Facebook’s stock has been on a roller coaster ride since going public, but there was a recent bump in the road. The company’s oversight board criticized the social media giant for not doing enough to protect users from abuse and made it clear that they would be more vigilant about content moderation.
Facebook Live is a great tool for businesses to use. However, it’s not without its problems. WeWork has gone public and the company’s oversight board criticized Facebook for not doing enough to stop the spread of fake news on the platform. Read more in detail here: facebook live tips.
The Oversight Board of Facebook said the company’s lack of openness regarding a scheme that offered certain users preferential treatment had damaged its capacity to judge on the company’s choices. Credit… The New York Times’ Kelsey McClellan
On Thursday, a group set up by Facebook to evaluate its policy choices slammed the corporation for not being open about an internal program that offers famous users preferential treatment on the social media platform.
The Facebook Oversight Board claimed that Facebook failed to provide relevant information about a system known as cross check, which was first revealed by The Wall Street Journal and exempts high-profile users from rules such as those prohibiting harassment or incitement to violence that other users must follow.
The board said that the lack of transparency hindered its ability to decide on Facebook’s choices to delete or retain online material submitted by users, such as when the firm barred former President Donald J. Trump.
The Oversight Board is a court-like group made up of about 20 former political leaders, human rights advocates, and journalists chosen by Facebook to review the company’s content choices.
“The Oversight Board’s credibility, our working relationship with Facebook, and our ability to render sound judgments on cases all hinge on our ability to trust that the information provided to us by Facebook is accurate, comprehensive, and paints a complete picture of the topic at hand,” the group wrote in a blog post after the report was released.
On Thursday, the organization chastised Facebook for failing to inform users about rules that led to the deletion of certain material. The organization claimed it had received more than half a million requests from people who wanted to know why anything was removed from the site.
The organization said, “We know these instances are simply the tip of the iceberg.” “Right now, it’s obvious that Facebook isn’t treating people properly by not being open with them.”
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, has referred to the board as the “Facebook Supreme Court,” although the body has no legal or enforcement power in reality. It was established and is financed by Facebook, and some have questioned the board’s real independence. Others have noted that it allows Facebook to take a chance on tough choices.
Facebook welcomed the board for releasing its transparency report in a statement.
“We think the board’s work has had an effect,” the firm stated, “which is why we sought for feedback on our cross-check mechanism, and we will try to be clearer in our explanations to them moving ahead.”
Regulators are pressuring Facebook to explain its policy choices and recommendation algorithms more explicitly. European legislators are working on new legislation that would compel the business to make it simpler for users to challenge content-related judgments and to disclose more information about its system’s operation with independent auditors.
Following the revelations of Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager who disclosed hundreds of papers and information about the company’s internal workings with journalists and politicians, calls for regulation have grown.
The Oversight Board said that when Ms. Haugen’s papers exposed the existence of the cross check program, Facebook requested the committee to provide suggestions on how to modify the program.
According to federal investigators, two men died in a Tesla collision in Texas this spring were seated in the front seats of the car with their seatbelts on, contradicting initial police claims that no one was operating the vehicle at the time of the accident.
The new information comes from a notice posted on the National Transportation Safety Board’s website on Thursday, which suggests that the driver of the Tesla, a Model S sedan, did not engage the company’s driver-assistance system, Autopilot, and sat in the back seat, as other Tesla drivers have done.
Evidence at the site of the collision indicated that no one was driving the vehicle when it crashed, according to a Harris County sheriff’s constable in April.
The federal safety board also said in its warning that Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assistance technology was most likely not in operation at the time of the accident. The board said that Autosteer, a key component of Autopilot, is not usually engaged on the unmarked, residential roads where the accident occurred in Spring, Texas, a suburb north of Houston.
The driver had the accelerator pedal nearly all the way depressed and the vehicle was traveling as fast as 67 miles per hour in the five seconds before the accident, according to data from the car. The speed limit on this route is 30 miles per hour.
At a bend, the vehicle went off the road and collided with a drainage culvert, a raised manhole, and a tree. The car’s battery pack was damaged in the collision, and it caught fire. It took four hours for firefighters to put out the high-intensity fire. The accident and fire killed the Tesla’s passengers, who were 59 and 69 years old, according to the safety board.
The board said that its investigation was still continuing and that it was looking at Autopilot, the fire that broke out after the accident, whether the passengers were able to escape the vehicle, and if the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Google’s European headquarters are located in the Silicon Docks district of downtown Dublin, which is home to several big IT firms. Credit… The New York Times’ Paulo Nunes dos Santos
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, the US struck a deal with Austria, France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom to end the threat of tariffs on some products from those countries in return for the eventual elimination of digital services levies placed on firms such as Facebook, Amazon, and Google.
