I'd like to use this introduction to write about how the 49ers kicked a field goal in overtime to beat the Seahawks and remain undefeated. I'd like to write that, but I can't. (Rather, Seattle made its kick, handing San Francisco its first loss.)
Today's Login is 1,338 words, a 5-minute read.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Several of the biggest social media platforms are beginning to test changes that cut down on scorekeeping and discourage harassment, all in an effort to improve users' well-being, Axios' Sara Fischer reports.
Why it matters: The unwinding of features such as public "like" counts could have a major impact on on the multi-billion dollar businesses of social media companies, as well as the millions of brands and creators that rely on those features to fuel their own businesses.
Driving the news: Instagram will begin testing the removal of public "like" counts on its platform in the U.S. this week, Instagram head Adam Mosseri said last week at a Wired event.
Social media companies tried for years to juice engagement with features like increased notification symbols, publicly-facing "like" counts or brighter colors to attract users to more images.
Yes, but: These efforts aren't totally altruistic. The high-engagement environment that platforms have built is also burning out some users.
Be smart: Most social media firms have warned investors for months that their experiments tied to investments in health and wellbeing initiatives may impact profits.
What's next: One big question will be how these changes affect the millions of online creators and businesses that rely on "like" counts and similar stats to optimize their businesses.
Sara has more here.
State regulators in New York are looking into whether Apple Card is violating any laws by giving some spouses lower credit limits than their mates.
It all began with a series of tweets that went viral by well-known software engineer (and Ruby on Rails creator) David Heinemeier Hansson, complaining that he was given 20 times as much credit as his spouse (even though she had a higher credit rating).
Why it matters: Apple has billed its credit card as devoid of the fees and hassles of traditional credit cards; the current incident is a reminder of just how much of Apple Card under the hood is traditional consumer credit.
Between the lines: While the issue appears specific to Apple, it may be exposing a broader industry issue.
What they're saying: Apple deferred to Goldman Sachs, which makes the credit decisions as the issuing bank.
In a statement, Goldman said it doesn't know the gender or marital status of applicants, but suspects that affected spouses may have been authorized users and not primary account holders on past credit cards, and thus not building as much credit on their own.
My thought bubble: Apple is right to note that Goldman makes the decisions. But it is also true that Apple will get a significant share of the blame, in no small part because the lengths that it has gone in establishing Apple Card as its baby, even using the tag line: "Created by Apple. Not a bank."
Microsoft said in a blog post Monday that it will apply the protections of a new California privacy law for all users in the U.S.
The California Consumer Privacy Act was passed last year, but goes into effect Jan. 1.
Why it matters: The law allows consumers to require companies to disclose what data they are keeping on a consumer, and gives consumers the right to have such data be deleted. Also, starting next July, Californians will be allowed to sue businesses for certain data breaches.
Between the lines: The move isn't a shocker. Microsoft president Brad Smith told me during a Churchill Club interview that California's law would become the "de facto national privacy law."
What's next: A California initiative aimed for the November 2020 ballot would go even further.
Go deeper: The future of privacy starts in California
Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Food delivery company DoorDash says an outside firm, Beacon Economics, has completed a preliminary analysis of courier earnings under its new pay model, and found they're earning more — 12.5% more per work hour, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva reports.
Yes, but: The company has only analyzed earnings for the last month under its previous pay model (August) and the first full month under its new model (October).
Flashback: A few months ago, Doordash was heavily criticized for having a pay model similar to the "tipped wages" that service workers like waiters are subject to in many states — meaning, that it counts customer tips as part of the "minimum" earnings quoted for deliveries.
What they're saying:
The bottom line: This report only looks at a short time span, so any conclusions are highly preliminary.
(Maybe) Trading Places
As Sesame Street celebrated its 50th anniversary over the weekend, I wrote for Axios AM on the show's five decades of pushing the envelope, sometimes controversially, on issues of diversity.
And, I also got a chance to talk about the issue with Cookie Monster, Count Von Count, Bert and Abby Cadabby. If you haven't seen it, here's the video.