new VP of engineering. He was previously the head of driver engineering at Lyft, and Opendoor specifically mentioned his IPO experience in its announcement. Just saying.
Ellis Briery is joining Contrary Capital to launch Contrary Talent, a new network connecting college students to startups. He was previously Triplebyte's head of talent.
If you're going to wear a mask (and you really should), the least you can do is rep your company in the process. The Washington Post reported that as companies bring people back to the office they're providing them with branded pandemic kits to ease the process. And that COVID corporate swag is becoming big business: hand sanitizer, face masks, Zoom lights, socks, those funky key-pressing things, and more. Conference-goers, time to clear out the drawer filled with branded pens and thumb drives. Get ready for the 'rona swag.
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Today's Source Code was written by David Pierce, with help from Shakeel Hashim. Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to email@example.com, or our tips line, firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy your day, see you tomorrow.