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YouTube will remove videos disputing the 2020 presidential election

48493820-229d-11eb-b977-651ace7e5b08YouTube’s determination to curb election misinformation is extending to disputes over the results. The Google-owned service has started removing content uploaded from December 9th onward if it alleges that “widespread fraud or errors” altered the out…

Source: https://www.engadget.com/youtube-removes-videos-with-us-election-fraud-claims-154726251.html
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The gig economy, cannabis and car data are tech-election winners in 2020

Editor’s note: Get this free weekly recap of TechCrunch news that any startup can use by email every Saturday morning (7 a.m. PT). Subscribe here.

The US is settling in for some new form of national gridlock, but state and local propositions are busy defining how technology businesses will be allowed to work (legally) in the US. Policies on topics as broad as customer usage and employment or as narrow as a drug chemical got the vote across the country. The results provide a blueprint for what you might expect to see in many more places.

Perhaps the best example is Proposition 22 in California, where a majority of the voters approved of new rules that allow companies like Uber and Lyft to continue operating with drivers as independent contractors. A previous piece of state legislation and related lawsuit would have required the companies to classify many drivers as full-time employees. Here’s Megan Rose Dickey, on the impact of the result:

Throughout the case, Uber and Lyft have argued that reclassifying their drivers as employees would cause irreparable harm to the companies. In the ruling last month, the judge said neither company would suffer any “grave or irreparable harm by being prohibited from violating the law” and that their respective financial burdens “do not rise to the level of irreparable harm.”

But now that Prop 22 is projected to pass, this lawsuit has far less legal ground to stand on. It’s also worth noting that Uber has previously said it may pursue similar legislation in other states.

Naturally, the affected companies got a boost to their stock prices after the vote was called, and Uber is already working on taking the campaign global.

The US presidential election of 2020 has been the most technologically sophisticated ever, but I’m gonna skip because there are relatively few startup angles for us here. However, if you are trying to craft user policies about politics, consider this election-eve analysis from Taylor Hatmaker about how Facebook and Twitter have changed their approaches since 2016.

Other notable startup-y items from our election coverage:

Cannabis legalization measures set to pass in 5 states

Portland, Maine passes referendum banning facial surveillance

Massachusetts voters pass a right-to-repair measure, giving them unprecedented access to their car data

Calm’s hilarious CNN ad campaign sent the meditation app flying up App Store charts

YC-backed nonprofit VotingWorks wants to rebuild trust in election systems through open source

Something else happened in government this week that was not about the election — but may still be relevant to your startup. The SEC will now let companies raise up to $5 million per year in equity crowdfunding, up from a previous rule of $1.07 million. Lucas Matney has more for Extra Crunch.

The next billion-dollar e-commerce company will be a B2B marketplace

Business-to-business transactions are full of complexities beyond the consumer space, including four types of standard payment methods, sophisticated financing tools, bulk discounts, contractual pricing, delivery schedules, insurance and compliance. Merritt Hummer of Bain Capital Ventures breaks it down in a big guest post for Extra Crunch:

[I]t’s no wonder B2B e-commerce has been slower to digitize than B2C. From product discovery through the checkout process, a consumer buying a bag of licorice looks nothing like a retailer buying 100,000 bags of licorice from a distributor. The good news for B2B marketplace founders is that, based on the parameters above, there are many creative ways to extract value from transactions that go beyond the GMV take rate. Let’s explore some of the creative ways to monetize a B2B marketplace.

Instead of trying to take a cut of the gross merchandise value, like what Apple does with the App Store, successful startups have to be creative. These can include data monetization, embedded financial services, targeted advertising, private-label products, subscription fees and sampling fees. Here’s an excerpt from Hummer about that last one:

In most B2B verticals, individual transactions are so large that charging fees on a percentage basis means scaring potential customers away. In high-value markets with infrequent orders, charging a take rate on purchase orders will be perceived as unfair, especially when suppliers and buyers know each other already. But the fee-per-sample model is a unique wedge to aggregate suppliers and buyers, who often sample supplies before placing large orders.

One of our portfolio companies, Material Bank, has used this monetization strategy with success. Material Bank is a B2B marketplace for construction and interior design materials that warehouses samples (fabric swatches, paint chips, flooring materials, wall coverings, etc.) from hundreds of brands. Architects and interior designers can order free samples from Material Bank and receive them the next morning, and then ship samples back for free when they’re no longer needed. Material Bank charges the manufacturers a fee every time one of their samples is shipped out. Manufacturers receive new customer leads that require no effort to generate and are happy to outsource sample fulfillment, which was historically a cost center and not a core competency. Other B2B markets where sampling is well-established include chemicals, apparel and packaging materials.

