Techdirt: (Corporate) Information Wants To Be Free

Techdirt: (Corporate) Information Wants To Be Free. “…the average American citizen cannot approach private companies and demand access to communications, contracts, or regulatory compliance activities. Instead, they have to approach it obliquely, asking government agencies for permission to view (some) of this (secondhand) information. This is rarely successful. Corporations love tax dollars but they have almost zero interest in being honest with taxpayers. Private companies have inserted themselves into court proceedings to prevent people accused of crimes from examining the (private company-supplied) evidence used against them. And when FOIA requesters come knocking on federal or local government doors, corporations swear on all that is profitably unholy that any information leak might destroy their competitive advantage.”

New York Times: Facebook Is Weaker Than We Knew

New York Times: Facebook Is Weaker Than We Knew. “Facebook is in trouble. Not financial trouble, or legal trouble, or even senators-yelling-at-Mark-Zuckerberg trouble. What I’m talking about is a kind of slow, steady decline that anyone who has ever seen a dying company up close can recognize. It’s a cloud of existential dread that hangs over an organization whose best days are behind it, influencing every managerial priority and product decision and leading to increasingly desperate attempts to find a way out.”

Bloomberg: Using Artificial Intelligence to Sniff Out Corporate Greenwashers

Bloomberg: Using Artificial Intelligence to Sniff Out Corporate Greenwashers. “Barely a day goes by without a company talking up their green credentials–how they’re aligning themselves with global climate goals, cutting waste and upping their recycling. With all this corporate happy-talk about saving the planet on the rise, so are concerns about greenwashing. Investors and regulators are increasingly sounding the alarm about companies that exaggerate or misrepresent their environmental bona fides. That’s what prompted academics at University College Dublin to develop algorithms to help the financial services sector detect and quantify greenwashing.”

WUSF: Google Plans To Expand Its Campus — Which Might Become Unsafe As Sea Levels Rise

WUSF: Google Plans To Expand Its Campus — Which Might Become Unsafe As Sea Levels Rise. “Google is expanding its campus in the San Francisco Bay Area. The company is planning to build offices as well as housing and green space near the shoreline, which is at risk from rising sea levels. And that’s raising the question of whether building there should happen at all. NPR’s Lauren Sommer has the story.”

Deadline: The Walt Disney Co. Will Require That Salaried And Non-Union Hourly Employees In U.S. Be Vaccinated

Deadline: The Walt Disney Co. Will Require That Salaried And Non-Union Hourly Employees In U.S. Be Vaccinated. “The Walt Disney Co. has added its name to the growing list of major corporations mandating that employees be fully vaccinated. The new requirement applies to all salaried and non-union hourly employees, in the U.S., and the company said that they are talking to unions representing workers under collective bargaining agreements.”

Washington Post: These self-described trolls tackle climate disinformation on social media with wit and memes

Washington Post: These self-described trolls tackle climate disinformation on social media with wit and memes. “Most days, when Mary Heglar wakes up, the first thing she does is reach for her phone in search of a fight. Armed with her Twitter handle and ‘deep reserves of anger,’ ​the 37-year-old climate essayist and podcaster haunts the feeds of fossil fuel companies, harnessing memes and the native language of the Internet to engage her particular brand of climate activism against the flow of misinformation in the digital ether.”

Irish Times: Facebook rejects two proposals to reduce Zuckerberg’s control over the company

Irish Times: Facebook rejects two proposals to reduce Zuckerberg’s control over the company. “Facebook has rejected two proposals intended to diminish chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s control over the company, an expected though disappointing outcome for those worried about the chief executive’s power. The board on Wednesday turned down a proposal to replace Mr Zuckerberg as chairman with an independent representative. Mr Zuckerberg, who has served as chairman since 2012, controls about 58 per cent of the voting shares, according to a regulatory filing.”

