Facebook will participate in an interview series with Axios, covering questions about the company, the 2016 election and the platform's broader role in social media. The series launches Thursday with my exclusive interview with COO Sheryl Sandberg: Watch it at 9 a.m. via Facebook Live on Axios' Facebook page or Axios.com. ("Like" our Facebook page to get the notification.)
The series will cover the social, technological, political, economic, and privacy dimensions of platforms. Axios editors and reporters specializing in politics, tech, business and media will control the questions and coverage. The collision of these topics is the central focus of Axios' mission.
All interviews will be on the record, and posted on Axios. Facebook will link to the coverage on its Hard Questions blog, designed to explore difficult issues facing Facebook's global community.
During the 2016 election, Russia ran a disinformation campaign that was intentionally hard to track but is finally being decoded, Axios Sara Fischer reports:
A New York Times front-pager — "Russians Spun American Rage Into a Weapon, by Nick Confessore and Daisuke Wakabayashi — gleans these additional clues from "the trail of Russian digital bread crumbs":
Be smart: We're barely beginning to figure out what happened online during the 2016 election, and the 2018 midterms are coming up fast — a vast new field for mischief and misinformation.
Go deeper: Jonathan Albright, research director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, has been tracking Russian Facebook and ad tech use for months. His latest report looks at the organic tactics used by Russian-controlled pages, links and engagements that he estimates cold have reached or influenced hundreds of millions, if not billions of people.
"As sprawling as it was sophisticated" ... "Russian operatives bought ads across several of Google's services without the company's knowledge," the WashPost reports on A1:
The income inequality that was the hallmark of the Gilded Age in the late 1800s was driven by changes in employment as the nation moved from agriculture to manufacturing.
Lobbyist Bruce Mehlman finds a similar trend in Census data showing growth of service industry employment and continuing decline of manufacturing jobs.
"A swarm of fires supercharged by powerful winds ripped through Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties Monday, killing at least 10 people, injuring dozens of others, destroying more than 1,500 homes and businesses, and turning prominent wineries to ash," the San Francisco Chronicle reports:
Here's the entrance to the fire-ravaged Signorello Estate winery in Napa, Calif.
In this photo taken yesterday, Efrain Diaz Figueroa, 70, walks through the remains of the house of his sister, destroyed by Hurricane Maria in San Juan.
Aid distribution is still a mess, USA Today's Oren Dorell reports from San Juan:
Status update ... Customers with electricity: 15% ... People in shelters: 6,452 ... Functioning cell towers: 28% ... Access to drinking water: 60% ... Commercial flights: 100%.
"Frustrated by his Cabinet and angry that he has not received enough credit for his handling of three successive hurricanes, President Trump is now lashing out, rupturing alliances and imperiling his legislative agenda," the WashPost's Bob Costa, Phil Rucker and Ashley Parker report in the paper's lead story:
Be smart: Aides are baffled by the attack on Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker. Trump may want to be essentially a third party, built on anti-establishment-ism and anti-elitism, without a traditional ideological core.
Richard H. Thaler of the University of Chicago, who won the 2017 Nobel in economic science for his work showing that people are predictably irrational, on how he would spend the $1.1 million in prize money:
"This is quite a funny question. I will try to spend it as irrationally as possible."
Road trips by executives who are potential 2020 presidential candidates is becoming a thing ... Starbucks today releases "Upstanders Season 2," an original online video series featuring 11 stories of "courage and humanity," from Montana and Utah, to Ohio and West Virginia.
We talked by phone with Howard and Rajv yesterday for a sneak peek:
"A Weinstein-free name is in the works as the studio has enlisted two ad agencies to develop a new brand identity," the Wall Street Journal reports on the front page. "Harvey Weinstein's name is being scrubbed from the credits of coming film and television projects."
Harvey Weinstein "sent a private email to a number of high-level Hollywood executives at the studios, networks and talent agencies, begging for their aid in helping him save his job," hours before he was fired by his own company. They mostly refused. The Hollywood Reporter has the full text:
My board is thinking of firing me. All I'm asking, is let me take a leave of absence and get into heavy therapy and counseling. Whether it be in a facility or somewhere else, allow me to resurrect myself with a second chance. A lot of the allegations are false as you know but given therapy and counseling as other people have done, I think I'd be able to get there.
I could really use your support or just your honesty if you can't support me.
But if you can, I need you to send a letter to my private gmail address. The letter would only go to the board and no one else. We believe what the board is trying to do is not only wrong but might be illegal and would destroy the company. If you could write this letter backing me, getting me the help and time away I need, and also stating your opposition to the board firing me, it would help me a lot. I am desperate for your help. Just give me the time to have therapy. Do not let me be fired. If the industry supports me, that is all I need.
With all due respect, I need the letter today.
The 154-second trailer for "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" debuted in dramatic fashion during last night's "Monday Night Football" game at Chicago's Soldier Field: