GOOGL Jun 2021 1245.000 call

OPR - OPR Delayed price. Currency in USD
107.60
0.00 (0.00%)
As of 4:13AM EDT. Market open.
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Previous close107.60
Open107.60
Bid83.60
Ask93.20
Strike1,245.00
Expiry date2021-06-18
Day's range190.13 - 190.13
Contract rangeN/A
Volume1
Open interest1
  • Google makes sharing Plus Codes easier in a push to simplify addressing system globally
    TechCrunch

    Google makes sharing Plus Codes easier in a push to simplify addressing system globally

    Two years ago, Google open-sourced Plus Codes, a digital addressing system to help billions of people navigate to places that don’t have clear addresses. The company said today it is making it easier for anyone with an Android device to share its rendition of an address -- a six-digit alphanumeric code. Google Maps users on Android can now tap the blue dot that represents their current location to view and share their unique six-digit coordinate with friends.

  • Bloomberg

    Twitter Has Little to Fear From Trump

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Donald Trump was at the steering wheel as we drove through the rain together on a New Jersey highway in 2005. He had recently considered taking the stage to play a politician in the Broadway comedy “La Cage aux Folles,” but he had other things on his mind as he glanced over at me.“I have one asset that I think nobody else has. And that’s that if somebody writes about me badly, I sort of own my own newspaper in a way. Like I went after you on the ‘Today’ show,” he told me. “I do have the ability to fight back in the media. I can say that, ‘You, Tim, is not smart. Is a terrible guy.’”“A total whack job,” I suggested, since he’d used that one before.“I can say that. Nobody else can,” Trump continued. “In other words, I’m the only guy who can fight back on an almost even plane. I mean, I’m not saying it’s an even plane because you may have an advantage. But I have an advantage, too. Because I’m on television every day.”He finished off his primer with a flourish: “People don’t want to read about a negative Trump. I really believe that.” Remember, this was 15 years ago and Twitter hadn’t yet been invented. Neither had Instagram or Snapchat. Facebook was still a baby. But Trump already instinctively understood one of his advantages as a ubiquitous and media-soaked mogul: He had direct access to readers and viewers and could circumvent traditional news sources to get his message out or to go into battle.Trump’s gut sensibility about how to play the media had been honed through decades of courting and jousting that, even after a series of failures, had left him as an object of interest. That led to his public rebirth on “The Apprentice” and made him ready to rock and roll once social media blossomed. Every social platform offered him the opportunity to run his own printing press and speak directly to fans and critics, but Twitter, a venue of choice for newsies, always held a special allure. And Trump, who adores basking in media attention while also being so singularly insecure that any form of criticism unspools him, has a love-hate relationship with Twitter.So it came to pass that Twitter, which has long tolerated Trump’s retweeting of racists and anti-Semites while painting his targets as everything from “skanks” to murderers, decided on Tuesday to slap fact-checking notices on a pair of bogus Trump tweets claiming that mail-in ballots lead to voting fraud. Trump, who has the November election front of mind and is reeling from an onslaught of criticism for repeatedly bungling his response to the coronavirus pandemic, would have none of that. He claimed that revenge via a federal crackdown on Twitter and other social media companies was coming.Late Thursday afternoon, he signed an executive order that reportedly will strip Twitter and other social media platforms of liability protections they enjoy from lawsuits involving the content users post on their sites — including false or defamatory content. In other words, the kind of stuff Trump posts a lot on Twitter. While such a move might be self-defeating, it’s also not clear how serious Trump is about it. The White House didn’t release the text of the order on Thursday and said it might still be revised.Trump is also reportedly planning to ask the Federal Communications Commission to make it easier for social media users to sue platforms for removing posts and other content. He also reportedly plans to ask Attorney General William Barr to convene state attorneys general to investigate social media companies for deceptive practices.“There’s nothing I’d rather do than get rid of my whole Twitter account,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Thursday. “But I’m able to get to, I guess, 186 million people when you add up all the different accounts…. That’s more than the media companies have, frankly, by a lot.”Trump actually has about 130 million followers on his primary personal social accounts (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram) and he certainly doesn’t have more followers than all of the media companies combined, but you get the point.We’ll have to wait and see if this turns out to be only Trump rattling his saber. He has a long history of threatening to sue critics and competitors and then not following through. (I was an exception.) If he goes ahead this time, he, the FCC and his White House lawyers will face daunting legal hurdles. Trump can’t force the FCC to change existing regulations that give social media companies latitude to restrict objectionable content. And even if the FCC acts as he wishes, it may not complete its work prior to the November election, because the social media companies will unleash their own attorneys to challenge any change.The First Amendment’s broad protection for editorial discretion from government dictates applies to social media platforms. In a 2017 federal appeals court fight over net neutrality rules, none other than future Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh argued that the government cannot tell companies such as Twitter and Facebook what content to post or favor.The mere whiff of a federal crackdown could have a chilling effect on the social platforms, it’s true, but that will happen only if the companies allow it. Some internecine squabbles have already popped up, with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg telling Fox News that Twitter made a mistake, because no social media platform should be the “arbiter of truth.” It’s quite possible that Zuckerberg is more worried about Facebook being regulated as a news provider rather than as a technology company, or about the added hard work that would come with adequately policing his own website. But that’s a discussion for another day.None of this is really about free speech or proper regulation of social media, however. It’s about the president’s abuse of his power and his fixation on the politics informing the coming election. Also, his feelings are hurt. He’s acting out. Twitter is one of Trump’s favorite toys, and although he’s momentarily bashing it in frustration, he probably won’t go so far as to break it.Trump won’t undermine Twitter because he’s addicted to it. He revels in mainlining his thoughts into the American conversation and absorbing all the responses back into his own bloodstream. Twitter is Trump’s drug of choice, and addicts don’t break their habits so easily.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Timothy L. O'Brien is a senior columnist for Bloomberg Opinion.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Texas Infections Jump 3.2%, U.S. Cases Increase: Virus Update
    Bloomberg

