Plus, on the job with Russian fake-news trolls, Sony enters the ride-hailing race, and “Black Panther” breaks records and barriers
Spurred by the global investment craze over bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, bipartisan momentum is growing on Capitol Hill for stricter federal oversight on the emerging asset class. Study up on your crypto cocktail chatter with this in-case-you-missed-it deep dive and this comprehensive reading list curated by investor Chris Dixon and his colleagues at Andreessen Horowitz. [David Morgan / Reuters]
U.S. lawmakers are also starting to sound the alarm on video-manipulation technology, which they fear could set off a new wave of fake news driven by doctored audio or video. Researchers at Stanford and the University of Washington, for example, are developing technology that allows people to alter footage of world leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and former U.S. President Barack Obama, making them appear to say and do things they’ve never actually done. [Ali Breland / The Hill]
Facebook executive Rob Goldman apologized to his co–workers for tweets over the weekend that attempted to explain more about how Russians used Facebook to spread misinformation — but were hijacked by Donald Trump to attack the media. “The tweets were my own personal view and not Facebook’s,” Goldman wrote to his colleagues. “I conveyed my view poorly.” [Nicholas Thompson / Wired]
Here’s how former Russian fake-news-factory trolls described their often-bizarre work lives at the Internet Research Agency, which last Friday was indicted over meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The 12-hour writing shifts at the Moscow-based cube farm involved creating thousands of fake social media accounts and generating and sharing culturally dissonant articles and tweets in English. [Neil MacFarquhar / The New York Times]
Japanese consumer electronics giant Sony is entering the ride-hailing arena, developing a taxi-hailing system that uses artificial intelligence to predict demand. Five Tokyo-based taxi operators in Japan are partnering with Sony on the joint venture. Uber and China’s Didi Chuxing are also focusing on taxi-centered systems because of Japan’s in-principle ban on the use of privately owned vehicles in ride-hailing services. [Nikkei Asian Review]
Just a month after Facebook’s recent changes to its News Feed algorithm, publishers including the New York Times and BuzzFeed are already reporting declining traffic from Facebook of up to 14 percent. The declines are not a surprise — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself warned that news as a percentage of News Feed content would drop from 5 percent to 4 percent, implying that publishers can broadly expect a 20 percent drop. [Lucia Moses / Digiday]
Recode Presents …
Do you have questions about tech addiction? We’re talking to “How to Break Up With Your Phone” author Catherine Price on this week’s episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask. Send us your questions for Catherine by emailing TooEmbarrassed@recode.net.
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This is cool
“Black Panther” had such a big four-day opening weekend that the latest Marvel movie is on track to make more money than “Justice League,” “Jurassic World” and “The Avengers.” Groundbreaking as a comic book movie with all black leads, “Black Panther” has been widely praised for its diverse casting, fashion and soundtrack, but it also excelled on another important level — black meme culture. Michelle Obama is into it so much that she tweeted about it; some people went to extremes to try to get a ticket.
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