Situational awareness: Waymo has entered into an exclusive partnership with the Renault-Nissan Alliance to explore driverless mobility services for passengers and deliveries beginning in France and Japan.
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Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,036 words/ < 4 minute read.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Concern about kids' use of YouTube has long been simmering. It bubbled over yesterday, with reports on a "late stage" FTC inquiry and initiatives within the company to revamp its policies.
Why it matters: YouTube is widely used by kids, and most of their viewing happens on the main site, even though its dedicated YouTube Kids site provides more protections.
Driving the news:
What they're saying: In statements emailed to Axios...
The big picture: YouTube's children's policies are just one of many areas of controversy for the company. Other concerns include hate speech, harassment, the promotion of conspiracy theories, and whether its recommendation algorithm pushes users toward extreme content.
The bottom line: Children's issues have a way of winning serious attention and action from politicians and regulators more speedily than those affecting adults.
Our thought bubble: YouTube is unlikely to move all its kids' content into YouTube Kids — as many children turn their noses up at anything labeled "for kids." But YouTube could limit the kinds of advertising that can be attached to children's programming on the main site or take other similar actions.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Today is Slack’s big day: The provider of workplace messaging tools will go public on the New York Stock Exchange — trading under the symbol "WORK" and joining a stable of unicorn firms that have recently made the jump after many years of gobbling up private capital.
Why it matters: As Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva reports, Slack will be only the second major tech company in recent years to opt for a direct listing instead of the traditional IPO. Unlike Spotify, which blazed that trail a bit more than a year ago, it sells to businesses, not consumers.
What's happening: Slack isn't using underwriters, nor issuing new stock, in the manner of a traditional IPO.
Be smart: Insiders will be watching the volatility of Slack's price. They will want to keep the ride smooth.
A new bill aimed at increasing accountability of online platforms has raised concerns that it may create problems worse than the ones it's trying to solve.
Details: The bill, introduced by Sen. Hawley (R-Mo.), would open up platforms like YouTube and Facebook to lawsuits about content they host, unless federal regulators certified that their moderation of content was not "biased against a political party, political candidate, or political viewpoint."
Yes, but: Many people say they don't want to see the government being put in the position of determining which online services are "biased" and which deserve legal protection.
What they're saying:
For all the talk of how tax cuts would boost investment in long-term research and jobs, this chart makes clear that a lot more money is going into stock buybacks, as Axios' Dion Rabouin reports.
Here's what it looks like when you manage to plug a Roku into an old black-and-white TV.