    Texas Infections Jump 3.2%, U.S. Cases Increase: Virus Update

    (Bloomberg) -- Texas sports leagues can have some fans attend games even as new coronavirus cases in the state climbed at amost twice the weekly average. Overall U.S. infections increased 1.2%.New York gave store owners the power to keep out customers for not wearing a mask. Securities regulators are scrutinizing public companies that got U.S. stimulus aid.The U.S. Veterans Administration is using less of a drug touted by President Donald Trump for Covid-19. Roche’s immune suppressor Actemra will be paired with Gilead’s antiviral remdesivir in a late-stage trial.Key Developments:Virus Tracker: Cases top 5.7 million; deaths over 358,000Why New York suffered when other cities were sparedIndia’s deaths exceed China’s as global hot spots shiftVaccine makers may need to infect subjects to get resultsLatin America now accounts for 40% of daily virus deathsHow can I get it? The evidence on transmission: QuickTakeSubscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus. For a look back at this week’s top stories from QuickTake, click here.San Francisco to Reopen Retail, Sports (5:10 p.m. NY)San Francisco, one of the first U.S. cities to close, is taking steps to reopen businesses, while stay-home orders remain in effect. Starting June 15, restrictions will be loosened on outdoor dining, indoor retail and certain outdoor activities like summer camps, Mayor London Breed said. Professional sports can resume, but without spectators.The city will open child care and outdoor museums June 1. In the next phase, scheduled for July 13, hair salons will open and indoor dining and real estate open houses will be permitted.Breed said a stay-at-home order remains in place indefinitely, and encouraged office workers to continue to telecommute. “This plan is being implemented, but we are still asking people to stay at home if at all possible,” she said.Texas Cases Jump; Fans Return to Stadiums (4:25 p.m. NY)Texas Governor Greg Abbott will let professional sports leagues play games in stadiums and outdoor arenas with fans, limited to 25% of capacity. Indoor sports events remain closed to spectators. New cases rose faster than the weekly average.Leagues must submit a health and safety plan for screening and regular testing of employees, players and contractors, according to a statement on the state’s website. Six feet (1.8 meters) of distance should be maintained in settings including locker rooms, break rooms, workout or practice facilities, and showers.Texas cases climbed 3.2%, almost twice the seven-day average, to 59,766, according to state health department data. New-case detections outpaced the 2.9% increase in testing and, in terms of raw numbers, the case count increased at the steepest daily rate since the pandemic began.Fatalities rose 2.5% to 1,601. Abbott has been dispatching so-called surge response teams to Amarillo and other hot spots to deal with outbreaks centered in facilities such as meatpacking plants.U.S. Cases Rise 1.2% (4 p.m. NY)Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased 1.2% as compared to the same time Wednesday, to 1.71 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. That’s in line with Wednesday’s rate and the average of 1.3% over the past seven days. Deaths rose 1.4% to 101,129.New York had more than 366,000 cases and 23,600 fatalities as of May 27, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo. Hospitalizations are declining, and daily fatalities were below 100 for a fourth day, after peaking at more than 700 in April.Florida reported 53,285 cases, up 1.2% from a day earlier, below the average increase of 1.5% in the previous seven days, according to the state’s health department. Deaths reached 2,364, an increase of 1.9%.California cases rose 2.7% to 101,697 while deaths rose 2.3% to 3,973, according to the state’s website.Boston Marathon Canceled (3 p.m. NY)The Boston Marathon was canceled by the Boston Athletic Association, which in a tweet said a virtual event will be staged in September. All participants who signed up for the April 20 race will be offered a refund and can participate in a virtual event Sept. 7–14. Participants in the virtual race will run the marathon distance 26.2 miles and upload data to a fitness app.Mayor Marty Walsh, in a tweet, said the organizers “with our input and support” determined a one-day race isn’t feasible. “This kind of event would not be responsible or realistic on September 14 or any time this year,” he said.Chicago Lets Workers Return (2:55 p.m. NY)More than 130,000 Chicago workers will be permitted to return to work on Wednesday as the city begins to reopen its economy, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Thursday. Industries permitted to open June 3, with specific safety guidelines in place, include office-based jobs, real-estate services, personal services such as salons and barber hops, and child-care centers.Italian Soccer to Restart June 20 (2:41 p.m. NY)Italy’s top soccer league will restart on June 20 after the national lockdown closed arenas, Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora said, according to newspaper La Repubblica. The decision was announced after Spadafora met with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and soccer officials, Repubblica said on its website.Premier League to Resumes in Mid-June (1:50 p.m. NY)The English Premier League set a provisional restart date of June 17, although Chief Executive Richard Masters said safety requirements must be met before soccer matches resume. The league has 92 outstanding matches for the season.The league will restart with Aston Villa facing Sheffield United at home with Manchester City playing against Arsenal. Matches will take place without fans. The BBC will broadcast games for free for the first time once matches resume, the network said separately.Egypt has Most Cases in One Day (1:30 p.m. NY)Egypt reported 1,127 new cases, the most for one day in the Arab world’s most populous nation, and 29 new deaths, the Health Ministry said.France Paves Way to Reopen (12:55 p.m. NY)France will lift domestic travel restrictions and let most bars, restaurants and museums reopen starting Tuesday following weeks of stringent controls to contain the epidemic. Officials said confinement measures were more effective than expected in combating the disease’s spread. “Freedom will finally become the rule again, and prohibition the exception,” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Thursday, following a cabinet meeting.In