The U.S. Capitol dome. Photo: Carolyn Kaster / AP

The investigation into how Russian ads and content spread on Google, Twitter and Facebook was just the beginning of Congress digging into how tech does business.

What's happening now: Lawmakers want to know everything from how algorithms filter and distribute information behind the scenes to how platforms handle consumer data to the ways extremist content spreads over social media.

Going deep on algorithms: On Wednesday, lawmakers will probe the algorithms used by companies like Google and Facebook.

  • A House subcommittees on technology and consumer protection will ask about consumer data collection and how "companies make decisions about content that consumers see online."
  • Privacy hawk Laura Moy and Frank Pasquale, a professor and Big Tech skeptic, will testify.
  • The subcommittee chairs, Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Bob Latta, say they "intend to shine a light on how technology companies and online platforms use Americans' data and filter information."

What's next: We hear that prominent Amazon critic Lina Khan and "The Googlization of Everything" author Siva Vaidhyanathan are part of a Capitol Hill briefing on platform competition issues this Friday that will involve several progressive lawmakers. And the powerful Senate Commerce Committee is interested in how the social media platforms handle extremist content.

Meanwhile: Senators on both sides of the aisle want Uber to explain more about its recently disclosed data breach.

Go deeper

49 mins ago - Sports

Pac-12 will play football this fall, reversing course

A view of Levi's Stadium during the 2019 Pac-12 Championship football game. Photo: Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Pac-12, which includes universities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Utah and Washington state, will play football starting Nov. 6, reversing its earlier decision to postpone the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The conference's about-face follows a similar move by the Big Ten last week and comes as President Trump has publicly pressured sports to resume despite the ongoing pandemic. The Pac-12 will play a seven-game conference football season, according to ESPN.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China

Data: Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A global initiative to ensure equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines now includes most of the world — but not the U.S., China or Russia.

Why it matters: Assuming one or more vaccines ultimately gain approval, there will be a period of months or even years in which supply lags far behind global demand. The COVAX initiative is an attempt to ensure doses go where they're most needed, rather than simply to countries that can produce or buy them at scale.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:15 p.m. EST: 32,062,182 — Total deaths: 979,701 — Total recoveries: 22,057,268Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:15 p.m EST: 6,967,103 — Total deaths: 202,558 — Total recoveries: 2,670,256 — Total tests: 97,459,742Map.
  3. Health: Cases are surging again in 22 states — New York will conduct its own review of coronavirus vaccine.
  4. Business: America is closing out its strongest quarter of economic growth.
  5. Technology: 2020 tech solutions may be sapping our resolve to beat the pandemic.
  6. Sports: Here's what college basketball will look like this season.
  7. Science: During COVID-19 shutdown, a common sparrow changed its song.

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