Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Amid unprecedented growth on its platform, Acorns cuts roles and shuts down an office – theinformationsuperhighway

According to theinformationsuperhighway, Acorns, which helps millions of people invest their small change in the stock market, has fired between 50 and 70 people.

The company, based in Irvine, California, did not confirm the total number of people fired, but confirmed that the company had been cut back due to more extensive business changes.

The news came days after the fintech company closed its Portland office earlier this week, one of four offices the company maintained. While Acorns offered employees in Portland the opportunity to move to Irvine's headquarters, some roles were canceled as part of the move, the company said.

The largely dismissed employees were members of Acorns. Support team. The internal cuts are related to an external partnership with TaskUs that outsources customer support and support needs to other companies. Acorns will take on around 80 new TaskUs support roles next year, which the company said would expand its support team, but not its internal staff.

The internal Acorns support team takes care of customer care situations over the phone, while external roles take care of email support.

In addition to the support roles, Acorns has cut several employees from different teams across the company.

Acorns has seen unprecedented growth as the corona virus brings new users to its world of investing and saving. The company recently reached a milestone of 7 million registrations, continuing the trend that retail apps are benefiting from a declining market.

At the same time, Acorns has introduced a debit card that depends on users' expenses in order to make sense as a business product. Payment processing is a risky area at the moment as consumer spending has decreased due to protection orders. It could be a weak point for the company at the moment. E.earlier today, Brex 62 employees fired, Just a week after raising $ 150 million in venture capital.

Why does a company like Acorns, which is facing immense growth, have to lay off workers? Even if you're winning, the pandemic and the potential for a prolonged recession are forcing companies to reevaluate the way they spend money. In the case of Acorns, there will be more employees next year than now. But dig a little deeper and the decision to outsource roles and close an office means that growth can be at the expense of losing weight at the moment.

Investors in Acorns include PayPal, DST Global, Rakuten, Greycroft and Bain Capital.

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It was an incredibly tough week after a series of tough weeks. The murder of George Floyd has shown again that … n

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The global distribution of COVID-19 and the resulting protective orders have hit retailers hard. N.

As the pandemic continues, temporary interruptions turn into permanent closings, whether it's the café next door, a historic bar, or a well-known lifestyle brand

While the present is largely bleak, retailers are using technology faster than ever to prepare for the future. Because of their resilience and innovation, retailers will look different and charge fees when the world reopens. N.

The theinformationsuperhighway team has four views on the future of retail: n

    n

  • Natasha Mascarenhas says retailers need to find new ways to sell sophisticated products, and what used to be terrifying could now be seen as innovative
  • Devin Coldewey sees companies that use a range of creative digital services to prepare for the future and empower them without the Amazon platform. N.
  • Greg Kumparak believes that trends in roadside delivery and pickup will evolve from key pandemics to everyday events. He believes retailers need to find new ways to reach consumers in a world where they can shop through proxies
  • Lucas Matney sees a revived interest in technology related to the buying process as retailers look for ways to make the shopping experience more seamless (and less touch sensitive). N n

    Alexa, what do I look like? N.

    Natasha Mascarenhas n

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    Natasha Mascarenhas is a reporter at theinformationsuperhighway and reports on early stage startups and venture capital trends. She also tracks the various networks that contribute to the success of the founders, from loneliness to immigration. Before theinformationsuperhighway, Natasha reported on the same beat for Crunchbase News. She also has bylines in the Boston Globe, the San Francisco Chronicle and BostInno and is proud of New Jersey. N n

