Yesterday, Facebook faced a major outage that shut down all of its apps – Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp – for hours around the world. This follows revelations from whistleblower Francis Haugen, a former Facebook employee who leaked thousands of documents showing how the platform prioritizes profits over people.
Plus, the rush to contain one of the largest oil spills in California history.
And, dating apps are getting political in Texas.
Guests: Sara Fischer of Axios, Andrew Freedman and Michael Mooney.
Credits: Axios Today is produced in partnership with Pushkin Industries. The team includes Niala Boodhoo, Sara Kehaulani Goo, Dan Bobkoff, Alexandra Botti, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Sabeena Singhani, Lydia McMullen-Laird, David Toledo, Michael Hanf and Alex Sugiura. The music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at [email protected] You can send questions, comments, and story ideas to Niala as a text or voice message to 202-918-4893.
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NIALA: Good morning! Welcome to Axios today!
It’s Tuesday, October 5. I am Niala Boodhoo.
Here’s what you need to know today: Contain one of the biggest oil spills in California history. Plus, dating apps in Texas are getting political.
But first, today’s One Big Thing: Facebook’s VERY bad days.
It was a terrible day for Facebook. Yesterday it faced a major outage that destroyed all of its apps for hours, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp around the world. And it follows revelations from whistleblower Francis Haugen, a former Facebook employee who leaked thousands of documents showing how Facebook prioritizes profits over people, especially young people. Haugen is scheduled to testify today on Capitol Hill.
Axios media reporter Sara Fischer is here with what we need to know and what’s next for Facebook. Hi Sara.
SARA FISCHER: Hi Niala.
NIALA: Sara, first of all, let’s start with the Facebook stock, which dove into all of these things that I just mentioned. What is happening here?
SARA: Yeah, Niala. So, Facebook stock hit an all-time high of $ 382 for a share price. Beginning of September, September 7. But from seeing that kind of slow, steady decline until today, when it took a pretty big dive in response to a whistleblower interview with CBS last night, as well as a global outage in sound. main application, Facebook, as well as Instagram and WhatsApp.
And that’s problematic Niala because Facebook shares don’t normally pile up like that, unless there is some sort of major business news, as they have announced they will be facing. strong headwinds next quarter, or there’s a start of a new rule that makes it harder for them to target users like GDPR in 2018. It doesn’t normally slip in response to some sort of scandal and flees as he did with this whistleblower situation.
NIALA: It’s hard, I think, not to jump to hasty conclusions that yesterday’s outage is related to whistleblower news. Is it?
SARA: I do not think so. I think the last thing Facebook wants is another crisis besides a crisis. And I think they’ve had blackouts in the past. You know, there are many different networks that support Facebook apps around the world. So I don’t think they’re related, but I think the timing is terrible for Facebook.
NIALA: Sara, there were also a lot of jokes about it on networks like Twitter. But more seriously, what was the extent of the fallout from the blackout? Who was affected?
SARA: Well, users are affected of course. I mean, they checked their apps all day, complained about other platforms, wanted them to resume. Millions of businesses and marketers who rely on Facebook to sell products and communicate with their customers are definitely affected by this. For sure. And then I think the last thing is the business, the employees, the people inside are affected by this, because it’s a distraction the day before an executive gets dragged outside Capitol Hill the next day. from a whistleblower’s revelation themselves. It’s just the last thing the business needs right now.
NIALA: Sara, considering the last 72 hours, what are you looking at? What do you think of next when it comes to Facebook?
SARA: I watch the course of its action. If it keeps going down, you know, Facebook revenue or in a few weeks. You can see it in two ways. One is that investors are sort of putting some of the headwinds Facebook alluded to earlier this quarter into action ahead of earnings or the other could be that whistleblower scandal and today’s blackout. , among others, continue to weigh heavily on the stock. And I want to see how far it can go. Then the other thing I’m going to watch out for is, where are Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg? To this day, we haven’t seen them talk about it at all. It was all Nick Clegg, their vice president of policy and Antigone Davis, their chief of security. They didn’t bring out the top two dogs to fix this problem. I want to know when do they have to go out and talk about it?