areas including Paris and the surrounding region, lifting curbs will be slower. Bars and restaurants will be able to open only outdoor spaces, and sports centers will not open until the next phase starting June 22.SEC Opens Inquiry on Stimulus (12:30 p.m. NY)The Securities and Exchange Commission has started an inquiry into companies that received U.S. stimulus funds, scrutinizing whether representations made in loan applications were consistent with disclosures in securities filings, according to three people familiar with the matter.The SEC’s enforcement division has sent letters to some companies that got funding from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, asking for information about how the funds were being used and for copies of loan applications, these people said.One person said investigators may be focusing on companies whose dire condition qualified them for paycheck loans but whose financial disclosures prior to the outbreak didn’t reflect such vulnerability.VA Trims Use of Trump-Touted Drug (12:20 p.m. NY)The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is reducing its use of hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 patients, Secretary Robert Wilkie told a House Appropriations Committee panel on Thursday. The VA’s use of the drug peaked at the same time it did in the rest of the nation after President Donald Trump touted its use in March despite a lack of clinical evidence that it works.“We started ratcheting it down when we went more to remdesivir and we went to the convalescent plasma,” Wilkie said. “Last week we only used it three times.”Some analyses have found hydroxychloroquine associated with more deaths in Covid-19 patients given the drug’s heart risks compared with patients who didn’t use the treatment. Wilkie said he relied on the intent of a so-called Right to Try law pushed by Trump and passed by Congress in 2018 meant to increase access to experimental drugs.“This Congress was very clear in saying that if people of sound mind ask to be given experimental treatments because that may be the last thing that separates them from life and death then we do that,” he said. “The other option is to do nothing.”Italy’s Death Lowest in 4 Days (12:15 p.m. NY)Italy reported 593 new cases on Thursday, a slight rise from from 584 a day earlier. New deaths were 70, the fewest in four days, down from 117 on Wednesday. The country’s death toll is 33,142.The government will weigh regional data at the end of the week before further relaxing containment measures with free movement within the country from June 3.Cuomo Expands Mask Order (12:03 p.m. NY)New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will sign an executive order that lets owners of private businesses deny entry to anyone who doesn’t wear a mask or face covering. “We’re giving the store owner the right to say, ‘If you’re not wearing a mask, you can’t come it,” Cuomo said at a Brooklyn news conference.Later in his briefing, Cuomo defended the new order, saying individuals “don’t have a right to expose the store owner to the virus” or the right “to expose other patrons in the store to the virus.”New cases rose 0.5%, up from the 0.4% one-week average.Florida Cases Rise Below Average (11:50 a.m.)Florida reported 53,285 Covid-19 cases on Thursday, up 1.2% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 1.5% in the previous seven days. Deaths among Florida residents reached 2,364, an increase of 1.9%.Moscow Revises Death Count Higher (11:10 a.m. NY)Moscow’s health department said deaths linked to Covid-19 in April more than doubled after the count was broadened to include direct as well as related cases. While 636 deaths are blamed on the pandemic, an additional 756 people died of other causes while testing positive, according to a statement. Using the new methodology, the Russian capital’s virus death rate rose to 2.8% from 1.4%, it said.The city said it’s following the World Health Organization’s recommendations from mid-April to record fatalities “where the disease caused, or is assumed to have caused, or contributed to death.” Moscow had 1,753 more deaths in April than the three-year average, an increase of 17%, the department said.Trump Acknowledges ‘Very Sad Milestone’ (9:37 a.m. NY)President Donald Trump on Thursday publicly acknowledged the death toll of the U.S. outbreak had reached 100,000.Port Authority to Seek Fed Aid (9:35 a.m. NY)The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will seek a short-term loan from a Federal Reserve relief program aimed at buying bonds from local and state governments under stress from the pandemic. The agency faces a $3 billion loss over two years tied to a 97% drop in airport traffic, a 95% decline in PATH train ridership and a 40% cut in bridge and tunnel traffic, according to a statement issued after the board approved making the request.White House Scraps Eco Forecast (9:30 a.m. NY)The White House won’t issue a formal economic forecast that would show Covid-19’s impact, according to two people familiar with the matter. One said the administration lacks the data to meet the deadline for the forecast, and the other said the unprecedented nature of the pandemic makes a forecast impossible.The outlook is usually in the “mid-session review,” issued in July or August, as a follow up to the budget released in February.Poland Surprises With Third Rate Cut (9:07 a.m. NY)Poland unexpectedly lowered borrowing costs for the third time in three months to stem the economic damage from the pandemic. The National Bank of Poland reduced its benchmark interest rate to a record low of 0.1% from 0.5% on Thursday, following cuts of one percentage point in March and April. All 24 economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted no change.Iceland’s Airport Testing Plan Hits Snag (9:03 a.m. NY)Iceland’s plans to test every passenger arriving at its international airport for Covid-19 has hit a snag, after it emerged that the island doesn’t have enough testing facilities. Opening up the country to foreign travelers is a crucial step to lift the economy, which is forecast to contract 9% this year.U.S. Jobless Rolls Shrink for First Time in Pandemic (9:01 a.m. NY)U.S. states’ jobless rolls shrank for the first time during the pandemic in a sign people are starting to return to work, even as millions more Americans filed for unemployment benefits.Continuing claims, which tally Americans’ ongoing benefits in state programs, fell to 21.1 million for the week ended May 16, Labor Department figures showed Thursday. Initial jobless