Facebook tests a News Feed with less politics – TechCrunch


Facebook tries to get less political, Oracle’s TikTok acquisition may not be happening and Twitter says Donald Trump is banned forever. This is your Daily Crunch for February 10, 2021.

The big story: Facebook tests a News Feed with less politics

Facebook announced today that it’s testing changes to the News Feed that would downrank political content. The company says the results will help determine how it treats such content in the future; content from health organizations and official government agencies will not be affected.

Two years ago, Facebook said it would be downranking publisher content in favor of content from family and friends, but this time it’s targeting politics specifically. For now, this test is only being conducted with a small group of users in select markets, including the United States, Canada, Brazil and Indonesia.

The tech giants

TikTok’s forced sale to Oracle is put on hold — The insane saga of a potential forced sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations is reportedly ending.

Twitter says Trump is banned forever, even if he runs for president again — “When you’re removed from the platform, you’re removed from the platform,” said Twitter CFO Ned Segal.

Apple Maps to gain Waze-like features for reporting accidents, hazards and speed traps — The new features are live in the iOS 14.5 beta.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Israeli startup CYE raises $100M to help companies shore up their cyber-defenses — CYE conducts offensive operations against their customers (with their permission) to find weaknesses before malicious hackers do.

SecuriThings snares $14M Series A to keep edge devices under control — This could include devices like security cameras, access control systems and building management systems.

Podz turns podcasts into a personalized audio newsfeed — A new company from an old Startup Battlefield winner, backed by Katie Couric and Paris Hilton.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Three adtech and martech VCs see major opportunities in privacy and compliance — We asked them to update us on whether deal flow has recovered, and to look ahead at the possibility of additional regulation.

Dear Sophie: How can I improve our startup’s international recruiting? — The latest edition of the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at technology companies.

How will investors value MetroMile and Oscar Health? — Last night, MetroMile and SPAC INSU Acquisition Corp. II completed their combination.

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

Ancestry says it fought two police requests to search its DNA database — Neither request resulted in the company turning over customer or DNA data.

NASA will use Fitbits to help prevent spread of COVID-19 to astronauts and employees — NASA will provide 1,000 of its employees, including 150 astronauts, with Fitbit devices in a pilot program.

EU’s top privacy regulator urges ban on surveillance-based ad targeting — The regulator is proposing that this ban be included in a major reform of digital services rules.

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 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.



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