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Richard Vogel / AP

More than 8,000 drivers have been fired from ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft after failing Massachusetts' new state background check, per the Boston Globe.

The state dug through the criminal and driving records of roughly 71,000 drivers who had passed preliminary reviews, and found that hundreds of drivers had serious crimes on their record, including violent or sexual offenses, while others had been found guilty of drunken driving or reckless driving. The state deemed those who failed unfit to continue as drivers for the companies, and pulled them off the road.

The defense: Uber and Lyft have both pointed out that they are limited by state law to checking just the last seven years of an applicant's history. And while Lyft said only "a small percentage of our drivers failed," Uber argued that the unlimited reach of the government's background checks is unfair to drivers who are trying to move on from their past.

Why this matters: The findings led MA to pull thousands of drivers off the road. Their crackdown could pave the way for other states to issue similar background checks, and raise the standards on who can work for ride-hailing companies.

Go deeper

Young people want checks on Big Tech's power

Data: Generation Lab; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The next generation of college-educated Americans thinks social media companies have too much power and influence on politics and need more government regulation, according to a new survey by Generation Lab for Axios.

Why it matters: The findings follow an election dominated by rampant disinformation about voting fraud on social media; companies' fraught efforts to stifle purveyors of disinformation including former President Trump; and a deadly Jan. 6 insurrection over the election organized largely online.

Wall Street's own populist revolt

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

A popular rebellion, organized by the powerless against the powerful. It might have failed in Washington, but it certainly seems to be working on Wall Street.

Driving the news: The market value of GameStop closed at more than $10 billion on Tuesday, on record volume of more than $26 billion.

17 mins ago - Health

One year of the pandemic

One year ago today, a novel coronavirus was barely beginning to catch the public's eye. There were just over 2,000 confirmed cases worldwide, mostly in China, and five cases in the U.S.

The big picture: The sea of red says it all. Today, there have been over 100,000 cases worldwide, led by the U.S. with 25 million.