How to start a VC fund without being rich already

Barriers to venture investing have been falling in recent years, as money has flowed into the asset class and as the opportunities for tech continue to grow. It is actually quite possible to raise your own fund if you don’t have much wealth to leverage — you’ll still have many things to figure out, though. Connie Loizos talks to limited partners and VCs who have been taking creative approaches for TechCrunch this week:

First, find investors, i.e. limited partners, who are willing to take less than 2% or 3% and maybe even less than 1% of the overall fund size being targeted. You’ll likely find fewer investors as that “commit” shrinks. But for example Joanna Rupp,  who runs the $1.1 billion private equity portfolio for the University of Chicago’s endowment, suggests that both she and other managers she knows are willing to be flexible based on the “specific situation of the GP.”

Says Rupp, “I think there are industry ‘norms,’ but we haven’t required a [general partner] commitment from younger GPs when we have felt that they don’t have the financial means.”

Bob Raynard, founder of the fund administration firm Standish Management, echoes the sentiment, saying that a smaller general partner commitment in exchange for special investor economics is also fairly common. “You might see a reduced management fee for the LP for helping them or reduced carry or both, and that has been done for years.”

Explore management fee offsets. Use your existing portfolio companies as collateral. Make a deal with wealthier friends if you can. Get a bank loan. Consider the merits of so-called front loading.

She goes on to explain a number of tips including:

  • Explore management fee offsets.

  • Use your existing portfolio companies as collateral.

  • Make a deal with wealthier friends if you can.

  • Get a bank loan.

  • Consider the merits of so-called front loading.

Yegor Aleyev/TASS (Photo by Yegor AleyevTASS via Getty Images)

Edtech startup M&A grows with the pandemic boom

Natasha Mascarenhas takes a look at the motivations behind recent acquisitions in the space for Extra Crunch this week, as edtech has gone from supplemental to vital during the pandemic. Here’s more detail about the Course Hero acquisition of Symbolab from the other week.

Symbolab is a math calculator that is set to answer over 1 billion questions this year. With each answer, Symbolab adds information to its algorithm regarding students’ most common pain points and confusion. Course Hero, in contrast, is a broader service that focuses on Q&A from a variety of subjects. CEO Andrew Grauer says Symbolab’s algorithm isn’t something that Course Hero, which has been operating since 2006, can drum up overnight. That’s precisely why he “decided to buy, instead of build… It made a lot of sense to move fast enough so it wouldn’t take up multiple years to get this technology.”

Around TechCrunch

Learn how to score your first check with TMV’s Soraya Darabi on November 10

Just one week left for early-bird passes to TC Sessions: Space 2020

Relativity Space’s Tim Ellis is coming to TC Sessions: Space 2020

Across the week

TechCrunch:

China postpones Ant’s colossal IPO after closed-door talk with Jack Ma

Study shows cities with ride-hailing services report lower rates of sexual assault

Mixtape podcast: Wellness in the time of the struggle

Why Florida residents may soon be seeing jet-powered ‘flying taxis’

UK report spotlights the huge investment gap facing diverse founders

Extra Crunch:

3 tips for SaaS founders hoping to join the $1 million ARR club

Inside fintech startup Upstart’s IPO filing

4 takeaways from fintech VC in Q3 2020

Is fintech’s Series A market hot, or just overhyped?

Implementing a data-driven approach to guarantee fair, equitable and transparent employee pay

#EquityPod: Fortnite is actually a SaaS company

From Alex Wilhelm:

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast (now on Twitter!), where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

What a week from us here in the United States, where the election is still being tabulated and precisely zero people are stressed at all. But, no matter what, the wheels of Equity spin on, so Danny and Natasha and Alex and Chris got together once again to chat all things startups and venture capital:

  • Up top there was breaking news aplenty, including a suit from the U.S. government to try to block the huge Plaid-Visa deal. And, it was reported that Airbnb will drop its public S-1 filing early next week. That IPO is a go.
  • Next we turned to the gaming world, riffing off of this piece digging into the venture mechanics of making and selling video games. Our hosting crew had a few differences of opinion, but were able to agree that Doom 3 was a masterpiece before moving on.
  • Then it was time to talk Ant, and what the hell happened to its IPO. Luckily with Danny on deck we were in good hands. What a mess.
  • Prop 22 was passed, which effectively allows Uber, Instacart and Lyft to keep their gig workers labeled as independent contractors, instead of employees. As a result, Uber and Lyft stocks soared, while gig worker collectives said that the fight is still on.
  • Natasha scooped a series of Election Day filings from venture capital firms. In the mix: Precursor Ventures Fund IIIHustle Fund II and Insight Partner’s first Opportunity Fund.
  • And finally, despite Election Day turning into an entire week, the public markets are rallying. Will we see a boom of IPOs?
  • And, as a special treat, we didn’t even mention Maricopa County for the entire episode. Take care all!

