10 things in tech you need to know today
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Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.
- Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook might start treating deep fake videos differently to misinformation or fake news, making it easier for the company to take them down. Zuckerberg also said he didn't think people would want Facebook censoring content just because it's factually inaccurate, saying that the topic could be "easily politicized."
- President Donald Trump threatened Google and Facebook with potential lawsuits, and claimed Silicon Valley's tech giants are biased against Republicans in an interview with Fox Business Network on Wednesday morning. Trump also claimed that tech companies are "trying to rig" the 2020 US presidential election.
- Almost 100 Google employees are petitioning San Francisco Pride to ban Google from sponsoring and participating in the parade. The petition follows a month in which Google has been widely criticized for its policies over controversies that have brought the company's treatment of LGBTQ issues into question.
- Reddit has "quarantined" one of the biggest communities of Trump supporters on the internet, citing "threats of violence against police and public officials." A Reddit "quarantine" means a subreddit doesn't generate revenue or appear in search and recommendation results, and Reddit requires users to explicitly opt in to view the community's content.
- SoftBank hasn't paid e-commerce startup Brandless $100 million of its investment, and there are conflicting stories about what's going on, according to a report from The Information. The friction is apparently due to the company's finances, with SoftBank pushing for Brandless to clamp down on spending and to turn a profit.
- US tech firms are reportedly working around the Huawei ban, and Trump officials are split on what to do. Some say that the sales undermine government efforts to pressure Huawei, others are supportive as it lightens the blow of the ban for American corporations.
- Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo a joint letter to the US government asking to be left out of Trump's tariffs. The companies wrote that 96% of game consoles were made in China last year, and that US consumers will have to pay an extra $840 million.
- Emil Michael, the former Uber executive that suggested hiring opposition researchers to dig up dirt on the firm's critics, was reportedly vetted for a Cabinet position within the Trump administration. Michael is said to have been vetted for the position of Secretary of Transportation, although it's unclear whether he was aware that he was being considered.
- Larry Page's flying car startup Kitty Hawk is teaming up with Boeing to launch flying taxis. Kitty Hawk has created two vehicles that look like oversized drones: Cora, a two-person air taxi and Flyer, a vehicle for personalized flight.
- A new study found a link between the number of racist tweets and real-life hate crimes in 100 US cities. Researchers at NYU analyzed more than half a billion tweets out of 100 cities across the US - from major metropolises to rural towns - between 2011 and 2016.
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