Sara Fischer
Sara Fischer
Sara is a media reporter at Axios. She is the author of the weekly Axios Media Trends newsletter and covers breaking news and analysis about the industry.Source
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Scoop: Snapchat will permanently ban Trump's account

Scoop: Snapchat will permanently ban Trump's account

Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty ImagesSnapchat will permanently ban President Trump's account on Jan. 20, Axios has learned, after locking it indefinitely last week following the Capitol siege.Why it matters: The Trump campaign and digital team relied on Snapchat as a key platform to reach younger audiences before the company in June. The majority of Snapchat's users are under 30.What's happening: “Last week we announced an indefinite suspension of President Trump’s Snapchat account, and have been assessing what long term action is in the best interest of our Snapchat community," a...

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Sara Fischer
Jan 13
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Trump is being cancelled

Trump is being cancelled

Twitter screenshotLeaders in business, technology and culture are pulling the plug on their support for President Trump and some of his closest allies in the final days of his presidency. The big picture: Trump's political power, and his popularity with a large swath of the Republican base, always protected him from a backlash from business and tech leaders — until now. The Capitol siege proved to be the final straw. Driving the news: Twitter announced Friday that the platform will permanently suspend . It's the strongest action against the president's account and comes in response to the...

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Sara Fischer
Jan 9
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Reddit bans subreddit group "r/DonaldTrump"

Reddit bans subreddit group "r/DonaldTrump"

Photo Illustration: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty ImagesReddit has banned the subreddit group "r/DonaldTrump," a spokesperson confirmed to Axios.Why it matters: While not an official group or page hosted by the president, it's one of the company's largest political communities dedicated to support for President Trump.What they're saying: "Reddit's prohibit content that promotes hate, or encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence against groups of people or individuals. In accordance with this, we have been proactively reaching out to moderators to remind them...

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Sara Fischer
Jan 8
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Trump's election loss has upended America's news landscape

Trump's election loss has upended America's news landscape

Sean Hannity last night. Via Fox NewsPresident Trump's election loss has upended America's news landscape, cementing a parallel universe on the right where even Fox News isn't Trumpy enough for millions of his diehards.Why it matters: The coming diffusion of news across many easily-accessible streaming channels will likely cause Americans to become even further entrenched in their own, partisan filter bubbles. This could lead to the most profound change in news consumption that America has seen in decades.After years of dominance in cable ratings by Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, CNN in the...

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Sara Fischer
Dec 9
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More than half of media jobs lost this year are in news

More than half of media jobs lost this year are in news

Over half of the media jobs lost this year were in digital, print and broadcast newsrooms, according to new data from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. The big picture: Recent high-profile , , widespread and amid the pandemic have journalists anywhere within the industry.Health: Hospitals consider .Politics: after Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis attends White House party — Why Congress is — Biden in coronavirus playbook.Vaccine: Study confirms — FDA review of Pfizer vaccine —  on COVID vaccine info.World: — Trudeau says if regulators OK Pfizer doses.Business: The "central bank of central banks"...

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Sara Fischer
Dec 8
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Inside Patch's new local newsletter platform

Inside Patch's new local newsletter platform

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/AxiosPatch, the hyperlocal (and ) local digital news company, has built a new software platform called "Patch Labs" that lets local news reporters publish their own newsletters and websites, sources tell Axios. Why it matters: It follows a growing trend of at the national level. Details: The software is currently being used by several local journalists cover small communities independently, as well as a few local newsrooms, like the Michigan Sun Times, that have migrated their businesses onto the platform to reduce costs. How it works: The software allows...

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Sara Fischer
Dec 1
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Trump bump: NYT and WaPo digital subscriptions tripled since 2016

Trump bump: NYT and WaPo digital subscriptions tripled since 2016

The New York Times and The Washington Post have very different strategies for building the subscription news company of the future. The big picture: Sources tell Axios that the Post is nearing 3 million digital subscribers, a 50% year-over-year growth in subscriptions and more than 3x the number of digital-only subscribers it had in 2016. The New York Times now has more than 6 million digital-only subscribers, nearly 3x its number from 2016. The Times has been vocal about its strategy to build brand awareness to drive subscriptions, which includes everything from to hiring big-name...

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Sara Fischer
Nov 24
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Facebook says very few people actually see hate speech on its platform

Facebook says very few people actually see hate speech on its platform

Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesFacebook said it took action on 22.1 million pieces of hate speech content to its platform globally last quarter and about 6.5 million pieces of hate speech content on Instagram. On both platforms, it says about 95% of that hate speech was proactively identified and stopped by artificial intelligence. Details: In total, the company says that there are 10–11 views of hate speech for every 10,000 views of content uploaded to the site globally — or .1%. It calls this metric — how much problematic content it doesn't catch compared to how much is...

