With help from Gavin Bade
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— Facebook says: The social network has started labeling some posts in News Feeds as coming from a “public official,” “fan page” or “satire page.” But it’s unclear which category the former president — if reinstated on the platform in the coming weeks — would fall into.
— Schumer’s China plan hits a snag: A new version of the Endless Frontier Act is circulating in Washington and its Republican co-sponsor has some concerns.
— DuckDuckGo cameo: Google rival DuckDuckGo is never afraid to take a swing at the search giant. But CEO Gabriel Weinberg says it’s too early to tell whether the antitrust suits hitting Google from all sides will move the needle for smaller players like his own.
HAPPY THURSDAY AND WELCOME TO MORNING TECH! Alex and Emily here, co-authoring today’s newsletter — an ambitious crossover episode that we’re happy for you to be a part of.
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ARE YOU A PUBLIC LEADER, OR A SATIRICAL ICON? CHECK FACEBOOK — The social network is testing a way to make it clearer who, or what, is behind the posts in your News Feed. The company announced Wednesday that some users will start seeing labels delineating certain Pages as “public official,” “fan page” or “satire page” (check out a visual here).
— The new feature comes as the company’s independent Oversight Board weighs whether former President Donald Trump should be allowed back on the platform. Asked how Trump, if reinstated, would have his Facebook page labeled, spokesperson Andy Stone declined to comment, telling MT he was “not going to speculate.”
— Meanwhile, over at Twitter: Not only has the platform pledged to not reinstate Trump under any circumstances, but it’s now also going the extra mile to prevent archival copies of his tweets from resurfacing on the platform.
The company told POLITICO on Wednesday that it will not allow the National Archives to make past posts from the @realDonaldTrump account available on the site itself. (Other posts from the federal agency’s official online archive — including those of other past presidents and former Trump administration officials — can still live on by being shared across the platform.) Twitter spokesperson Trenton Kennedy said in an email that “administration accounts that are archived on the service are accounts that were not in violation of the Twitter Rules.”
ENDLESS FRONTIER HITS ITS LIMITS — The legislation that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the “centerpiece” of his China strategy is drawing pushback from its Republican co-sponsor, Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.). The reason: Schumer wants to include provisions that track closely with President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan.
The latest discussion draft of the Endless Frontier Act, which staffers began circulating to industry representatives last week, includes a new program that would focus on supply chain resiliency within the Commerce Department and authorize funding for semiconductor manufacturing and research, according to a copy obtained by MT. Those provisions closely resemble elements of Biden’s American Jobs Plan. It would also include an increased investment in Obama-era manufacturing programs.
“Any attempts to hijack the good work that’s been done on this bill for well over a year and load it up with other domestic items from the President’s infrastructure plan would be concerning,” said Heidi Reutebuch, a spokesperson for Young.
— Seeking new frontiers: The Endless Frontier Act would provide $100 billion to dramatically expand the National Science Foundation, creating a new arm dedicated to advancing technologies including artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology and robotics. The legislation is a key prong in Schumer’s China strategy, which he is dead-set on jamming through this Congress.
— Can bipartisanship win? Biden at a press conference on Wednesday touted the congressional effort to address the chip shortage as a key area of bipartisan agreement. But it’s looking like politics could get in the way.
The Senate Commerce Committee is slated to hold a hearing on the legislation on April 14, according to two people familiar with the plans who requested anonymity to speak freely. A markup could happen shortly afterward.
WILL HUAWEI STAY ON U.S. TRADE BLACKLIST? — Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told reporters Wednesday that the administration is “in the thick” of its China policy review, reiterating a familiar line about the Chinese telecom giant’s presence on her agency’s trade blacklist.
“A lot of people have said, ‘Is Huawei going to stay on the entity list?’” Raimondo said during an appearance at a White House press briefing. “I have no reason to believe that they won’t, but we’re kind of in the middle of the overall review.”
She gave no indication on the timing of the review, but she said the effort led by national security adviser Jake Sullivan is “aggressive” and the administration is “not wasting time.”
CHECKING IN WITH CEO OF GOOGLE RIVAL DUCKDUCKGO — As head of the privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo, Weinberg is at the heart of the brewing antirust battle over whether Google abused its dominant position to tilt the scales in its favor over smaller rivals. Yet despite antitrust lawsuits coming thick and fast against the search giant, Weinberg told POLITICO’s weekly transatlantic tech newsletter Digital Bridge that it’s too early to claim victory.
“The U.S. has woken up, I think, finally to the idea that it needs to do something on antitrust, especially in tech markets,” he said. “What that translates into right now is just completely unclear. There are these lawsuits that could take a decade or they could settle next year.”
— And what about Congress? “They could end up reforming antitrust laws from 100 years ago, or they could end up doing nothing,” he said. “I’m encouraged that something’s going to happen somewhere in the U.S., but it’s way too early to tell.”
Margaret Konaev, research fellow at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, has joined the Center for a New American Security as an adjunct senior fellow in the organization’s tech and nat-sec program, where she’ll focus on AI use in the military.
The University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Chicago Quantum Exchange have launched Duality, an accelerator program for startups focused on quantum. … Digital software design studio MyPlanet has joined the MACH Alliance, a group that “advocates for an open and best-of-breed enterprise technology ecosystem.”
Eyeballs watching emoji: The Digital Trust and Safety Partnership is looking to hire an executive director. (MT covered the February launch of the coalition, which includes Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter and is focused on creating and promoting “best practices” for user safety across the platforms.)
That’s some tea: “Twitter held talks in recent months to acquire Clubhouse,” Bloomberg reports.
What happens off Twitch: “Amazon’s livestreaming service Twitch will police users’ behavior outside of its platform,” WaPo reports.
How much is the global chip shortage really making a dent in Big Tech? WSJ takes a look.
Hey, we’re still here: “For months after it banned violent extremist groups, Facebook’s advertising preference system, which lets advertisers deliver targeted ads, continued to identify and categorize some people as interested in militias,” BuzzFeed News reports.
Oh drivers, where art thou? Demand for Uber and Lyft rides is soaring as more Americans get vaccinated, but the gig companies are struggling to recruit drivers, Ars Technica reports.
Beat OTD: Fight for the Future Director Evan Greer is out with a punk song about surveillance capitalism; check out the music video here. It’s timed with the digital rights and privacy group’s launch of a new campaign raising concerns about Spotify’s potential use of voice recognition.
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