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The Interface - Issue #4

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The biggest story in social media today was Sheryl Sandberg's live interview with Mike Allen from Axi
 
October 12 · Issue #4 · View online
The Interface
The biggest story in social media today was Sheryl Sandberg’s live interview with Mike Allen from Axios. It’s part of Facebook’s campaign to show the world that (1) it is cooperating with lawmakers in their investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, (2) it’s sorry about what happened, and (3) it’s taking steps to prevent it from ever happening again. 
Sandberg is all but unflappable, and she more than held her own during an interview that stayed polite but still managed to break some news. Headlines today focused on Sandberg saying Facebook supported the release of the ill-bought Russian ads, but we already knew that. 
The bigger news was that the company would release the targeting data around the ads. If you read yesterday’s newsletter, you know one of the chief complaints about Facebook’s response so far is that the ads aren’t useful if you don’t know who saw them. The release of the targeting data should shed light on that, and that’s a good thing.
Sandberg had a chance to make even bigger news, when Allen asked whether Russia and the Trump campaign appeared to target similar groups of voters. Similarities might — emphasis on might — offer evidence of collusion between the campaigns. But Sandberg ducked the question.
Other noteworthy moments: Sandberg’s surprisingly sharp criticism of Twitter’s decision to prevent Senate hopeful Marsha Blackburn from promoting a tweet using inflammatory language about abortion; her dismissal of the idea that Facebook creates filter bubbles; and her saying that Facebook is a new kind of platform that has even more responsibility than a traditional media company. This should quell the media’s perennial, navel-gazing obsession with whether “Facebook is a media company,” but history suggests that it will not.
Also today: a brutal Twitter self-own; essays on Facebook and democracy; and a woman who stands by her man in the most 2017 way possible, by tweeting at his critics using a sockpuppet account.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, interviewed by Axios' Mike Allen
Facebook takes down data and thousands of posts, obscuring reach of Russian disinformation
Even Pokémon Go used by extensive Russian-linked meddling effort
Twitter suspends Rose McGowan, feels bad about it
Rose McGowan temporarily blocked from Twitter after Weinstein tweets
Twitter Would Like You To Know It Is Committed To Being More Transparent
Amazon has suspended video boss Roy Price
Amazon TV Producer Goes Public With Harassment Claim Against Top Exec Roy Price
Takes
What Facebook Did to American Democracy
Tech Giants, Once Seen as Saviors, Are Now Viewed as Threats
What Facebook and Google Can Learn From America’s First Major News Hoax
Promises
Facebook commits to adding African-American director
Launches
Facebook Stories open to Pages, bringing brands to the ghost town
Oculus Connect 4
Oculus’ prototype Santa Cruz headset feels like a wireless Oculus Rift
Oculus Connect 4, Russian Ads and the Law, Trump and Facebook
Elsewhere
Credit Suisse: Snap Inc. to Rise 35 percent
South Park slams Facebook for selling fake news
And finally
Roger Goodell Has a Secret Defender on Twitter: His Wife
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