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Sara Fischer
Nov 19
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Voter suppression misinformation spikes on Election Day

Voter suppression misinformation spikes on Election Day

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesElection security officials and disinformation experts are on high alert over signs that Election Day misinformation aimed at suppressing votes is circulating widely, much of it outside the immediate view of companies and policymakers.Why it matters: Ample focus is placed on to stop the spread of misinformation, but a lot of what's traveling widely so far this Election Day isn't on public platforms, but in texts, robocalls and private chat servers.Driving the news: The FBI told reporters Tuesday it is investigating robocalls falsely telling people they can...

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Sara Fischer
Nov 3
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Twitter names 7 outlets to call election results

Twitter names 7 outlets to call election results

Photo: Mehmet Kaman/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesTwitter on Monday about its policies around tweets that declare election results, and it named the seven outlets it will lean on to help it determine whether a race is officially called. Driving the news: The list includes ABC News, AP, CNN, CBS News, Decision Desk HQ, Fox News and NBC News — all outlets that experts agree have verified, unbiased decision desks calling elections. Our thought bubble: Some conservatives have alleged that Twitter is biased against them. In the past few weeks, data from the shows that Fox News has discussed...

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Sara Fischer
Nov 2
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Pre-bunking rises ahead of the 2020 election

Pre-bunking rises ahead of the 2020 election

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/AxiosTech platforms are no longer satisfied with debunking falsehoods — now they're starting to invest in efforts that preemptively show users accurate information to help them counter falsehoods later on.Why it matters: Experts argue that pre-bunking can be a more effective strategy for combating misinformation than fact-checking. It's also a less polarizing way to address misinformation than trying to apply judgements to posts after they've been shared. Driving the news: Twitter on Monday to the top of all U.S. Twitter users’ timelines warning about...

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Sara Fischer
Oct 27
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63 million people watched final presidential debate

63 million people watched final presidential debate

Photo Illustration: Pavlo Conchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images63 million viewers tuned into the final debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday evening, according to Nielsen ratings. The event drew 13% fewer viewers than the first presidential debate in late September. Why it matters: The more may have proven to be less exciting than .Yes, but: Final debates historically draw smaller audiences than first debates. And the final debate this cycle still did well compared to previous final matchups.Details: Fox News Channel drew the most viewers...

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Sara Fischer
Oct 23
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New York Post's Hunter Biden story goes massive on social media despite crackdowns

New York Post's Hunter Biden story goes massive on social media despite crackdowns

Facebook and Twitter's frantic attempts to stop the spread of the New York Post's Hunter Biden story didn't prevent the article from becoming the top story about the election on those platforms last week, according to data from NewsWhip.Why it matters: The data shows that even swift, aggressive content suppression may not be swift or aggressive enough to keep down a story with as much White House backing and partisan fuel as this one.By the numbers: The Post's story generated 2.59m interactions (likes, comments, shares) on Facebook and Twitter last week — more than double the next biggest...

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Neal Rothschild
Oct 20
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Facebook says it will block political ads after polls close on Election Day

Facebook says it will block political ads after polls close on Election Day

Illustration: Aïda Amer/AxiosFacebook says it plans to temporarily stop running all social issue, electoral, or political ads in the U.S. after the polls close on November 3. Why it matters: The notice comes two weeks after Google informed its advertisers that it would implement a similar rule. Details: Facebook says the goal of the new policy is to reduce opportunities for public confusion about results or messages that misinform the public about election outcomes.The company says it will also update its policies to ban implicit calls by users to engage in malicious "poll watching" —...

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Sara Fischer
Oct 7
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Biden changes channel on "Trump Show"

Biden changes channel on "Trump Show"

Joe Biden checks out a classic car at the end of a voter mobilization event at the Michigan State Fairgrounds in Novi, Mich., yesterday. Photo: Tom Brenner/ReutersJoe Biden not only crushed President Trump in ratings for their head-to-head town halls, Biden was a bigger draw for an earlier pairing of network town halls. By the numbers: Biden had a bigger combined audience for town halls on ABC + NBC than Trump did for his ABC and NBC town halls. Biden drew 20.8 million for the two town halls combined, while Trump had 17.3 million.Here's the breakdown, from , (omits streaming): Axios' Sara...

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Sara Fischer
Oct 17
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Town hall ratings: More people watched Biden on ABC than Trump on NBC, CNBC and MSNBC

Town hall ratings: More people watched Biden on ABC than Trump on NBC, CNBC and MSNBC

Getty ImagesABC's live town hall event with Joe Biden Thursday night drew 14.1 million viewers, surpassing the final Nielsen ratings for NBC's town hall with President Trump, which was aired across NBC, MSNBC and CNBC and drew 13.5 million viewers in the same hour. Why it matters: The , moderated by Savannah Guthrie, was expected to trounce Biden's more calm, policy-focused hour and a half town hall event moderated by ABC's George Stephanopoulos.Be smart: Nielsen's ratings include viewership on broadcast and cable channels that aired each town hall (ABC for Biden and NBC, MSNBC and CNBC for...

