Hillicon Valley: Five things to watch in Facebook Oversight Board ruling on Trump | Trump launches new communications tool after social media ban | Spotify urged to scrap speech recognition tech

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Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.

Happy Tuesday! All eyes and ears and mice in the tech world will be watching Facebook’s Oversight Board tomorrow. The panel will be issuing its decision on whether former President TrumpDonald TrumpVeteran accused in alleged border wall scheme faces new charges Arizona Republicans to brush off DOJ concern about election audit FEC drops investigation into Trump hush money payments MORE should be allowed back on the platform after his suspension following the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. 



DECISION DAY: Facebook’s Oversight Board will rule Wednesday morning on whether to uphold or reverse a ban on former President Trump’s account on the platform.

It’s by far the most high-profile case to come before the collection of academics, former politicians and journalists who make up the ostensibly independent organization, and it could have huge effects beyond whether Trump is allowed back on the platform.

Here are five things to watch as the board prepares to issue its decision:

  • Who are the decisionmakers?
  • What’s at stake for Trump?
  • What are the potential reactions from Washington?:
  • Will the decision significantly impact Facebook’s revenue?
  • Will the ruling set a precedent for other world leaders?

Read the answers here



NEW BLOG ON THE BLOCK: The day before Facebook’s Oversight Board is set to announce its decision, former President Trump rolled out a new tool to communicate with his supporters. 

Trump’s platform, “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” features videos from the former president and statements from his leadership PAC, which have been sent out over email for several weeks.

Supporters can sign up to get notified when Trump sends out a message from his site, similar to functions on other social media platforms.

While users do not have the ability to reply to Trump’s posts, they can like them and share them on their own Twitter or Facebook accounts.

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STOP LISTENING: A coalition of musicians and human rights groups is urging Spotify to publicly commit to never implementing or monetizing the speech recognition technology it has developed.

The music streaming site was granted a patent earlier this year for technology that it claims can analyze users’ voices to suggest tracks based on “emotional state, gender, age or accent.”

In a letter sent to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek Tuesday, more than 180 artists and groups warn that the technology is “dangerous” and a “violation of privacy and other human rights.”

Spotify has previously said it has no plans to implement the technology.

“While we are pleased to hear that Spotify has no current plans to deploy the technology, it begs the question: why are you exploring its use? We call on your company to make a public commitment to never use, license, sell, or monetize the recommendation technology,” Tuesday’s letter reads.

Read more.



WARNING: Facebook and Instagram began to warn users on Apple platforms last week that their data shared to target ads on the platforms help keep them “free of charge,” according to a company blog post.

“[W]e will show an educational screen before presenting Apple’s prompt to help people make an informed decision about how their information is used. It provides more details about how we use data for personalized ads, as well as the ways we limit the use of activity other apps and websites send us if people don’t turn on this device setting,” Facebook said in a statement.

Apple’s latest operating system update includes a feature that requires apps to get users’ permission before tracking their data across websites and apps. Facebook, which thrives on selling targeted ads, has fiercely pushed back on the privacy update and accused it of having a “harmful impact” on small businesses. 

Read more about the warnings

Lighter click: Welcome Paris


An op-ed to chew on: Amping up algorithmic transparency to govern online platform power 



Anyone can use this powerful facial-recognition tool — and that’s a problem (CNN / Rachel Metz)

Mr. Beast, YouTube Star, Wants to Take Over the Business World (New York Times / Taylor Lorenz)

Dogecoin’s surge prompts online brokers to support trading (Protocol / Tomio Geron)