More than 130 countries agreed earlier this month to overhaul the international tax system, which will see countries adopt a global minimum tax of 15% and change taxing rights so that large multinational corporations are taxed based on where their goods and services are sold rather than where they operate.
The section of the deal that applies to big businesses was drafted in response to a worldwide tax battle between the United States and European nations, which have placed digital services taxes on American internet titans in recent years.
Once that portion of the global agreement, known as Pillar 1, is implemented, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom will eliminate their digital services taxes. This is predicted to happen in the year 2023. Companies will be entitled for a credit for taxes collected between now and then.
The deal is a concession from the US, which had hoped to have the digital services tariffs lifted immediately after the global agreement was struck earlier this month. European nations rejected, expressing worries that the US would not be able to get the proposed tax reforms passed by Congress in time to comply with the deal.
In 2020, the Trump administration slapped tariffs on France in response for the country’s digital services tax, and started the process of slapping tariffs on additional nations. The Biden administration indicated earlier this year that it was ready to slap tariffs on certain countries, but that it would hold off until the global tax negotiations were completed.
Turkey and India, both of which have digital services tariffs that the US wants repealed, did not join the deal struck on Thursday, according to the US Trade Representative.
Senator Elizabeth Warren has asked the Federal Reserve to make a copy of an email addressed to officials public. Credit… The New York Times’ Stefani Reynolds
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a Democrat, requested Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell on Thursday to disclose an email written by the central bank’s ethics office in March 2020 indicating that officials may wish to prevent needless trading as they implemented a broad market rescue.
According to a source who received the email, it was sent to regional bank ethics officers from the Fed Board of Governors’ ethics office on March 23, as the Fed unveiled a far-reaching market relief program, as originally reported by The New York Times earlier Thursday. It was recommended that individuals with access to key Fed data should refrain from trading for a few months.
Based on disclosures and comments from central bank press officers, officials seem to have followed the warning and stopped active financial activity in late March and April. However, the fact that certain officials continued trading in and after May 2020 has exacerbated the central bank’s ethical quandary.
After revelations of stock and real estate securities transactions from last year sparked concerns of the central bank’s ethical standards and procedures, two regional Fed presidents eventually resigned. Index fund transactions done by the Fed’s vice chair, Richard H. Clarida, in February, before the email was received, and by Mr. Powell in October, long after the Fed’s market operations had been revealed and executed, have also been questioned.
Mr. Powell has ordered a rewrite of the Fed’s ethical standards and has requested an independent inquiry. His and Mr. Clarida’s transactions, according to ethics and Fed experts, were less dubious than those taking place at regional central bank offices. Nonetheless, the aftermath has become a potentially powerful political weapon for those progressives who want Mr. Powell to be reappointed when his term ends early next year.
Ms. Warren has previously expressed her opposition to Mr. Powell’s retention in his post, citing his track record in banking regulation and even referring to him as a “dangerous guy” to have at the Fed.
“The Fed has not disclosed this email or any other ethical guidance provided to Fed employees during the time period when it was actively engaged in financial markets in reaction to the Covid-19 epidemic,” Ms. Warren said in a letter to Congress on Thursday.
“I’m writing to request that you release this information as soon as possible,” she continued, “so that Congress and the public can assess the extent to which Fed officials may have been aware of the risks associated with their trading, and whether they ignored calls from ethics officials to avoid this scandalous behavior.”
Amazon, Google, and Facebook have been requested by a federal regulator to give over information on how they operate their digital payment systems, including how they track and keep their customers’ personal information.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sent the request to six U.S.-based internet firms, adding that it will also look into the operations of Chinese payment providers WeChat Pay and Alipay, which are linked to WeChat and Alibaba. The bureau said that it wants to see whether the businesses’ actions are harming customers by restricting their payment options and disclosing too much personal information to other parties.
The request was a hint that the agency’s new head, Rohit Chopra, wants to go beyond conventional financial services firms, which have been the agency’s main focus since its inception a decade ago, to see what other types of businesses may need to be watched. The demands were made on the basis of the C.F.P.B.’s jurisdiction over payment processors.
Mr. Chopra said in a statement that “Big Tech firms are enthusiastically extending their empires to acquire more control and insight into our spending patterns.” In a Twitter post, he also named some of the IT firms to whom he had made information requests.
The decision was applauded by banks, which have long complained that they are subjected to regulations and supervision that nonbank financial firms are not.