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Sara Fischer
Oct 16
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Media becomes the story ahead of Election Day

Media becomes the story ahead of Election Day

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/AxiosWith just weeks to go until Nov. 3, controversies surrounding the media seem to be gobbling up most of country's attention. Why it matters: In a healthy democracy, the media shouldn't be the story. Driving the news: Twitter and Facebook Wednesday when both firms took sweeping measures to reduce the spread of a New York Post story containing damaging information about Hunter Biden.On Wednesday, a exploded over internal backlash against NBC for scheduling its town hall with President Trump at the same time that ABC scheduled its town hall with Joe Biden. On...

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Sara Fischer
Oct 16
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Facebook bans Holocaust denial on its platform

Facebook bans Holocaust denial on its platform

Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty ImagesFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Monday that the tech giant would be expanding its hate speech policies to ban any content that "denies or distorts the Holocaust." Why it matters: Zuckerberg was caught flat-footed in a 2018 interview with Kara Swisher, then host of the Recode Decode podcast, that he didn't believe Facebook should take down Holocaust denial content because "I think there are things that different people get wrong," even if unintentionally.Details: Starting today, if people search for the Holocaust on Facebook, the company will...

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Sara Fischer
Oct 12
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57.9 million people watched the vice presidential debate on television

57.9 million people watched the vice presidential debate on television

Photo by ROBYN BECK,ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty ImagesNearly 58 million people watched the vice presidential debate between Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence on television on Wednesday night, according to Nielsen ratings, making it the second most-watched VP debate in TV history. Why it matters: The debate was the first major political event since President Trump was diagnosed with coronavirus last week. It featured two candidates that could theoretically be asked to step in for their bosses if elected, incentivizing viewers to watch.Be smart: The , which drew big numbers, may...

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Sara Fischer
Oct 8
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Facing a White House credibility crisis, the media's reporting has never been more essential

Facing a White House credibility crisis, the media's reporting has never been more essential

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany briefs the media Thursday. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty ImagesIt's easy to dog the media. But stop for a second and reflect on everything we know thanks to the media — and often the media alone.Driving the news: It was the media that gave light to the negligence of White House officials in containing the coronavirus. It was Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs who Hope Hicks' positive test, with President Trump disclosing five hours later that he and the first lady had COVID. It was the media that exposed that the president and top White House officials...

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Sara Fischer
Oct 4
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Google is paying publishers more than $1 billion to create and curate high-quality content

Google is paying publishers more than $1 billion to create and curate high-quality content

Photo illustration: Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesGoogle will pay publishers more than $1 billion over the next three years to create and curate high-quality journalism for a new set of features called Google News Showcase, executives tell Axios. Why it matters: This is Google's biggest ever financial commitment to the news industry. In 2018, it to efforts supporting the news industry. This announcement builds on that effort and its , where it pays select publishers to feature their stories in Google News and Search."Our approach with Google News Showcase is a very different...

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Sara Fischer
Oct 1
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Media prepares to fact check debates in real time

Media prepares to fact check debates in real time

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/AxiosFrom live blogs to video chyrons and tweets, media companies are introducing new ways to fact check the presidential debates in real time this year. Between the lines: The debates themselves are likely to leave less room for live fact-checking from moderators than a traditional news interview would.The big picture: Media insiders have a running argument over whether and how much the media should fact check live political speech given the unprecedented amount of misinformation around complex issues this year, like COVID-19.Driving the news: Nicole...

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Sara Fischer
Sep 29
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2020 election influence operations target journalists

2020 election influence operations target journalists

Illustration: Aïda Amer/AxiosForeign and domestic actors looking to influence the 2020 election are trying to trick real reporters into amplifying fake storylines. This tactic differs from 2016, when bad actors used fake accounts and bots to amplify disinformation to the population directly.Why it matters: The new strategy, reminiscent of spy operations during the Cold War, is much harder for big tech platforms to police and prevent.Driving the news: Facebook on Thursday and took down three coordinated misinformation campaigns originating from Russia.How it works: Often, these meddling...

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Sara Fischer
Sep 28
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The New York Times and Facebook launch multi-year augmented reality reporting project

The New York Times and Facebook launch multi-year augmented reality reporting project

Screen shots from the NYT's Instagram filters about pollutionThe New York Times and Facebook have struck a multi-year partnership to co-develop augmented reality (AR) filters and effects on Instagram that help users access and contextualize New York Times journalism, executives tell Axios.Why it matters: It's the first time that The Times has experimented with augmented reality technology at scale and off of its own website and apps. The partnership also represents an evolution in the relationship between publishers and tech companies. Details: To get the partnership off the ground, The...

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Sara Fischer
Sep 16
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MTV to pay for printing, postage of ballot applications via its voter campaign websites

MTV to pay for printing, postage of ballot applications via its voter campaign websites

Photo Illustration by Alvin Chan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty ImagesMTV will pay for the printing and postage of any ballot application requested through websites linked to its new voter initiative campaign, network executives tell Axios.Why it matters: Studies shows that many Americans given the limitations of the pandemic, but some may not be familiar with the steps required to vote early. Catch up quick: MTV has long led the media industry in championing voter initiatives, including helping launch Rock the Vote in 1990. This year, the network and its parent company ViacomCBS are...

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Sara Fischer
Sep 17
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