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Florida’s new social media laws, Japan readies for Olympics, Merrill Lynch bans trainee cold calls

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Julie Hyman breaks down Tuesday’s business headlines, including: Florida’s new law that will fine social media companies that allegedly censor conservative ideas, Japan going forward with the Olympics despite U.S. travel advisory, and Merrill Lynch making massive changes to its financial advisor training program.

Video transcript

JULIE HYMAN: We're watching a couple of other business-related headlines at this hour. In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis yesterday signed a bill that would find social media companies that suspend political candidates before elections. This is the first state law regulating how companies like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter moderate content. It seems to be in direct response to Facebook and Twitter's bans of Donald Trump. The law is likely to face challenges, as tech industry representatives and legal experts called it unconstitutional.

Americans are being warned not to travel to Japan. The State Department issued its highest level travel advisory, as Japan has seen an increase in COVID cases. The country has already been closed to us leisure travelers for more than a year. Top Japanese officials said they did not expect the advisory to affect the Olympics, and that US support for the Games was unchanged. Those Tokyo Olympics are scheduled July 23 to August 8.

And a one-time staple of the financial services industry is going the way of the ticker tape. Merrill Lynch is banning cold calling for its incoming class of 3,000 brokers to its training program. Those trainees will be encouraged to use internal referrals or LinkedIn messages instead. So I guess some sort of cold contact, just not cold calling, Myles. I don't know how you would define it at this stage in time.

MYLES UDLAND: Yeah, it's great to see the wealth management business returning to its bread and butter of just calling up your parents' wealthy friends and just going from there. Using your personal connections. And look, LinkedIn, cold LinkedIn is much easier to ignore than cold calls. And I don't know, I guess filmmakers of tomorrow will have to figure out how exactly they can rework some of those most famous scenes in Wall Street movies, which of course, are all based on ripping people off over the phone and then having a good laugh about it later.

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