claims for regular state programs totaled 2.12 million in the week ended May 23, to bring the 2 1/2-month total above 40 million.Separate data showed that U.S. orders for durable goods sank sharply for a second month in April as the pandemic wreaked havoc on the manufacturing industry.Johnson to Set Out Results of U.K. Virus Response Review (8:51 a.m. NY)“The Prime Minister will be able to set out later what we have concluded as a result of that review and to talk in some more detail about the recovery plan and what the next steps are likely to be,” Boris Johnson’s official spokesman, James Slack, said on a call with reporters Thursday.Johnson will speak at a 5 p.m. press conference with Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance. The prime minister’s office also dismissed a police finding that Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s top aide, may have broken lockdown rules, insisting the matter is now closed.Separately, the U.K.’s coronavirus tracing program was hit by technical problems on the day of its launch, with some health-care workers unable to log on to the system. The so-called Test and Trace service is a key part of Johnson’s plan to help the British economy return to normality.AstraZeneca Joins With Oxford Biomedica to Produce Shot (8:33 a.m. NY)AstraZeneca Plc joined forces with Oxford Biomedica Plc to help produce one of the world’s fastest-moving potential vaccines against Covid-19. Oxford Biomedica will produce multiple batches of the vaccine this year and give AstraZeneca access to its Oxbox manufacturing center, according to a statement Thursday. AstraZeneca has been working with the University of Oxford on the inoculation.Third of Russians Believe Threat Is Overblown: Poll (8:26 a.m. NY)Nearly a third of Russians believe that the threat from the coronavirus crisis has been massively overblown, according to an opinion poll published on Thursday. The survey of 7,600 people from across Russia was conducted on May 21-26 by the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.Harrods Set to Reopen (7 a.m. NY)Luxury British retailer Harrods is set to reopen its flagship London store in June, with “significant” social distancing measures in place, and unveiled plans to open an outlet shop to sell stock left over from the season.The company plans to use footfall monitoring technology to limit capacity at its main Knightsbridge store and ensure social distancing can be maintained. Specific doors will be designated for entering and exiting the store, which was closed in March as the coronavirus outbreak started to spread in Britain.The new concept store, based in West London’s Westfield mall, has been designed to allow more space for customers, the company said. “In the new world in which we find ourselves, the economy needs businesses willing to look at its business model and current operations and think differently to enable growth, while protecting its customers and employees,” Managing Director Michael Ward said. “Harrods Outlet allows us to enable better social distancing across a larger footprint.”WHO Warns Against Austerity (6:37 a.m. NY)The World Health Organization warned against austerity in health spending as Europe’s economies reel from the effects of lockdowns to rein in the coronavirus. “We must learn from the mistakes of the past,” when public spending on health fell in the wake of the euro crisis, Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, said in a briefing.Cuts in public spending on health shift costs to households who may already be facing financial insecurity, the WHO’s European office warned. Kluge called for solidarity among European governments. “If there’s something we have learned so far it’s that one country, even if it’s doing a great job, is not standing alone. We are safe only when everyone is safe.”‘Safer’ for BOE to Err With Too Much Easing (6:22 a.m. NY)It’s safer for the Bank of England to ease too much rather than too little as it responds to the coronavirus pandemic, according to policy maker Michael Saunders. The U.K. is at risk of a relatively slow recovery from the crisis, which could prove especially damaging, Saunders said on a webinar Thursday. Failing to add more stimulus now could see the economy slip into a “lowflation trap.”“The costs of policy error are, to an extent, asymmetric at present,” he said. “It is safer to err on the side of easing somewhat too much, and then if necessary tighten as capacity pressures eventually build, rather than ease too little and find the economy gets stuck in a low-inflation rut.” The pound slid after the comments and money markets moved to price in a 10 basis-point interest-rate cut for May 2021. That would take the key rate to zero.Synthetic Bio Pioneer Ginkgo Raises $70 Million (6 a.m. NY)Ginkgo Bioworks Inc. has raised $70 million in an effort to build out DNA-based Covid-19 testing on a massive scale. The firm is best known for its efforts to design, modify and manufacture organisms to make industrial processes cheaper and more efficient — for example, it’s working to help program bacteria for treatments as living medicines. Now, Gingko is looking to repurpose the DNA-sequencing and automation infrastructure it developed to read and modify living cells to help address the nation’s shortfall of diagnostic testing.The U.S. has vastly scaled up its testing and is now processing somewhere between 300,000 and 450,000 each day, according to The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer initiative to compile virus data. But those numbers still fall far short of the tens of millions that some experts have suggested are needed daily to reopen the economy safely and return to a new normal.DNA sequencing, Gingko is betting, might allow those efforts to scale up far more rapidly and cheaply to help achieve that end. The company is worth about $4.2 billion, based on a September effort that raised $290 million. The latest round includes investors such as DNA-sequencing giant Illumina Inc.Google Launches ‘Scam Spotter’ (6 a.m. NY)Alphabet Inc.’s Google has created “Scam Spotter” in partnership with Cybercrime Support Network, an organization that supports victims of online crimes. The website is intended to simplify and organize expert advice about coronavirus-related scams. Scammers have taken advantage of “fear and uncertainty,” around the virus, leading to approximately $40 million in fraud losses, Google said.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Google says use existing EU laws, not new ones to govern AI
    Reuters

