Former President Donald Trump's accounts will remain suspended from Facebook's social media platforms for the time being, following a decision yesterday from the company's independent oversight board.
In its decision (read in full), the board found that comments made by Trump during the Jan. 6 storming of the
US Capitol violated company policies by contributing to the risk of violence. His accounts at the time reached nearly 60 million people between Facebook and Instagram. However, the board also found punishment of an indefinite suspension arbitrary and imposed under no clear or published criteria, and ordered Facebook to reassess the penalty within six months.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg established the board in 2018 to assist with difficult content moderating decisions and policies. Yesterday's outcome effectively bounces the issue back to Zuckerberg.
In related news, Trump launched a separate website Tuesday to communicate more directly to followers amid the social media bans.
Peloton announced yesterday the company will recall more than 125,000 units of its Tread+ and Tread treadmills over safety concerns. The recall comes after the US Consumer Product Safety Commission advised against using the machines following reports of a child’s death and dozens of other reported injuries. The company, known for its devoted user base, is advising customers who have the products to immediately
stop using the equipment and contact them for a full refund or other remedy.
The announcement marked a major reversal to the company’s initial pushback to the CPSC, which told customers the treadmills were safe so long as all safety precautions were followed. In a statement Wednesday, CEO John Foley apologized for not cooperating more quickly to resolve the issue. The company—whose stock soared 328% during the pandemic with a surge in at-home workouts—saw shares drop nearly 14% on the news.
See a non-fatal video of one of the incidents here (warning: sensitive content).
Birth Rates Continue Decline
The number of US births fell to roughly 3.6 million in 2020, the lowest in more than four decades and a 4% drop from the previous year, according to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released yesterday. The average number of children per woman over their lifetime—known as the total fertility rate—fell to 1.637, the lowest in the US on record. That figure remains below the replacement level of 2.1—the rate at which the US population will on average replace itself.
Millennials, who now account for the bulk of births, have been more likely to delay or forego having children. Researchers say the early stages of the pandemic may have played a role, with birth rates in December—roughly nine months from stringent lockdowns in many places—falling 7.7%.
Global birth rates have broadly fallen, with many projecting the world's population to stop
growing by the end of the century.
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WHERE YOUR SMARTEST FRIEND HOLDS CRYPTO
Worried that you missed the boat on Bitcoin? Good news: It's not too late to be early. You're just a few taps away from what may just be the future of finance.
>The US to back proposal waiving intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines (More) | Canada authorizes Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for adolescents aged 12 to 15; US authorization likely coming next week (More)
>SpaceX successfully lands its Starship prototype for the first time; previous four attempts exploded during testing (More) | Why the Starship bellyflops (More)
>Astronomers observe interactions between galactic magnetic fields and radio bursts from supermassive
black holes; study sheds light on how galaxies assume their structure (More)
Business & Markets
> Uber sees first quarter revenues increase 24% over last year, food delivery unit more than doubled while rideshare unit declined 38% (More)
> Google outlines new hybrid work structure, most employees will work three days in the office and two days “wherever they work best” (More)
> Shares of casino giant Caesars surge as management tells investors weekends in Las Vegas are booked for the foreseeable future (More)
Politics & World Affairs
>Eviction moratorium struck down by federal judge, finding the CDC exceeded their authority in issuing the ban; Biden administration appeals the ruling (More)
>Atlanta officer involved in June killing of Rayshard Brooks reinstated after board finds he was denied due process (More) | Brooks was shot and killed after grabbing and firing an officer's Taser while fleeing; overview of the case here (More)
>Two Americans sentenced to life in prison in Italy for the 2019 killing of a police officer (More)
The True Story of the Minimum Wage Fight
Freakonomics | Stephen Dubner. (Podcast) Depending on which economist you talk to, a federal minimum wage is either imperative, a colossal blunder, or won't make a difference either way. Here's why the topic is so complicated. (Listen)
The Sage of the Simpsons
New Yorker | Mike Sacks. Reclusive, secretive, and brilliant, John Swartzwelder was the most prolific writer of "The Simpsons." Now, he has sat down for his first-ever major interview (Read, $$)
Historybook: Famed neurologist Sigmund Freud born (1856); HBD baseball great Willie Mays (1931); Hindenburg disaster kills 36 (1937); Roger Bannister becomes first person to run a mile in under four minutes (1954); RIP actress and singer Marlene Dietrich (1992).
"From error to error, one discovers the entire truth."
- Sigmund Freud
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