“Since the bureau’s inception, a rising proportion of banking activity has taken place beyond the jurisdiction of senior regulators, putting consumers and the financial system’s resilience at risk,” said Richard Hunt, CEO of the Consumer Bankers Association, an industry lobbying organization. “C.B.A. has long pushed for establishing a fair playing field to guarantee that every American family gets the protections they deserve, regardless of where they go to fulfill their financial requirements,” said the organization.
A representative for Google refused to comment. Tencent, the company that owns WeChat, also refused to comment via a spokesperson. On Thursday, Amazon, Facebook, and Alibaba Group representatives did not immediately reply to demands for comment.
One of WeWork’s largest markets is New York, where it has a facility on Wall Street. Credit… The New York Times’ Hilary Swift
WeWork began trading on the stock market on Thursday, two years after its effort to become a public company failed miserably. The co-working behemoth is betting that investors would now trust in its potential.
Concerns about WeWork’s rapid expansion, large losses, and the worrisome management style of co-founder Adam Neumann clashed with the previous effort. WeWork has new executives who have cut costs and aim to capitalize on a market for office space that has been disrupted by the epidemic. However, the company’s 762 sites across the globe still have high growth goals, significant losses, and many vacant desks. WeWork has only survived the past two years thanks to a significant financial injection from SoftBank, the Japanese corporation that is WeWork’s largest stakeholder.
In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, Marcelo Claure, WeWork’s executive chairman and a top SoftBank executive, said, “We got here on a different path than we expected, but we’re here.”
WeWork joined the public markets instead of going public via an IPO by combining with a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, which is all the rage these days. It is anticipated to generate up to $1.3 billion from the sale, which includes interests owned by BlackRock and Fidelity Investments. WeWork is valued approximately $9 billion at the current stock price, a fraction of the $47 billion valuation put on the business until investors turned on it in 2019. The purchasing SPAC, named BowX, was given out at a price of $10 per share. WeWork shares — with the ticker symbol WE — were going as high as $11.10 in early Thursday trade.
WeWork rents office space and charges clients, including freelancers, start-ups, small and big companies, membership fees to utilize it. Its business model is based on the assumption that individuals would prefer the flexibility of such an arrangement to the rigidity of a conventional office lease, which may span years and come with a slew of additional restrictions.
WeWork’s company was devastated by the epidemic, which vacated office buildings all over the globe. Credit… The New York Times’ Hilary Swift
WeWork claimed that their company could not only transform how people worked, but also how they lived and thought, despite the fact that flexible office space was not new. Mr. Neumann received billions of dollars in funding, the largest of which came from SoftBank, which ended up rescuing out WeWork after it canceled its 2019 initial public offering and faced bankruptcy.
SoftBank’s 61 percent holding in WeWork must be evaluated by investors to see whether it will sell any of its shares if the stock price rises.
SoftBank may be keen to recover the $16 billion it has invested in WeWork, which includes roughly $11 billion in stock, $5 billion in debt, and payments to Mr. Neumann.
Last year, Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s CEO, said, “I made a bad choice.” “I didn’t take a good look at WeWork.” SoftBank agreed to limit its voting power in the business to less than 50%. SoftBank and other investors will have to hold their shares for many months before they may sell them.
WeWork’s company was devastated by the epidemic, which vacated office buildings all over the globe.
Traditional landlords were able to continue because tenants were legally obligated to pay their long-term leases, the majority of which are still in force. Customers of WeWork, on the other hand, were allowed to terminate their considerably shorter-term leases when they came to an end. WeWork’s revenue in the second quarter of this year was $593 million, down from $988 million in the first quarter of 2020, when it was at its high.
This helps to explain why the business is consuming cash rather than producing it. WeWork spent $1.31 billion in the first half of this year operating its business and buying property and equipment, up from $1.15 billion in the same period of 2020.
Despite this, WeWork has made progress in reducing its operational costs, and it expects to become profitable as its revenue increases. Renegotiating leases with landlords or moving out of them has resulted in some of the most significant cost reductions.
WeWork’s CEO, Sandeep Mathrani, said earlier this month that the firm has completed more than 150 full lease exits and 350 lease modifications so far this year. In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, he added, “What we did during the pandemic was fix the cost structure, properly size the company.”
The greatest issue hovering over WeWork is whether it will be harmed by the downturn that is wreaking havoc on some of the world’s largest office space markets, or if it will find a niche in a work environment transformed by the epidemic.
