Situational awareness: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested Thursday at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, according to the Metropolitan Police, who later confirmed that his arrest was under a U.S. extradition warrant.
Facebook's Guy Rosen and Tessa Lyons taking reporters' questions on Wednesday. Photo: Facebook
Facebook spent 3 hours detailing its efforts to fight misinformation on Wednesday, highlighting points of improvement but leaving unanswered the overarching question of whether users are safer than they were 2 years ago.
The good: Facebook is getting better at both detecting and removing some types of content, with a particular focus on efforts to subvert democratic elections.
The bad: Other types of negative content remain prevalent on Facebook.
The ugly: Facebook's pledge to shift toward private, encrypted conversations is likely to make it harder for the company to monitor and remove objectionable content. Facebook executives acknowledged the issue Wednesday, but declined to offer any specifics on how the company will deal with it.
Between the lines: When it comes to false information, in most cases Facebook isn't looking to remove it, though it is working to keep such information from being viewed and shared as broadly.
Facebook faces a tough challenge as it looks to reduce the visibility of content that approaches, but doesn't violate, its standards.
What they're saying: Asked whether Facebook believes users are safer than in years' past, VP of integrity Guy Rosen told Axios that Facebook is doing better but stopped short of claiming users are safer.
"We're taking down more bad content, and taking down more of it before people even report it. We're proactively and methodically addressing abuse on the platform, understanding existing problems and identifying new ones as they emerge. So, I would say we're doing better than we were. But ... these are not problems you fix, but issues where you continually improve."— Guy Rosen
Meanwhile, Rosen also said at the event that Facebook is still several months from being able to deliver a Clear History tool it originally promised for last year as a means for users to increase their privacy. It now hopes to deliver it in the fall.
Flashback: It was one year ago today that CEO Mark Zuckerberg was defending Facebook on Capitol Hill.
Our thought bubble: Wednesday's event sounded like the online-platform equivalent of a military briefing. Facebook is in fact now engaged in a long-term war of attrition with some of its own users to shape the boundaries of acceptable speech on its platform. It has one big advantage: It owns the battleground and sets the rules of engagement.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
With each passing month, the cheap, digital live TV packages that Americans embraced in place of expensive cable packages are becoming less of a bargain. As Axios' Sara Fischer reports, many of the popular "skinny bundle" live TV services, like Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV and DirecTV Now, have increased their package prices this year.
Why it matters: The price hikes, which usually occur when skinny bundle packages add more channels, show that it's difficult for smaller digital TV packages to compete with the bloated and expensive pay TV packages that they sought to displace.
Driving the news: YouTube TV announced Wednesday it is increasing its prices to $50 per month after striking a major multiyear distribution agreement with Discovery to provide channels like HGTV, Food Network, Animal Planet, Travel Channel and more.
The big picture: The price increases across many of these skinny bundle packages show that the companies couldn't make the lower prices sustainable or profitable for the long haul.
The bottom line: The channel additions that are often causing the price increases demonstrate that consumers may actually like the broad choice they get from traditional cable and satellite packages more than they let on, but they want to be able to access that programming digitally, and across devices.
Go deeper: Sara has more here.
Conservatives in Washington are alleging that the gatekeepers to big media and communication channels are silencing their voices and censoring their perspectives.
So far, though, the arguments aren't backed up by the evidence, Axios' David McCabe and Sara report.
Why it matters: Lawmakers using rumors to support claims of bias run the risk of turning serious policy discussions about the danger of algorithms and media consolidation into unsubstantiated political barbs.
Driving the news: On Wednesday, Donald Trump's 2020 campaign adviser Brad Parscale tweeted that AT&T is positioning itself as "a weapon of the left" for pulling down a video Trump tweeted that included non-copyrighted footage from "The Dark Knight," a film produced by AT&T-owned movie studio Warner Bros.
Sen. Ted Cruz, a regular critic of the companies, acknowledged at a Wednesday Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that examples of bias on the platforms was "anecdotal" but blamed a lack of "data."
What they're saying: Facebook's Neil Potts and Twitter's Carlos Monje, Jr., both said at the hearing that while the companies were working to get better at policing content, decisions weren't being made from a place of political bias.
The big picture: The debate over bias continues to derail conversations about real content moderation problems, like the spread of terrorist content or child exploitation.
Our thought bubble: Tech executives are getting a free pass when they head to Capitol Hill because they often find themselves defending their companies against unproven accusations of bias, instead of being pressed to discuss real, proven and persistent problems around content moderation.
While women have often been excluded from their contributions in science and tech, Twitter users were determined not to let that happen to Katie Bouman.
Her work as a grad student was instrumental to the first ever black hole photo that was the talk of the internet on Wednesday. And social media was full of posts making sure Bouman's role wasn't overlooked.
One fun thing: The radio telescopes around the globe that generated the black hole image produced so much data that scientists had to ship it around on hard drive arrays — the internet was apparently too slow.
A woman in Oregon called 911 fearing a burglar was prowling inside her home. It turned out to be a Roomba trapped in her bathroom.