Casey Newton
Casey Newton
Casey Newton is The Verge's primary source for Silicon Valley news, reporting on the people and products shaping the future of technology and culture. His daily newsletter, The Interface, explores the intersection of social media and democracy.Source
San Francisco, CA
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Three Facebook moderators break their NDAs to expose a company in crisis

Three Facebook moderators break their NDAs to expose a company in crisis

Keith Utley loved to help. First, he served in the Coast Guard, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant commander. He married, had a family, and devoted himself utterly to his two little girls. After he got out of the military, he worked as a moderator for Facebook, where he purged the social network of the worst stuff that its users post on a daily basis: the hate speech, the murders, the child pornography. Utley worked the overnight shift at a Facebook content moderation site in Tampa, FL, operated by a professional services vendor named Cognizant. The 800 or so workers there face...

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Casey Newton
June 19, 2019
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In leaked audio, Mark Zuckerberg rallies Facebook against critics and the US government

In leaked audio, Mark Zuckerberg rallies Facebook against critics and the US government

July should have been a relief for Facebook. The company accepted a $5 billion fine from the Federal Trade Commission over privacy issues, after having essentially set the terms of the agreement itself. It settled a case with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which alleged that it had misled investors about the risks of user data being mishandled, for a relatively paltry $100 million. And Facebook reported stellar quarterly earnings on July 24th, beating investor expectations and sending its stock price up. But inside the company, the mood remained anxious. Several 2020 presidential...

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Casey Newton
October 2, 2019
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Facebook reportedly reaches $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission

Facebook reportedly reaches $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission

Facebook has reportedly reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over repeated privacy violations, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to the Journal, the FTC voted this week to approve a $5 billion settlement, which has now moved to the Justice Department’s civil division for review. It is unclear how long the review will take. A Facebook spokesman declined to comment or confirm the report. The Washington Post and New York Times later confirmed the details in the Journal’s report. The Journal reported that the FTC voted along party lines, with three Republican...

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Casey Newton
July 19, 2019
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How the Google union could boost labor organizing in Silicon Valley

How the Google union could boost labor organizing in Silicon Valley

Filed under:The Alphabet Workers Union’s apparent weaknesses could be a strengthJust over a year ago, . They had been hired through Accenture to moderate some of the most disturbing content on YouTube: videos that contain violent extremism, including murders and acts of terrorism. Several told me they had either been diagnosed with or were suffering from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The people I talked with made about $37,000 a year, and several had immigrated to the United States from the Middle East. Many found their working conditions intolerable, but they feared speaking...

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Casey Newton
Jan 5
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Facebook leaks show Mark Zuckerberg defending his decisions to angry employees

Facebook leaks show Mark Zuckerberg defending his decisions to angry employees

For years, Mark Zuckerberg has faced criticism that Facebook is bad for democracy.Employees want him to take a harder line against the Trump Administration. His user base wants him to do the opposite.In a summer’s worth of leaked audio recordings obtained by The Verge, you can hear Facebook's CEO trying to hold the center.By | Sep 23, 2020, 10:00am EDTGraphic by William Joel / Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Imageswould be roiled by a global pandemic, internal protests over racial injustice, a deeply polarizing election, and the ongoing threat of multiple state and federal investigations...

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Casey Newton
Sep 23
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What ‘The Social Dilemma’ misunderstands about social networks

What ‘The Social Dilemma’ misunderstands about social networks

Filed under:The world is more complicated than filmmakers want to believeThe Interface is a daily column and newsletter about the intersection of social media and democracy. Subscribe .I. A dilemmaOn Sunday night, after being encouraged to by friends and family, I hit play on a new documentary about our digital lives. Directed by Jeff Orlowski, explores the effect of smartphones and social networks on human behavior. Blending talking-head interviews with some well known Silicon Valley apostates and fictional, after-school special-style dramatizations of what happens when Johnny and Janey...

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Casey Newton
Sep 16
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The latest Section 230 hearing showed that Republicans want to make the internet smaller

The latest Section 230 hearing showed that Republicans want to make the internet smaller

Filed under:We know what happens when you add liability to tech platforms, but lawmakers want to hear itWell, we had another hearing with the platform CEOs.The dream with this sort of thing is that Congress shows up with a full command of the issues, and asks the CEOs good-faith questions about matters of policy and law. And then I’d come along at the end of the day to walk you through the more provocative questions and productive answers, and gesture at what likely policy outcomes we could expect from this exercise in representative democracy.But “,” a hearing of the Senate Committee on...

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Casey Newton
Oct 29
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How Twitter is shifting the power balance from companies to their employees

How Twitter is shifting the power balance from companies to their employees

Filed under:At the heart of a recent conflict between journalists is a labor movement that few are talking aboutThe Interface is a daily column and newsletter about the intersection of social media and democracy. Subscribe .Last week, the worlds of technology and journalism were transfixed by a conflict that played out across across Instagram, Twitter, and the upstart audio-only social network Clubhouse. One reason it generated so much attention — you can read thorough accounts from varying perspectives , , or — is that you can approach the drama from so many angles. But despite the best...

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Casey Newton
Jul 7
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Reddit owes its moderators more than an updated hate speech policy

Reddit owes its moderators more than an updated hate speech policy

Filed under:If they’re getting regular death threats, don’t they deserve to be paid?The Interface is a daily column and newsletter about the intersection of social media and democracy. Subscribe .Programming note: The Interface is off Thursday. Back on Monday.I.Should Reddit pay its volunteer moderators? The thought had not really occurred to me until last week, when I joined a call with CEO Steve Huffman and his general counsel, Benjamin Lee. The executives were briefing me and some other reporters about a significant expansion of the site’s content moderation policies, , including the...

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Casey Newton
Jul 2
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"Instagram can hurt us": Mark Zuckerberg emails outline plan to neutralize competitors

"Instagram can hurt us": Mark Zuckerberg emails outline plan to neutralize competitors

In late February 2012, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg emailed his chief financial officer, David Ebersman, to float the idea of buying smaller competitors, including Instagram and Path. “These businesses are nascent but the networks established, the brands are already meaningful, and if they grow to a large scale the could be very disruptive to us,” he wrote. “Given that we think our own valuation is fairly aggressive and that we’re vulnerable in mobile, I’m curious if we should consider going after one or two of them. What do you think?”Ebersman was skeptical. “All the research I have seen...

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Casey Newton
Jul 29
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