    You can reach Natasha by email at natasha.m@techcrunch.com or via DM on Twitter @nmasc _. "," CbAvatar ":" https: / / crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com / image / upload / x9fberhwpqwxusvvlxfj "," twitter ":" nmasc _ "," _ links ": {" self ": ({" href ":" https: / / techcrunch.com / wp-json / tc / v1 / users / 133574362 "})," collection ": ({" href ":" https: / / techcrunch.com / wp-json / tc / v1 / users "})}}, {" id ": 12084691," name ":" Devin Coldewey "," url ":" https: / / coldewey.cc "," description ":" "," link ":" https: / / techcrunch .com / author / devin-coldewey / "," slug ":" devin -coldewey "," avatar_urls ": {" 24 ":" https: / / secure.gravatar.com / avatar / 69fae9a8a3933fa91e81c086b8eee14a? S = 24 & d = identicon & r = g "," 48 ":" https: / / secure.gravatar.com / avatar / 69fae9a8a3933fa91e81c086b8eee14a? S = 48 & d = identicon & r: " / / secure.gravatar.com / avatar / 69fae9a8a3933fa91e81c086b8eee14a? S = 96 & d = identicon & r = g"}, "links": {"homepage": "http: / / techcrunch.com / author / tcdevin", "twitter": "http: / / twitter.com / techcrunch", "linkedin": "http: / / www. linked "in.com / company / techcrunch", "crunchbase": "https: / / www.crunchbase.com / person / devin-coldewey"}, "position": "Writer & Photographer", "cbDescription" ":"

    Devin Coldewey is a Seattle-based writer and photographer. He first wrote for theinformationsuperhighway in 2007. He has also written for MSNBC.com, NBC News, DPReview, The Economist / GE's Look Ahead and others. N n

    His personal website is coldewey.cc. "," CbAvatar ":" https: / / crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com / image / upload / v1458774381 /r4iwkrm6qsw3n2ximghe.jpg "," twitter ":" techcrunch "," _ links " : {"self": ({"href": "https: / / techcrunch.com / wp-json / tc / v1 / users / 12084691"}), "collection": ({" href ":" https: / / techcrunch.com / wp-json / tc / v1 / users "})}}, {" id ": 5188242," name ":" Greg Kumparak "," url ":" "," description ":" "," link ":" https: / / techcrunch.com / author / greg-kumparak / "," slug ":" greg-kumparak "," avatar_urls ": {" 24 ":" https: / / secure.gravatar.com / avatar / 9b107c9f9a43a21d8c93fcdefcc97dcd? s = 24 & d = identicon & r = g "," 48 ":" https: / / Secure.gravatar.com / Avatar / 9b107c9f9a43a21d8c93fcdefcc97dcd? s = 48 & d = Identicon & r = g "," 96 ":" https: / / Secure.gravatar.com / Avatar / 9b107c9f9a43a21d8c93c 96 & d = identicon & r = g "}," left " : {"homepage": "http: / / www.kumparak.com", "twitter": "https: / / twitter.com / grg", "crunchbase": "https: / / www.crunchbase.com / person / greg-kumparak "}," position ":" Editor "," cbDescription ":"

    Greg Kumparak is an editor at theinformationsuperhighway. N n

    Greg started at theinformationsuperhighway in May 2008. He headed theinformationsuperhighway's sister site MobileCrunch as an editor until AOL took over the company in 2010. At this point, the editors of theinformationsuperhighway's four main locations (theinformationsuperhighway, CrunchGear, MobileCrunch, theinformationsuperhighway UK) have combined the locations under one domain. n n

    Kumparak, best known for his gadget reporting, has published hundreds of stories in space that reveal details about everything from abandoned Samsung smartphone prototypes to new Apple devices. He is also one of the most prolific "live bloggers" on the internet after reporting hundreds of thousands of the scene to dozens of international events for the live audience. N n

    He was one of the earliest authors to highlight and report on a number of companies that have since become "unicorns" (worth $ 1 billion or more), including Zenefits and Twilio. N n

    Kumparak is a frequent guest on theinformationsuperhighway's Gadget, Apple, and Android podcasts, and is a frequent interviewer or judge at theinformationsuperhighway Meetups and Disrupt Conferences. N n