    Google says use existing EU laws, not new ones to govern AI

    Google has called on the European Union to use current EU laws to govern the use of artificial intelligence rather than draft new ones and cautioned against a one size fits all regulatory framework because of AI's diverse applications. The U.S. online search engine's comments on Thursday were in response to the European Commission's call for feedback on its proposals to address the challenges of AI before it decides on the next step. "There are already many regulations and legal codes that are technology neutral in nature, and thus broad enough to apply to AI, but it is worth evaluating if there are gaps in the context of specific concrete problems," Google said in a 45-page submission.

  • Bloomberg

    YouTube Virus Misinformation Fight Trips on Drug Touted by Trump

    (Bloomberg) -- YouTube’s battle against Covid-19 misinformation is causing collateral damage as the world’s largest online video service struggles to pick up on nuances of an increasingly complex and political topic.Since January, California pulmonologist Roger Seheult has posted regular medical lectures about the novel coronavirus on his YouTube channel, MedCram. His audience jumped to more than 700,000 subscribers. But as the virus spread in the spring, YouTube deleted five of the MedCram clips, including two about the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine and one about Remdesivir, an experimental Covid-19 treatment developed by Gilead Sciences Inc.Seheult appealed the decisions. Viewer complaints flooded in; one fan started a petition demanding YouTube stop “censoring” the footage. For Seheult, YouTube’s new rules were applied without explanation. “It’s like you’re in a hockey game,” he said. “And you keep getting called for penalties, but you don’t know what the penalties are.”According to YouTube, the referee made a mistake.“With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call,” a YouTube spokesman said on Wednesday after Bloomberg News reached out for comment. “When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it.” The five MedCram videos are back on the site now.The incident is another flash point in the debate over the role of internet gatekeepers like YouTube and its parent, Alphabet Inc.’s Google. On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump railed against social-media companies after Twitter Inc. fact-checked some of his tweets. He’s also preparing an executive order that could limit liability protections from the largest user-generated networks: Twitter, Facebook Inc. and YouTube.At the same time, Democratic lawmakers have chastised YouTube for not removing conspiracy theories about the pandemic swiftly enough. In a letter to House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, released on Thursday, YouTube Chief Executive Officer Susan Wojcicki wrote that the company’s automated systems detected a majority of “dangerous or misleading” videos about the virus. “The complex nature of misinformation online presents a number of challenges for platforms such as YouTube and I welcome your suggestions as to what we can do better,” she added.In addition to this political pressure, YouTube has been inundated with virus videos, while the pandemic has disrupted its contract workforce doing content moderation.“YouTube has a really tough job,” said Kyle Allred, MedCram’s co-founder and producer. “But the reality is: YouTube’s the second biggest search engine in the world. If our videos aren’t on YouTube, we don’t have the benefit of reaching as many people.”During the pandemic, YouTube has aggressively moderated virus videos after years of a more laissez-faire approach. The company has pulled thousands of clips for promoting misleading information or advice that conflicts with public health agencies. To filter footage, YouTube relies on viewers flagging videos, automated software and legions of human moderators.At the best of times, the system is sometimes heavy-handed or too lenient. In March, the company said it had to limit its use of human moderators, due to remote work limitations, and would lean more on machines to make decisions.YouTube’s challenge has grown even harder as medical videos pour onto the site and the debate about the pandemic response evolves from a mostly scientific discussion into a political fight.Trump has said he took hydroxychloroquine for about two weeks and the president has promoted it as a possible coronavirus therapy, despite an outcry from medical professionals about its unproven efficacy and potential side effects.At times, YouTube has filtered out sham science, such as videos promoting fake cures for Covid-19. More controversially, it has acted against doctors departing from public health advice. In April, YouTube removed videos by two doctors in Bakersfield, California, who used their YouTube channel to call for an end to social-distancing policies.Seheult, the pulmonologist, said his videos are nothing like that. Instead, MedCram clips dissect medical studies and early research, called preprints, related to the virus. Seheult narrates the findings and statistics -- low-key footage that, thanks to the pandemic, now draws a large audience.It seems Seheult was struck by YouTube’s algorithms scanning footage about Covid-19 cures. All five removed videos focused on potential treatments. YouTube says it relies on medical advisers and public agencies for guidance on how to handle videos about health issues. Yet the scientific consensus on some Covid-19 treatments is still taking shape. A study in The Lancet medical journal, released last week, linked hydroxychloroquine with increased risk of death and heart ailments.The YouTube spokesperson declined to cite the reason why the MedCram videos were initially removed, beyond noting that it was a mistake.The team behind MedCram is happy to have their work back on the world’s biggest video site. But they still feel frustrated with the minimal communication from YouTube. “We’re grateful to have our website MedCram.com where we don’t have to worry about censorship,” said Allred.(Updates with information on Trump executive order, YouTube CEO letter to Congress in eighth and ninth paragraphs.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • How to possibly make easy money from Trump's battle with Twitter and Facebook
    Yahoo Finance

    How to possibly make easy money from Trump's battle with Twitter and Facebook

    Try this trade on for size amidst the brewing battle between President Trump and social media companies.

  • Google Eyes Indian Expansion With Potential Vodafone Unit Investment
    Motley Fool

    Google Eyes Indian Expansion With Potential Vodafone Unit Investment

    Google is in early talks to buy a 5% stake in Vodafone Idea, the joint venture between Vodafone and India's Aditya Birla Group.

