Jun 12, 2019

Big Tech grilled on hate speech, accountability at Code Conference

Ina Fried, author of Login

Vox's Ezra Klein, RAICES' Erika Andiola and RAICES' Jonathan Ryan (from left to right). Photo: Asa Mathat for Vox Media

The attacks on the tech industry were many and frequent throughout the first two days of the Code Conference.

Why it matters: There has always been a measure of skepticism on stage at Code, but this year the negative side of tech was the primary focus, with only occasional mentions of new products or technology.


  • Hate speech: On Monday night, executives from Facebook, YouTube and Twitter were all peppered with questions about their role in allowing hate speech and harassment to flourish on their platforms.
  • Immigration: On Tuesday, the CEO of immigration rights center RAICES, Jonathan Ryan, argued that the tech industry is enabling the Trump administration's violation of immigration rights at the border. He called out Palantir, Amazon, Salesforce, Dell and Hewlett Packard Enterprise as among the firms making the work of ICE possible. "The tech industry deserves a lot of blame for what is happening on our borders," Ryan said. (Full video here.)
  • Accountability: Later in the day, author Baratunde Thurston highlighted some of the points in his New Tech Manifesto. He called on attendees to push for a tech industry that collects less data and is more transparent and accountable, but also is attuned to the potential misuse of their creations. He added, "we should start treating people's data as a part of their property."

Go deeper: Ahead of Code, founder Kara Swisher published her own manifesto on the tech reckoning.

Go deeper

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.