Zuckerberg announces new steps on political ads, on Thursday on Facebook Live.

The political environment for Facebook gets rougher with this WashPost tour de force: "Nine days after Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg dismissed as 'crazy' the idea that fake news on his company's social network played a key role in the U.S. election, President Barack Obama pulled the youthful tech billionaire aside and delivered what he hoped would be a wake-up call," Adam Entous, Elizabeth Dwoskin and Craig Timberg write:

  • "[H]uddled in a private room on the sidelines of a meeting of world leaders in Lima, Peru, two months before Trump's inauguration, Obama made a personal appeal to Zuckerberg to take the threat of fake news and political disinformation seriously."
  • "Zuckerberg acknowledged the problem posed by fake news. But he told Obama that those messages weren't widespread on Facebook and that there was no easy remedy."
  • Why it matters: "Like the U.S. government, Facebook didn't foresee the wave of disinformation that was coming and the political pressure that followed. The company then grappled with a series of hard choices designed to shore up its own systems without impinging on free discourse for its users around the world."

P.S. "Mark Zuckerberg Can't Stop You From Reading This Because The Algorithms Have Already Won ... And the machines are running the asylum," by BuzzFeed's Charlie Warzel:

  • "[T]he algorithms increasingly appear to have more power to shape lives than the people who designed and maintain them."
  • Why it matters: "[T]he always-learning AI-powered technology behind our search engines and our newsfeeds quietly shapes and reshapes the information we discover and even how we perceive it."

Go deeper

Breaking down the Tesla obsession

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tesla is the company of the moment — the prime exemplar of just about any big and important trend that you might care about.

Why it matters: Almost every reader of finance and business news will have at least one strongly-held opinion about Tesla. What you might not realize is just how widely those opinions range, and the degree to which they map onto much broader views of the world.

Gallup: Party preference swings dramatically in favor of Democrats

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Americans' political party preferences have swung sharply from a 2-point Republican advantage in January to an 11-point Democratic advantage in July, according to Gallup's monthly averages of telephone polls in 2020.

The big picture: The dramatic shift is more a product of fewer people identifying as Republican or Republican-leaning (down 8% since January) than gains among those who identify as Democratic or Democratic-leaning (up 5%).

Nancy Pelosi: "I yearn for other Republican presidents"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called on President Trump Thursday to exercise "the full power" of the Defense Production Act to meet coronavirus equipment needs and accused him of engaging in a "massive dereliction of duty" by ignoring science during the pandemic.

What she's saying: "I yearn for other Republican presidents," Pelosi said at a press conference. "While we may have disagreed on many points, but at least we had a shared commitment to the governance of our country."