Occupancy numbers in office buildings in places like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, which are among WeWork’s most important markets, are still far below pre-pandemic levels — and may never recover, with many businesses allowing workers to work entirely or partially from home. Companies are leaving or subletting their premises when their leases expire in this climate. As a consequence, massive quantities of office space are being put on the market, and rents are plummeting.
According to industry analysts, this may harm WeWork in a number of ways. Fewer employees entering cities implies fewer business for all office space providers, including coworking spaces. Falling office rents may stifle WeWork’s attractiveness and limit the amount it can charge.
Urban co-working businesses are “seeing competition from sublease, as well as reluctance and anxiety about coming back to work,” said to John Arenas, CEO of Serendipity Labs, a flexible-office startup.
There are lots of open workstations at WeWork. It had 461,000 memberships and 764,000 physical workstations in the third quarter, translating to a 60% occupancy rate. This is down from 85% in mid-2019, but up from 45% at the end of previous year.
WeWork may gain if businesses that are cutting down on conventional leases determine that they need flexible places for workers to gather in one location.
And, according to WeWork’s management, businesses it works with desire 20% of their overall space to be flexible, implying strong demand.
By 2024, WeWork expects income to more than quadruple and memberships to increase by more than 50%.
Mr. Neumann, who left WeWork in a cloud after the failed 2019 I.P.O., would stand to profit if all of this occurs. He will own 8.4 percent of the publicly traded WeWork. Mr. Neumann has also received payments from SoftBank totaling more than $800 million in connection with his departure.
Mr. Claure told CNBC, “Adam is simply another stakeholder.”
In noon trading on Thursday, US equities fell slightly, with the S&P 500 falling just short of a new high.
The S&P 500 index fell 0.1 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite rose 0.4 percent.
In less than three weeks, the index has recovered 5.5 percent, recouping losses from September, the stock market’s worst month of the year.
After combining with BowX Acquisition Corp., a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, WeWork began trading on the stock market on Thursday. The transaction was anticipated to bring in up to $1.3 billion for WeWork. Earlier intentions to go public in 2019 were shelved. On Thursday, shares of WeWork, which trade under the ticker code WE, began trading at $11.28.
Both American Airlines and Southwest Airlines declared profits for the three months ending in September, despite the fact that both airlines’ earnings were reliant on pandemic assistance. In early trade, American’s stock was up nearly 2%, while Southwest’s was down 1.2 percent.
Tesla’s stock climbed 3.2 percent on Wednesday after the company announced a significant increase in sales, reaching $13.8 billion from $8.8 billion a year earlier. Despite a computer chip scarcity that has hampered most of the rest of the auto industry, Tesla’s Model Y sales have continued to grow in the United States, China, and Europe. It was the carmaker’s second consecutive quarter of earnings exceeding a billion dollars.
The Labor Department announced on Thursday that initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped last week. As it goes back to prepandemic margins, the weekly number was about 290,000, down 6,000 from the previous week.
Europe’s stock markets dropped on Thursday, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index down 0.2 percent. Asian markets ended the day with a mixed bag.
Southwest Airlines’ check-in facility at Chicago’s Midway International Airport. Despite the proliferation of the Delta form of the coronavirus, the airline sector has made progress. Credit… Shutterstock/Tannen Maury/EPA
Despite the spread of the Delta form of the coronavirus, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines declared earnings for the three months ending in September, indicating the industry’s recovery. But the airlines aren’t out of the woods yet: without government pandemic assistance, both would have recorded losses.
Nonetheless, the financial figures indicate that the sector is recovering as travel resumes, with both American and Southwest predicting even stronger profits in the last three months of the year, boosted by business, foreign, and holiday travel.
“We made excellent progress in our pandemic recovery in the third quarter of 2021, and I anticipate much more in the fourth quarter,” stated Gary Kelly, Southwest’s CEO. “I’m extremely optimistic about the rebound in demand and our prospects for 2022.”
Southwest recorded a profit of $446 million on $4.7 billion in sales for the third quarter. Over the summer, the Delta version cost Southwest an estimated $300 million in revenue, but the airline also had operational difficulties, including a three-day run of severe flight delays and cancellations in June, which was repeated earlier this month.
Mr. Kelly said, “Available staffing fell below plan and, combined with other circumstances, caused us to fail our operational ontime performance goals.” As a consequence, the airline has scaled down its hiring goals for 2022, with the goal of hiring 5,000 employees by the end of the year. Southwest, according to Mr. Kelly, is more than halfway there.
