A conservative judge complicates Biden’s social media policy

A conservative judge complicates Biden's social media policy

Government efforts to negotiate with social media platforms suffered a major setback on Tuesday when a federal judge barred the Biden administration from communicating with tech companies about a wide range of online content.

The 155-page decision, which the administration can appeal, raises questions about how the government should interact with platforms that reach billions of people. It also complicates the approach tech companies take to regulating the content their users post.

Ruling: Judge Terry Doughty of the US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana said the broader parts of the government, including the Department of Health and Human Services and the FBI, could not negotiate with the social media companies in any way that proceeded. “remove, remove, suppress or minimize” content.

Mr. Doughty, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, said, “If the allegations made by the plaintiffs are true, the present case certainly amounts to the largest attack against free speech in the history of the United States.”

It’s a victory for the Republican state attorney general who sued the administration, Arguing that federal officials were trying to curtail users’ First Amendment rights. In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs cited emails and text messages in which, he claimedFederal authorities pressured tech executives to remove or censor posts about federal pandemic policies, articles about Hunter Biden, election security and other issues.

Doughty also pointed to efforts to remove or reduce content by anti-vaccine activist Robert Kennedy Jr., who is now challenging President Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination. Mr. Kennedy expressed his delight at the decision: “Happy Independence Day everyone!” he tweeted,

Doughty listed some exceptions in his ruling, including cases involving crimes, national security threats or foreign efforts to influence elections. And other government officials, including lawmakers, can still access social platforms.

Critics of the decision say it is too broad and problematic, Especially because it applies to government efforts to encourage action by companies, not compel it. “It cannot be that the government violates the First Amendment by engaging with platforms about their content-moderation decisions and policies,” Jameel Jaffar of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University told The Times.

Experts are also concerned that disinformation will only increase on social platforms that have already cut down on their content moderation teams.

An injunction could have wide-ranging consequences for technology regulation. Other Republican state officials have sought to ban internet platforms from removing certain political content, which legal experts say is likely to go all the way to the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the plaintiffs in the case have argued that the Biden administration threatened tech companies by taking steps Amend antitrust law or section 230 The Communications Decency Act, a legal shield protecting online platforms from lawsuits over user content. (It’s worth noting that the Trump administration Too Made hue and cry about reconsideration of Article 230.)

Although there is little chance of Section 230 being overturned at this point, Doughty’s decision raises the possibility that some form of pressure regarding revising tech regulations could be seen as undue pressure on tech companies.

Global temperature set a record. Average temperature observed across the globe on Tuesday 17.2 °C (about 63 degrees Fahrenheit), the latest example of extreme weather hitting people from China to India and Texas. The return of the El Niño phenomenon is likely to increase temperatures, and climate officials have urged more action to cut fossil fuel use.

A short but busy week awaits investors. This afternoon, the Fed will publish details of its rate-setting meeting last month. Markets will be watching to see how many rate hikes this year are needed to tame inflation, according to central bank officials. On Friday, the Labor Department will publish monthly jobs data; Economists polled by Reuters predicted that employers would add 225,000 new jobs last month.

SPAC seeking to take Donald Trump’s media company public settles with SEC Digital World Acquisition Corporation said it will pay $18 million in fines and amend its securities filings to resolve an investigation into its proposed merger with the parent company of online platform Truth Social. But it is unclear whether Trump’s company wants to move forward with the merger.

Illumina has reportedly faced a record penalty by the European Union. The gene-sequencing company may be fined up to $453 million, or 10 percent of its salesto close its $8 billion acquisition of cancer detection business Grail despite ongoing scrutiny of the deal, according to The Financial Times. (EU regulators eventually opposed the deal.) Such a fine would be far higher than any previously imposed by Brussels.

Janet Yellen is scheduled to arrive in Beijing on Thursday on her first trip to China as Treasury Secretary, the latest effort by the Biden administration to improve dialogue between the world’s two largest economies. Experts do not expect a major breakthrough, especially as the trade war shows no signs of abating. But Beijing’s focus on China’s faltering economy and elections in the United States and Taiwan next year are prompting Chinese policymakers to calculate that it is still worth engaging with.

