Facebook executive Nick Clegg. Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

A top Facebook executive on Monday urged Europe and America to move towards regulating major internet companies — saying that if they don’t, the Chinese government will.

Why it matters: Policy and communications chief Nick Clegg’s comments delivered in Berlin are part of the social giant’s push to influence new regulations in areas like hateful content and data privacy.

  • In doing so, Facebook is putting some of the burden to address its problems on governments around the world as pressure mounts on the company to come up with its own solutions.

What he’s saying: According to Clegg’s prepared remarks, he will call this a “critical moment."

“As the tech lash dominates debate in the west, others are writing the new rules of the internet themselves. If we in Europe and America don’t turn off the white noise and begin to work together, we will sleepwalk into a new era where the internet is no longer a universal space but a series of silos where different countries set their own rules and authoritarian regimes soak up their citizens’ data while restricting their freedom.”

Between the lines: Clegg is using the specter of China’s internet censorship to put pressure on European and American regulators.

  • “The fact is there is no longer a single, unitary internet, but rather two ‘internets’, China and the rest of the world,” he said.

Clegg also said that Facebook “has not always thought deeply enough about how its services could be used – or indeed abused – by authoritarian regimes,” specifically referencing how the social network contributed to genocide in Myanmar.

  • “We didn’t foresee that, in countries like Myanmar, the tinder box of religious and ethnic tensions in these countries could catch alight on our platforms if we didn’t have adequate safety systems in place,” he said.

The bottom line: Facebook has aggressively made the case for regulation for months now — but global policymakers may not see the company has acting entirely in good faith when it stands to benefit from legislation it helps to craft.

Go deeper

Trump administration cuts refugee cap to new record low

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration plans to only admit a maximum of 15,000 refugees this fiscal year, the State Department said in a release late Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: This is yet another record low refugee cap. Before leaving office, President Obama set the refugee limit at 110,000 for fiscal year 2017 — a number Trump has continued to slash throughout his presidency.

Updated 31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 34,018,143 — Total deaths: 1,014,995 — Total recoveries: 23,674,533Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 7,234,327 — Total deaths: 206,963 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Health: New poll shows alarming coronavirus vaccine skepticism — New research centers will study "long-haul" COVID — Coronavirus infections rise in 25 states.
  4. Business: Remdesivir is good business for Gilead.
  5. Retail: The holiday shopping season will now begin in October.
  6. 🎧Podcast: The looming second wave of airline layoffs.
Kendall Baker, author of Sports
54 mins ago - Sports

Barstool jumps into sports betting

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Barstool Sports was founded in 2003 as a free gambling newspaper. It later became a sports blog before growing into a media empire, and now things have come full circle with the recent launch of its own branded sportsbook.

Driving the news: The Barstool Sportsbook app saw a record 21,000 downloads per day during its first weekend (Sept. 18–20), breaking DraftKings' and Fanduel's daily records despite Pennsylvania being the only state where it was operational.