Feb 14, 2018

Facebook sponsored experts on Messenger Kids advisory board

Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A new report shows that Facebook provided funds to many of the experts and organizations who were evaluating Messenger Kids, a messaging app for children that the company rolled out in December, per Wired.

Why it matters: The controversial app has received backlash from child development experts who say children under 13 can't "navigate the complexities of online relationships or protect their own privacy." Facebook claims it did its due diligence by consulting with thousands of parents and a 13-member expert advisory board while developing the app, but at least seven of those experts were found to have financial ties to the company.

The specs: In 2017, Facebook donated to...

  • Family Online Safety Institute, which has two members on the board
  • Connect Safely
  • Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence
  • MediaSmarts, which has two members on the board

Facebook's response: Per Wired, “There was no attempt to not be upfront about it,” said Antigone Davis, Facebook’s global head of safety. He added, “We’ve had that conversation publicly many, many times...we do not want there to be a financial burden to working with Facebook," and that the company sometimes provides "funding to cover programmatic or logistics expenses" of partner organizations.

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Scoop: Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates will be reassigned as a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, the National Security Council said Thursday — and a senior White House official said that the administration "rejects" the rumors that she is "Anonymous."

Why it matters: Coates has battled claims that she is the still-unknown Trump administration official that penned a New York Times op-ed and book critical of President Trump.

The Fed may be setting the table for 2020 rate cuts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Fed looks to be laying the groundwork to lower U.S. interest rates this year, just as they did in April 2019 before cutting rates in July, September and October.

Why it matters: A Fed rate cut makes taking on debt more attractive for U.S. consumers and businesses, helping to juice the economy, but also puts the central bank in a weaker position to fight off a potential recession.

Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in a $13 billion deal

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Morgan Stanley is planning to buy E*Trade Financial Corp. in a $13 billion all-stock deal, the Wall Street Journal reports, with plans to acquire the company known for helping everyday Americans manage their money.

Why it matters: The deal, which would be the largest by a major American bank since the financial crisis, signals Morgan Stanley‘s desire to bulk up in wealth management.