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PDT and Thursday afternoon as fast as we can get it out, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/11/07/car-data-cannabis-and-the-gig-economy-are-tech-election-winners-in-2020/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Eric Eldon

Twitter bans Steve Bannon’s podcast account following beheading comments

e0df63a0-2024-11eb-baf6-55d18dc1ad64Twitter has permanently banned Steve Bannon’s podcast after he suggested that Dr. Anthony Fauci and former FBI director Christopher Wray should be beheaded, according to CNBC. “The… account has been permanently suspended for violating the Twitter R…

Source: https://www.engadget.com/twitter-ban-steve-bannon-podcast-beheading-121750920.html
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How Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit are handling the election

How Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit are handling the election

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images / Apologies to the Simpsons)

At long last, we are here at the deadline: after endless months, with roughly 100 million early votes cast, Election Day is finally upon us. There is very little we can project with certainty about the outcomes, except this: it’s going to be ugly on social media.

The early vote turnout has been massive, but we probably have more than another 50 million votes yet to go on the big day. Polls begin closing at 7pm Eastern time on Tuesday and cascade over the next six hours from there, until when Alaska and Hawaii wrap up at 1am (EDT) Wednesday. The combination of high turnout, above-average amounts of mail-in voting, and COVID precautions at polling places means we may wait hours, days, or even weeks beyond that point to learn the final results in many states. As if that weren’t enough turmoil, President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to declare himself the victor even if large numbers of votes in key states are not yet counted.

The future being what it is, though, tens of millions of us won’t be sitting next to broadcast or cable news—or waiting for the first printing of the morning paper—to find out what happened. We’ll be glued to our phones and laptops, scrolling through social media apps. So in the face of rampant disinformation, both foreign and domestic, what are those platforms doing to make sure you can trust what you see?

Read 24 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Source: https://arstechnica.com/?p=1718794
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Kate Cox

What social networks have learned since the 2016 election

On the eve on the 2020 U.S. election, tensions are running high.

The good news? 2020 isn’t 2016. Social networks are way better prepared to handle a wide array of complex, dangerous or otherwise ambiguous Election Day scenarios.

The bad news: 2020 is its own beast, one that’s unleashed a nightmare health scenario on a divided nation that’s even more susceptible now to misinformation, hyper-partisanship and dangerous ideas moving from the fringe to the center than it was four years ago.

The U.S. was caught off guard by foreign interference in the 2016 election, but shocking a nation that’s spent the last eight months expecting a convergence of worst-case scenarios won’t be so easy.

Social platforms have braced for the 2020 election in a way they didn’t in 2016. Here’s what they’re worried about and the critical lessons they’ve picked up over the last four years.

Contested election results

President Trump has repeatedly signaled that he won’t accept the results of the election in the case that he loses — a shocking threat that could imperil American democracy, but one social platforms have been tracking closely. Trump’s erratic, often rule-bending behavior on social networks in recent months has served as a kind of stress test, allowing those platforms to game out different scenarios for the election.

Facebook and Twitter in particular have laid out detailed plans about what happens if the results of the election aren’t immediately clear or if a candidate refuses to accept official results once they’re tallied.

On election night, Facebook will pin a message to the top of both Facebook and Instagram telling users that vote counting is still underway. When authoritative results are in, Facebook will change those messages to reflect the official results. Importantly, U.S. election results might not be clear on election night or for some days afterward, a potential outcome that Facebook and other social networks are bracing for.

Facebook election message

Image via Facebook

If a candidate declared victory prematurely, Facebook doesn’t say it will remove those claims, but it will pair them with its message that there’s no official result and voting is still underway.

Twitter released its plans for handling election results two months ago, explaining that it will either remove or attach a warning label to premature claims of victory before authoritative election results are in. The company also explicitly stated that it will act against any tweets “inciting unlawful conduct to prevent a peaceful transfer of power or orderly succession,” a shocking rule to have to articulate, but a necessary one in 2020.