Washington Post: Corporations are working with social media influencers to cancel-proof their racial justice initiatives

Washington Post: Corporations are working with social media influencers to cancel-proof their racial justice initiatives. “Advocating for racial allyship is not something corporate America has traditionally embraced. But the multiracial protests against police brutality last year prompted many companies to examine their role in combating systemic racism and pushing White Americans to reflect on their understanding of race and privilege — all while trying to increase market share. With every new well-meaning — or opportunistic, depending on the details — effort comes the potential for public and painful missteps.”

University of Virginia: Why Everything We Thought We Knew About Corporate Governance Is Wrong

University of Virginia: Why Everything We Thought We Knew About Corporate Governance Is Wrong. “Nearly two decades of influential scholarship on how corporations are governed and valued is based on bad data, according to new research co-authored by Cathy Hwang of the University of Virginia School of Law. The paper, ‘Cleaning Corporate Governance,’ reveals that an index cited thousands of times by scholars to measure corporate governance and shareholder rights is riddled with errors. Written by Hwang, Columbia Law School postdoctoral fellow Jens Frankenreiter, Wisconsin law professor Yaron Nili and Columbia law professor Eric L. Talley, the new research also offers a dataset with pilot data to rectify the problem, creating a clearer picture about the power dynamics that control corporations and what that might imply in terms of profit potential, valuation and long-term prospects, among other business factors.”

MSNBC: Amazon and other corporations won the pandemic at the expense of everyone else

MSNBC: Amazon and other corporations won the pandemic at the expense of everyone else. “In a year when millions of Americans are struggling to survive the Covid-19 pandemic, watching as their life savings have plummeted to zero and unemployment remains rampant, some of the biggest corporations have been absolutely thriving. If we’re going to ever end this neo-Gilded Age, we’re going to need to reckon with the utter immorality of that disconnect.”

Carnegie Mellon University: New Tool Simplifies Data Sharing, Preserves Privacy

Carnegie Mellon University: New Tool Simplifies Data Sharing, Preserves Privacy. “Meet Company X. Company X makes a popular product that lots of people – millions, in fact – use on a daily basis. One day, Company X decides it would like to improve some of the hardware in its product, which is manufactured by Vendor Y. To make these improvements, the company would need to share data with Vendor Y about how its customers use the product. Unfortunately, that data may contain personal information about Company X’s customers, so sharing it would be an invasion of their privacy. Company X doesn’t want to do that, so they abandon the improvement opportunity.”

CNN: McDonald’s social media person cries for help: I am more than just the McRib

CNN: McDonald’s social media person cries for help: I am more than just the McRib. “Many companies have tried injecting more personality into their Twitter feeds to humanize their brands. Companies often interact with each other on Twitter. Many of them are competitive: Dunkin’ and Wendy’s got into a Twitter spat in mid-October. But the McDonald’s Twitter conversation was actually heartwarming. Here’s how it all went down.”

Different Names, Same Address: How Big Businesses Got Government Loans Meant for Small Businesses (ProPublica)

ProPublica: Different Names, Same Address: How Big Businesses Got Government Loans Meant for Small Businesses. “From Vibra’s corporate address in Pennsylvania, 26 limited liability companies received PPP loans, 23 of them from the same bank, with almost all the loan approvals coming on the same day in April. ProPublica found several other large businesses employing the same apparent strategy of counting each of their LLCs or other entities as a separate business. In Las Vegas, a casino operator backed by hedge funds got 20 loans. Two nursing home chains received tens of millions of dollars: One chain in Illinois got loans for 51 different entities, while another based in Georgia got 19. Together, ProPublica was able to identify up to $516 million that flowed to just 15 organizations.”

BBC: Would you follow this man on Instagram?

BBC: Would you follow this man on Instagram?. “Once the preserve of young people posting pictures of their lunch, Instagram is becoming part of the the corporate world’s marketing machine. The app was where many of us turned to escape thoughts of work. Now it’s where your company can boast about all the good deeds it does in the community, or where the boss can voice concerns over their employees’ mental health.”