Starbucks is the latest big company to halt advertising on social media

Photo by Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images Starbucks will join the growing list of corporate entities pausing advertising on social media platforms, the company said in a blog post Sunday. The coffee giant says that it stands “against hate speech” and believes “both business leaders and policy makers need to come together to affect real change.”
“We will pause advertising on all social media platforms while we continue discussions internally, with our media partners and with civil rights organizations in the effort to stop the spread of hate speech,” the blog post, titled “Creating Welcoming and Inclusive Online Communities” states.
A Starbucks spokesperson told The Verge Sunday that the company’s social media advertising pause will not include YouTube, and while Starbucks will…
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Facebook is introducing a dark mode for mobile

Illustration by James Bareham / The Verge After launching a dark mode for its desktop interface, Facebook confirms it is testing a dark mode for its mobile apps as well. As first noted by SocialMedia Today, Facebook has made the dark mode available to a very small percentage of people globally, a spokesperson told The Verge in an email Sunday. The mobile version of the dark mode Facebook introduced last month for desktop is “meant to cut down on glare,” particularly in low-light environments, the spokesperson said. There’s no timeline yet for when the dark mode will be available to all mobile users, however.
Users who already have the new dark mode on mobile tweeted screenshots of what it looks like:
Facebook appears to be rolling out Dark Mode… https://t.co/qSfDa8d51e
— Matt… Continue reading…

Go read this ProPublica story about a scheme to relabel non-medical masks for emergency workers

Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images As the coronavirus spread across the US this spring, authorities warned people not to purchase N95 respirator masks, lest they contribute to a shortage of the masks for medical personnel. The N95 respirators are considered the most effective masks to filter out droplets in the air that may transmit the virus. Sites like Amazon suspended sales of N95 masks to the general public and cracked down on sellers who tried to sell counterfeit versions.
But a ProPublica investigation uncovered an operation in Texas that was repackaging masks marked as “prohibited” for medical use into unlabeled bags. A man who answered an ad for a TaskRabbit gig told ProPublica what he witnessed:
…five or six other “Taskers” earning about $20 an hour were…
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Google to add background blur, captioning, and low-light mode to Meet video calls

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Google Meet is working on several new features that will match its competitors, including allowing users to add images or a blur effect to backgrounds on video calls, 9to5 Google reported. As they can on rival videoconferencing platforms Zoom and Microsoft Teams, users will be able to either choose their own image or pick from several default options.
Google confirmed to The Verge that in addition to background blur and background replacement images, real-time captioning, low-light mode, hand-raising, and a tile view of up to 49 meeting participants will be rolled out to the consumer version of Meet. The company didn’t provide details about when the changes would be available, but 9to5 Google reported Meet was already previewing some of…
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California makes zero-emission trucks and vans mandatory by 2045

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) has passed a new rule that says all commercial trucks and vans sold in the state in 2045 must be zero-emission, in a bid to move the industry away from the dirty and harmful diesel engines that currently power most of these vehicles.
It’s the first rule of its kind in the United States, and it follows California’s 2018 decision to mandate that transit agencies purchase all-electric buses starting in 2029, as well as its long-standing Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program for passenger cars and trucks.
There will be progressive milestones along the way, too Other milestones will need to be hit in the years leading up to that date, too. California regulators are mandating that half of all trucks sold…
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Unilever will pull ads from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the rest of the year

Photo Illustration by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Consumer goods giant Unilever said Friday that it would halt all ad spending on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter through the end of the year, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Unilever owns dozens of popular household brands like Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Dove soap, and typically spends more than $1 billion each year promoting them through various ad channels.
As of press time, Facebook’s stock had fallen more than 7 percent in the wake of the news.
“We invest billions of dollars each year to keep our community safe and continuously work with outside experts to review and update our policies,” a Facebook spokesperson told NBC News. “We know we have more work to do, and we’ll continue to work with civil rights groups, GARM,…
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