    In 2012 Greg was seen at BBC, Wired, Mashable, Engadget and many other branches for a side project, which he called "tARdis" or "Augmented Reality TARDIS". By combining augmented reality with a handcrafted physical model, Greg was able to reproduce the otherwise physically impossible "inside bigger" visual effect that is commonly seen in the Doctor Who series on television. "," CbAvatar ":" https: / /crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/v1397184689/d45c9b9b954bcc0a697dae821253a36b.png","twitter":"grg","_links ": {"self": ({"href": "https: / / techcrunch.com / wp-json / tc / v1 / users / 5188242"}), "collection": ({"href ":" https: / / techcrunch.com / wp-json / tc / v1 / users "})}}, {" id ": 89192944," name ":" Lucas Matney "," url ":" "," description ":" "," link ":" https: / / techcrunch.com / author / lucas-matney / "," slug ":" lucas-matney "," avatar_urls ": {" 24 ":" https: / /secure.gravatar.com / avatar / ac0471089769c31246f411dc339104f8? s = 24 & d = identicon & r = g "," 48 ":" https: / / secure.gravatar.com / avatar / ac0471089769c31246f411dc339104 identicon & r = g "," 96 ":" https: / / secure.gravatar.com / avatar / ac0471089769c31246f411dc339104f8? s = 96 & d = identicon & r = g "}," links ": {" twitter ":" https: / / twitter.com / lucasmtny "," linkedin ":" https: / / www .linkedin.com / in / lucasmatney /", "crunchbase" : "https: / / www.crunchbase.com / person / lucas-matney"}, "position": "Writer", " cbDescription": "

    Lucas Matney ist Reporter bei theinformationsuperhighway und berichtet seit 2015 über neue Technologien und Startups. Er lebt in San Francisco und kann per E-Mail unter lucas@techcrunch.com "," cbAvatar ":" https: / / crunchbase- "erreicht werden. Production-res.cloudinary.com / image / upload / h5eslbyb5f1hwstm1wrt "," twitter ":" lucasmtny "," _ links ": {" self ": ({" href ":" https: / / techcrunch. com / wp-json / tc / v1 / users / 89192944 "})," collection ": ({" href ":" https: / / techcrunch.com / wp-json / tc / v1 / users "})}})," author ": ({" id ": 133574362," name ":" Natasha Mascarenhas "," url ":" "," description ":" "," link ":" https: / / techcrunch.com / author / natasha-mascarenhas / "," slug ":" natasha-mascarenhas "," avatar_urls ": {" 24 ":" https: / / Secure.gravatar.com / Avatar / 2f10add080685bb138750d850afec5b4? s = 24 & d = Identicon & r = g "," 48 ":" https: / / Secure.gravatar.com / Avatar / 2f10add080685bb138750d850afec5b4 = 48 g "," 96 ":" https: / / secure.gravatar.com / avatar / 2f10add080685bb138750d850afec5b4? s = 96 & d = identicon & r = g "}," links ": {" twitter ":" https: / . /twitter.com/nmasc_","crunchbase":"https://www.crunchbase.com/person/natasha-mascarenhas-734f"},"position":null,"cbDescription ":"

    Natasha Mascarenhas ist Reporterin bei theinformationsuperhighway und berichtet über Start-ups im Frühstadium und Risikokapitaltrends. Sie verfolgt auch die verschiedenen Netzwerke, die zum Erfolg der Gründer beitragen, von Einsamkeit bis Einwanderung. Vor theinformationsuperhighway berichtete Natasha für Crunchbase News über den gleichen Beat. Sie hat auch Bylines im Boston Globe, in der San Francisco Chronicle und in BostInno und ist stolz aus New Jersey. N n

    Erreichen Sie Natasha per E-Mail unter natasha.m@techcrunch.com oder über DM auf Twitter @nmasc _. 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    Brex, last valued at $2.6 billion, is restructuring its credit card for startups business and cut 62 staff members, the co-founders Pedro Franceschi and Henrique Dubugras said in a blog post.n

    “Today we’re restructuring the company to better align our priorities with this new reality, while simultaneously accelerating our product vision. With that, I have some very sad news to share. 62 people will be leaving Brex today,” the post reads.n