On Monday, Twitter elaborated on its policy, saying that it would focus on labeling misleading tweets about the presidential election and other contested races. The company released a sample image of a label it would append, showing a warning stating that “this tweet is sharing inaccurate information.”

We may label Tweets, starting on election night, that make claims about election results before they’re officially called.

We’ll be prioritizing the presidential election and other highly contested races where there may be significant issues with misleading information. pic.twitter.com/BExhZdVMnB

— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 2, 2020

 

Last week, the company also began showing users large misinformation warnings at the top of their feeds. The messages told users that they “might encounter misleading information” about mail-in voting and also cautioned them that election results may not be immediately known.

According to Twitter, users who try to share tweets with misleading election-related misinformation will see a pop-up pointing them to vetted information and forcing them to click through a warning before sharing. Twitter also says it will act on any “disputed claims” that might cast doubt on voting, including “unverified information about election rigging, ballot tampering, vote tallying, or certification of election results.”

One other major change that many users probably already noticed is Twitter’s decision to disable retweets. Users can still retweet by clicking through a pop-up page, but Twitter made the change to encourage people to quote retweet instead. The effort to slow down the spread of misinformation was striking, and Twitter said it will stay in place through the end of election week, at least.

YouTube didn’t go into similar detail about its decision making, but the company previously said it will put an “informational” label on search results related to the election and below election-related videos. The label warns users that “results may not be final” and points them to the company’s election info hub.

Foreign disinformation

This is one area where social networks have made big strides. After Russian disinformation took root on social platforms four years ago, those companies now coordinate with one another and the government about the threats they’re seeing.

In the aftermath of 2016, Facebook eventually woke up to the idea that its platform could be leveraged to scale social ills like hate and misinformation. Its scorecard is uneven, but its actions against foreign disinformation have been robust, reducing that threat considerably.

A repeat of the same concerns from 2016 is unlikely. Facebook made aggressive efforts to find foreign coordinated disinformation campaigns across its platforms, and it publishes what it finds regularly and with little delay. But in 2020, the biggest concerns are coming from within the country — not without.

Most foreign information operations have been small so far, failing to gain much traction. Last month, Facebook removed a network of fake accounts connected to Iran. The operation was small and failed to generate much traction, but it shows that U.S. adversaries are still interested in trying out the tactic.

Misleading political ads

To address concerns around election misinformation in ads, Facebook opted for a temporary political ad blackout, starting at 12AM PT on November 4 and continuing until the company deems it safe to toggle them back on. Facebook hasn’t accepted any new political ads since October 27 and previously said it won’t accept any ads that delegitimize the results of the election. Google will also pause election-related ads after polls close Tuesday.

Facebook has made a number of big changes to political ads since 2016, when Russia bought Facebook ads to meddle with U.S. politics. Political ads on the platform are subject to more scrutiny and much more transparency now and Facebook’s ad library emerged as an exemplary tool that allows anyone to see what ads have been published, who bought them and how much they spent.

Unlike Facebook, Twitter’s way of dealing with political advertising was cutting it off entirely. The company announced the change a year ago and hasn’t looked back since. TikTok also opted to disallow political ads.

We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A few reasons…🧵

— jack (@jack) October 30, 2019

Political violence

Politically-motivated violence is a big worry this week in the U.S. — a concern that shows just how tense the situation has grown under four years of Trump. Leading into Tuesday, the president has repeatedly made false claims of voter fraud and encouraged his followers to engage in voter intimidation, a threat Facebook was clued into enough that it made a policy prohibiting “militarized” language around poll watching.

Facebook made a number of other meaningful recent changes like banning the dangerous pro-Trump conspiracy theory QAnon and militias that use the platform to organize, though those efforts have come very late in the game.

Facebook was widely criticized for its inaction around a Trump post warning “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” during racial justice protests earlier this year, but its recent posture suggests similar posts might be taken more seriously now. We’ll be watching how Facebook handles emerging threats of violence this week.

Its recent decisive moves against extremism are important, but the platform has long incubated groups that use the company’s networking and event tools to come together for potential real-world violence. Even if they aren’t allowed on the platform any longer, many of those groups got organized and then moved their networks onto alternative social networks and private channels. Still, making it more difficult to organize violence on mainstream social networks is a big step in the right direction.

Twitter also addressed the potential threat of election-related violence in advance, noting that it may add warnings or require users to remove any tweets “inciting interference with the election” or encouraging violence.

