Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Facebook's troubles in Washington have accumulated over the past year not as the result of a single scandal but through a pileup of missteps large and small.

Why it matters: The controversies — and Facebook’s sometimes-halting response — have painted a picture for policymakers of a company unable to be totally forthcoming about its past mistakes.

The timeline:

  • April 27, 2017: Facebook releases a paper laying out how its platform could have been used for "information operations," but does not explicitly name Russian actors as responsible for activities during the 2016 election.
  • September 6, 2017: Facebook reveals for the first time that Russian operatives bought ads to sow chaos before and after the election.
  • October 2, 2017: Facebook says that an estimated 10 million people may have seen the Russian ads.
  • October 31, 2017: Facebook says that, actually, up to 126 million Americans were exposed to the Russian campaign on its platform.
  • November 1, 2017: Facebook says that when you add Instagram to the mix, it was actually as many as 146 million people.
  • March 17, 2018: The Cambridge Analytica scandal breaks, a day after Facebook announces that it’s suspending key players from its platform.
  • March 17-21, 2018: Mark Zuckerberg says nothing about the Cambridge Analytica story for several days. The company says it's trying to get all the facts, but the CEO's silence lets outrage build.
  • April 4, 2018: CEO Mark Zuckerberg says on a call with reporters that “most” users had a feature turned on that exposed the information on their profile to being collected by outsiders.
  • April 11-12, 2018: Zuckerberg testifies before Congress. He emerges relatively unscathed.
  • June 3, 2018: The New York Times writes that Facebook shared user data with device manufacturers, prompting lawmakers to question whether Zuckerberg misled them in his testimony.
  • June 5, 2018: Facebook confirms that one of those device makers was Huawei, a Chinese company that many policymakers in DC think is too cozy with the Chinese government.
  • June 7, 2018: Facebook says that as many as 14 million people saw their default sharing setting set to public for several days this spring as the result of a bug.
  • June 9, 2018: Facebook says that some companies got brief extensions after the social network cut off developers’ access to data from users’ friends — a policy change it cited repeated during the Cambridge Analytica controversy.

All this time, Facebook has announced steps and changes to calm fears about data privacy and Russian election meddling. And this hasn’t materially affected its underlying business, despite campaigns to get users to leave the platform.

  • Zuckerberg has also said that the company needs to take a "broader view of our responsibility."

But, but, but: Each new admission — even of the kinds of small bugs and problems that are common across the industry — reinforces a view in Washington that Facebook has been unwilling to come fully clean.

What’s next? The key question is whether any new data privacy revelations have any substantial effect — either on the active Federal Trade Commission investigation into the company’s practices or on lawmakers’ interest in regulating the company. That has so far remained limited, despite the heated rhetoric.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.