Aug 6, 2018

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Situational awareness: The Justice Department is appealing a federal judge's ruling that allowed AT&T to buy Time Warner for $85 billion.

  • Why it matters: The appeal revives questions about whether the Justice Department acted primarily to please President Trump, who has attacked Time Warner subsidiary CNN and the overall transaction.
1 big thing: Big Tech turns on Big Conspiracy

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The last 24 hours have been brutal for Alex Jones' media empire InfoWars, banned from Facebook and YouTube — and deleted from Apple's podcast library, Spotify and Stitcher.

  • The exception is Twitter, which said through a spokesman that InfoWars isn't in violation of any rules.

The big picture: Alex Jones hasn't changed. His most notorious comments, including calling Sandy Hook a hoax, are years old. The platforms have changed, with a domino effect that marks a major shift in how online harassment and censorship is handled by Silicon Valley.

  • This also marks a huge win for organized boycotts on the left, which have included Jones for years on target lists that includes Breitbart News, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

Why it matters: Big Tech helped Jones reach audiences of millions through social sharing and algorithms. Now it's memory-holed him.

  • Jones has called on users to stream videos directly on InfoWars.
  • But as publishers who've suffered a Facebook algorithm shift can attest, audiences won't necessarily follow a brand off the platform.

What they're saying:

  • Drudge banner: "Apple Regulates Hate"
  • "Patriots Rally Behind InfoWars Amid Tech's Total Communist Censorship"
  • on Facebook: "Apple’s Infowars ban altered an industry overnight — and dealt a major victory against fake news"
Bonus: Photo du jour

Photo: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Andrew Benintendi of the Red Sox is doused yesterday after hitting the game-winning walk-off single to defeat the Yankees in the 10th at Fenway Park in Boston.

2. What you missed
  1. California's wildfire woes continue to escalate as the Mendocino Fire Complex exploded in size over the weekend to become the state's 2nd-largest on record — behind last year's Thomas Fire. Go deeper.
  2. Saudi Arabia has frozen all new trade and investments with Canada and is expelling its ambassador in retaliation for a tweet by the Canadian Foreign Ministry, which called for Saudi authorities to release imprisoned human rights activists. Go deeper.
  3. Gary Cohn believes Facebook is more dangerous than banks before the financial crisis, due to their dissemination of misinformation.
  4. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi will step down in October after 12 years as chief executive. She will be succeeded by PepsiCo's current president Ramon Laguarta. Go deeper.
  5. With the first round of U.S. sanctions on Iran set to resume tonight at midnight, the European Union is taking steps to protect its companies that do "legitimate business" with Iran from being harmed. Go deeper.
3. 1 fun ⚽ thing

Here's a heck of a quote on the difference between men's and women's soccer, courtesy of a man who owns one team of each:

“The women don’t fall down on the ground and roll around like Neymar... Men whine. Women just take the bump and get up and go.”
— Dell Loy Hansen, owner of the Utah Royals franchise, to the WSJ

Go deeper: Read the WSJ full profile on the National Women's Soccer League

Mike Allen