Shannon Bond | WYPR

Shannon Bond

Shannon Bond is a business correspondent at NPR, covering technology and how Silicon Valley's biggest companies are transforming how we live, work and communicate.

Bond joined NPR in September 2019. She previously spent 11 years as a reporter and editor at the Financial Times in New York and San Francisco. At the FT, she covered subjects ranging from the media, beverage and tobacco industries to the Occupy Wall Street protests, student debt, New York City politics and emerging markets. She also co-hosted the FT's award-winning podcast, Alphachat, about business and economics.

Bond has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School and a bachelor's degree in psychology and religion from Columbia University. She grew up in Washington, D.C., but is enjoying life as a transplant to the West Coast.

Updated at 5:19 p.m. ET

Facebook users saw hate speech about once in every 1,000 pieces of content they viewed on the social network between July and September, the company said on Thursday.

This is the first time Facebook has publicly estimated the prevalence of hate speech on its platform, giving a sense of scale of the problem. It published the new metric as part of its quarterly report on how much content it removed from Facebook and Instagram for breaking rules ranging from violence to child exploitation to suicide and self-harm.

Updated Thursday at 11:02 a.m. ET

More than 200 Facebook workers say the social media company is making content moderators return to the office during the pandemic because the company's attempt to rely more heavily on automated systems has "failed."

Twitter said on Thursday that it would maintain some of the changes it had made to slow down the spread of election misinformation, saying they were working as intended.

Before Election Day, Twitter, Facebook and other social networks had announced a cascade of measures billed as protecting the integrity of the voting process.

Twitter said on Thursday it would maintain some changes it had made to slow down the spread of election misinformation, saying they were working as intended.

Before Election Day, Twitter, Facebook and other social networks had announced a cascade of measures billed as protecting the integrity of the voting process.

For Twitter, those included more prominent warning labels on misleading or disputed claims and limiting how such claims can be shared.

Facebook removed a group filled with false claims about voter fraud and calls for real-world protests over vote counting that had gained more than 360,000 members since it was created on Wednesday.

California voters handed Uber and Lyft a big victory — and labor unions a big setback — when they approved a measure allowing the ride-hailing companies to keep classifying their drivers as independent contractors.

For Joe Renice, who drives for Uber in San Francisco, the measure's passage was a relief.

"This is a job that I make over $100,000 a year doing. And I have complete and total freedom and flexibility to do that," he said.

Murphy Bannerman first noticed the posts this summer in a Facebook group called Being Black in Arizona.

Someone started posting memes full of false claims that seemed designed to discourage people from voting.

The memes were "trying to push this narrative of, 'The system is a mess and there's no point in you participating,' " Bannerman said. She recalled statements such as, " 'Democrats and Republicans are the same. There's no point in voting.' 'Obama didn't do anything for you during his term, why should you vote for a Democrat this time around?' "

Updated Thursday at 10:55 a.m. ET

Some U.S. hospitals have been hit by coordinated ransomware attacks designed to infect systems for financial gain, federal agencies and a private-sector cybersecurity company warned on Wednesday.

A joint advisory by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services and the FBI says there is "credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat" to U.S. hospitals and health care providers.

The CEOs of some of the biggest tech platforms defended the way they handle online speech to an audience of skeptical senators, many of whom seemed more interested in scoring political points than engaging with thorny debate over content moderation policies and algorithms.

This week could mark the official end of the long love affair between Washington and Silicon Valley.

The U.S. Justice Department and 11 state attorneys general have filed a blockbuster lawsuit against Google, accusing it of being an illegal monopoly because of its stranglehold on Internet search.

Updated at 3:24 p.m. ET

The Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit Tuesday against Google alleging the company of abusing its dominance over smaller rivals by operating like an illegal monopoly. The action represents the federal government's most significant legal action in more than two decades to confront a technology giant's power.

Updated at 7:05 p.m. ET

Facebook said on Tuesday it will ban anti-vaccination ads, following widespread pressure on the social network to curb harmful content.

