Friday's technology stories

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Jul 3, 2020 - Economy & Business

Scoop: Instacart raises another $100 million

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios Visuals

Grocery delivery company Instacart has raised $100 million in new funding, on top of the $225 million it announced last month, the company tells Axios. This brings its valuation to $13.8 billion.

Why it matters: This funding comes at what could be an inflection point for Instacart, as customers it acquired during coronavirus lockdowns decide whether they want to continue with the service or resume in-person grocery shopping.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Jul 2, 2020 - Economy & Business

Why advertisers mistrust Facebook

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than 400 major advertisers, including Unilever, CVS, and Verizon, have pulled their ads from Facebook and Instagram as part of the #StopHateForProfit campaign organized by advocacy groups including Color for Change, NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League, and Sleeping Giants.

Why it matters: The ease with which the campaign has signed up advertisers is only in part a function of its intrinsic merits. It's clear that brand advertisers and their agencies kinda wanted to make this move anyway.

Facebook sued for alleged bias against Black employees and applicants

Photo: Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook was sued Thursday by a hiring manager and two job applicants who allege the company acts in a biased manner against Black workers, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture per Axios' Scott Rosenberg: The lawsuit comes as Facebook confronts a growing advertiser boycott over its treatment of hate speech on its platform, all against the wider backdrop of national outrage over police violence against Black Americans and other manifestations of systemic racism. Facebook, like most Silicon Valley companies, has very few Black employees and has promised to increase its diversity.

House Judiciary plans back-to-back blockbuster hearings

Photos: Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images; Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) is lining up back-to-back blockbuster hearings right before the August exodus.

The state of play: The CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google will testify as part of the committee's antitrust investigation, N.Y. Times columnist Kara Swisher first reported. Axios is told that, with negotiations continuing over document production, the date being discussed is July 27 with the CEOs expected to appear remotely. The next day, July 28, Attorney General Bill Barr will appear for an oversight hearing that will include grilling on Lafayette Park, Mueller and more.

Jul 2, 2020 - Technology

Nextdoor CEO pledges to address racial profiling and censorship

Nextdoor, the hyper local social network, is seen on a computer screen inMarch 2020. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar is vowing to update the site's moderation policies and recruit more Black moderators after the hyperlocal social network came under fire for removing posts related to Black Lives Matter while tolerating racist messages, per NPR.

Why it matters: The service, where more than 265,000 U.S. neighborhoods swap roofer recommendations and lost-dog tips, is getting a hard lesson in the perils of content moderation that have dogged bigger social networks Facebook and Twitter.

Jul 2, 2020 - Technology

As boycott grows, Facebook juggles rights groups and advertisers

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As an advertiser boycott of Facebook over its tolerance of hate speech continues to snowball, the company has begun making small, incremental changes to mollify activists while it tries to buy time to evolve its content policies.

Driving the news: Sources tell Axios that the product and policy changes sought by the #StopHateForProfit campaign were long under discussion both inside Facebook and with some external groups. Meanwhile, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly told employees that the boycotting advertisers will be back before long.

Jul 2, 2020 - Technology

Scoop: Twitter removes photo from Trump tweet after NYT copyright complaint

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Twitter has removed a picture from a tweet by President Trump on Tuesday after it received a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint from the New York Times, which owns the rights to the photo.

Why it matters: This is the second time in two weeks that Twitter has had to take down content from Trump's account due to a copyright violation.