đź“° Twitter's Biden article problem

Monday, October 19, 2020 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures
_Wondering why the Twitter drama isn't #trending on Twitter_

Wondering why the Twitter drama isn't #trending on Twitter

Last Week’s Market Moves
Dow Jones
28,606 (+0.07%)
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3,484 (+0.20%)
11,672 (+0.79%)
$11,329 (+2.53%)

Hey Snackers,

Ancient mummies have been unearthed in Egypt after being buried for over 2,600 years — in other words, since January 2020.

Stocks barely budged for the week as hopes for a 2nd pre-election stimulus package faded. Also: US COVID-19 hospitalizations hit the highest level in nearly six weeks, and new cases hit records in Europe.


1. Twitter and Facebook's latest moderation moves could cost them their immunity

The article that has Twitter trending… isn’t trending on Twitter. It all started on Wednesday with an unconfirmed New York Post article showing allegedly hacked emails from Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. TLDR: the emails are unverified, but unflattering to both Bidens — and they were provided to the NYP by Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani (read: political agenda). Twitter and Facebook limited the article’s distribution with two very different approaches…

  • Facebook limited its visibility — FB algorithms didn’t place posts linking to the story as highly in people’s feeds, curbing sharing.
  • Twitter full-on blocked people from posting links to the story and emails, citing rules against sharing hacked content.

Think fast… Social giants usually get heat for lagging on moderation, so their swift reaction raised eyebrows. Now, they’re getting criticized for lack of transparency and consistency in how/when they intervene. The moves backfired:

  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will likely get subpoenaed by the Senate tomorrow. Dorsey was also already set to testify on Oct 28 along with Facebook’s Zuck (great timing).
  • The story got even more attention. Biden/NYP was the #1 search on Google Trends on Wednesday with 1M+ hits.
  • Twitter apologized. It reversed its decision and said it’ll no longer remove hacked content unless it’s directly shared by hackers.

This could be the breaking point on Section 230… That Congressional legislation protects social media companies from being liable for what users post. They can’t be sued for posts, but also can’t be punished for “reasonable moderation.” This drama has revived calls for repealing 230, including from President Trump. The case: if social networks act like editors, then they should be accountable for all content on their platforms. Losing 230 immunity would be world-shattering for them — imagine if Facebook got sued every time someone shared something offensive or false.


Ignoring that weird thing on your toe… UnitedHealth thrives on it. Shares of the largest US health insurer surged last week after it reported expectation-smashing profit and raised its yearly forecast. Apparently, people are still avoiding the doctors’ office (has a germy ring to it). This slower-than-expected rebound in deferred care means United was spending less on covering your bills (while still pocketing your premiums). But United shelled out more than in the previous quarter, signaling an uptick in demand.

What would Elon do?... Nio, sometimes called "the Tesla of China," has had a glow up in 2020 (unlike the rest of us). Nio kicked off the year desperate for cash after burning through $6B. But the EV stock has soared ~700% since April 29, when it got a $1B cash injection from Chinese government-backed investors. The stock soared 30% just last week thanks to analyst upgrades on growth momentum. In 2019, Nio delivered just ~20K cars compared to Tesla's ~367K — but its battery-swapping service is an interesting differentiator.


Haven’t seen a Biscoff cookie since March… Instead of dropping dough on a Mykonos trip this summer, you were making sourdough starters. Hence: Delta’s passenger sales plunged 83% last quarter and it lost $5.4B (compared to a $1.5B profit for the same quarter last year). Delta avoided involuntary job cuts — but United and American are slashing 32K employees since federal aid expired. And stimulus help doesn’t look like it’s landing soon.

Waiting for the happy ending... AMC, the world's largest movie theater chain, said it'll run out of cash by late 2020 or early 2021 without financial rescuing. 83% of AMC's US theaters have reopened at limited capacity, but attendance is down ~85% from last year. To make a bad situation worse, studios have been delaying blockbuster debuts. Disney postponed almost all its movies slated for 2020 release, including Marvel's “Black Widow." Now AMC's focused on raising fresh cash to survive until things normalize.

What else we’re Snackin’

  • Thrive: How to achieve more by doing less better, according to ancient philosophy. Life isn't short, but we make it short by wasting time (deep).
  • Relax: Why some people burn out and others don't — developing emotional intelligence is key to managing high stress.
  • Eat: 10 things you never knew about eggs, and the elusive "sell by" date explained (they're good for 3 to 5 weeks after).
  • Work: How new grads can create a 5-year career path that's recession-proof. Plans aren't important, but planning is key.
  • Focus: Why "attention management" matters more than time management. Only 2% of people can effectively multitask.
  • Live: The 4 biggest wastes of time we regret as we get older (besides endlessly scrolling funny cat videos).

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Disclosure: Authors of this Snacks own shares of Twitter and Delta

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