Welcome to "#SocialStocks," The Fly's weekly recap of Wall Street's reactions to social media stock news.
ZUCKERBERG KNEW ABOUT PRIVACY ISSUES: Facebook (FB) uncovered emails that appear to show CEO Mark Zuckerberg's connection to potentially problematic privacy practices at the company, The Wall Street Journal's John McKinnon, Emily Glazer, Deepa Seetharaman, and Jeff Horwitz reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. A source said that within the company, the unearthing of the emails in the process of responding to a continuing federal privacy investigation has raised concerns that they would be harmful to Facebook if they were to become public. The writers also noted that the emails factored into the decision to settle with the FTC.
In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook said, "We have fully cooperated with the FTC's investigation to date and provided tens of thousands of documents, emails and files. We are continuing to work with them and hope to bring this matter to an appropriate resolution. Facebook and its executives, including Mark, at all times strive to comply with all applicable law, and at no point did Mark or any other Facebook employee knowingly violate the company's obligations under the FTC consent order."
TWITTER REFRESHING AND SIMPLIFYING ITS RULES: Del Harvey, VP, Trust and Safety, Twitter (TWTR), said in a blog post: "Our rules exist to help keep everyone using Twitter safe and ensure they can participate freely in the public conversation. Over time, we've added new rules and updated existing ones, but these changes eventually made our rules confusing and difficult to understand. So today, we're refreshing our rules with simple, clear language and reorganizing them into high-level categories: safety, privacy and authenticity. We've also added detail around other policies, including election integrity, platform manipulation and spam. We've gone from about 2,500 words to under 600. In 280 characters or less, each rule clearly describes exactly what is not allowed on Twitter. New categories - safety, privacy, and authenticity - mean our rules are organized thematically, so you can find the information you're looking for more quickly. We're refreshing rule pages to have more information, including examples, step-by-step instructions about how to report, and details on what happens when we take action. Everyone who uses Twitter should be able to easily understand what is and is not allowed on the service. As part of our continued push towards more transparency across every aspect of Twitter, we're working to make sure every rule has its own help page with more detailed information and relevant resources, with abuse and harassment, hateful conduct, suicide or self-harm, and copyright being next on our list to update. Our focus remains on keeping everyone safe and supporting a healthier public conversation on Twitter."
HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE LAUNCHES TECH ANTITRUST PROBE: On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee announced a bipartisan investigation into competition in digital markets. The investigation will include a series of hearings held by the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law on the rise of market power online, as well as requests for information that are relevant to the investigation. "A small number of dominant, unregulated platforms have extraordinary power over commerce, communication, and information online. Based on investigative reporting and oversight by international policymakers and enforcers, there are concerns that these platforms have the incentive and ability to harm the competitive process. The Antitrust Subcommittee will conduct a top-to-bottom review of the market power held by giant tech platforms. This is the first time Congress has undertaken an investigation into this behavior." Publicly traded companies in the space include: Facebook, Google (GOOG, GOOGL), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL).
Keywords: antitrust, house of representatives, congress, zuckerberg, mark zuckerberg, Google, twitter rules