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Representatives from eight leading tech companies met last month with federal officials at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park to discuss ways to protect November's midterm elections, according to a New York Times report.

Why it matters: The companies at the meeting were a roster of industry power, including Apple, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. Two of them, Facebook and Twitter, have faced particularly strong criticism for failing to limit the spread of misinformation on their platforms during the 2016 presidential election.

What happened: According to the Times story, the meeting was "tense," the companies did not receive much guidance or information from the government officials, and one company representative felt the industry was being left "on their own to counter election interference."

Correction: The second paragraph has been rewritten to distinguish which companies have been criticized for not policing misinformation on their platforms.

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Harvard and MIT sue Trump administration over rule barring foreign students from online classes

A Harvard Law School graduate on campus before attending an online graduation ceremony on May 28. Photo: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Harvard and MIT on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to block federal guidance that would largely bar foreign college students from taking classes if their universities move classes entirely online in the fall.

The big picture: Colleges, which often rely heavily on tuition from international students, face a unique challenge to safely get students back to class during the coronavirus pandemic. Some elite institutions, like Harvard, have already made the decision to go virtual.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 11,856,991 — Total deaths: 544,871 — Total recoveries — 6,473,170Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 2,996,333 — Total deaths: 131,481 — Total recoveries: 936,476 — Total tested: 36,878,106Map.
  3. Public health: Deaths are rising in hotspots — Déjà vu sets in as testing issues rise and PPE dwindles.
  4. Travel: How the pandemic changed mobility habits, by state.
  5. 🎧Podcast: A misinformation "infodemic" is here.

Facebook auditors say it's failing on civil rights

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The findings from a new civil rights audit commissioned and released by Facebook show that the tech giant repeatedly failed to address issues of hatred, bigotry and manipulation on its platform.

Why it matters: The report comes as Facebook confronts a growing advertiser boycott and criticism for prioritizing freedom of speech over limiting misinformation and protecting users targeted by hate speech.