Post-election hearing

Zuckerberg calls on Congress to impose content moderation transparency standards

​Mark Zuckerberg

If tech platforms had to publish transparency standards, "the people who are responsible for holding all of us accountable, whether it's journalists, Congress, academics, could have an apples-to-apples comparison about how all the different companies are doing," said Mark Zuckerberg.

Image: C-SPAN

During Tuesday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called on Congress to pass regulations that would require tech platforms to issue regular transparency reports, laying out the actions they've taken on violative content.

"That way, the people who are responsible for holding all of us accountable, whether it's journalists, Congress, academics, could have an apples-to-apples comparison about how all the different companies are doing," Zuckerberg said. He also suggested that such a law "require that companies even maintain a certain level of effectiveness."

That level of detail was new for Zuckerberg, who has, in the past, called for Section 230 to be modified to increase transparency, but has stopped short of saying exactly what he believes such transparency should look like. Facebook already releases intermittent transparency reports, showing not only the amount of content it's taking action on, but also what percentage of that content is caught by automatic filters, what percentage of it is appealed and what percentage is restored upon appeal.

Such a scientific dissection of these actions is complex even for a company of Facebook's size. It would be far more challenging for smaller platforms, leading some to argue that Zuckerberg's proposal is, in and of itself, anticompetitive. "This is why he wants to make it a requirement for everyone. The resources it would require from smaller platforms is now a competitive advantage for Facebook," Ifeoma Ozoma, a former Facebook policy staffer, tweeted Tuesday. "Him saying it would provide apples to apples comparisons is wrong. Also, [without] context, removal numbers are useless."

Protocol | Enterprise

Post-IPO, Freshworks is primed to take on ServiceNow and Salesforce

The company's stock closed up 32% on Wednesday, giving Freshworks a roughly $13 billion valuation.

Freshworks was India's first software-as-a-service business to IPO in the U.S.

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Freshworks' monster debut on the public markets, exceeding its own expected valuation, firmly established the upstart enterprise software company as a threat to two of the industry's biggest names: Salesforce and ServiceNow.

The company's stock closed up 32% on Wednesday, giving Freshworks a roughly $13 billion valuation. While its shares were down slightly on Thursday trading, the IPO was a windfall for Alphabet and other investors.

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Joe Williams

Joe Williams is a senior reporter at Protocol covering enterprise software, including industry giants like Salesforce, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle. He previously covered emerging technology for Business Insider. Joe can be reached at JWilliams@Protocol.com. To share information confidentially, he can also be contacted on a non-work device via Signal (+1-309-265-6120) or JPW53189@protonmail.com.


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Protocol | Workplace

Performance reviews suck. Here's how to fix them.

Slack integrations and keywords and AI, oh my!

Time will tell how smart HR technology has the potential to be, or how smart users want it to be.

Image: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol

Arguably nothing elicits more of a collective groan at work than performance review season. Managers hate giving them. Employees theoretically want them, but dread receiving them. It's as clear how much time and effort they take as it is unclear how useful formal performance reviews actually are in measuring and evaluating performance.

It's an arena ripe for disruption.

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Michelle Ma
Michelle Ma (@himichellema) is a reporter at Protocol, where she writes about management, leadership and workplace issues in tech. Previously, she was a news editor of live journalism and special coverage for The Wall Street Journal. Prior to that, she worked as a staff writer at Wirecutter. She can be reached at mma@protocol.com.
Protocol | Workplace

This startup will fire unvaxxed workers. Big Tech won’t say the same.

In an industry built for remote work, will companies fire workers who refuse to get vaccinated?

Several big tech companies stopped short of saying whether they would fire workers for not getting vaccinated.

Illustration: simplehappyart via Getty Images

As employers wait for the Department of Labor to issue a new rule requiring employee vaccine mandates, a big question looms: Will companies fire workers who don't comply?

Many of the tech giants won't say. A couple of companies have confirmed that they won't: Both Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Pure Storage said vaccination is not a condition of employment, though it's required to come to the office.

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Allison Levitsky
Allison Levitsky is a reporter at Protocol covering workplace issues in tech. She previously covered big tech companies and the tech workforce for the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Allison grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from UC Berkeley.

With Andrew Bosworth, Facebook just appointed a metaverse CTO

The AR/VR executive isn't just putting a focus on Facebook's hardware efforts, but on a future without the big blue app.

Andrew Bosworth has led Facebook's hardware efforts. As the company's CTO, he's expected to put a major focus on the metaverse.

Photo: Christian Charisius/Getty Images

Facebook is getting ready for the metaverse: The company's decision to replace outgoing CTO Mike "Schrep" Schroepfer with hardware SVP Andrew "Boz" Bosworth is not only a signal that the company is committed to AR and VR for years to come; it also shows that Facebook execs see the metaverse as a foundational technology, with the potential to eventually replace current cash cows like the company's core "big blue" Facebook app.

Bosworth has been with Facebook since 2006 and is among Mark Zuckerberg's closest allies, but he's arguably gotten the most attention for leading the company's AR/VR and consumer hardware efforts.

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Janko Roettgers

Janko Roettgers (@jank0) is a senior reporter at Protocol, reporting on the shifting power dynamics between tech, media, and entertainment, including the impact of new technologies. Previously, Janko was Variety's first-ever technology writer in San Francisco, where he covered big tech and emerging technologies. He has reported for Gigaom, Frankfurter Rundschau, Berliner Zeitung, and ORF, among others. He has written three books on consumer cord-cutting and online music and co-edited an anthology on internet subcultures. He lives with his family in Oakland.

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