May 15, 2020 - Technology

Airbnb hires new operations chief as it eyes a post-virus recovery

Photo: Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images

Airbnb has hired Tara Bunch as its new head of global operations, overseeing customer service, trust and safety, and payments. Bunch is currently Apple's vice president of AppleCare.

The big picture: Bunch is filling a crucial gap since the departure of Airbnb's chief operations officer Belinda Johnson last year, especially as Airbnb, which has been hit hard by the collapse of the travel business during the pandemic, starts trying to make consumers comfortable staying in other people's homes again.

Go deeper: Airbnb cuts 25% of workforce

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Social media takes on world leaders

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Social media companies are finally beginning to take action on posts from world leaders that violate their policies, after years of letting them mostly say whatever they wanted unfiltered to millions of people.

Why it matters: Government officials are among the users most likely to abuse the wide reach and minimal regulation of tech platforms. Mounting pressure to stop harmful content from spreading amid the coronavirus pandemic, racial protests and a looming U.S. election has spurred some companies to finally do something about it.

Coronavirus cases spike in Texas and Arizona

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise, Naema Ahmed/Axios

Texas, Arizona and Oregon saw significant spikes last week in new coronavirus infections, while cases also continued to climb in a handful of states where steady increases have become the norm.

Why it matters: Nationwide, new cases have plateaued over the past week. To get through this crisis and safely continue getting back out into the world, we need them to go down — a lot.

Some call for fewer police, even as streets erupt

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

"Defund the police" isn't just a slogan on a protester's sign — it's a political movement to relieve cops of responsibility for managing intractable social problems and shift spending to agencies that are better equipped to handle them.

Why it matters: The aftermath of George Floyd's killing has brought a renewed focus to the two dominant trends in policing: sweeping reforms on one side, militarization on the other. Neither of these responses will make our cities safer or our justice system fairer, civil rights activists argue, because the problems are much broader and deeply entrenched in society.