May 18, 2017

Facebook cuts down on clickbait

Paul Sukuma / AP

Facebook announced last week it will begin burying junk websites with bad ads in the Newsfeed and threatened spammy publishers with "a decline in traffic." For publishers that don't publish crap, Facebook says they will likely see their audiences increase, which makes sense given that the Newsfeed has reached peak saturation and there will now be less clutter.

Why it matters: It's another step Facebook is taking to curry favor with premium publishers and cut back on fake news.

The catch: The latest move is meant to reward and elevate good publishers, but there could be unintended consequences. The websites they deem as "containing little substantive content," will be evaluated based on their guidelines, but will be forcing the tech company to make editing decisions. The platform has faced backlash from publishers for using measures to censor content that they felt was appropriate. For example, last Friday Facebook was criticized by pro-choice activists for removing the page of an organization that helps women obtain abortion pills. Facebook says it violated its policy against the "promotion or encouragement of drug use."

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DOJ watchdog finds flaws in FBI surveillance process beyond Page application

Carter Page. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Justice Department inspector general found errors in 29 out of 29 randomized FBI applications for acquiring wiretap warrants through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, according to a report released Tuesday.

Why it matters: The broad DOJ audit of the FISA program stems from a damning investigation into the FBI's surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, which uncovered "serious performance failures" by some FBI officials during the Russia probe. The IG's final findings come as Congress debates whether to renew the authority it grants to the FISA courts.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 838,061 — Total deaths: 41,261 — Total recoveries: 174,115.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 177,452 — Total deaths: 3,440 — Total recoveries: 6,038.
  3. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with other health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  4. Federal government latest: The White House and other institutions are observing several models to better understand and prepare cities for when the coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S.
  5. In Congress: New York Rep. Max Rose deploys to National Guard to help coronavirus response.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Misinformation in the coronavirus age.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: White House studies models projecting virus peak

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The White House and other institutions are observing several models to better understand and prepare cities for when the coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S.

The state of play: The coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S. in two weeks, but many states like Virginia and Maryland will see their individual peaks well after that, according to a model by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health