  • Trump Aims Order at Social Media Giants Amid Fury Over Twitter
    Bloomberg

    Trump Aims Order at Social Media Giants Amid Fury Over Twitter

    (Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump has been raging against Twitter Inc. since the social media platform that helped vault him to the presidency slapped fact-check links on a pair of his tweets.Now, he’s poised to take action Thursday that could bring a flurry of lawsuits down on Twitter, Facebook Inc. and other technology giants by having the government narrow liability protections that they enjoy for third parties’ posts, according to a draft of an executive order obtained by Bloomberg.“This will be a Big Day for social media and FAIRNESS!” Trump said in a tweet Thursday morning.Twitter shares fell 2.6% and Facebook was down less than 1% in New York.The companies’ protections against lawsuits apply when they act “in good faith” in taking down or limiting the visibility of inappropriate tweets, videos and other social media posts, but the law doesn’t define bad faith. The draft order would push the Federal Communications Commission to issue rules clarifying the issue, potentially allowing users to sue over takedowns if they were inconsistent with companies’ terms of service, did not provide enough notice or meet other suggested criteria.Read more: A QuickTake on Section 230, the law that protects free speech onlineThe White House declined to comment early Thursday morning.The draft order would also convene, through the Justice Department, a working group of state attorneys general to look into deceptive practices and review executive ad spending on the platforms.The move could set off a legal battle between Washington and Silicon Valley.“Big Tech is doing everything in their very considerable power to CENSOR in advance of the 2020 Election,” the president said Wednesday night -- on Twitter. “If that happens, we no longer have our freedom. I will never let it happen! They tried hard in 2016, and lost. Now they are going absolutely CRAZY. Stay Tuned!!!”Word of the executive order came a day after Twitter added links to a fact-checking page on Trump tweets asserting that mail-in-voting leads to rampant fraud.As Trump himself has observed, Twitter gives him the power to dodge the media and speak directly to the American public. It also allows the president and his vast community of followers to instantly spread a steady stream of pro-Trump messages and attacks on his rivals, including exaggerations and outright falsehoods that not even Twitter’s fact-checking links can dent.He has no legal authority to shut down the service, as he threatened to do Wednesday morning, but doing so would mean silencing his loudest megaphone -- as well as what his campaign calls “keyboard warriors” who both amplify his voice and provide him memes and other free content to broadcast to his 80 million followers.Twitter also serves as a valuable punching bag, which he uses to generate outrage and sympathy among his supporters.The social media platform has become even more important for Trump as the coronavirus pandemic prevents him from holding his trademark rallies, and he seeks a free outlet to attack his likely Democratic challenger, Joe Biden.“He’s going to need to continue to use this platform,” said Amy Becker, a professor at Loyola University Maryland, who focuses on political communication. “It’s going to be his random tweets, it’s going to be him attacking whoever criticizes him, there’s going to be a lot of attacks on Biden, the Democrats.”Liability ProtectionsThe order Trump plans to sign Thursday is his latest attempt to exert control over the formidable technology industry. In 2018, he considered issuing an order instructing federal antitrust agencies to open probes into the practices of tech giants like Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook. The possible measure was criticized as politicizing antitrust enforcement and it was never signed.Trump’s attacks on Twitter and other social media companies are often hyperbolic and rarely lead to immediate concrete action. The government could never silence a company like Twitter without violating First Amendment rights to free speech. However, his threats are a reminder of other significant levers that the president and the rest of the federal government have at their disposal.Senator Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, wrote Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey on Wednesday to demand an explanation for the fact-checking links added to Trump’s tweets. He accused the company of choosing to “editorialize.”Hawley repeated a threat that’s been raised by other lawmakers over the years: Revoking the protections that shield Twitter and other platforms from legal liability for content its users post.