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Facebook helped 4.4 million people register to vote in the U.S. this year

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People vote at the Queens Public Library during early voting for the U.S. Presidential election on October 24, 2020 in the Jackson Heights neighborhood in the Queens borough in New York City.

Stephanie Keith | Getty Images

Facebook said Monday its apps helped 4.4 million people register to vote for the 2020 U.S. election.

The company set a goal in June to help 4 million people register to vote in the upcoming election through Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. By comparison, it estimates it helped 2 million people register in 2016 and 2018.

The huge uptick shows social media companies’ increasing reach in targeting potential voters. Facebook earlier in the year introduced a voting information center to share resources about voting, such as how to register and how to vote.

The information center explains that, due to the spread of coronavirus and an increased number of people voting by mail, the election results may not be available for days or weeks after Nov. 3. It also pinned a message at the top of users’ feeds with information about the election, like voting deadlines.

Some of the changes likely stem from evidence that accounts operated by Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA) attempted to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election through misinformation and manipulation of public opinion.

Snapchat, widely popular among a younger user base, also reported a surge in users registering through the platform in 2020. The company has helped more than 1 million people register to vote this year, almost triple the number of voters it reported in the 2018 midterms.

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OANN suspended from YouTube after promoting a sham cure for Covid-19 | YouTube

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YouTube has suspended the conservative news outlet One America News Network from posting new videos for a week and from making money off of its existing videos after it promoted a sham cure for Covid-19.

The video was removed under YouTube’s policies to prevent the spread of Covid-19 misinformation, which prohibit saying there is a guaranteed cure to the virus. OANN has been suspended for “repeated violations” of this policy, said YouTube spokesperson Ivy Choi.

“Since early in this pandemic, we’ve worked to prevent the spread of harmful misinformation associated with Covid-19 on YouTube,” Choi said.

YouTube’s Covid-specific misinformation policies prohibit content that disputes the existence of the virus, discourages someone from seeking medical treatment for Covid, disputes guidance from local health authorities on the pandemic, or offers unsubstantiated medical advice or treatment.

Under these policies, an offending account will receive one warning for posting misinformation and then three strikes before it is permanently removed from the platform. The strikes carry progressively more severe penalties, including de-monetization. OANN previously received a warning for “similarly violating our Covid-19 misinformation policy,” according to YouTube.

The company said it has manually reviewed and removed 200,000 videos related to dangerous or misleading Covid-19 information since February 2020, including for example a widely condemned viral video published by rightwing media outlet Breitbart featuring dubious claims from people identifying themselves as doctors, telling people not to wear masks.

While the suspension from posting new videos is temporary, YouTube says the de-monitization of all OANN content will be permanent, unless the network addresses its issues.

Tuesday’s removal comes after four Democratic senators sent a letter Tuesday to YouTube’s chief executive officer, Susan Wojcicki, pressing the company to do more to crack down on election-related misinformation.

Meanwhile, after breaking with longtime ally Fox News, Donald Trump has urged his supporters to turn to news outlets such as Newsmax and OANN. These outlets openly support Trump and, without evidence, cast doubt on the validity of the election of Joe Biden. YouTube said it does not consider OANN an “authoritative news source”, meaning under its policies the account will not surface high up in search results for broad queries about Covid-19 nor be promoted in recommendations.


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HP (HPQ) earnings Q4 2020

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Enrique Lores, CEO, HP

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

HP shares rose as much as 9% in extended trading on Tuesday after the PC maker reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates and provided an optimistic earnings forecast.

  • Earnings: 62 cents per share, adjusted, vs. 52 cents per share as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.
  • Revenue: $15.3 billion vs. $14.7 billion as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.

Revenue declined for the fourth consecutive quarter on an annualized basis. It fell about 1% in the quarter, which ended on Oct. 31, according to a statement.

HP is forecasting 64 cents to 70 cents in adjusted earnings per share in the fiscal first quarter, higher than the Refinitiv consensus of 54 cents.

The company’s largest business segment, Personal Systems, which includes PC notebooks and desktops, delivered $10.4 billion in revenue, flat year over year and below the $10.5 billion consensus among analysts polled by FactSet. Within that unit, sales of notebooks rose 18% to $7.41 billion, but the overall segment was pulled down by desktop and workstation declines.

HP more than doubled unit sales of and revenue from Chromebook PCs running Google’s Chrome OS operating system, said Marie Myers, HP’s chief transformation officer and acting chief financial officer, on a conference call with analysts. She replaced Steve Fieler, who left in the quarter to join Google.

Also on Tuesday, PC maker Dell reported fiscal third-quarter results and said sales of consumer devices, including PCs, were up 14% from a year earlier in the quarter that ended on Oct. 30.

Excluding the after-hours jump, HP shares are up 6% since the start of the year, while the S&P 500 has gained about 13% over the same period.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

WATCH: Cramer breaks down the runs in housing, work-from-home and cloud stocks


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YouTube suspends OANN for a week after it posted fake Covid-19 cure

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The logo of video-sharing website YouTube is displayed on a smartphone on November 19, 2018 in Berlin, Germany.

Thomas Trutschel | Photothek via Getty Images

YouTube on Tuesday barred One America News Network (OANN) from posting new videos and livestreaming for one week, after the right-leaning media organization uploaded a fake cure for the coronavirus.

“After careful review, we removed a video from OANN and issued a strike on the channel for violating our COVID-19 misinformation policy, which prohibits content claiming there’s a guaranteed cure,” a YouTube spokesperson told CNBC. “Additionally, due to repeated violations of our Covid-19 misinformation policy and other channel monetization policies, we’ve suspended the channel from the YouTube Partner Program and as a result, its monetization on YouTube.

It was unclear what specifically OANN’s video said about a Covid-19 cure that made YouTube decide to suspend the channel.

The organization will have to reapply to YouTube’s Partner Program (YPP) if it wants the ability to make money off of its existing content again. YPP is YouTube’s program that connects large YouTube channels with advertisers. YouTube said broadly that companies will only be readmitted after they’ve fixed the issues that led to suspension.

Tuesday’s move marks YouTube’s largest crackdown against OANN. The social media giant has been criticized for allowing OANN to spread misinformation, such as false claims that President Donald Trump won the Presidential election.

Axios first reported on YouTube’s suspension of OANN.

A representative from OANN could not immediately be reached for comment.

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