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What We’re Reading at Techonomy

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There’s such an overabundance of news about the intersection of tech, business, the economy and the environment, that it can be hard to keep up. Here’s a run-down on what we’re reading:

1. Shifting Views on Climate Change

Monday, April 22 is Earth Day, so here are a few nuggets from Pew: A majority of Americans now (finally!) believe that Washington’s elected officials must confront climate change by prioritizing environmental protections. Nearly 60% said their communities had experienced climate change’s impact.

2. Facebook’s Crisis Continues…

Wired’s editor-in-chief, Nicholas Thompson, co-authors a stunning deep-dive on the string of crises that have plagued Facebook over most of the last two years. (You can catch Thompson live at Techonomy NYC next month, moderating a session on the internet civil war.) Meanwhile, NBC News reported that Facebook gave user data to a variety of companies, including Amazon. The revelations come weeks after Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, called for government regulation.

3. YouTube’s CEO Under the Microscope

What can YouTube—arguably the world’s largest digital video platform—do to regulate the content that appears across its channels? It’s a big, complicated question that New York Times reporter Daisuke Wakabayashi unpacks in this remarkable profile of YouTube’s CEO, Susan Wojcicki.

4. New Rules of Content Management

Digital media companies like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter may soon be required to quickly remove terrorist content, thanks to a proposal approved by the European Union’s parliament last week. The Times, meanwhile, explores how terrorist groups have found ways to remain on social media platforms.

5. The Costs of Digital Privacy

We’re still unpacking The Times’ unfolding series about the costs of privacy in the digital age. Here’s a note from The Times’ publisher, A.G. Sulzberger, introducing the series, explaining how the organization thinks about privacy, and admitting it engages “in the type of collecting, using and sharing of reader data that we sometimes report on.”

6. Recession Prep

At Bloomberg, columnist Stephen Gandel shares a view on what the Federal Reserve can do about widening inequality as signs of a new recession emerge.

7. Was Fearless Girl Really Just a Wall Street Stunt?

Our sister company, Worth, has published an excellent long read on the impact of “Fearless Girl,” a statue that drew headlines—and long lines—after appearing on Wall Street. Worth’s senior editor, Benjamin Reeves, observes:

“Fearless Girl was a branding play—advertising that blended politics with self-promotion. The bank that commissioned the statue, State Street Global Advisors, wanted to market an index fund it sold that prioritized companies with female leadership. SSGA installed Fearless Girl the night before International Women’s Day on March 8, 2017. Yet before much was known about its provenance, the statue was immediately hailed as a powerful feminist symbol…. On Wall Street, many hoped the statue’s bold statement would finally initiate a new era of diversity. Last November, Fearless Girl was removed prior to taking up a new spot near the New York Stock Exchange. So it seems a good time to ask: Did a statue of a young girl really help change an industry and rebrand the company that commissioned her?”

Definitely worth a read.


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