“Politicians can use the powers of government to make life very difficult for private companies and there’s a long track record of politicians from both parties doing this in the last couple years to social media companies,” said Jesse Blumenthal, a conservative who leads tech policy at Stand Together, part of the political network affiliated with libertarian billionaire Charles Koch.In recent days, Trump had tweeted attacks on cable news host and former Republican Representative Joe Scarborough by pushing a baseless conspiracy theory that he was involved in the death 19 years ago of a woman who worked at his district office in Florida. Her widower sent a letter to Twitter asking the publicly traded company to delete Trump’s tweets, but it chose to leave them online.Scarborough is a frequent critic of the president.80 Million Followers, 52,000 TweetsThe feud with Twitter comes as Trump has been under siege for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic that’s infected more than 1.6 million Americans and killed some 100,000. He trails Biden in general election polls by an average of 5.3 percentage points, according to RealClearPolitics.There has never been a politician as prolific on social media, which he often uses to call opponents names, spread conspiracy theories, dismiss employees and announce policy changes. He has sent more than 52,000 tweets and has more than 80 million followers.Trump has both acknowledged the power he wields when he tweets and the platform’s impact on his 2016 election. At a July 2019 social media event at the White House he boasted about using Twitter to announce that the U.S. would recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, one of the world’s most contentious foreign policy issues.“Boom,” Trump said of the March 19 tweet. “I press it and, within two seconds, we have breaking news.”At that same event he acknowledged that without the platform he might not have been elected.‘Keyboard Warriors’Trump has a symbiotic relationship with his supporters on Twitter. They often create memes that go viral with his retweets. Earlier this month, he retweeted a meme of himself as the president giving a speech in the 1996 movie “Independence Day,” about an alien invasion. That meme has been viewed 18 million times on Twitter.He’s repeatedly promoted a twitter handle that goes by the name of @sexcounseling that reinforces his messages. Earlier this month he egged on his supporters online with the hashtag obamagate, alleging that President Barack Obama’s administration improperly tried to undermine his election campaign in 2016. His supporters tweeted a series of memes with Obama and Biden.“Thank you to all of my great Keyboard Warriors. You are better, and far more brilliant, than anyone on Madison Avenue (Ad Agencies). There is nobody like you!,” Trump said in a May 14 tweet.Tim Murtaugh, a Trump campaign spokesman, defended the president’s use of Twitter.“Most Americans have a pretty clear understanding of the way that President Trump uses Twitter,” Murtaugh said Wednesday on Fox News. “Twitter is a way for the president to connect with his voters. We hear all the time from the president’s supporters that they like the way that the president expresses himself on Twitter because they say to this day they say listen here’s a guy who finally says the things out loud that I’m thinking to myself.”Going back to the 2016 campaign, Trump and his campaign have cultivated a relationship with his supporters online. That part of his base remains engaged, echoing and spreading his messages, said Eric Wilson, a Republican digital strategist.“The most effective endorsement for a candidate is from someone that you already trust, that you already have a relationship with,” Wilson said.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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    Google Considers Stake in India’s Vodafone Idea, FT Says

