The Week in Business: Facebook Cracks Down


Happy Sunday, and hope you’re staying protected and wholesome. Here’s what you might want to know in enterprise and tech information for the week forward. — Charlotte Cowles

Facebook and Twitter drew a contemporary wave of Republican ire this previous week in blocking and limiting the spread of a New York Post article that contained unsubstantiated rumors about Hunter Biden, son of the Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden. After President Trump accused the platforms (as he has for years) of deliberately suppressing conservative information shops that assist him, Twitter ultimately caved, permitting the article’s content material to be shared. The social media firms are fighting an uphill battle in opposition to the spread of misinformation main as much as Election Day, and scrambling to deploy extra aggressive ways in consequence. It’s a very sharp flip for Facebook, which has typically been criticized for being too sluggish and light-handed in eradicating probably harmful content material.

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The so-promised V-shaped financial restoration is beginning to look extra like a lopsided L. Jobless claims jumped last week to their highest stage since August, a reversal from the gradual downward pattern in unemployment. The uptick got here after a number of main firms laid off hundreds of staff, together with Disney and multiple airlines. To make issues worse, coronavirus case numbers are surging as soon as extra around the globe — in addition to many areas of the United States — heading towards a “third peak” and forcing some businesses to shut down again.

If you have been clinging to a slim hope of Congress passing what now looks as if a legendary pandemic assist package deal in the approaching weeks, you’ll be upset by the latest developments, or lack thereof. The dispute over the invoice’s contents and prices has gone from a two-front battle (Democrats versus Republicans) to 3, with Mr. Trump inserting himself into the dialog with wildly conflicting demands. It’s not precisely fruitful floor for compromise, and that’s dangerous information for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who’re slipping into poverty as unemployment checks dwindle.

As we head into the vacation season, shops are making ready for a brand new problem: disputes over mask-wearing and social distancing insurance policies (sure, nonetheless). To assist staff implement guidelines for buyer security, the National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail commerce group, has partnered with the Crisis Prevention Institute to provide de-escalation training for retail employees. And it’s a severe concern: Previous clashes over mask-wearing in shops have resulted in violence and even deadly force.

The widespread stock-trading app Robinhood was targeted by cyber criminals who managed to compromise about 2,000 buyer accounts and steal their cash. The firm mentioned that the service itself was not hacked; somewhat, the e-mail accounts of its customers have been breached after which used to entry and siphon off funds. Robinhood has not confirmed the variety of clients affected, however mentioned that it’s working with customers to encourage two-step authentication and ensure accounts are safe.

One brilliant spot in this pandemic world: The housing market is doing well. New authorities information is anticipated to indicate an increase in constructing permits and housing begins in September as mortgage charges proceed to hit report lows and spur demand. (Being pressured to remain house to keep away from a lethal virus definitely hasn’t damage folks’s urge for food for homeownership, both.) Several housing metrics at the moment are near or above pre-pandemic ranges.

More than 150 enterprise and nonprofit teams, together with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are asking Mr. Trump to withdraw an executive order he issued in September that limits coaching on racial and gender biases. Raymond J. McGuire, one of many highest-ranking and longest-serving Black executives on Wall Street, is leaving his job at Citigroup to run for mayor of New York City. And because the clock runs out on a Brexit deal — for actual this time — Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain is running out of options earlier than his end-of-the-year deadline.



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