Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech companies got a brief reprieve after Mark Zuckerberg cleared the low bar for his two days of testimony on Capitol Hill earlier this month.

Expand chart
Reproduced from Inaugural Tech Media Telecom Pulse Survey, Harris X; Chart: Axios Visuals

The big picture: But the chart above, from a poll by Stagwell's Harris X research consultancy (2,546 Americans polled online April 12-13, right after the Facebook hearings), shows Americans are far from satisfied with the status quo.

  • The finding: Users don't think in terms of "tech companies." They distinguish among the brands, and are far more likely to support regulation for the social media platforms than for other tech giants. Harris X: "Facebook is the only company that respondents believe should be heavily regulated."
  • Why it matters, from Axios chief tech correspondent Ina Fried: People value Facebook and aren't going to give it up, but they're saying the government has a role in protecting them from the power of these platforms.
  • Be smart: These results will be a relief to Apple and other companies that have been trying to differentiate themselves from Facebook, pointing out publicly and in constant conversations with reporters that they have very different business models that sell products and services — not access to you.
  • Go deeper: The full poll results.

An international look ... "Where Countries Are Tinderboxes and Facebook Is a Match: False rumors set Buddhist against Muslim in Sri Lanka, the most recent in a global spate of violence fanned by social media," by N.Y. Times "Interpreter" columnists Max Fisher and Amanda Taub:

  • "[T]he forces of social disruption ... have followed Facebook’s rapid expansion in the developing world, whose markets represent the company’s financial future."
  • "For months, we [tracked] riots and lynchings around the world linked to misinformation and hate speech on Facebook, which pushes whatever content keeps users on the site longest — a potentially damaging practice in countries with weak institutions."
  • "[G]overnment officials said ... Facebook wields enormous influence over their society, but they have little over Facebook."
  • N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... Harindra Dissanayake, a presidential adviser in Sri Lanka: “We don’t completely blame Facebook. The germs are ours, but Facebook is the wind, you know?”
  • Worthy of your time.
Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
Please enter a valid email.
Please enter a valid email.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Subscribed! Look for Axios AM and PM in your inbox tomorrow or read the latest Axios AM now.

Go deeper

Bipartisan group of senators seeks coronavirus stimulus deal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

At least eight Republican and Democratic senators have formed an informal working group aimed at securing new coronavirus spending during the lame-duck session, a move favored by President-elect Biden, two sources familiar with the group tell Axios.

Why it matters: It may be the most significant bipartisan step toward COVID relief in months.

FCC chairman to depart in January

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Ajit Pai will leave his post as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Jan. 20, the agency said today.

Why it matters: Pai's Inauguration Day departure is in keeping with agency tradition, and could set up the Biden administration with a 2-1 Democratic majority at the FCC if the Senate fails to confirm another Trump nominee during the lame-duck period.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

GM's shrinking deal with Nikola

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

General Motors will no longer take an equity stake in Nikola Corp. or build its pickup truck, under a revised deal that still envisions GM as a key tech supplier for Nikola's planned line of electric and fuel cell heavy trucks.

Driving the news: The revised agreement Monday is smaller in scope than a draft partnership rolled out in September that had included a $2 billion stake in the startup and an agreement to build its Badger pickup.