Borderline

YouTube accidentally censored news video about nazis; Facebook PR team gets NYT to edit coverage; and more.


  • After Channel 4 put out video of Cambridge Analytica chief executive Alexander Nix boasting about their work on the Trump campaign, including coordinating ads with outside groups, which is illegal under U.S. election law, the company suspended Nix for violating the company values. Oh please.

  • Where is Facebook? Alexis Madrigal wants to know. The company has retreated, gone into full bunker mode, and its leader, Mark Zuckerberg, is nowhere to be seen, or heard.

  • Except on Facebook, that is, where Ashley Feinberg cannily observes that all the photos Zuck is liking are of places a long, long way from where he is.

  • Writing for Law & Crime, Colin Kalmbacher reports that the New York Times story shared in this newsletter yesterday, about Alex Stamos leaving Facebook, has been edited to remove the allegation that Sheryl Sandberg was resistant to being more open about Russian meddling on the platform, and the deletion was not noted in a correction. One of the reporters on the story confirmed the change took place after the company’s PR team reached out to the Times after the story was published. So, the way the facts stand, it seems: Times reporters report unflattering claim about Facebook exec, which is later deleted upon request by Facebook, even though the claim is not demonstrably untrue or inaccurate. Gotcha.

  • Technology investor Jason Calacanis says Sandberg should be running Facebook instead of Zuck, Michelle Fox reports for CNBC.

  • In response to the many voices (including Meghan McCain and Patrick Ruffini) saying that Obama’s campaigns did the same—or nearly the same—things as Cambridge Analytica, former Obama microtargeting team leader Michael Simon spoke up in defense of his work.

  • Media and tech researcher Jonathan Albright explains everything you need to know about Facebook’s Graph API.

  • After classifying a video published by The Atlantic as borderline hate speech, YouTube removed it from search and prevented it from being embedded in outside sites, Robinson Meyer reports for The Atlantic. “It is up to YouTube to hire people who can tell the difference between videos made by Nazis and videos about Nazis,” said Jeffrey Goldberg, the editor in chief of The Atlantic.

  • Cyber-security: Three cheers for the launch of the Digital Security Exchange, which connects U.S. civil society organizations to digital security experts who will help beef up digital security practices at the organization. Josh Levy, a former techPresident editor, shares what it was like to build the exchange from concept to reality.

  • This is civic tech: Gangadhar Patil profiles a journalism start-up in India that is working to make public data in the country more accessible, and to use it to find and report stories in the public interest. The company has become profitable by doing work for companies as consultants in addition to their journalism.

  • Opportunity: The Detroit-based design studio Civilla is looking for a UX/UI designer. Learn more and apply here.