Nov 13, 2017

Barry Diller: Facebook doesn't have editorial responsibility

Barry Diller arrives at the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party. Photo: Evan Agostini / AP

IAC and Expedia Inc. Chairman Barry Diller doesn't think Facebook should have a responsibility to police the information on their platforms like a news organization. But Diller did say some regulation should apply to Big Tech in some areas.

Why it matters: Social media companies like Facebook and Twitter are under harsh congressional scrutiny over concerns that they enabled the spread of so-called "fake news" and meddling by Russian actors in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. One question that's being debated is whether these companies have the same responsibilities as news organizations in regards to filtering or moderating news disseminated through their networks.

"They don"t have editorial responsibility, they can't really have it—it's too much personal voice," Diller said on Monday at the Internet Association's conference in San Francisco, adding these companies can certainly take steps to moderate this to some degree. (Of course, Diller's IAC owns some media properties.)

Still, he says scrutiny should be expected as tech firms grow:

  • The U.S. government won't throttle the large tech companies: "I do not think that these large companies are going to be interrupted in their growth. They're going to become even larger."
  • But they should be regulated—to some degree: "When you get to this ultra size, I think that regulation has to follow, or should follow," he said. "I don't think they should be broken up, unless, in fact, consolidation reaches a point at which they buy everything."
  • Europe's regulators are tougher, but it's not actually a problem: "Yes, the [European Commission] is more active. I think they're ahead of the world, certainly ahead of the U.S.," he said. "Nevertheless, Google is stronger in Europe."
  • Expectation adjustment: "Privacy is nothing like it was," he said in reference to regulations in that area. "We're putting more information out there."

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll surpasses 8,500

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the coronavirus surpassed 8,500 in the U.S. early Sunday, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day for the past four days, since April 1.

The big picture: President Trump said Saturday America's is facing its "toughest week, between this week and next week." Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the U.S. should expect to see deaths continue to rise in this period.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 a.m. ET: 1,203,485 — Total deaths: 64,784 — Total recoveries: 247,001Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 a.m. ET: 312,237 — Total deaths: 8,501 — Total recoveries: 14,997Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. The virus is hitting poor, minority communities harder and upending childbirth.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. "We're having the convention at the end of August."
  5. Business updates: Restaurants step up for health care workers. Employees are pressuring companies to provide protections during coronavirus.
  6. Oil latest: Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Education update: Many college-age students won't get coronavirus relief checks.
  8. 1 🏀 thing: The WNBA postpones start of training camps and season.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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In photos: Life in the era of coronavirus across the U.S.

Lauryn Morley, a lower school substitute teacher for the Washington Waldorf School in Bethesda, Maryland, works from her home in Arlington, Virginia. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The number of novel coronavirus cases in the U.S. has grown from one on Jan. 21 to over 312,000 by early Sunday, per Johns Hopkins.

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