NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is pushing the wrong kind of independence. The social network’s chief executive on Thursday revealed he plans to set up an external committee to help police fake news and hateful content. The move follows yet more revelations about how poorly he and others dealt with Russian meddling in U.S. elections. Outsourcing decisions won’t fix Facebook’s culture, though. Removing Zuckerberg as chair would be a step in the right direction.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Digital titans like Alphabet and Apple may rule the roost, but EU rules on data privacy are helping startups flourish on the other side of the Atlantic. Meanwhile, Facebook’s inability to police fake content spreads to Africa. Plus: Mumbai’s ride-share drivers go on strike.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Stan Lee, who died at the age of 95, built an Incredible Hulk-sized box office legacy. Through Marvel, the comic-book creator helped whip up a brigade of characters – including the tetchy green giant among others – on which movie studios now depend for audiences. He also showed, inadvertently, that even superheroes need powerful friends.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The U.S. House of Representatives will soon be controlled by lawmakers opposing President Trump. That gives them more scope to push their agenda on trade, infrastructure and a perennial bogeyman, the banks. But as Republicans still run the Senate, policy changes will be minimal.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Corporate America is giving the country’s politicians a civics lesson. Walmart, Tyson Foods, Levi Strauss and hundreds of other firms are encouraging their employees to cast a ballot in this week’s U.S. congressional elections. They are acting largely because a mishmash of state laws and the lack of a national holiday make voting a challenge.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Germany’s chancellor won’t seek re-election in 2021 and is stepping down as party chair next month after electoral setbacks. It may herald a rightward swing at home and less EU unity. Plus: investors’ embrace of Brazil’s far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro may prove risky.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Facebook is heading into an earnings pincer movement. Sales growth at the $410 billion social-media network slowed in the third quarter, the company said on Tuesday. Combating that and other problems means spending more, hitting both top and bottom lines. That may force Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg to take rash countermeasures.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Amazon’s ad initiative is proving useful. The company’s third-quarter sales mainly pertaining to advertising – the “other” category, officially – soared. As a challenger to Facebook and Alphabet, both mired in data scandals, Jeff Bezos’ firm risks negative attention by plunging into the advertising business and targeting users. But the extra dough helps, and thanks to other revenue streams, Amazon has less to lose.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Bankers and officials have ditched a huge Saudi shindig after Turkey accused the kingdom of killing a prominent journalist – but big deal fees and oil reserves make the kingdom hard to shun. Breakingviews columnists discuss the financial ramifications of the diplomatic crisis.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Netflix has managed to pull off the double axel of retail. The $145 billion streaming-video company has both the scale of shopping giant Walmart and the pricing power of luxury-jewelry outfit Tiffany. Chief Executive Reed Hastings’ next trick is to work out how to maintain both labels.