China’s economy has not fully recovered from the Covid lockdown. New data published on Wednesday revealed that service sector activity The expansion took place at the slowest pace in five months. It adds to a parade of weak data showing weak consumer spending, weak exports and manufacturing. Chinese stocks fallAlso, hopes of a massive stimulus are fading away.

This is the reason why China is taking an aggressive stand in the matter of global trade. tried to use world economic forum meeting Last week in Tianjin. But it came after a crackdown on consulting and due diligence firms with Western exposure raised concerns about doing business in the country.

Ms. Yellen’s visit follows a new round of tit-for-tat sanctions. China announced export restrictions on Monday on two metals used to make semiconductors. Last week, the Netherlands said Dutch companies like ASMLA company making critical machines for chip making will have to seek government permission to send some equipment abroad. Washington is also reportedly considering new measures Restrict Chinese access to cloud computing technology.

But the Chinese are looking beyond the United States and 2023. “Beijing policymakers are hedging their bets,” Rana Mitter, director of the China Center at Oxford University, told DealBook. “He believes that the Biden administration is using soft language but in practice is trying to contain China. So they are waiting to see what happens in the key elections of 2024, and they are also trying to negotiate warmly with the EU, Britain and other major trading states.

This week is going to be a tough one for Elon Musk and Twitter. After the unexpected announcement by the social network tweet viewing limit – freezing of power users and potentially hurting The company’s efforts to woo advertisers — Meta is set to launch a rival app on Thursday that some have dubbed the “Twitter killer.”

users will be able to test the app, threads, A platform for posting short messages that closely resembles Mr. Musk’s online platform. Its development stemmed from the long-standing desire of Mark Zuckerberg, who as CEO of Meta helped oversee Facebook and Instagram, to “outdo Twitter and provide a central place for online public conversation”, the Mike Isaac of The Times reports.

For some people inside Meta, Twitter has been in turmoil since Mr. Musk took over the company last year, in the words of one employee’s internal post last year, “for his bread and butter.” Go.”

Advertisers will keep a sharp eye. meta is strong relationship with advertisers, and possibly even more so when many people fled Twitter amid the turmoil created by Mr. Musk’s abrupt policy changes. That stir at Twitter has created a challenge for Linda Yacarino, who became the company’s CEO last month and has been tasked with reviving the platform’s advertising business.

Ms Yacarino’s job will be complicated by new limits on tweet viewing – which could also hurt Google’s ability Display posts in its search results – according to analysts.

(Mr. Musk said the new policy was temporary and aimed to prevent artificial intelligence companies from scraping Twitter posts to train their services without adequate payment.)

  • In Case You Missed It: one more The dust-up between Mr Musk and Mr Zuckerberg – a potential “cage match” – appears to be moving forward, according to Dana White of Ultimate Fighting Championship, who is helping to arrange the fight.

Last year was disappointing for most investors, but CEO salaries continued to rise.

Steve Schwarzman tops the list of highest paidAccording to the CEO of Blackstone, whose pay package was above 1.25 billion dollars wall street journal, At $253 million, Mr. Schwarzman’s salary puts him just ahead of Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai ($226 million).

Overall, nine CEOs are expected to earn more than $100 million in 2022. This included some ongoing companies that haven’t performed so well for investors, such as Peloton’s Barry McCarthy ($168 million), whose stock plunged nearly 77 percent last year, and Stephen Hertz’s Lion ($182 million), which is expected to file for bankruptcy in 2021. and whose stock underperformed the S&P 500.

Restricted stock and options make up a large portion of executive pay. A Blackstone spokeswoman told The Journal that 30 percent of Mr. Schwarzman’s compensation could be attributed to the private equity giant’s 2021 stock performance; Last year, shares of Blackstone declined by nearly 40 percent.

Another Bonus: About $190 million of Mr. Schwarzman’s compensation is tied to interest, a common form of Wall Street payment that carries a relatively low tax rate. Biden administration wanted to close prevailing interest loophole, but senior officials blamed Fierce lobbying in Washington by the private equity industry To disrupt those plans.

Substitutes don’t always work. The package that Peloton’s Mr. McCarthy received was almost entirely in options that carried strikes well above Wednesday’s share price, $8.19. Redeeming it will cost him dearly.



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