    (Bloomberg) -- Follow Bloomberg on LINE messenger for all the business news and analysis you need.Alphabet Inc.’s Google is considering acquiring a stake in Vodafone Group Plc’s struggling Indian business, the Financial Times reported, joining Facebook Inc. in investing in the world’s fastest-growing mobile arena.Google may take a stake of about 5% in Vodafone Idea, a partnership between the U.K. telecom carrier and the Aditya Birla Group, though the deliberations are at a very early state, the FT cited people familiar with the matter as saying.Any deal would come weeks after Facebook paid $5.7 billion for a slice of digital assets controlled by Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man. The deal was a landmark investment followed in successive days by major influxes of capital into India’s tech industry led by private equity firms.Spokespeople from Vodafone and Vodafone Idea declined to comment. Google itself has big ambitions for India, a country with a huge first-time internet user population that serves as a test-bed for innovations in smartphone technology.Facebook’s alliance with Ambani’s Reliance inserted a powerful new competitor into a crowded Indian internet industry already contested by Google, Walmart Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and SoftBank Group Corp.-backed local outfit Paytm. But none of them have the reach of WhatsApp, the nation’s most popular communications platform.India has been a critical component of Google’s Next Billion Users initiative, its attempt to rope in hundreds of millions of users as they come on the internet in emerging markets like India. It’s targeted users in the market for products as varied as train station Wi-Fi, maps and digital payments. Vodafone’s Indian telecom unit is struggling following a $4 billion demand for back fees in addition to more than $14 billion of debt. The wireless operator, formed by the merger of Vodafone Group’s local unit and billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla’s Idea Cellular Ltd., hasn’t reported a quarterly profit since announcing the deal in 2017, and is headed toward insolvency in the absence of any relief from the government, Birla warned in December.India’s top court recently sided with the government and ordered that the full amount of back fees be paid within three months. When the companies dithered and filed pleas, the Supreme Court threatened to initiate contempt proceedings for non-compliance.(Updated with context throughout, comment from Vodafone)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Google considering taking stake in Vodafone Idea: FT
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    (Bloomberg) -- Nasdaq 100 Index futures fell on a report Donald Trump is preparing to sign an executive order that could threaten to penalize Facebook Inc., Google and Twitter Inc. for the way they moderate content on their sites.Contracts for June delivery on the Nasdaq 100 fell as much as 0.8%, before paring losses to 0.4% as of 9:32 a.m. in London. Trump’s upcoming executive order aims for federal regulators to review a law that spares tech companies from liability for comments and content posted by users, the Washington Post reported. Investor sentiment was also damped by deteriorating U.S.-China ties.“U.S. tech stocks are dropping on profit taking and risk aversion, as they are at the forefront of the U.S.-China cold war,” said Nader Naeimi, the head of dynamic markets at AMP Capital Investors Ltd. in Sydney. In addition, there is news that “Trump is preparing to sign an executive order that could threaten to penalize Facebook, Google and Twitter.”Trump is poised to take action Thursday that could bring a flurry of lawsuits down on Twitter, Facebook and other technology giants by having the government narrow liability protections that they enjoy for third parties’ posts, according to a draft of an executive order obtained by Bloomberg.While Nasdaq 100 futures declined, contracts on other indexes were mixed. Futures on the S&P 500 were little changed and those on Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.4%. The underlying S&P 500 climbed to the highest since early March on Wednesday, holding above 3,000 level and its average price for the past 200 days.It’s possible that Nasdaq futures are falling on reports of an executive order, “but the U.S. First Amendment is pretty clear, and the White House has very little reach over corporate behavior,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets Asia Pacific Pty. “Most traders I speak to see this as a hollow threat.”(Updates prices starting in second paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Trump move could scrap or weaken law that protects social media companies
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