Facebook employees speak up

It's rare to see Facebook employees break ranks and complain about a decision the company made, let alone publicly, yet on Monday The New York Times reported that more than 250 employees had signed a letter asking that leadership reconsider its stance on misinformation in advertising.

The letter called for executives at Facebook to "hold political ads to the same standards as other ads" and that "free speech and paid speech are not the same thing." The company's stance on misinformation in advertising has proven to be tenuous at best, with representatives picking apart the company's faulty logic at the Libra hearing last week

You can read the letter in full here, which democratic candidate (and probably loudest critic of Facebook), Elizabeth Warren replied to by tweeting "Facebook's own employees know just how dangerous their policy allowing politicians to lie in political ads will be for our democracy."

This matters because we generally don't have a view on what Facebook employees are feeling; the company's employees are notoriously tight-lipped, and rarely break ranks even internally, let alone in such a public manner. 

Will this change anything? It seems unlikely, given how firm Zuckerberg was during the hearing that he was in the right.

Google is trying to acquire Fitbit

Given the popularity of the Apple Watch, it's surprising that Google hasn't jumped into wearables itself yet, but that may be about to change with the news that the company is making an aggressive push to acquire Fitbit.

One of the last 'independent' fitness wearable companies left from the wearable wars, which saw companies like Pebble and Jawbone born and dead in a flash, Fitbit has struggled to find a place in the world as a public company. Sales have been disappointing for a long time, and the company targets the lower end of the market at $160-$200 when the Apple Watch gobbles up the high end.

It's unclear where the talks are at, other than that they're in negotiations, however it does paint an interesting picture for the future in this space. As I've discovered recently, the market for wearables outside the Apple Watch is decidedly bleak, and Fitbit is one of a small handful of companies still building its own devices.

Google getting in on Fitbit is an interesting mix, but I'm not entirely sure what the play is. It would get a huge influx of fitness data and hardware expertise, which would satiate its thirst for information, but I find it difficult to imagine the company building a Pixel watch any time soon.

Tab Dump

The AirPods Pro is out soon, featuring in-ear active noise cancellation
While Microsoft's Surface Buds and Google's Pixel Buds are on the horizon, they're still months away, and Apple continues to slay the accessory market with AirPods. The cadence on these is impressive, while everyone else struggles to keep up.

Uber pushes deeper into financial services with Uber Money
Fascinating play to help drivers get their first bank account, and get paid faster. The idea is an 'Uber debit card' for drivers will help them get access to earnings faster, and hints at a future play for the digital banking space too.

The FCC is proposing a rule that would require telcos to remove ZTE and Huawei equipment
This is fascinating to watch unfold, but I can't help but think it'll leave the U.S. a decade behind in the race for 5G, given there are few alternatives.

Good read: The 2010s Have Broken Our Sense Of Time