Richard Drew / AP

On Friday, Twitter co-founder and Internet mogul Evan Williams said that if Twitter is to blame for the presidency then, "Yeah. I'm sorry." He added, "It's a very bad thing, Twitter's role in that." His remarks come less than a month after Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey said "it's important" the president has the power to tweet because it holds him accountable.

Why it matters: The conflicting perspectives resemble a familiar dilemma for tech media giants: Could their openness and accessibility, meant to promote democracy, be causing more political chaos than we are equipped to responsibly handle?

Everyone's pressured:

  • Facebook: Following the election, media experts and political flacks alike pointed the finger at Facebook, saying fake news on its platform helped sway the election, but Facebook has continued to profit and retain more users than ever. Mark Zuckerberg initially shrugged off the allegations, but has since made a big deal of his fight against fake news globally. Facebook has invested millions in providing resources and attention to local newsrooms through the Facebook Journalism Project and has taken out ads in the UK, Germany and France showing users how to spot fake news ahead of their elections. It's made numerous tweaks to its ad format and algorithms to nix bad content.
  • Twitter: In an interview with Stephen Levy in Business Insider Friday, Dorsey said the platform is always looking for opportunities to "show what matters faster," to limit distracting conversation. Twitter recently moved from a time-ordered to elevating content they feel users should be seeing and content that pertain to their interests, "and potentially showing the other side of what you're interested in, as well."
  • Google: Last month, Google announced it will start using data from more than 10,000 human contractors known as "quality raters" to teach its algorithms how to better spot offensive, incorrect or misleading information. The company has made tweaks to it's algorithms to weed out bad content, and added a fact-checking tool to help flag bad content.

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Jul 16, 2020 - Technology

Facebook to label posts about voting from presidential candidates

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook announced Thursday that it will add labels to all posts from presidential and congressional candidates and federally-elected officials that mention voting or ballots, regardless of whether they contain misinformation.

Why it matters: It's the tech giant's response to scrutiny that it doesn't do enough to tackle voter suppression on its platform. Earlier this year, Facebook — unlike Twitter — did not take action against posts from President Trump that included false information about mail-in voting.

Biden campaign, DNC jointly raised $140 million in July

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden campaign, the Democratic National Committee and their joint fundraising committees announced Wednesday that they raised $140 million in July.

Why it matters: With 90 days until the election, the Biden campaign and DNC now have $294 million on hand, an increase of $50 million over the past month.

Updated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 18,643,633 — Total deaths: 703,127 — Total recoveries — 11,206,409Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 4,811,128 — Total deaths: 157,690 — Total recoveries: 1,528,979 — Total tests: 58,239,438Map.
  3. Public health: Florida surpasses 500,000 confirmed casesFauci calls U.S. coronavirus testing delays "totally unacceptable."
  4. Business: America's next housing crisis.
  5. States: Virginia launches contact tracing app using specs from Apple and Google.
  6. Politics: White House, Democrats remain "trillions of dollars apart" on stimulus talks.