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Big tech and democracy, from @CaseyNewton .Source
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Sheryl Sandberg calls it quits

Sheryl Sandberg calls it quits

Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down as Meta’s chief operating officer. In a 1,532-word Facebook post today, she said she would leave her day-to-day duties some time in the fall, while remaining on the company’s board. “I still believe as strongly as ever in our mission,” she wrote. Sandberg’s announcement came on the first day of June, though it might just as easily have come on any other day this year. Or in the past seven years, really. Sandberg held many roles at Facebook over the years, and helped guide it through several tumultuous periods. In conversations with people who worked...

Jun 2
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Ev Williams gives up

Ev Williams gives up

Few tech CEOs can claim to have steered the course of online conversation more than Ev Williams. In 1999 he co-founded Blogger, which helped to take blogging mainstream with a well designed, free tool that sold to Google four years later. In 2006 Williams and his co-founder followed with Twitter, which remains one of the most influential social networks in the world. Five years later, after a stint as Twitter CEO and much turmoil, Williams announced his next act: Medium, a publishing platform that sought to split the difference between blogs and tweets: medium-length posts, published...

Jul 13
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Three things web3 should fix in 2022

Three things web3 should fix in 2022

Last weekend, it felt like everyone I knew was sending me the same link. “The Problem With NFTs,” a long video essay by the Canadian media critic Dan Olson, ricocheted around all corners of the tech world since it was uploaded on Friday. (It now has 2.6 million views and climbing.) Over 138 meticulously researched minutes, Olson traces the history of the 2008 financial crisis, the creation of Bitcoin and Ethereum, and the rise of NFTs and DAOs, and reaches the conclusion that what we have taken to calling “web3” is effectively beyond saving: the technology is too broken, and its creators...

Jan 28
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The lesson Facebook won't learn

The lesson Facebook won't learn

Today, let’s talk about the lunacy of Facebook running a secret campaign against TikTok focused on the dangers of social networks to children. The campaign, which is with the company’s approach to competition over the past 10-plus years, saw it paying Republican operatives to promote the message that TikTok is harmful to children and society. Here are :The campaign includes placing op-eds and letters to the editor in major regional news outlets, promoting dubious stories about alleged TikTok trends that actually originated on Facebook, and pushing to draw political reporters and local...

Mar 31
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Elon Musk buys Twitter

Elon Musk buys Twitter

In the moments before Elon Musk bought Twitter, the company Slack channels were lit up with nervous anticipation. It had been days since Twitter leadership had shared anything with them, and after a weekend’s worth of reports that a sale was imminent, employees were looking for answers. For the first few hours of the morning, none came. Work all but came to a halt, employees told me. Like a classroom where the teacher is late and students are attempting to self-govern, one said. A “hellhole,” said another. One thread, in which an employee asked good-naturedly whether anyone was excited...

Apr 26
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Inside Twitter's emotional Friday all-hands

Inside Twitter's emotional Friday all-hands

Late Thursday night, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced the company would hold an all-hands meeting to address employee questions related to Elon Musk’s planned acquisition of the company. Employees I spoke with were somewhat surprised; it seemed clear that executives know little more about Musk’s plans than he has disclosed in public, and Twitter has been generally tight-lipped about other details related to the deal. At the same time, employees say, morale has declined sharply since the deal was announced, and Musk began attacking executives and their prior policy decisions in a series...

Apr 29
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Musk flips Twitter the bird

Musk flips Twitter the bird

Normally when you buy a company, you talk it up. You talk about its strengths, about its potential, about its glorious future under your leadership. Normally you do not buy a company to re-litigate its past. But Elon Musk is no normal acquirer, and neither is his behavior in the days since he announced his intent to buy Twitter for $44 billion. Musk has not acted like a white knight riding to the rescue of a beloved but underperforming cultural institution. Instead, he has rushed to publicly affirm various half-baked and bad-faith criticisms of the company, all emanating from the right,...

Apr 28
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Casey Newton

Casey Newton

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