Techmeme
April 21, 2022, 10:15 PM

Top News

Annie Palmer / CNBC:
Filing: Elon Musk has secured $46.5B to acquire Twitter, including $25.5B in debt financing via Morgan Stanley and other firms, and is exploring a tender offer  —  - Elon Musk is exploring whether to commence a tender offer for Twitter, according to a new securities filing.
Bloomberg:
Elon Musk's free speech promise for Twitter follows years of silencing or punishing criticism at Tesla and SpaceX, including attacking staff trying to unionize  —  If Elon Musk is able to take over Twitter Inc., his biggest promise is to transform it into a platform for free speech with few restrictions …
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Meta is reviewing whether COO Sheryl Sandberg pressured the Daily Mail in 2016 and 2019 into killing stories about her then-boyfriend Bobby Kotick  —  Social-media executive, who dated the Activision Blizzard CEO, was part of campaign to persuade the U.K. tabloid to shelve a potential article
Lauren Feiner / CNBC:
In a speech on disinformation, Obama said social media firms' design choices contribute to polarization, and called for more transparency and Section 230 reform  —  - Former President Barack Obama criticized social media companies for contributing to polarization through design choices on their platforms.
Frank Chaparro / The Block:
Andreessen Horowitz launches a16z Crypto Research, a lab focused on Web3 breakthroughs that can contribute to deployable code, led by academic Tim Roughgarden  —  Venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is diving deeper into the crypto market with the launch of a new academic lab dedicated …
New York Times:
Warner Bros. Discovery will shut down CNN+ on April 30, after its March 29 debut; sources: CNN+ had ~150K subscribers and was on pace to hit first-year goals  —  The new corporate owners of CNN are moving to end the new streaming service after a splashy debut.  —  In the end, CNN+ lasted less than a month.
Damien Wilde / 9to5Google:
Google plans to effectively block third-party call recording apps from the Play Store on May 11 after placing further restrictions to its Accessibility API  —  A new Google Play Store policy coming into force is set to block third-party call recording apps from the online storefront from May 11.
Taylor Soper / GeekWire:
Amazon announces a $1B Industrial Innovation Fund to back companies of all stages developing customer fulfillment, logistics, and supply chain technologies  —  Amazon on Thursday announced a new $1 billion venture fund that the tech giant will use to back companies of all stages developing …
Kif Leswing / CNBC:
Snap reports Q1 revenue of $1.06B, up 38% YoY, vs. $1.07B est., global DAUs up 18% YoY to 332M vs. 330M est., and net loss up 25% YoY to $360M  —  - Snap missed Wall Street expectations for profit and sales when it reported first-quarter results on Thursday after the bell.
Jon Porter / The Verge:
Spotify now lets all creators in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand upload video podcasts via Anchor, which Spotify acquired in February 2019  —  After over a year of more limited tests  —  All creators in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand can now upload video podcasts …
Stephanie Bodoni / Bloomberg:
After France's CNIL fined Meta €60M and Google €150M in January, Google unveils “a full redesign” of its cookie consent banner in Europe  —  Alphabet Inc.'s Google said it's rolling out a new European-wide policy allowing users to more easily avoid being tracked on the internet via cookies.
Ryan Weeks / The Block:
Binance begins enforcing tougher KYC checks, including proof of address, on Russian users with crypto holdings exceeding €10,000, following further EU sanctions  —  Crypto exchange Binance is enforcing tougher Know Your Customer (KYC) checks for Russian users after the latest wave of European Union sanctions.
Cobie:
Crypto staking evolved from rewards for collateralized coins validating blocks into a Ponzi scheme; Yuga Labs is effectively paying ApeCoin to hold ApeCoin  —  Recently, I was contacted by a member of the board of ApeCoin, which is the BAYC token's equivalent of a board of directors I guess.
MIT Technology Review:
How AI data-labeling companies like Appen use cheap labor in crisis-ridden countries like Venezuela to manually tag videos, sort photos, and transcribe audio  —  It was meant to be a temporary side job—a way to earn some extra money.  Oskarina Fuentes Anaya signed up for Appen …
Laurie Clarke / MIT Technology Review:
Crypto investors are pushing for semi-autonomous economic zones in Central America, at the risk of repeating the region's long history of corporate colonialism  —  A new class of crypto investors have bold plans to rebuild society from scratch.  But their pet projects risk repeating the region's long history of corporate colonialism.
Alyssa Boyle / AdExchanger:
tvScientific, which offers a connected TV platform to make TV advertising accessible and measurable for brands and apps, raises a $20M Series A led by Norwest  —  Measurement companies that help track outcomes are making it rain.  —  On Thursday, CTV performance advertising company tvScientific announced …
Josh Ye / Reuters:
Chinese social e-commerce app Xiaohongshu lays off 9% of its staff amid China's regulatory crackdown; Xiaohongshu raised $500M in November at a $20B valuation  —  Chinese social e-commerce app Xiaohongshu, known as China's answer to Instagram, said it had cut about 9% of its staff …

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