Platform policy shifts in 2020

Facebook is the biggest online arena where U.S. political life plays out. While a similar number of Americans watch videos on YouTube, Facebook is where they go to duke it over candidates, share news stories (some legitimate, some not) and generally express themselves politically. And as we’ve learned the hard way, that makes it a tinderbox, especially during elections.

Still, there are reasons to be hopeful, particularly given some very recent decisions.

While Facebook acted against foreign threats quickly after 2016, the company dragged its feet on platform changes that could be perceived as politically motivated — a hesitation that backfired by incubating dangerous extremists and allowing many kinds of misinformation, particularly on the far-right, to survive and thrive.

But in the last few months, whether it was inspired by the threat of a contested election, federal antitrust action or a possible Biden presidency, Facebook has signaled a shift to more aggressive moderation with a flurry of positive policy changes. An accompanying flurry of election-focused podcast and television ads suggests Facebook is worried about public perception too — and that’s a good thing.

Twitter’s plan for the election has been well-communicated and detailed. In 2020, the company treats its policy decisions with more transparency, communicates them in real-time and isn’t afraid to admit to mistakes. The relatively small social network plays an outsized role in publishing political content that’s amplified elsewhere so the choices it makes are critical for countering misinformation and extremism.

The companies that direct the flow of online information learned major lessons from 2016.  There’s no way to know which of those lessons will serve us on Election Day and in the days and weeks to follow, but we can hope these were the right ones.

Techcrunch?d=2mJPEYqXBVI Techcrunch?d=7Q72WNTAKBA Techcrunch?d=yIl2AUoC8zA Techcrunch?i=zCCrKSl_24E:YZUjXBfMpSg:-BT Techcrunch?i=zCCrKSl_24E:YZUjXBfMpSg:D7D Techcrunch?d=qj6IDK7rITs

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/11/02/2020-election-social-media-facebook-twitter-policies/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Taylor Hatmaker

Twitter names 7 outlets to call election results

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Twitter on Monday provided more details about its policies around tweets that declare election results, and named the seven outlets it will lean on to help it determine whether a race is officially called.

Driving the news: The list includes ABC News, AP, CNN, CBS News, Decision Desk HQ, Fox News and NBC News — all outlets that experts agree have verified, unbiased decision desks calling elections.


Our thought bubble: Some conservatives have alleged that Twitter is biased against them. In the past few weeks, data from the Stanford Cable TV Analyzer shows that Fox News has discussed Jack Dorsey and Big Tech censorship at length.

  • Fox News’ Decision Desk is considered very authoritative and is highly-respected amongst media and politics insiders. By including Fox’ News’ decision desk in this list, Twitter is saying that it believes its decision desk is verified and legitimate.

Details: Twitter previously said that it would require either an announcement from state election officials, or a public projection from at least two authoritative, national news outlets that make independent calls about the race before letting tweets about the results go by unlabeled.

  • If one of the seven outlets tweets from its main handle a result before another outlet from the group of seven confirm it, Twitter won’t label that tweet.
  • If a reporter or any Twitter user tweets a result without citing one of the select outlets for its decision, that tweet may be labeled.
  • The Twitter will label will say, “Official sources may not have called the race when this tweeted. Find out more.” That label will link to Twitter’s curated elections information hub.

The big picture: Axios’ Jonathan Swan reported on Sunday that President has told confidants he’ll declare victory on Tuesday night if it looks like he’s “ahead” in the polls, even if the outcome is not yet determined.

  • Tech platforms have introduced an array of rules and protocols around premature claims of victory on election night, given the unusual nature of this years’ election.

Go deeper:

Source: https://www.axios.com/twitter-names-7-outlets-to-call-election-results-b89a043d-ed50-4478-8d8a-de27b271ea85.html
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Sara Fischer

FBI, Homeland Security detail how Iranian hackers stole US voter data

3d3cf9f0-13a5-11eb-87af-93707e03be91US officials are shedding more light on how Iran-linked hackers stole voter info to send intimidating emails to Democrat voters. The FBI and Homeland Security’s CISA have issued an advisory (via Bleeping Computer) explaining the campaign, which ran f…

Source: https://www.engadget.com/fbi-details-iran-hacker-voter-data-theft-160352183.html
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Facebook says it’s helped 4.4M people register to vote this year

facebooklogo_112819getty.jpg

Facebook on Monday said it has helped an estimated 4.4 million people register to vote across its platforms since launching a voter information initiative over the summer.Facebook CEO and co-founder Ma…

Source: https://thehill.com/policy/technology/522817-facebook-says-its-helped-44m-people-register-to-vote-this-year
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Rebecca Klar

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