Hello from SF, following Axios' storming of CES in Vegas. It's good to be home. Also, it's almost time to check in for my next flight, so I'm going to have to make this quick.
Today's Login is 1,325 words, a 5-minute read.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Facebook, TikTok and Reddit all updated their policies on misinformation this week, as Axios' Sara Fischer reports, suggesting that tech platforms are feeling increased pressure to stop manipulation attempts ahead of the 2020 elections.
Why it matters: This is the first time that several social media giants are taking a hard line specifically on banning deepfake content — typically video or audio that's manipulated using artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning to intentionally deceive users.
The big picture: Concern around deepfakes began to surface after the 2016 election and has since become a popular talking point in accounts of our tech-fueled slide to dystopia.
Between the lines: The best example of confusion around whether a post was a deepfake and should be removed occurred last year, when a doctored video of Nancy Pelosi that was slowed to make her appear drunk went viral.
Our thought bubble: One of the biggest steps social media companies have made in taking action on deepfakes is defining what they are. Deciding when to remove them remains difficult.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday that he's giving up setting annual challenges for himself and trying to take a longer view. But 2020 has already thrown down a challenge for him: threading a needle between business demands and political landmines, as Sara reports.
The big picture: Zuckerberg has to grow revenue and users, yet not get blamed for tipping another election — and not buckle on what he views as the core value of free speech. Despite continuing criticism for Facebook and Zuckerberg in particular, he seems to be dodging any genuinely damaging blows — for now.
The reality: Facebook's revenue and user base have shown consistent growth over the past year, suggesting that users and advertisers aren't too spooked by the controversies around data privacy and misinformation. And unlike key rivals Google and Amazon, Facebook hasn’t really found itself in President Trump's crosshairs.
Zuckerberg's plan is coming into focus:
The bottom line: Facebook's public relations nightmare is far from over, but Zuckerberg is well on his way to meeting his 2020 challenge: compromise around the edges, don't buckle on things he cares about, and keep Wall Street happy.
A number of on-demand services companies are turning to layoffs to trim costs and shore up their balance sheets.
Why it matters: After years of seeing their unprofitable growth subsidized by plentiful venture dollars, companies are facing increased pressure to prove they can stand on their own two feet.
Driving the news: Here's a sampling of the cuts from just this past week:
Netflix may have gone viral with a humorous tweet about password sharing this week, but Wall Street sees the practice as a drag on the company and its rivals to the tune of billions of dollars in revenue each year.
Why it matters: With competition growing and the cost of content continuing to increase, some streaming companies are likely to consider cracking down on the widespread practice.
Driving the news:
The big picture: In a way, Felix wrote, Netflix likes it when you use someone else's account. A paying customer is better than a non-paying customer, but a non-paying customer is better than no customer at all. And some password sharers can go on to become the next generation of paying customers.
In case you could use a little good news.