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Photo illustration: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Twitter on Monday said it agreed to pay $809.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that alleged the tech giant misled investors about user metrics.

Why it matters: Tech companies have long faced criticism for the accuracy of the metrics they report publicly. Facebook has faced similar lawsuits.

Details: The settlement is coming in response to a lawsuit filed in 2016 by investors in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

  • The lawsuit alleges that Twitter "deliberately misled investors about user engagement in 2015," per the Wall Street Journal.
  • In a statement, Twitter said that the settlement "resolves all claims" of wrongdoing and that the tech giant continues "to deny any wrongdoing or any other improper actions."
  • Twitter said in a government filing that it intends to pay the settlement using cash on hand. It will be paid in the fourth quarter of this year, but the company will take down an impairment charge for it in the third quarter.

Go deeper

Oct 19, 2021 - Economy & Business

Netflix beats subscriber estimates following success of "Squid Game"

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix on Thursday said it added 4.4 million subscribers globally last quarter, which not only beat Wall Street expectations, but also marked the first time that the company reported positive subscriber gains in the past six months.

Why it matters: The tech giant credits a more normalized content release schedule last quarter for the gains. It blamed subscriber slowdowns during the past two quarters on COVID-related production delays.

Oct 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Parkland shooting victims' families settle suit with school district

A makeshift memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, 2020. Photo: Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Families and survivors of a 2018 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, reached a $25 million settlement in their lawsuit against the Broward County school district Monday, per the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Why it matters: The deal was reached in the suit over the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High after the school district won a Florida Supreme Court ruling that could have capped damages at $300,000 in total without approval from the state legislature, AP notes.

Updated Oct 19, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A Hard Truths event on the tech industry

On Tuesday, October 19th, Axios Editor-in-Chief Sara Kehaulani Goo and chief technology correspondent Ina Fried examined the current inequities within hiring practices, workplace culture and development in the tech industry today, featuring Girls Who Code CEO Dr. Tarika Barrett and TechEquity Collaborative founder & CEO Catherine Bracy.

Dr. Tarika Barrett explained how to engage and empower young girls to learn tech skills, how the pandemic exacerbated access to educational tools, and how big tech companies can address the industry’s gender gap.

  • On empowering the next generation of tech leaders: “Having more representation of women and people of color in tech in particular, can actually be the difference we need to empower a pipeline of young people and girls of color to pursue the tech careers of the future.”
  • On the gender gap in the tech industry: “As we are simultaneously addressing this growing gender gap in tech and trying to prepare our girls and young women for these thriving, exciting careers of the future, we also know that it’s within an industry that continues to sometimes be the source of negative news and troubling instances of discrimination.”

Catherine Bracy highlighted how tech platforms and their business models affect the broader economic well-being of a community, and the importance of improving working conditions for different tiers of workers at tech companies.

  • On inequities for contracted employees at tech companies: “We have done research that shows that not only are they treated differently because of labor laws and whatever else, but they are also more likely to be members of underrepresented minority groups.”
  • On how tech companies can better support contracted workers: “We do think that if they’re going to contract out, that they should ensure with the vendors that they’re using to provide this workforce, that those workers have an equal level of protection, benefits, stability as their full-time workforce. I feel like that’s the least that they can do.”

Axios Chief People Officer Dominique Taylor hosted a View from the Top segment with Goldman Sachs Chief Operating Officer for Global Investment Research Gizelle George-Joseph, who spoke about how structural barriers affect labor market opportunities for minority communities.

  • “We talk about education, and six decades after Brown vs. Board of Education, 70% of Black students still attend a school where the majority of students are non-white. All of these have really broad repercussions for Black women and very large negative impacts on college graduation rates, on the labor market, and ultimately on our life outcomes.”

Thank you Goldman Sachs for sponsoring this event.