Ticket sales have begun to recover in recent weeks, but Southwest’s fourth-quarter earnings will be hampered by the Delta variation and operational difficulties. The virus has cost the airline an estimated $40 million this month, with a days-long period of delayed flights costing $75 million last week. However, the remainder of the quarter seems to be robust, with Christmas ticket sales patterns matching those of 2019.
American Airlines, which reported a $169 million profit boosted by government assistance, also forecasted high holiday demand, which it hopes to help it finish the fourth quarter with approximately 80% more revenue and almost 90% more seats sold than it did in the last three months of 2019.
During the third quarter, American got almost $1 billion in federal assistance to help pay employee wages, while Southwest received $763 million.
With the United States likely to relax travel restrictions early next month, both airlines expressed optimism about the recovery in business travel and a comeback in foreign travel. Delta and United, both of which recently announced profits for the same quarter, have voiced confidence for the months ahead, but increasing fuel prices may put a damper on those gains.
In February, customers explore vehicles at an AutoNation dealership in Fremont, California. Credit… Bloomberg/David Paul Morris
The worldwide scarcity of computer chips has caused havoc on vehicle manufacturing, but it’s also helping auto dealers boost their profits.
The most recent example occurred on Thursday, when AutoNation, a network of more than 350 new-vehicle franchisees, said that its third-quarter earnings had quadrupled to $362 million. Higher pricing and increasing sales of used vehicles contributed to the company’s sixth straight record quarter on a per-share basis.
Because of the chip scarcity, manufacturers have been forced to shut down facilities for weeks at a time, limiting the number of new vehicles available to customers. Because of the scarcity of inventory, prices have risen, allowing manufacturers and dealers to reduce profit-eating discounts and incentives that were previously used to get vehicles off the lot.
“This is a consequence of the epidemic and then the chip scarcity,” AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson said. “Supply is insufficient to satisfy demand.” Vehicles come in and go immediately.”
AutoNation had approximately 5,000 new cars in stock at the end of September. It had 56,000 at the same time in 2019.
Mr. Jackson estimates that approximately 60% of the cars AutoNation orders from manufacturers are sold before they ever reach its dealers. That’s a long cry from the days when vehicles would sit unsold for up to six months.
Due to a scarcity of new cars, more customers are opting for older versions. AutoNation sold more than 77,000 used vehicles and trucks in the third quarter, up 20% from the same time in 2020.
Prices have risen as a result of the demand for used vehicles, and dealers are scrambling to get their hands on them. AutoNation has even started contacting owners who advertise their vehicles for sale on eBay, AutoTrader, and other websites. Mr. Jackson said, “If you put a vehicle up for sale, you’re going to hear from us.”
Even if the chip shortfall ends in 2022, dealer stocks would likely remain limited, according to Mr. Jackson. “There is enormous pent-up demand,” he said, adding that it would take time for manufacturers to build up dealer inventories.
However, Mr. Jackson, 72, will not be at the helm to see it. He is set to leave his job as CEO of AutoNation, which he has held for the last 22 years. Mike Manley, the former CEO of Fiat Chrysler, will replace him on November 1st.
Danielle Miess was laid off from a travel firm in Philadelphia. Her unemployment benefits have run out, but she has no intention of returning to the workplace. Instead, she scrapes by on a variety of jobs to make ends meet. Credit… The New York Times’ Kriston Jae Bethel
In September, the work force shrank. There were five million fewer individuals working and three million fewer searching for employment than there were before the epidemic.
According to Ben Casselman of The New York Times, the delayed return of employees is creating problems for the Biden administration, which has been relying on a robust economic recovery to provide impetus to its political agenda, and perplexing forecasts.
Conservatives have criticized substantial unemployment benefits for keeping people at home, but data from areas where payments were terminated early indicates that any effect was minor. Companies might find employees if they provided more pay, according to progressives, but labor shortages aren’t confined to low-wage sectors.
Economists instead point to a complicated, intertwined web of variables, many of which may take time to reverse.
Some individuals are still finding it difficult or hazardous to work because of the health issue, while others have found it simpler to reject down employment they don’t want because of funds accumulated during the epidemic. Surveys indicate that the epidemic caused many individuals to reconsider their priorities, which may have an influence. Furthermore, the abundance of vacant positions may encourage some people to wait out for better offers.
As a consequence, for the first time in decades, employees at all levels of the wage scale have power. They’re using it to demand not just more money, but also more flexible hours, better benefits, and better working conditions.
“It’s like the entire nation is in some sort of union renegotiation,” said Betsey Stevenson, a University of Michigan economist and former Obama advisor. “I’m not sure who will win in this current round of negotiations, but it seems like employees have the upper hand right now.”