Wednesday's technology stories

May 5, 2021 - Technology

Inside Facebook’s Trump ban

Wednesday morning, Facebook’s Oversight Board recommended the social network maintain its suspension of former President Trump’s account, which has been in place since January 6. But it also said the company must rethink the “indefinite” nature of the ban, throwing the ball back in Facebook’s court.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the board's decision and what’s ahead for Facebook with New York Times technology correspondent Mike Isaac. Plus, how the decision was received by Trump and his associates with Axios national political correspondent Jonathan Swan.

Shake-up at a games media stalwart

Screenshot: Giant Bomb, via Twitter.

Three of the four main personalities of the long-running Giant Bomb games media outlet have announced that they are departing from the company. Alex Navarro, Vinny Caravella, and Brad Shoemaker are all leaving the site they all joined over a decade ago.

Why it matters: Games media is in the midst of a lot of churn, as mainstream outlets begin or expand coverage, and long-running gaming outlets change staff.

The inevitability of mobile gaming, like it or not

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Activision Blizzard is going bigger than ever on mobile, declaring that the gaming giant behind "Call of Duty" and "World of Warcraft" wants a mobile game for every one of its franchises.

Why it matters: Much as some PC and console gamers may grumble, mobile gaming exerts a gravitational pull that is tugging the rest of the gaming industry toward it.

Interview: Aerial_Knight on making games as a Black developer

Courtesy: Aerial_Knight

Independent game developer Neil Jones is on the verge of launching "Aerial_Knight's Never Yield," and he's sizing up what it means to be a Black developer in an industry where few get good breaks.

Jones wanted to take a classic genre — endless runners — and add his own spin with a futuristic take on Detroit, including a hip hop soundtrack, cut scenes, and motion triggers, set in a stylish 3D world.

Trump seen as likely to run in 2024; Facebook ban enrages GOP

Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sources close to former President Trump believe he’s increasingly likely to run in 2024 — and that was even before the Facebook Oversight Board inflamed conservatives by upholding the ban on the former president.

Why it matters: Trump and his inner circle view Facebook reinstatement as crucial to his political comeback. The independent Oversight Board's decision, which gives the company six months to make a final determination, enraged Trumpworld.

Updated May 5, 2021 - Technology

Oversight Board upholds Trump's Facebook suspension

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook's independent Oversight Board upheld the platform's suspension of former President Trump's account but told the social media giant to rethink the ban's "indefinite" nature.

Why it matters: The decision sets a global precedent for how Facebook, and potentially other social media companies, will treat political leaders around the world.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
May 5, 2021 - Technology

Adobe partners with Khan Academy on creativity-focused remote classes

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The remote education platform Khan Academy is teaming with the software company Adobe to provide new lesson plans and projects for teachers.

Why it matters: The pandemic has put educators and students on a forced march to remote schooling, and that trend won't end even as the virus comes under control. Better tools can help improve online schooling in a way that makes education truly personalized.

May 5, 2021 - Technology

Exclusive: White House launches new artificial intelligence website

Photo courtesy of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

The White House has launched a new website, AI.gov, to make artificial intelligence research more accessible across the nation, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The U.S. once led significantly in the global artificial intelligence race, but now risks being overtaken by China. This is one step the White House is taking to drum up excitement for AI and broaden educational opportunities in the field.

Ina Fried, author of Login
May 5, 2021 - Technology

How Jeff Bezos outflanked the National Enquirer

Image: Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Jeff Bezos made headlines back in 2019 when he posted on Medium that he had been having an affair with a married TV journalist and that he was writing about it because the National Enquirer had photos and was trying to blackmail him.

But there was far more to the story, as Bloomberg journalist Brad Stone details in his forthcoming book "Amazon Unbound," an excerpt of which is being published today by Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Ina Fried, author of Login
May 5, 2021 - Technology

TripActions buys high-end British travel agency

Image: TripActions

TripActions, which allows workers to book their own business travel through a mobile app, is buying high-end British travel agency Reed & Mackay.

Between the lines: Although TripActions will still funnel the vast majority of trips through the self-service app, the acquisition gives it an added option for picky C-suite execs or companies whose employees have complex trips, such as professional sports teams.