    The cuts come as Brex’s customer base itself is struggling to stay afloat amid COVID-19: high-growth startups. The trickle-down to Brex’s core business, which depends on its customers spending money, was thus expected.n

    Brex has already cut some customer credit limits to mitigate some of the exposure risk,u00a0The Information reported, and Dubugras confirmed. Customers say the credit limit cuts came without warning or notice.n

    Additionally, the company, launched in Brazil and graduated from Y Combinator, raised $150 million recently.n

    When theinformationsuperhighway talked to Dubugras about the latest fundraise, the co-founder said the capital was offensive, rather than defensive.n

    u201cIu2019m glad this round came together, but if it hadnu2019t, we wouldu2019ve been fine,u201d he said last week. u201cThe capital is so we can play offensive while everyone else plays defensive.u201dn

    In the blog post, the co-founders wrote to former staffers.n

    “Please continue dreaming big and donu2019t lose the ambition that attracted you to Brex. Donu2019t let anything, not even a global pandemic, take that away from you. I wish we could give each one of you a hug, so instead Iu2019ll end this message like Iu2019d do it in Portuguese. Abrau00e7os, Pedro and Henrique.”n

    Those laid off will be provided with eight weeks of severance, their computer and equipment, and Brex will dedicate a part of its recruiting team to help find new opportunities for ex-staffers. Additionally, Brex is making adjustments to the equity cliff and has extended healthcare benefits through the end of 2020.n

    Brex has amassed $465 million in venture capital funding to date.n","protected":false},"excerpt":{"rendered":"

    Brex, last valued at $2.6 billion, is restructuring its credit card for startups business and cut 62 staff members, the co-founders Pedro Franceschi and Henrique Dubugras said in a blog post. “Today we’re restructuring the company to better align our priorities with this new reality, while simultaneously accelerating our product vision. With that, I have (…)n","protected":false},"author":133574362,"featured_media":1834276,"comment_status":"open","ping_status":"closed","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":{"outcome":"","status":"","crunchbase_tag":0,"amp_status":"","relegenceEntities":(),"relegenceSubjects":(),"carmot_uuid":"98793e8c-a4de-3246-a6e7-e96b5d09e7aa"},"categories":(15835174,17396),"tags":(576606174,26402),"crunchbase_tag":(),"tc_stories_tax":(),"tc_event":(),"jetpack_featured_media_url":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Henrique_Pedro-Press-Shot.jpg","shortlink":"https://tcrn.ch/2TQuoje","rapidData":{"pt":"","pct":""},"featured":false,"subtitle":"","fundingRound":false,"seoTitle":"","seoDescription":"","premiumContent":false,"premiumCutoffPercent":1,"tc_cb_mapping":({"slug":"brex","cb_name":"Brex","cb_slug":"brex-organization","cb_link":"https://crunchbase.com/organization/brex"}),"associatedEvent":null,"event":null,"authors":(133574362),"hideFeaturedImage":false,"_links":{"self":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1995923"}),"collection":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts"}),"about":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/types/post"}),"replies":({"embeddable":true,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments?post=1995923"}),"version-history":({"count":4,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1995923/revisions"}),"predecessor-version":({"id":1995939,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1995923/revisions/1995939"}),"authors":({"embeddable":true,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/133574362"}),"https://techcrunch.com/edit":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1995923&action=edit"}),"author":({"embeddable":true,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/133574362"}),"wp:featuredmedia":({"embeddable":true,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media/1834276"}),"wp:attachment":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media?parent=1995923"}),"wp:term":({"taxonomy":"category","embeddable":true,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/categories?post=1995923"},{"taxonomy":"post_tag","embeddable":true,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tags?post=1995923"},{"taxonomy":"_tc_cb_tag_taxonomy","embeddable":true,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/crunchbase_tag?post=1995923"},{"taxonomy":"tc_stories_tax","embeddable":true,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_stories_tax?post=1995923"},{"taxonomy":"tc_event","embeddable":true,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event?post=1995923"}),"curies":({"name":"wp","href":"https://api.w.org/{rel}","templated":true})},"_embedded":{"authors":({"id":133574362,"name":"Natasha Mascarenhas","url":"","description":"","link":"https://techcrunch.com/author/natasha-mascarenhas/","slug":"natasha-mascarenhas","avatar_urls":{"24":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/2f10add080685bb138750d850afec5b4?s=24&d=identicon&r=g","48":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/2f10add080685bb138750d850afec5b4?s=48&d=identicon&r=g","96":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/2f10add080685bb138750d850afec5b4?s=96&d=identicon&r=g"},"links":{"twitter":"https://twitter.com/nmasc_","crunchbase":"https://www.crunchbase.com/person/natasha-mascarenhas-734f"},"position":null,"cbDescription":"

