Plus: The Nobel Prize of computing recipients, Grindr is reportedly up for sale, and another tech VC is caught up in the college admissions scandal.
Facebook has banned white nationalism and white separatism on the platform, after receiving criticism from civil rights groups and academics. Previously, the social giant had banned “white supremacy” but not white nationalism or white separatism. Now, the company is taking a harsher stance, saying that “white nationalism and separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organized hate groups.” Facebook will also direct users who try post content associated with white nationalistic ideologies to a nonprofit, Life After Hate, that helps people leave hate groups. The company’s actions are being lauded as a positive step by civil rights groups who have been active on the issue.
[Joseph Cox and Jason Koebler / Motherboard]
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Popular gay dating app Grindr is reportedly up for sale. The app’s Chinese owners — gaming company Kunlun Tech Co Ltd — decided to sell the app after the US Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) raised concerns that Grindr’s ownership raises a “national security risk,” according to sources familiar with the matter cited by Reuters. Grindr collects personal information from its users, including their location and in some cases their HIV status. As Reuters writes, the US “has been increasingly scrutinizing app developers over the safety of personal data they handle,” especially if “it involves U.S. military or intelligence personnel.”
[Carl O’Donnell, Liana B. Baker, Echo Wang / Reuters]
The “Nobel Prize of computing” went to three AI scientists who pioneered neural networks. Three researchers critical in the field of neural networks — Yann LeCun, Geoffrey Hinton, and Yoshua Bengio — were given the Turing Award on Wednesday. As Cade Metz writes for the New York Times, “the idea nurtured by these researchers has reinvented the way technology is built” and has contributed to the development of technologies like facial recognition and self-driving cars. All three awardees also have ties to big tech. Hinton works at Google, LeCun at Facebook, and Bengio has deals with IBM and Microsoft.
[Cade Metz/The New York Times]
Another leading tech VC has been ousted from his firm after admitting to having hired the coach behind the recent college admissions scandal. Chris Schaepe of Lightspeed Venture Partners no longer works at the firm after he revealed that he hired college admissions “coach” Rick Singer to help his son, as Axios first reported. Even though Schaepe was not named in the college admissions bribery scandal, his ties to Singer were enough of a liability for Lightspeed. As Theodore Schleifer writes, “it might be a little strange” that Schaepe was ousted without being charged for a crime, “but venture capital firms live and die by their reputations and their brands.”
[Theodore Schleifer / Recode]
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Silicon Valley investor Bill McGlashan has a unique response to his indictment in the college bribery scandal. McGlashan’s argument, boiled down, is essentially: I didn’t do anything illegal … yet. [Theodore Schleifer / Recode]
Brat co-founder Rob Fishman is betting that young women who used to watch the CW or MTV will demand those sorts of shows from YouTube, too. On the latest episode of Recode Media, Fishman joined Peter Kafka in the studio to talk about how his LA-based digital video studio is making TV for the internet’s young women. [Peter Kafka]
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