Good morning. We're still recovering from an Axios staff retreat and six hours of Zuckerberg testimony before Congress. Hope your week is less crazy.
Situational awareness: Twitter stock took a hit this morning as the company's earnings disappointed investors, Axios' Sara Fischer reports.
Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,505 words, < 6 minutes.
Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
More than 50 members of Congress barraged Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg from all directions at a 6-hour House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday, Axios' Scott Rosenberg writes.
Why it matters: At the moment that Facebook is broadening its ambitions with Libra and aiming to revamp the global financial system singlehandedly, lawmakers from both parties are determined to hold the tech giant responsible for an ever-wider portfolio of troubles.
The big picture: A year and a half after Zuckerberg first testified before Congress amid the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Chairwoman Maxine Waters welcomed the CEO with an onslaught of criticism and made it clear that for many at the Capitol, distrust of Facebook has only hardened since then.
Details: Facebook is now positioning Libra as a processing platform for online payments, rather than as a substitute currency.
What they said about Libra:
What Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked about lying in political ads:
Of note: AOC was not the only one — multiple representatives asked a version of, "Is Facebook really serious about letting politicians lie in ads?"
Zuckerberg's grilling covered a lot of bases. Here's more from Wednesday's hearing...
Republican Rep. Ann Wagner asked whether Facebook's plans to encrypt most of its service would make it harder to find and root out the millions of images of child sex abuse on the platform, citing a New York Times report.
Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib asked how Facebook can justify allowing anti-Muslim hate groups to organize via its events pages.
Democratic Rep. Katie Porter asked whether Zuckerberg would be willing to spend an hour a day moderating violent or abusive video content.
Democratic Rep. Sean Casten asked Zuckerberg whether, when he met with President Trump, they talked about the antitrust investigations of Facebook.
Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley: "In your adult life, have you ever been underbanked?"
Democratic Rep. Jennifer Wexton asked whether Zuckerberg was personally involved in Facebook's decision not to remove a manipulated video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that made it seem like her speech was slurred.
The bottom line: Zuckerberg took hits from both sides of the aisle, but the criticism from Democrats was more focused, sustained and passionate. That could mean trouble for Facebook if 2020 elections bring a blue tide.
Republican FTC Commissioner Christine Wilson wants her agency to probe how social media companies use consumers’ information to shape the algorithms that determine what their users see and read, Axios' Margaret Harding McGill reports.
Why it matters: A wide-ranging study of social media data practices could lay the groundwork for more enforcement from the agency, as well as legislative recommendations to Congress.
Driving the news: Wilson said she supports studying how tech companies use children’s data, and then pushed for a broader review of data practices during an interview Margaret conducted for C-SPAN’s "The Communicators."
Meanwhile, the FTC is already conducting a study on broadband providers’ privacy practices, seeking information from Comcast, Google Fiber, T-Mobile, Charter, and AT&T and Verizon's advertising subsidiaries.
The big picture: The FTC has already penalized Facebook with a $5 billion fine for privacy violations. Although critics said it wasn't enough to change the company's behavior, it was an unprecedentedly huge settlement.
Photo: Aytug Can Sencar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
97% of tweets from U.S. adults regarding national politics came from only 10% of users, per a yearlong analysis conducted by the Pew Research Center, Axios' Marisa Fernandez writes.
Why it matters: Those with intense opinions on President Trump — especially those who strongly disapprove of him — are "among the most prolific political tweeters," Pew notes.
By the numbers: Nearly 40% of users with public accounts tweeted at least once about national politics over the June 2018 through June 2019 study period.
Our thought bubble: An old saying on the internet has it that only 1% of any online community creates all the content. By that standard, political Twitter has an unusually high participation rate.
Qualcomm's venture arm today announced plans for a $200 million fund aimed at backing companies with the technology needed to build out or take advantage of next generation 5G cellular networks.
Why it matters: Companies with a stake in 5G technology — such as Qualcomm — are eager to tout its great potential.
What they're saying: Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said in a statement...
“The intent of this fund is to fuel innovative 5G businesses that will be poised to take advantage of the $13.2 trillion economic benefit that 5G will enable by 2035.”
Yes, but: For all the hype, 5G networks have been slow to reach consumers, with most of the U.S. networks launched this year covering only small parts of a few cities.
Go deeper: Axios' special report on 5G
This isn't AR or VR; it's a restaurant in Korea.