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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.
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Go deeper

Scoop: Border officials project 13,000 child migrants in May

The "El Chaparral" border crossing at Tijuana. Photo: Stringer/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

A Customs and Border Protection staffer told top administration officials Thursday the agency is projecting a peak of 13,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border in May, sources directly familiar with the discussion told Axios.

Why it matters: That projection would exceed the height of the 2019 crisis, which led to the infamous "kids-in-cages" disaster. It also underscores a rapidly escalating crisis for the Biden administration.

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U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia facilities in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

Senate parliamentarian rules $15 minimum wage cannot be included in relief package

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the provision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour cannot be included in the broader $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: It's now very likely that any increase in the minimum wage will need bipartisan support, as the provision cannot be passed with the simple Senate majority that Democrats are aiming to use for President Biden's rescue bill.