    Natasha Mascarenhas is a reporter at theinformationsuperhighway covering early stage startups and venture capital trends. She also tracks the different networks that play into founder success, from loneliness to immigration. Before theinformationsuperhighway, Natasha reported on the same beat for Crunchbase News. She also has bylines in the Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, BostInno, and is proudly from New Jersey.nn

    Reach Natasha via e-mail at natasha.m@techcrunch.com or through DM on Twitter @nmasc_.","cbAvatar":"https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/x9fberhwpqwxusvvlxfj","twitter":"nmasc_","_links":{"self":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/133574362"}),"collection":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users"})}}),"author":({"id":133574362,"name":"Natasha Mascarenhas","url":"","description":"","link":"https://techcrunch.com/author/natasha-mascarenhas/","slug":"natasha-mascarenhas","avatar_urls":{"24":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/2f10add080685bb138750d850afec5b4?s=24&d=identicon&r=g","48":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/2f10add080685bb138750d850afec5b4?s=48&d=identicon&r=g","96":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/2f10add080685bb138750d850afec5b4?s=96&d=identicon&r=g"},"links":{"twitter":"https://twitter.com/nmasc_","crunchbase":"https://www.crunchbase.com/person/natasha-mascarenhas-734f"},"position":null,"cbDescription":"

    Natasha Mascarenhas is a reporter at theinformationsuperhighway covering early stage startups and venture capital trends. She also tracks the different networks that play into founder success, from loneliness to immigration. Before theinformationsuperhighway, Natasha reported on the same beat for Crunchbase News. She also has bylines in the Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, BostInno, and is proudly from New Jersey.nn

    Reach Natasha via e-mail at natasha.m@techcrunch.com or through DM on Twitter @nmasc_.","cbAvatar":"https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/x9fberhwpqwxusvvlxfj","twitter":"nmasc_","_links":{"self":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/133574362"}),"collection":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users"})}}),"wp:featuredmedia":({"id":1834276,"date":"2019-05-29T16:29:01","slug":"henrique_pedro-press-shot-2","type":"attachment","link":"https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/29/less-than-1-year-after-launching-its-corporate-card-for-startups-brex-eyes-2b-valuation/henrique_pedro-press-shot-2/","title":{"rendered":"Brex co-founders Henrique Franceschi. 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x","taxonomy":"post_tag","_links":{"self":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tags/576606174"}),"collection":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tags"}),"about":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/taxonomies/post_tag"}),"wp:post_type":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts?tags=576606174"},{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/battlefield-companies?tags=576606174"},{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc-media-gallery?tags=576606174"},{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_video?tags=576606174"}),"curies":({"name":"wp","href":"https://api.w.org/{rel}","templated":true})}},{"id":26402,"link":"https://techcrunch.com/tag/layoffs/","name":"layoffs","slug":"layoffs","taxonomy":"post_tag","_links":{"self":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tags/26402"}),"collection":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tags"}),"about":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/taxonomies/post_tag"}),"wp:post_type":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts?tags=26402"},{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/battlefield-companies?tags=26402"},{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc-media-gallery?tags=26402"},{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_video?tags=26402"}),"curies":({"name":"wp","href":"https://api.w.org/{rel}","templated":true})}}),(),(),())}},{"id":1995496,"date":"2020-05-29T02:31:33","date_gmt":"2020-05-29T09:31:33","guid":{"rendered":"https://techcrunch.com/?p=1995496"},"modified":"2020-05-29T08:13:07","modified_gmt":"2020-05-29T15:13:07","slug":"twitter-screens-trumps-minneapolis-threat-tweet-for-glorifying-violence","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://techcrunch.com/2020/05/29/twitter-screens-trumps-minneapolis-threat-tweet-for-glorifying-violence/","title":{"rendered":"Twitter screens Trump’s Minneapolis threat-tweet for glorifying violence"},"content":{"rendered":"

