10 things in tech you need to know today

GettySundar Pichai.

Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.

  1. Facebook banned white nationalism and white separatism from its platform. Facebook Counterterrorism Policy Director Brian Fishman told Motherboard that white nationalist and white separatist speech will now be treated the same was as white supremacist content.
  2. Lyft raised its IPO price range ahead of its expected IPO this week. The ride-hailing company is expected to price its IPO officially on Thursday night and is expected to start trading on Friday morning.
  3. A prominent Silicon Valley VC was “terminated” from Lightspeed Venture Partners after admitting a link to the college admissions scandal. Chris Schaepe allegedly made donations to a foundation run by disgraced college admissions coach Rick Singler – totalling more than $US630,000 – to help get his son into the University of Texas.
  4. 50 women are suing Salesforce for allegedly selling its software to an online sex marketplace that pleaded guilty to human trafficking. They allege the San francisco software company, known for its actions on civil rights, helped Backpage run its business by providing software and consulting services.
  5. Trump says Google CEO Sundar Pichai told him he is “totally committed to the US military”. Donald Trump said that the two also “discussed political fairness and various things that Google can do for our Country. Meeting ended very well!”
  6. Another group of older ex-employees are suing IBM alleging it targeted older workers for layoffs. They are alleging that IBM engaged in a “massive scheme to cover up discriminatory layoff of over 20,000 older workers in knowing violation of disclosure requirements.”
  7. Internal documents shown in court reveal how HP planned to downplay the news of its $US8.8 billion Autonomy writedown in 2012 by lobbying the UK prime minister and the world’s press. Called “Project Sutton”, HP’s “aggressive” comms plan was intended to shield then-CEO Meg Whitman and its board from criticism over the disastrous Autonomy deal.
  8. Elon Musk contradicted Tesla’s return policy on Twitter. Tesla’s website says potential customers have a week to return their vehicles only if they have not taken a test drive, Musk said they have a week to return their cars either way.
  9. Google set up an external ethics council for AI, but one of its members was called out for tweeting anti-trans and anti-immigrant views. Google VP of Global Affairs Kent Walker said the group will look at ethical problems including “facial recognition and fairness in machine learning.”
  10. Instagram is investigating an Alex Jones post that has stoked anti-Semitic hate in the comments. There is growing pressure on Instagram to shut down Jones’ account following his removal from Facebook last year.

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