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The Markup, a well-funded journalism nonprofit launched last year to produce exposés of Big Tech's power, fired its editor-in-chief yesterday before it had published a single article. 5 of its newsroom of 7 quit in protest.

Backdrop: Julia Angwin, a Pulitzer-garlanded former ProPublica and Wall Street Journal reporter whose work has watchdogged Facebook and Google on issues like privacy and discrimination, had been The Markup's most prominent public face.

  • On Twitter, she attributed her ouster to a dispute with her co-founders, saying the site was shifting from data-driven investigation to advocacy.
  • Angwin also made her case in a letter to Craigslist founder and journalism philanthropist Craig Newmark, who has put $20 million into The Markup.

But, but, but: The Markup CEO Sue Gardner and Jeff Larson, Angwin's former reporting partner, disputed that account and said, in statements to the New York Times and on Twitter, that the nonprofit's mission hadn't changed at all.

  • Newmark said he was aware of the developments but declined to share his view on the matter.
  • "Ethically I am obliged to keep my mouth shut," he told Axios after the Center for Humane Technology event in San Francisco.

Why it matters: Investigative journalism remains an endangered species, and the tech industry could use more of it. The Markup had outlined a creative data-journalism strategy of pairing reporters with coders to come up with new ways to test hypotheses about tech platforms. That's still a worthy undertaking.

Go deeper: Craigslist founder puts another $15 million into journalism efforts

Go deeper

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules, caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

Updated 52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.
1 hour ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.

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