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Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook documents released Wednesday portray the social giant as considering aggressive routes to squeeze more revenue out of user data, giving major companies extra access to data and undermining competitors.

Why it matters: While much of what's in the documents was already reported, together they provide a rare window into one of the world's most influential companies and reveal how Facebook's executives were ruthlessly focused on growing their service — while downplaying risks to user privacy.

The documents released by a British lawmaker show Facebook insiders discussing major issues:

  • Special access for certain companies. Employees worked with companies like Lyft, Netflix and Airbnb to extend access to some data after Facebook had generally cut off access to it for developers at large. The existence of similar agreements has been public for months, but Wednesday's document dump reveals new players who got special access and offers more insight into Facebook's decision-making.
  • Limited worry about user data leaking, even as Facebook moved towards locking access to that data down. "I think we leak info to developers, but I just can’t think of any instances where that data has leaked from developer to developer and caused real issue for us," chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in 2012, describing almost exactly the kind of behavior that would lead to the Cambridge Analytica scandal years later.
  • Moving to box out competitors. In 2013, Zuckerberg authorized a decision to shut down access to certain data for Vine, Twitter's now-dead short form video service, according to one document.

The backstory: Facebook's refusal to send Zuckerberg to testify in front of British lawmaker Damian Collins' committee has frustrated members of Parliament, culminating in Wednesday's release of the documents with limited redactions.

The other side: Facebook has said the documents, which are part of ongoing litigation against the firm, may paint a selective picture of the company's actions.

  • Zuckerberg pushed back Wednesday on aspects of the way the contents of the documents were being portrayed.

Go deeper: Read the documents

This story has been updated with more details from the documents.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”