Techmeme
August 25, 2021, 6:15 PM

Top News

Insider:
In an abrupt reversal, OnlyFans suspends its October 1 policy change banning porn after securing “assurances” and aims to provide “a home for all creators”  —  - OnlyFans is reversing its recent decision to ban porn.  — It had planned to prohibit sexually explicit …
Joan E. Solsman / CNET:
YouTube says it has removed over 1M videos related to COVID misinfo since February 2020, and says it removes 10M videos a quarter, most of which have <10 views  —  But the 1 million coronavirus-related takedowns since the start of the pandemic are difficult to put in context, because of YouTube's gigantic scale.
Washington Post:
Biden meets with CEOs from Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, and others to discuss cybersecurity, says private sector must do more to protect infrastructure  —  “You have the power, capacity and responsibility, I believe, to raise the bar on cybersecurity,” President Biden tells CEOs of Apple, Google, JP Morgan Chase
Amanda Silberling / TechCrunch:
Facebook adds features to Messenger on its 10-year anniversary, including word effects, contact sharing, and birthday gifting via Facebook Pay  —  To celebrate its ten year anniversary, Messenger today announced a handful of new features: poll games, word effects, contact sharing, and birthday gifting via Facebook Pay.
Jay Peters / The Verge:
Fitbit announces Charge 5 with a rounded design, a larger and brighter color AMOLED display, GPS, and more, arriving in the fall for $179.95  —  It costs $179.95 and will be out this fall  —  Following a couple of big leaks, Fitbit is officially announcing the Charge 5 …
New York Times:
Sources: Facebook has approached experts about forming an advisory body for how it handles global election matters, such as political ads, misinfo, and more  —  The social network has contacted academics to create a group to advise it on thorny election-related decisions, said people with knowledge of the matter.
The Markup:
How Fannie and Freddie requiring mortgage lenders use its credit scoring algorithm leads to a disproportionately high number of Black applicants being rejected  —  These two people applied for loans in Chicago, Ill., in 2019.  —  They both earned $350K-$400K  —  and their debt level was healthy.
Brian Heater / TechCrunch:
Meditation app Headspace unveils plans to merge with Ginger, an on-demand mental health service, in a deal valuing the combined company at $3B  —  Meditation app Headspace this morning announced plans to merge with on-demand mental health service, Ginger.  Barring unforeseen regulatory roadblocks …
Russell Brandom / The Verge:
GAO: 19 of 24 US government agencies surveyed use facial recognition in some capacity; DoD and DHS both have in-house systems, while 4 had used Clearview AI  —  A new GAO report finds 19 agencies are using some form of the technology  —  A new report from the Government Accountability Office …
Kurt Wagner / Bloomberg:
Facebook's David Marcus says Novi digital wallet is “ready now”, but will wait for the Diem currency, and it is “definitely looking at” building NFT features  —  Social network is ‘definitely looking’ at digital assets as part of push into financial products, executive says
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Western Digital is in advanced talks to merge with Kioxia, the chipmaker spun out of Toshiba in 2018, in a deal that could be valued at more than $20B  —  Stock deal could be finalized as early as the middle of September, according to people familiar with the matter
Tech Transparency Project:
Investigation finds underage users can easily evade age limits on ~80 apps on Apple's App Store, such as dating, sex, and gambling apps restricted to ages 17+  —  Apple just announced new steps to flag child sex abuse images on iPhones.  But a TTP investigation shows that Apple's App Store is rife with child safety problems.
Matthew Ball / MatthewBall.vc:
A deep look at why expanding into gaming is so important to Netflix, the competition it faces from games like Fortnite, and what its current strategy looks like  —  In 2018, I released the third entry in my “Netflix Misunderstandings” series: “Netflix Isn't Being Reckless, It's Just Playing a Game No One Else Dares.”
Washington Post:
A look at Vaccine Talk, a tightly moderated Facebook group for vaccine skeptics with ~70K members that aims to change their minds with evidence-based info  —  As social media giants struggle to crack down on false claims about covid, ordinary users are finding ways to reach vaccine skeptics — and win them over.
Joshua Benton / Nieman Lab:
Facebook's most-viewed story in Q1, a Chicago Tribune story linking a man's death to COVID vaccines, shows why publishers should consider how content is shared  —  On Friday, The New York Times had a scoop.  Facebook — that known vector for the spread of kid photos, neighborhood goings-on …
Eric J. Savitz / Barron's Online:
Snowflake beats in Q2 with revenue of $272.2M, up 104% YoY, 4,990 total customers, up 60% YoY, and losses of $189.7M vs. $77.6M in Q2 2020  —  Snowflake shares are gaining ground in late trading after the company posted better-than-expected growth for its fiscal second quarter ended July 31.
Financial Times:

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