TikTok rotten egg
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Good morning! Most people aren’t going to TikTok to get their news. But a growing number of people are, and TikTok is quickly learning that misinformation isn’t just a Facebook problem.

All the news that’s fit to TikTok

Misinformation — which was once thought of as a YouTube, Facebook and Twitter problem — is quickly spreading to other platforms, whether they think of themselves as “social” or not.

A growing number of people are turning to TikTok to get their news. Between 2020 and 2021, the number of people who said they got their news from TikTok jumped from 22% to 29%, according to Pew Research Center.

  • And adults ages 18 to 29 are way more likely than other age groups to get their news from Snapchat and TikTok.
  • People in the U.K. are starting to get their news from TikTok, too.

Misinformation is starting to spread on TikTok. In a report from June, Mozilla Research found that TikTok played a role in spreading political disinformation ahead of Kenya’s general election this month.

  • According to NewsGuard, TikTok has struggled to control things like vaccine misinformation and fake news relating to the war in Ukraine. And a study by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue found that hate speech and conspiracies could easily spread on the app as well.
  • A Chinese government PR entity reportedly tried operating a stealth TikTok account, targeting Western audiences with propaganda.
  • TikTok claims that most of the videos that were removed were taken down before they were reported and before many people saw them, people could use any of TikTok’s tools for engagement (stitches or duets) to further spread any fake news that slips through the cracks.

But TikTok might be doing something about it. TikTok posted last week on LinkedIn that it's hiring a product policy manager for elections and high-risk events.

At the end of the day, TikTok is a recommendation machine. And that means that it faces the same integrity challenges as all the platforms that came before it.

— Nat Rubio-Licht

When EVs take over the world

There’s life before electric vehicles go mainstream. And there’s life after EVs go mainstream. In the meantime, there’s batteries and gas stations that need sorting out.

Swapping out batteries instead of charging EVs is one way to help cure range anxiety. It’s a big thing in China already, but there are a few issues preventing it from coming to the U.S., my colleague Lisa Martine Jenkins reports.

  • Battery swapping is expensive, and it’s a huge chore to switch them out because of their weight. EV owners will also always need to have more than one battery on hand, which makes the process even more expensive.
  • Swapping out batteries still has potential, but maybe not for all vehicles. A U.S. battery-swapping startup called Ample is focused on battery swaps for commercial vehicle fleets. If it succeeds, others may follow suit.

But if everyone’s in an EV, what’ll happen to gas stations? They won’t go away entirely, but they’re going to look much different.

  • Protocol’s Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu spoke with EVgo, which recently partnered with General Motors to build a network of fast chargers at Pilot Flying J travel centers. They’d be located near places like shopping malls.
  • California, in particular, is talking about how gas stations will change. Los Angeles held a public conversation in 2020 where city architects presented plans for the future gas station, which could look like a community meeting space or bike pavilion.

Don’t expect gas stations to go away immediately, and definitely don’t expect battery swapping to hit the mainstream. But it’s nice to know that soon everyone will be able to drive an EV without needing to worry about battery life.

— Sarah Roach


Chip shortage could undermine national security: The global shortage of semiconductors has impeded the production of everything from pickup trucks to PlayStations. But there are graver implications than a scarcity of consumer goods. If the U.S. does not ensure continued domestic access to leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing, experts say our national security could suffer.

Read more from Micron

People are talking

Robinhood might be down 77%, but Vlad Tenev is doing just fine:

  • You can’t run a business, or really live your life, with your emotions being driven by how the stock market is doing.”

Sundar Pichai is nervous about Google employees’ productivity, launching a new effort called “Simplicity Sprint”:

  • “There are real concerns that our productivity as a whole is not where it needs to be for the headcount we have.”

Mike Schroepfer said the vast number of options for addressing climate change could be a problem:

  • “It then becomes quickly overwhelming. It’s sort of like the menu that’s way too large. And so you just can’t choose what to do, right?”

Coming this week

Activision Blizzard, Twilio, SolarWinds, Dropbox and others report earnings this week.

Black Hat USA starts Saturdayat the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

In other news

The Commerce Department said it is limiting the funding that chip manufacturers can get through the CHIPS bill, as to not let firms use funding to "pad their bottom line."

Twitter’s trial with Elon Musk has an official start date: Oct. 17. Musk also countersued Twitter on Friday over the merger deal, though details of the lawsuit have yet to be made public.

Uber's reportedly considering a merger with Ola, an Indian transportation company. Ola recently laid off 1,000 employees.

Uber also introduced a bunch of new features for drivers, including the ability to see more than one trip request at a time and a debit and checking account.

The Senate's antitrust bill will have to wait until after August recess. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Chuck Schumer were originally pushing for a vote this summer.

Lina Khan’s staff didn’t want to sue Meta over its Within purchase, but Khan overruled them.

Indonesia banned Yahoo, PayPal, Steam, Epic and other sites because they didn't comply with licensing rules. Authorities are willing to unblock the sites if they obey the rules.

Netflix sued Bridgerton score writers Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, the creators of the "The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical,” for profiting off the show with a performance at Kennedy Center.

🎶Roam if you want tooooo🎶

Where do you get things done? Is a café, your couch or the closest beach to your remote work office? Some people are taking work-from-anywhere very seriously. For example, I tried to work from a watermelon floatie by the pool. Then my laptop overheated. Choosing a place to set up shop requires a bit of common sense. As long as you have a good Wi-Fi signal and a relatively quiet place to take calls, you should be good to go.

— Sarah Roach


Chip shortage could undermine national security: To ensure American security, prosperity and technological leadership, industry leaders say the U.S. must encourage domestic manufacturing of chips in order to reduce our reliance on East Asia producers for crucial electronics components.

Read more from Micron

Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to sourcecode@protocol.com, or our tips line, tips@protocol.com. Enjoy your day, see you tomorrow.

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