Axios / Rebecca Zisser

China announced Friday that it's investigating its own tech companies, like Tencent and Baidu, for giving users an avenue to spread violence and terror. The announcement follows government campaigns earlier this year in the UK, France and Germany that intend to place legal liability on tech companies for failing to control the presence of terrorist-related content on their platforms.

  • Why it matters in general: U.S. regulators have largely remained silent when it comes to policing the role of tech giants in distributing terrorist content, leaving the companies to police themselves in accordance to their own standards.
  • Why it matters now: In the past, tech companies have reacted to crises in a uniform fashion, but the attack in Charlottesville shows a a split. Some sites, like Google and GoDaddy, announced Monday that they would cut ties to a white nationalist website, while others have yet to comment. Neither Facebook nor Twitter updated their policies in response to the attack, although both groups do already have policies about violence.

The Facebook issue: Critics argue that Facebook didn't do enough to prevent the attack, as the marches had apparently been organized through Facebook (see the image below). In a statement, Facebook tells Axios it "does not allow hate speech or praise of terrorist acts or hate crimes, and [it's] actively removing any posts that glorify the horrendous act committed in Charlottesville."

Sound smart: Facebook's business model is built around scale. It's corporate vision is based on inclusivity of all voices and perspectives. These goals are directly challenged when the company filters out content or restricts user privileges.

Facebook says it uses both technology and people to determine whether users take advantage of that openness with posts that glorify violence, or otherwise violate their community standards. In this case, the tech company didn't find that the event that brought together the Charlottesville rally violated community standards until the weekend of the event. Posts related to the "Daily Stormer" website Google and GoDaddy have disassociated with have mostly been removed by Facebook.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 18,187,396 — Total deaths: 691,352 — Total recoveries — 10,841,436Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 4,711,323 — Total deaths: 155,379 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  4. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
  5. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.

In photos: Thousands evacuated as Southern California fire grows

A plane makes a retardant drop on a ridge at the Apple Fire north of Banning in Riverside County, which "doubled in size" Saturday, per KTLA. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A massive wildfire that prompted mandatory evacuations in Southern California over the weekend burned 26,450 acres and was 5% contained by Monday afternoon, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

The big picture: As California remains an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., some 15 separate fires are raging across the state. About 7,800 people were under evacuation orders from the Apple Fire, about 75 miles east of Los Angeles, as hundreds of firefighters battled the blaze. CalFire said Monday that a malfunction involving a "diesel-fueled vehicle emitting burning carbon from the exhaust system" started the Apple Fire.

Twitter faces FTC fine of up to $250 million over alleged privacy violations

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket

The Federal Trade Commission has accused Twitter of using phone numbers and emails from its users to make targeted ads between 2013 and 2019, Twitter said in an SEC filing published Monday.

Why it matters: Twitter estimates that the FTC's draft complaint, which was sent a few days after its Q2 earnings report, could cost the company between $150 million and $250 million. The complaint is unrelated to the recent Twitter hack involving a bitcoin scam.