Under the new global policy, the company will no longer accept ads discouraging people from getting vaccines; ads that portray vaccines as unsafe or ineffective; or ads claiming the diseases vaccines prevent are harmless.

Updated at 4:05 p.m. ET

Facebook is banning all content that "denies or distorts the Holocaust," in a policy reversal that comes after increased pressure from critics.

Expect to see more prominent warning labels on Twitter that make it harder to see and share false claims about the election and the coronavirus, the company said on Friday.

This is the latest step that Twitter is taking to prevent the spread of deliberate misinformation as voters cast their ballots amid a pandemic. Like Facebook and other social media platforms, Twitter has announced a cascade of new rules to stop a flood of hoaxes and false claims aimed at misleading voters.

Something as simple as changing the font of a message or cropping an image can be all it takes to bypass Facebook's defenses against hoaxes and lies.

Most of the world's smartphones run on Google's Android software. But did Google play fairly when it created that software?

That question is at the heart of a case being argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday. It's the culmination of a battle that started 10 years ago, when tech company Oracle first accused Google of illegally copying its code.

Yoel Roth spends a lot of time thinking about what could go wrong on Twitter. It's his job, as the social media company's head of site integrity.

"Having a vivid imagination is key," he told NPR. "None of the threats are off-limits."

National security officials say the Kremlin is at it again: Just like in 2016, Russia is using social media to try to undermine the U.S. presidential election, only with even more sophisticated tools.

Google says it will not publish political ads after polls close on Election Day, citing the high possibility that final results will be delayed because of the shift to mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

The civil rights groups behind this summer's Facebook advertiser boycott are joining other critics to pressure the social network to do more to counter hate speech, falsehoods about the election and efforts to delegitimize mail-in voting.

Facebook and Twitter said on Thursday they had removed several hundred fake accounts linked to Russian military intelligence and other Kremlin-backed actors involved in previous efforts to interfere in U.S. politics, including the 2016 presidential election.

Updated at 4:56 p.m. ET

President Trump warned tech companies he is "watching them very closely during this election cycle" as his administration proposed stripping online platforms of long-held legal protections.

"We see so many things that are unfair," Trump said during at a White House discussion with Republican state attorneys general about social media. "It's very serious. Very bad. Very serious."

Critics of Facebook and Twitter — and even some people inside the companies — say dramatic action is needed to counter the way the platforms supercharge false, and sometimes dangerous, claims.

Facebook says it has taken down a network of China-based fake accounts whose posts included content about the U.S. presidential election.

Most of the activity by the more than 180 fake accounts, groups and pages was focused on Southeast Asia, Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of security policy, said in a blog post Tuesday.

It's a big election year, and one party's candidate is the successor to a popular two-term president. A little-known company offers the other party, which is in disarray, technology that uses vast amounts of data to profile voters. The election is incredibly close — and the long-shot candidate wins.

This was 1960, not 2016, and the winning ticket was John F. Kennedy, not Donald Trump.

Twitter is putting new restrictions on election-related content, including labeling or removing posts that claim victory before results are official or attempt to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.

"We will not permit our service to be abused around civic processes, most importantly elections," the company said in a blog post Thursday.

If this were a normal school year, Denison University senior Matt Nowling and his fellow College Democrats would be "dorm storming" around their campus, near Columbus, Ohio.

"We ran to people's dorms, knocked their doors and got them registered to vote," he said. "Sometimes we got kicked out of dorms," he added.

Zoom reported higher sales and profit in the three months from May through July than it did in all of 2019, as more people work and learn remotely during the coronavirus pandemic.

Uber and Lyft spent the past week threatening to shut down their ride-hailing services in California at the stroke of midnight on Thursday.

But the companies got a last-minute reprieve from complying with a judge's order to classify their drivers as employees, instead of independent contractors, as required by a state labor law.

Federal prosecutors have charged Uber's former chief security officer with covering up a massive 2016 data breach by arranging a $100,000 payoff to the hackers responsible for the attack. The personal data of 57 million Uber passengers and drivers was stolen in the hack.

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