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Daily Crunch: Social media confronts election misinformation

Anthony Ha
·3-min read

You may have heard that the United States had a presidential election yesterday, with plenty of implications for the tech world, particularly with social media as one of the battlegrounds in the fight over the results. Meanwhile, major tech-relevant ballot measures, like California's Proposition 22, also passed. I'll do my best to cover it all in your Daily Crunch for November 4, 2020.

The big story: Social media confronts election misinformation

Here's the good news: Election Day in the United States was largely free from disruptive cyberattacks.

The bad news? Well, we don't have a winner in the presidential election yet — although Joe Biden is up 2% in the popular vote as I write this on Wednesday afternoon, and he's leading narrowly in key battleground states. The uncertainty has created a big opportunity for misinformation, particularly from President Donald Trump and others involved with his campaign who are trying to cast doubt on the voting and vote-counting process while prematurely claiming victory.

As my colleague Taylor Hatmaker put it, this is a "nightmare misinformation scenario," with the president and his campaign doing their best to "work the misinformation ecosystem he’s cultivated over the last four years."

At least Facebook and Twitter are trying to stem the spread in different ways: Twitter has added warning labels to numerous Trump and Trump campaign posts (Trump and his campaign members aren't the only ones getting warnings labels right now, but to be clear: They're the ones spreading dangerous misinformation about the results — while the Biden campaign is, to put it simply, not). Facebook also added messages at the top of both Facebook and Instagram noting that votes are still being counted.

The tech giants

Apple, Microsoft and other tech stocks roar as the presidential election narrows to several states — At the close of trading today, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was up 3.8%.

Zynga reports record revenue and strong user growth while still losing $122M — The company predicted further growth in Q4, with revenue up 55% to $570 million.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Intel has acquired Cnvrg.io, a platform to manage, build and automate machine learning — Intel continues to snap up startups to build out its machine learning and AI operations.

Aveine’s Smart Wine Aerator is a huge upgrade for wine lovers, and could create some new ones, too — This gadget from a French startup offers variable, instant aeration, along with a connected app platform.

Hustle Fund, a pre-seed firm, closes $30M for a new fund — Hustle Fund was created by Elizabeth Yin and Eric Bahn, two former 500 Startups partners.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Will new SEC equity crowdfunding rules encourage more founders to pass the hat? — Companies can now raise $5 million via equity crowdfunding.

As tech stocks rally, bring on the IPOs — The Exchange has heard whispers that the late-November/early-December period could be active for new filings.

(Reminder: Extra Crunch is our membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

CA ballot measure that keeps gig workers as independent contractors is projected to pass — Uber, Lyft, Instacart and DoorDash (the major backers of California’s Proposition 22) are getting their way.

Cannabis legalization measures set to pass in five states — Cannabis legalization was on five state ballots yesterday and ran the table.

Massachusetts voters pass a right-to-repair measure, giving them unprecedented access to their car data — Under the measure, once a person buys a vehicle, they own all of its data.

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