The auditors were not impressed by Facebook Tinder is testing video chat and a new nasal spray could reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Here is your daily crisis for July 8, 2020.
The big story: Facebook is facing a blistering civil rights test
The results come from a multi-year review of Facebook's approach to civil rights issues. In the past few weeks, when the company has been boycotted by advertisers because of some of these issues, executives have referred to the review as a sign that they are concerned about civil rights concerns. However, the results are not exactly positive.
"While the review process has been significant and has led to some significant improvements to the platform, we have also seen the company make painful decisions over the past nine months, with real-world consequences that mean serious civil rights setbacks," the former wrote ACLU director Laura W. Murphy and lawyers at Relman Colfax.
Meanwhile, Facebook executives met with the boycott leaders yesterday, but it appears that little progress has been made. Rashad Robinson, President of Color of Change, criticized the company for "expecting an A for participation."
The technology giants
Tinder is now testing video chat in select markets, including the United States. This feature allows Tinder users to set virtual dates when both log in (which is probably much more attractive during the current pandemic).
Slack grabs Rimeto corporate directory startup to improve its people search game – With this acquisition, Slack could potentially improve the experience of finding people in a company.
Microsoft makes team video conferencing less stressful with the new Together mode. Instead of showing all participants as small squares, they will sit together in an auditorium in Together mode. Although it sounds silly, Microsoft says that this is actually easier for the brain to process.
Startups, funding and venture capital
Permutive raises $ 18.5 million to help publishers target ads in a new data protection landscape. Instead of relying on third-party cookies, Permutive uses a publisher's first-party data to serve more targeted ads.
Swiftmile raises $ 5 million under the direction of Thayer Ventures for charging stations for micromobility – Swiftmile manufactures charging stations for electric bicycles and scooters. So far, 150 stations are in use in the USA.
Biomedical engineering professor at Harvard is launching nasal spray that could reduce the transmission risk of COVID-19 – the product is called FEND, and startup Sensory Cloud plans to release it in September.
Advice and analysis of extra crunch
What India's TikTok Ban Means for China – Manish Singh discusses how a recent order from the Indian government is shifting the market for local businesses.
Given the media revenue difficulties, subscription startups are seeing growth – it's not exactly a rosy picture for media startups, but there have been some promising subscription success stories.
Ford's Bronco relaunch shows the power of nostalgia – Even if you're not interested in Bronco, this week's rollout was a master class in how companies can use nostalgia for marketing.
(Reminder: Extra Crunch is our subscription membership program to democratize information about startups. You can register here.)
Trump's sudden reversal of student visas will be felt in Silicon Valley. Since international students are no longer allowed to stay in the United States if their universities move their courses entirely online, this could have a major impact on technical talent and innovation.
The tech industry is dealing with the Hong Kong National Security Act. We interviewed a number of actors to get a sense of what the new law will mean for internet freedom and entrepreneurship.
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