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Facebook's growing problems

Facebook
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios 

Facebook is caught in the middle of a rapidly unfolding scandal over Cambridge Analytica's improper gathering of data on millions of users, and what that exposed about the company's data collection. The fiasco has drawn the interest of lawmakers and regulators and rekindled the debate over its role in the 2016 presidential election.

Why it matters: The bad headlines continued to pile up; "A hurricane flattens Facebook" said Wired, "Silicon Valley insiders think that Facebook will never be the same" per Vanity Fair, "Facebook is facing its biggest test ever — and its lack of leadership could sink the company" from CNBC, and — as we've yet to hear from the company's top leaders — "Where is Mark Zuckerberg?" asks Recode.

Facebook reaches a tipping point

  • It's not that the reports reveal anything particularly new about how Facebook's back end works — developers have understood the vulnerabilities of Facebook's interface for years. But stakeholders crucial to the company's success — as well as the public seem less willing to listen to its side of the story this time around.

Wall Street turns on social media after Facebook scandal

  • Calls for tighter regulation around user privacy and data transparency could completely upend the powerful business models around tech that have, for years, served as lucrative investment opportunities.

Facebook to brief Congress as data scandal rages

  • Interest from lawmakers and government officials continues to grow as additional information is released on the details of Facebook's involvement with the Trump-linked data analytics firm. Two state AGs have said they are investigating Facebook's actions.

Facebook employees got to ask questions, but not of Mark Zuckerberg

  • Facebook's top two executives have remained silent throughout the ongoing reports while demands for answers from the public and employees alike. Facebook held a meeting Tuesday where employees could ask questions about the Cambridge Analytica issue, but neither Zuckerberg nor Sandberg were in attendance.

Facebook's folly could impact other businesses

  • Increased calls for new user privacy regulations could upend the entire social media business model, and create massive ripples for other businesses that rely on that model for their own marketing efforts. That's a big reason why the Dow fell 1.4% Monday, even though Facebook isn't actually part of the Dow.
Amy Harder 1 hour ago
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Trump’s electricity solution in search of a problem

A group of President Trumps with power lines strung between them
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

President Trump is directing his administration to prop up financially struggling coal and nuclear power plants to ensure the electricity grid is resilient and reliable, but government data and most objective experts say there is no such problem.

Why it matters: America’s electricity fuel mix is undergoing significant change, which does present challenges. But Trump’s laser focus on coal and nuclear power — and companies seizing on that — distracts the debate from more substantive issues.

Sam Baker 1 hour ago
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How to lower prescription drug costs

A pill and a hammer
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's upcoming speech on drug prices will probably stick to small-ball ideas. But small-ball doesn't necessarily mean no impact.

Reality check: There are a lot of legitimate ways to bring down drug costs; there are also a lot of empty gestures masquerading as real change. Here's a guide to the kinds of ideas and the odds that they'll actually happen.