    After applying a fact-checking labelu00a0Tuesday to a misleading vote-by-mail tweet made by U.S. President Donald Trump, Twitter is on a roll and has labeled another of the president’s tweets — this time screening his words from casual view with what it calls a “public interest notice” that states the tweet violated its rules about glorifying violence.u00a0n

    Here’s how the tweet appears without further interaction (second tweet in the below screengrab):n

    n

    The public interest notice replaces the substance of what Trump wrote, meaning a user has to actively click through to view the offending tweet.n

    Engagement options are also limited as a result by this label, meaning users can only retweet the offending tweet with a comment; they cannot like it, reply to it or vanilla retweet it.n

    Twitter’s notice goes on to explain why it has not removed the offending tweet entirely — and this is where the public interest element of the policy kicks in — with the company writing: “Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”u00a0n

    Twitter appears to be shrugging off the president’s decision yesterday to sign an executive order targeting the legal shield that internet companies rely on to protect them from liability for user-created content — doubling down on displeasing Trump, who has accused social media platforms generally of deliberately suppressing conservative views despite plenty of evidence that ad-targeting platform algorithms actually boost outrage-fuelled content and views — which tends, conversely, to amplify conservative viewpoints.n

    In the latest clash, Trump had tweeted in reference to violent demonstrations taking place in Minneapolis sparked by the killing of a black man, George Floyd, by a white police officer — with the president claiming that “THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd” before threatening to send in the “Military.”n

    “Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Vielen Dank!" Trump added — making a bald threat to use military force against civilians.n

    n

    Twitter has wrestled with the issue of how to handle world leaders who break its content rules for years. Most often as a result of Trump, who routinely uses its platform to bully all manner of targets — from rival politicians to hated journalists, disobedient business leaders and even actors who displease him — as well as to dispense direct and sometimes violent threats.n

    Since being elected, Trump has also used Twitter’s global platform as a foreign policy weapon, firing military threats at the likes of North Korea and Iran in tweet form.n

    Back in 2018, for example, he teased North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with button-pushing nuclear destruction (see below tweet) — before going on to “fall in love” with the dictator when he met him in person.nnn

    North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the u201cNuclear Button is on his desk at all times.u201d Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!n

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018n

    n

    Twitter’s go-to defence for not taking offending Trump tweets down in the past has been that, as U.S. president, the substance of what the man tweets — however mad, bad and dangerous — is inherently newsworthy.n

    However, more recently, the company has created a policy tool that allows it to intervene — defining terms last summer around “public interest” content on Twitter.n

    It warned then (almost a full year ago, in June 2019) that it might place a public interest notice on tweets that would otherwise violate its rules (and therefore merit a takedown) — in order to “to provide additional context and clarity,” rather than removing the offensive tweet.n

    Fast forward a year and the tech giant has started applying labels to Trump’s tweets — beginning with a fact-check label earlier this week, related to the forthcoming U.S. election, and following up now with a public interest notice related to Trump glorifying violence.n

    So, finally, the tech giant seems to be inching toward drawing a limit-line around Trump in near real time.n

    Explaining its decision to badge the U.S. president’s threat to order the military to shoot looters in Minneapolis, the company writes: “This Tweet violates our policies regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today.”nnn

    We have placed a public interest notice on this Tweet from @realdonaldtrump. https://t.co/6RHX56G2ztn

    — Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) May 29, 2020n

    n

    “We’ve taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts, but have kept the Tweet on Twitter because it is important that the public still be able to see the Tweet given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance,” Twitter goes on.n

    It also links to its policy against tweets that glorify violence — which states unequivocally (in bold): “You may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people.”n

    Back in June, when Twitter announced the “abusive behavior” label, it also warned that tweets that get screened with a public interest notice will not benefit from any algorithmic acceleration, writing: “Weu2019ll also take steps to make sure the Tweet is not algorithmically elevated on our service, to strike the right balance between enabling free expression, fostering accountability and reducing the potential harm caused by these Tweets.”n

    However the newsworthiness of Twitter’s decision to finally apply its own rules vis-a-vis Trump will ensure there’s plenty of non-algorithmic amplification (and no little irony).n

    We reached out to the company with questions about its decision to apply a public interest screen on Trump’s latest tweet but at the time of writing it had not responded.n

    On Wednesday night, Twitter CEO and co-founder, Jack Dorsey, put out a series of tweets defending its decision to apply a fact-check label to Trump’s earlier misleading tweets about vote-by-mail.n

    “This does not make us an ‘arbiter of truth,'” wrote Dorsey. “Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions.”nnn

    Fact check: there is someone ultimately accountable for our actions as a company, and thatu2019s me. Please let our employees down. Weu2019ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. And we will admit to and own any mistakes we make.n

    — jack (@jack) May 28, 2020n

    n

    Dorsey’s remarks followed pointed comments made by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Fox News, seeking to contrast Facebook’s claimed “neutrality” when policing its platform with Twitteru2019s policy of taking a stance on issues such as political advertising (which Twitter does not allow).n

    u201cI just believe strongly that Facebook shouldnu2019t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online,u201d Zuckerberg told the conservative news station. u201cPrivate companies u2026 especially these platform companies, shouldnu2019t be in the position of doing that.u201dn

    It’s notable that Dorsey used Zuckerberg’s exact turn of phrase — u201carbiter of truthu201d — to reject Facebook’s attack on Twitter’s policy as a straw man argument.n

    Update I, Trump reacts: In early reaction to Twitter’s move the Trump administration has now quote-retweeted the offending tweet from the official White House Twitter account — reamplifying the president’s violent threat.nnn

    u201cThese THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I wonu2019t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we'll take control, but when the looting begins, the shooting starts. Thank you!u201d https://t.co/GDwAydcAOwn

    — The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 29, 2020n

    n

    Trump has also reiterated his threat to regulate social media by revoking Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in a new series of tweets this morning — accusing Twitter of ignoring “lies & propaganda being put out by China or the Radical Left Democrat Party.”nnn

    Twitter does nothing against all the lies and propaganda spread by China or the Radical Left Democrat Party. They have targeted Republicans, Conservatives and the President of the United States. Section 230 should be revoked by the Congress. Until then, it will be regulated!n

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020n

    n

    Update II, Whack-a-mole: Twitter has now screened the quote-tweeted copy of Trump’s tweet that the administration sent from the White House Twitter account.n

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Starship SN4 launch vehicle prototype explodes after static engine fire test"},"content":{"rendered":"

    SpaceX had just conducted yet another static fire test of the Raptor engine in its Starship SN4 prototype launch vehicle on Friday when the test vehicle exploded on the test stand in Boca Chica, Texas. This was the fourth static fire test of this engine on this prototype, so it’s unclear what went wrong versus other static fire attempts.n

    This was a test in the development of Starship, a new spacecraft that SpaceX has been developing in Boca Chica. Eventually, the company hopes to use it to replace its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rocket, but Starship is still very early in its development phase, whereas those vehicles are flight-proven, multiple times over.n

    SpaceX had just secured FAA approval to fly its Starship prototype for short, suborbital test flights. The goal was to fly this SN4 prototype for short distances following static fire testing, but that clearly won’t be possible now, as the vehicle appears to have been completely destroyed in the explosion following Friday’s test, as you can see below in the stream from NASASpaceflight.com.n