A US federal court finds suspicionless searches of phones at the border is illegal

A federal court in Boston has ruled that the government is not allowed to search travelers’ phones or other electronic devices at the U.S. border without first having reasonable suspicion of a crime. That’s a significant victory for civil liberties advocates, who say the government’s own rules allowing its border agents to search electronic devices at the border without a …

Saudi Arabia reportedly recruited Twitter employees to steal personal data of activists

Saudi Arabian officials allegedly paid at least two employees of Twitter to access personal information on users the government there was interested in, according to recently unsealed court documents. Those users were warned of the attempt in 2015, but the full picture is only now emerging. According to an AP report citing the federal complaint, Ahmad Abouammo and Ali Alzabarah …

Valence launches a social network for black professionals

Over the past two years, as technology companies continued to struggle with diversifying their work forces, Los Angeles-based venture capitalist Kobie Fuller wrestled with how to solve the problem. As a black professional himself, Fuller had experienced the frustrations and isolation that can sometimes come with being the only person in the room who looked the way he did. He …

YouTube rolls out Super Stickers, a new way for creators to make money

YouTube today is expanding the ways creators can make money with the global launch of a new feature, Super Stickers. The stickers are aimed at fans who want to show their support and connect with favorite creators, similar to Super Chat, which highlights a fan’s messages within a live chat. To be eligible for either, creators have to operate a …

Friended is a new social network that wants to get real

Though the social media landscape is dominated by a few major players, consumers still seem to want something new and different. Just look at TikTok. Today, a new social app is launching called Friended, which is taking an altogether different strategy when it comes to connecting people online. Friended was started by Thumb cofounder and CEO Dan Kurani, Friended wants …

Twitter suspends accounts affiliated with Hamas and Hezbollah

Twitter suspended several accounts affiliated with Hamas and Hezbollah over the weekend after being repeatedly asked to do so by a bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives. The lawmakers — Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Tom Reed (R-NY), Max Rose (D-NY) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) — criticized the company for allowing the accounts to stay up even though Hamas and Hezbollah are designated …

WeWork-owned Meetup confirms restructuring, layoffs

WeWork’s efforts to cut costs following the ouster of its chief executive officer and a delayed initial public offering looks to be impacting its subsidiaries. Meetup, which WeWork acquired for a reported $200 million in 2017, announced a round of layoffs this morning, TechCrunch has learned. The company, which helps people foster in-person connections by facilitating events across the globe, …

Facebook’s new branding distinguishes app from acquisitions

Facebook wants more people to know it owns Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus while still maintaining a distinct identity for its main app. So today Facebook launched a new capitalization and typography format for its company name, using all capital letters and a shifting color scheme that highlights Instagram’s purple gradient and WhatsApp’s green tint. “Over the coming weeks, we will …

Twitter’s political ads ban is a distraction from the real problem with platforms

Sometimes it feels as if Internet platforms are turning everything upside down, from politics to publishing, culture to commerce, and of course swapping truth for lies. This week’s bizarro reversal was the vista of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, a tech CEO famed for being entirely behind the moral curve of understanding what his product is platforming (i.e. nazis), providing an impromptu …

Facebook sues OnlineNIC for domain name fraud associated with malicious activity

Facebook today announced it has filed suit in California against a domain registrar OnlineNIC and its proxy service ID Shield for registering domain names that pretend to be associated with Facebook, like www-facebook-login.com or facebook-mails.com, for example. Facebook says these domains are intentionally designed to mislead and confuse end users, who believe they’re interacting with Facebook. These fake domains are …

Daily Crunch: Twitter is banning political ads

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Jack Dorsey says Twitter will ban all political ads Arguing that “internet political ads present entirely new challenges to civic discourse,” CEO Jack Dorsey announced that …

Zuckerberg defends politician ads that will be 0.5% of 2020 revenue

As Jack Dorsey announced his company Twitter would drop all political ads, Facebook CEO Zuckerberg doubled-down on his policy of refusing to fact check politicians’ ads. “At times of social tension there has often been an urge to pull back on free expression . . . We will be best served over the long term by resisting this urge and …

Jack Dorsey says Twitter will ban all political ads

CEO Jack Dorsey just announced, via tweet, that Twitter will be banning all political advertising — with a few exceptions like voter registration. “We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought,” Dorsey said. He also said the company will share the final policy by November 15, and that it will start enforcing the policy on November 22. We’ve …

Facebook unveils its first foray into personal digital healthcare tools

Nearly a year and a half after the Cambridge Analytica scandal reportedly scuttled Facebook’s fledgling attempts to enter the healthcare market, the social media giant is launching a tool called “Preventive Health” to prompt its users to get regular checkups and connect them to service providers. The architect of the new service is Dr. Freddy Abnousi, the head of the …

Mark Zuckerberg makes the case for Facebook News

While Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seemed cheerful and even jokey when he took the stage today in front of journalists and media executives (at one point, he described the event as “by far the best thing” he’d done this week), he acknowledged that there are reasons for the news industry to be skeptical. Facebook, after all, has been one of …

Daily Crunch: Facebook launches its News section

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Facebook starts testing News, its new section for journalism Facebook’s news section, which was previously reported to be imminent, is here: The company is rolling out …

Facebook starts testing News, its new section for journalism

Facebook’s news section, which was previously reported to be imminent, is here: The company is rolling out Facebook News in a limited test. In a blog post, Facebook’s Campbell Brown (vice president of global news partnerships) and Mona Sarantakos (product manager, news) said that news articles will continue to appear in the main News Feed. However, they said that creating a …

Why publishers shouldn’t trust Facebook News

Are we really doing this again? After the pivot to video. After Instant Articles. After news was deleted from the News Feed. Once more, Facebook dangles extra traffic, and journalism outlets leap through its hoop and into its cage. Tomorrow, Facebook will unveil its News tab. About 200 publishers are already aboard including the Wall Street Journal and BuzzFeed News, …

Daily Crunch: Twitter revenue disappoints

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Twitter Q3 misses big on revenues of $824M and EPS of $0.05 on the back of adtech glitches Twitter said the huge drop in performance “was …

LinkedIn’s degree problem

A couple of years ago, the co-founder and CEO of a blood-testing company was publicly taken to task for implying in articles and professional profiles that he has a PhD, when, in reality, he’d left a prestigious graduate group three years after enrolling, without a degree. The CEO is hardly alone in intentionally or otherwise sowing confusion around his credentials, …

Lowlights from Zuckerberg’s Libra testimony in Congress

Congress grilled Facebook’s CEO today, unleashing critiques of his approach to cryptocurrency, privacy, encryption, and running a giant corporation. Mark Zuckerberg tried to assuage their fears while stoking concerns that if Facebook doesn’t build Libra, then the world will end up using China’s version. Yet Facebook won’t stop shaking up society, with Zuckerberg saying its News section will be announced …