Confrontation with social media censorship

Good morning! The clash of competing rulings on social media sets up a potential Supreme Court showdown that would have lasting consequences for tech platforms. Meanwhile, the video game industry faces its own showdown: between the giant studios and their unionized workforces. Let’s dive into it.

“Censorship” laws wreak havoc

Floridians who want to stick with Big Tech will have to wait another day, after an 11th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the core of the state’s anti-social media ‘censorship’ law violates the first amendment.

Earlier this month, a 5th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted an injunction on a very similar law in Texas, without giving notice. The move allowed the Texas law to go into effect immediately, causing chaos for nearly every major tech company. The fate of this law is now before the Supreme Court, which could respond any day to an emergency request on its phantom file.

Florida opinion could provide judges with a roadmap. Here is what the court said about the law:

  • Social media companies, regardless of size, “are ‘private actors’ whose rights are protected by the First Amendment,” the court clearly stated.
  • He said the law’s provisions that prohibit platforms from “deplatforming” politicians, prioritizing or deprioritizing posts by or about them or removing content from the “journalistic enterprise”.[s]are clearly against these First Amendment rights.
  • The court also said parts of the law that require platforms to give a “thorough rationale” for every content moderation decision they make are likely to violate the First Amendment as well.

This could prompt the Supreme Court to make a much more important decision. Its decision in response to the emergency request will only decide whether Texas law remains in effect while the 5th Circuit appeal case remains pending.

  • If the 5th Circuit ultimately sides with Texas, which it now seems likely to do, it will create a split between the Circuits, which is exactly the kind of thing SCOTUS likes to get into.
  • If that happens, the Supreme Court could be asked to decide once and for all whether social media companies have First Amendment rights or are, in fact, the common carriers of a new era.

The impact of this decision would be an earthquake for technology platforms – and have huge ramifications for their users.

Issie Lapowski (E-mail | Twitter)

The seismic change of the game

Until this week, not a single major US game developer had a unionized workforce of any kind. That just changed.

Raven Software workers voted to unionize Monday. A group of more than 20 employees of the Activision Blizzard-owned company voted in an NLRB-sanctioned election to determine whether Raven’s management would be forced to recognize the group. The union won, 19-3, making the Game Workers Alliance the first of its kind at a major US game studio.

The union has been boosted by the layoffs and the ongoing crises of Activision Blizzard. In December, Raven’s quality assurance testers went on strike for five weeks to protest the layoffs. Parent company Activision, which is about to be acquired by Microsoft, is in turmoil.

  • A California lawsuit filed last summer kickstarted the game’s publisher, leading to numerous other lawsuits, high-profile firings and resignations, leadership reshuffles, employee protests and a movement. increasing unionization.
  • The NLRB found that Activision Blizzard unlawfully threatened employees and violated their rights through intimidation and an overly broad social media policy.
  • The NLRB plans to sue the company if it does not settle the charges.

Activision Blizzard has one week to appeal the decision before it must begin negotiating in good faith on a union contract. But statements and internal messages to staff make it clear that management is not happy. Whatever the reaction of the company, the GWA union contract will have a ripple effect throughout the industry and its growing labor movement.

Nick Statt (E-mail | Twitter)


Project Shield protects news and human rights organizations, government entities, and more from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. These digital attacks are used by bad actors and cybercriminals to censor information by taking websites offline.

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People are talking

Intel CEO (and former VMware CEO) Pat Gelsinger is mixed on the potential acquisition of VMware by Broadcom:

  • “If it helps VMware be a more compelling and innovative growth story, then that’s good – if it’s not, then that’s not good.”

First Director of Twitter, Jason Goldman think Elon Musk is chaos for the company:

  • “We have been through a lot of terrible times, many of them self-inflicted. This is by far the worst. It is an agent of chaos imposed from outside who does not act in good faith.

And Gwynne Shotwell forbidden musk against allegations of sexual misconduct:

  • “I have worked closely with him for 20 years and have never seen or heard anything resembling these allegations.”

Terra investor Hassan Bassiri is certainly committed to the cause:

  • “An algo stable will exist in the next five to seven years… And it has to exist, otherwise what are we even doing in this space?”

make moves

Adrian Cockcroft is retirement from amazon after nearly six years with the company. Cockcroft was most recently vice president of Sustainability Architecture.

Carillon named Vineet Mehra Marketing Director. He previously led growth and experience at Good Eggs.

Xiaomi has inked a long term partnership with Leica. Their first collaboration will be a smartphone released in July.

In other news

The 50 richest people in the world lost half a trillion dollars between them so far this year – at least on paper. Elon Musk alone lost nearly $70 billion, or about 1.5 Twitter.

Klarna is dismiss 10% of its workforce of approximately 6,500 employees. The news follows reports that its valuation fell 30% to $30 billion. PayPal is also dismiss workers.

Snap will miss its revenue and profit guidance for the quarter. This will slow down hiring in response.

Andy Jassy has a big general assembly to manage Wednesday. hell answer questions from shareholders on Amazon’s working conditions, executive compensation and taxes.

Broadcom could shell out up to $60 billion for VMware, according to the WSJ.

Didi shareholders voted for delisting the company of the New York Stock Exchange.

Samsung said it would be invest $350 billion for five years in next generation technologies, mainly in South Korea.

Airbnb would be plans to leave China. The company is expected to drop all listings in the country this summer.

Meta will give searchers access to targeting data for political ads, finally giving scholars the access they have wanted for years.

DC Attorney General Karl Racine sues Mark Zuckerberg on his responsibility for the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The evolving technology compensation package

The tech job market isn’t calming down (yet), but the economic downturn could change how workers get paid. Big salaries aren’t going away anytime soon, but tech companies will be looking to cut costs in other ways.

Compensation consultants say plush benefits and huge annual merit increases are easy places to cut. The amount of stock companies give to employees and the frequency of stock awards will also be reviewed.

But experts also say now is the time for startups to recruit top talent. Many tech giants plan to slow hiring – or freeze it altogether – this year, which will make the market less competitive. And Big Tech workers looking for a new challenge might want to jump ship for an exciting growth opportunity.


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