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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Major tech platforms told the outgoing GOP chair of the Senate Commerce Committee that there was no coordination behind their decisions to ban former President Trump and severing ties with an app popular with conservatives, per letters obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: Big Tech is a top target of Republican ire as conservatives on Capitol Hill adjust to their new position in the minority.

Details: Twitter banned Trump based on its own analysis and with the involvement of senior executives including CEO Jack Dorsey, and "did not consult with any other platforms in making the decision," it said in a letter to Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)

  • Google, in its own letter to Wicker, likewise said it did not coordinate with other platforms in suspending Trump's YouTube channel, while Facebook said it applies its own policies and makes independent decisions.

Meanwhile: Apple and Amazon told Wicker they did not coordinate in decisions to pull the plug on Parler.

Flashback: Wicker pressed the companies on their decision-making processes in letters earlier this month.

Go deeper

App rush: Talent over trash

Data: Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Amid the sea of pollution on social media, another class of apps is soaring in popularity: The creators are paid, putting a premium on talent instead of just noise.

The big picture: Creator-economy platforms like Patreon, Substack and OnlyFans are built around content makers who are paid. It's a contrast to platforms like Facebook that are mostly powered by everyday users’ unpaid posts and interactions.

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

5 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.