Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

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 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!
Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Facebook and Twitter's frantic attempts to stop the spread of the New York Post's Hunter Biden story didn't prevent the article from becoming the top story about the election on those platforms last week, according to data from NewsWhip.

Why it matters: The data shows that even swift, aggressive content suppression may not be swift or aggressive enough to keep down a story with as much White House backing and partisan fuel as this one.

By the numbers: The Post's story generated 2.59m interactions (likes, comments, shares) on Facebook and Twitter last week — more than double the next biggest story about Trump or Biden.

  • 5 of the 10 biggest stories were about the Hunter Biden story, the fallout, or how Facebook and Twitter reacted.
  • It was the 6th-most engaged article this month, trailing pieces like Trump testing positive for COVID-19 and Eddie Van Halen's death.
  • 83% of the interactions happened on Facebook, with the other 17% on Twitter.

Between the lines: Critics worried that Twitter's move to disable sharing of the article (it also suspended the New York Post's account) and Facebook's decision to limit its reach may have inadvertently brought it even more attention.

  • Behind the Biden story itself, Facebook and Twitter's response to the report was the second biggest topic last week. The backlash largely came from the right, which accused the tech platforms of meddling in the election through inappropriate censorship.
  • After hearing from critics, Twitter on Friday said it would modify its hacked materials rules to no longer remove hacked content unless it is directly shared by hackers or those acting in concert with them and to instead label tweets to provide context.

Be smart: "This gets at the fundamental question that we're facing in 2020 of what is truth, what is information and how does a platform like Twitter or Facebook evaluate truth?" Bryce Webster-Jacobsen of cyber intelligence firm GroupSense tells Axios. "Nudity and terrorism and violence — those are pretty objective measures. Truth is much more subjective."

Our thought bubble: We can't know how much higher the numbers for the Post story might have been if Facebook and Twitter hadn't taken action.

What's next: The platforms have said that they are still working to determine the most effective policies for limiting the spread of misinformation in breaking news without infringing on free speech.

Go deeper

Nov 19, 2020 - Technology

Facebook says very few people actually see hate speech on its platform

Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook said it took action on 22.1 million pieces of hate speech content to its platform globally last quarter and about 6.5 million pieces of hate speech content on Instagram. On both platforms, it says about 95% of that hate speech was proactively identified and stopped by artificial intelligence.

Details: In total, the company says that there are 10–11 views of hate speech for every 10,000 views of content uploaded to the site globally — or .1%. It calls this metric — how much problematic content it doesn't catch compared to how much is reported and removed — "prevalence."

Nov 20, 2020 - Technology

Biden's Day 1 challenges: Misinformation flood control

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden will enter office with no fast fixes at hand to stem a tide of online misinformation that has shaped election-year politics and, unchecked, could undermine his presidency.

Where it stands: Election and coronavirus misinformation spreading widely on digital platforms has already done serious damage to the U.S., and it's bound to go into overdrive as the Biden administration starts enacting its agenda.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

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!