Why Mark Zuckerberg U-turned on Holocaust denialism
Image: Alessio Jacona / Shashank Singh / Protocol
Good morning! This Tuesday, Apple's launching a bunch of new stuff, Zuck's changing his mind on Holocaust denialism, and two hip startups may be going public.
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Happy iPhone day! Today we all get to *checks notes* watch a YouTube infomercial about a new smartphone. Things kick off at 10 a.m. PDT. Anyway, here's a quick rundown of what to expect at today's "Hi, Speed" event, in rough order from most to least likely:
I said least likely would come last! Anyway, the iPhone launch continues to be the tone-setting gadget event of the year, and this year more than most. Apple has a lot of people's attention today, and it'll use it to try to explain the virtues of 5G, AR and more. The rest of the industry will be taking notes.
Apple needs the iPhone 12 to be a hit, both to keep its hardware beast rolling and to keep pulling people into its services ecosystem. I'd be shocked if there's no talk about Apple One today, and if iPhone 12 buyers don't get some sweet deal for Apple's Everything Bundle.
As for a sleeper announcement to watch out for? The Apple TV, which to my mind is Apple's single worst gadget. (The Siri remote, ugh.) But it could be one of Apple's best, and a crucial vessel for Apple Arcade, Fitness+, TV+ and more.
Anna Kramer writes: If you want to understand how Facebook — and Mark Zuckerberg specifically — might be thinking differently about moderation, look no further than yesterday's announcement that the platform will prohibit Holocaust denialism. Why? Because in 2018, Zuckerberg cited Holocaust conspiracies as precisely the kind of content he wanted to protect — not because he believed them, but because he sees Facebook as a bulwark in defense of free speech.
Zuckerberg explained the shift in a Facebook post yesterday:
Why now? Facebook has been facing increasing anger over its hate speech policies, both internally (culminating in the public resignation of several employees, including engineer Ashok Chandwaney) and externally (including the launch of a group of critics calling themselves the "Real Facebook Oversight Board.") The new policy might be part of an effort to quell that uprising.
Plus, as Joe Biden's poll numbers continue to rise, Zuckerberg could be reckoning with the fact that a new Biden administration will probably be a lot less tolerant of platforms that seem lax about right-wing conspiracy theories.
Either way, while this may just be one policy about one issue, it's indicative of exactly how much Zuck has been forced to rethink Facebook.
Full autonomy is coming to your Tesla soon(ish), Elon Musk said:
YouTube hasn't banned QAnon in part because it's not clear what that means, Susan Wojcicki said:
Cory Doctorow wrote books that made hackers want to hack. Now he's writing ones designed to do something different:
Stronger care … from more efficient operations
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Disney reorganized to prioritize streaming, with a single division now dedicated to content and another focused just on distribution.
Anu Subramanian and Selby Drummond are joining Bumble, as CFO and chief brand officer respectively. Subramanian joins from Univision and Drummond from Snap.
Carl Pei has left OnePlus. He was one of the company's co-founders and is reportedly off to start his own hardware venture.
Brian Benedik and Erin Schaefer are joining Niantic. Benedik is the VP of global revenue, Schaefer VP of operations.
Nikhil Goel is leaving Uber. After running the Elevate team, he said he'll continue to work in the making-cities-better space.
Suzanne Xie is Stripe's new head of invoices. She was previously a director of product management at Twitter.
Bryan Rodrigues is AudioEye's new CMO. He comes from Tile, where he was VP of marketing and e-commerce.
"It's Bob Wilson. You won the Nobel Prize." At 2:15 a.m. yesterday Wilson rang the smart doorbell of his colleague and neighbor Paul Milgrom — together, they did pioneering work on spectrum auctions — to tell him he'd won the award. Meanwhile, Milgrom's wife, who was in Stockholm, got to watch the news being delivered after she got a notification on her phone. If this isn't the best possible ad for the Nest Hello, I don't know what is.
Stronger care … from more efficient operations
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.