NIALA: Sara Fischer is the author of the weekly Axios Media Trends newsletter and media journalist. Thanks Sara.
SARA: Thanks Niala.
NIALA: Back in a moment with an update on a massive oil spill in California.
NIALA: Welcome to Axios Today. I am Niala Boodhoo.
Clean-up efforts are underway in Orange County, California after one of the largest oil spills in the state’s history. An estimated 126,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into the water off the coast of Huntington Beach over the weekend.
Axios climate and energy reporter Andrew Freedman has the latest news. Hi AndrÃ©.
ANDREW FREEDMAN: Hi Niala.
NIALA: Hey Andrew, can you put that in context for us? How does this compare to previous spills?
ANDRE: So that’s a lot of oil. Once you go over 100,000 gallons, you know, you’re in one of the bigger ones of the last 20 years, at least. It’s much smaller than the Exxon Valdez. It’s much smaller than the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but it’s a large spill that happened just five miles offshore in a heavily populated area.
There’s also the sentiment among Californians, I think at least the Californians I’ve spoken to, who are like, âOkay, we’ve been smoky from our homes. We have, you know, watched our condition burn and now we can’t even go to the beach.
NIALA: The PA reported yesterday that it took almost a full day for the responsible company to respond to the spill. How crucial is timing to responding to an event like this?
ANDRE: So that’s pretty crucial, you need to quickly determine what the source of the spill is. You need to be able to quickly start containing this spill. The company, which is a fairly small Houston-based oil services company called Amplify Energy, says there is no more oil that appears to be leaking at this point. So it’s really about managing the aftereffects of any discharge during the leak period,
NIALA: What do we know about the sequelae? How long will it take to clean?
ANDRE: Some of these beaches could be closed for months. There is simply going to be too much oil residue moving around on the beach, which is dangerous to both people and wildlife. We do not yet know the true toll of wildlife. But we saw photographic evidence of dolphins swimming in the oil spill. We saw traces of seals in the area. It is truly an area of ââgreat biodiversity. We should know a little more about the real toll of this situation in the next 24 to 36 hours.
NIALA: Andrew Freedman is Axios’ climate and energy reporter. Thanks, AndrÃ©.
ANDRE: Thank you for.
NIALA: Over the weekend, hundreds of marches were held across the country in support of abortion rights and to protest a restrictive abortion law passed last month in Texas. The companies behind dating apps are also speaking out in favor of reproductive rights. Big Texas-based apps like OkCupid and Bumble are responding to the law with new features and fundraising efforts.
Dallas is one of Axios’ newer local newsletters and reporter Michael Mooney has the story. Hi, Michel.
MICHAEL MOONEY: Hello.
NIALA: So how are these companies responding to the latest Texas abortion?
MICHAEL: Well, in various ways – OkCupid has a pro-choice badge that users can use. And they also allow users to filter potential matches by political opinions. For each user who uses one of these pro-choice badges, they will donate one dollar to Planned Parenthood.
NIALA: Is there profile data on these sites to tell us what people think about this law? How many people use these badges?
MICHAEL: They have statistics on people who have labeled themselves pro-choice and the numbers nationwide have increased by almost 20% in the past year. And in Texas, in particular, about 90% of men and women identify as pro-choice.
NIALA: Why do you think this story is important?
MICHAEL: Well, one, you know, it’s all political including and especially romance, but also, I think it shows that this law just has spillovers and ramifications that spill over into every aspect of society.
NIALA: Michael Mooney is co-author of the Axios Dallas newsletter. Thanks, Michel.
MICHAEL: Thank you.
NIALA: Before we leave today, the next round of Nobel Prizes is announced this week. Yesterday, David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries linked to temperature and touch receptors. This research helps us better understand how our nervous system feels heat, cold, and mechanical stimuli – even what we feel when hug loved ones – who feels above all topical after a year and a half of isolation. Plus, experts say the results could lead to new ways to fight pain.
The Nobel Committee will continue to announce the winners this week, notably for physics, chemistry and literature.
That’s all we have for you today!
I’m Niala Boodhoo – thanks for listening – stay safe and we’ll see you here tomorrow morning.
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