Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

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 Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

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 illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, told Axios in an interview Monday that President Trump's efforts to ban TikTok may have already dealt irreversible damage to the digital world.

Driving the news: "The damage might have already been done in terms of normalizing this type of policy," Mosseri said. He and others have previously cautioned that nations targeting individual apps could chill innovation and free expression and encourage authoritarian governments to further extend their reach online.

What they're saying: "I think it's really going to be problematic if we end up banning TikTok and we set a precedent for more countries to ban more apps," Mosseri said. "You can imagine them feeling really emboldened to say, 'Look, you have to do this or we will ban you entirely.'"

  • "It would be bad for everyone ... It will be bad for American tech companies which have been historically the biggest international tech companies. And it's going to be bad for people too, because you would have a more fragmented internet."

Catch up quick: Trump threatened the ban on TikTok in an August executive order, citing national security concerns around the Chinese-owned social video app.

  • Last month, Trump agreed to a deal aimed at staving off the ban, under which Oracle would serve as TikTok's "trusted technology partner" in the U.S.
  • That deal still needs to be finalized, although a federal judge last week stopped the Trump administration from blocking new U.S. downloads of TikTok in the meantime, concluding the order may have been an overreach of the president's emergency powers.
  • Mosseri is now suggesting the whole saga may have the same global impact regardless of its ultimate outcome.

The big picture: Mosseri's comments come on the eve of Instagram's 10th birthday. (The photo-sharing app was acquired by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion.) Today, Mosseri says, well over 90% of its users and growth is outside of the U.S.

Go deeper: The TikTok deal's for-show provisions and flimsy foundations

Go deeper

Nov 23, 2020 - Technology

Snapchat launches Spotlight, a TikTok competitor

Courtesy: Snapchat

Snapchat Monday launched Spotlight, a video tab within its app that, like TikTok, distributes videos based more on how popular they are than on who created them.

Of note: In an effort to lure users to try the new feature, Snapchat says it will give away $1 million total to the creators of the top-performing videos on Spotlight each day for the remainder of 2020, and potentially beyond.

America's Chinese communities struggle with online disinformation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Disinformation has proliferated on Chinese-language websites and platforms like WeChat that are popular with Chinese speakers in the U.S., just as it has on English-language websites.

Why it matters: There are fewer fact-checking sites and other sources of reliable information in Chinese, making it even harder to push back against disinformation.