NewsBytes Briefing: Big Tech goes on trial today, and more
In the updates since last evening, the Big Tech CEOs, who are set to appear for an antitrust Congressional hearing, released their opening statements, reiterating that they are good for America's economy and not a monopolistic force. They all are expected to be grilled over allegations/concerns of anti-competitive practices during the trial, which will begin at 9:30 pm today. Here are other major updates.
Twitter suspended Donald Trump Jr. over COVID-19 misinformation
Twitter on Tuesday blocked Donald Trump Jr. from posting new tweets to force him to remove a recently-shared tweet that showed a video falsely claiming that Hydroxychloroquine is the 'cure' for COVID-19. The same video ran on Facebook for hours and raked 20 million views before being removed. Facebook says it is reviewing why it took them so long to take the clip down.
Here is Trump Jr.'s spokesperson's statement on the matter
BREAKING: @Twitter @jack have suspended @DonaldJTrumpJr for posting a viral video of medical doctors talking about Hydroxychloroquine.— Andrew Surabian (@Surabees) July 28, 2020
Big Tech is the biggest threat to free expression in America today they're continuing to engage in open election interference - full stop. pic.twitter.com/7dJbauq43O
Toppr raises Rs. 350 crore to scale its platform, products
Indian ed-tech start-up Toppr has raised Rs. 350 crore in a Series-D round of funding led by Dubai-based investment firm Foundation Holdings. The capital will be used by Toppr to scale its main learning platform as well as other major products, including an AI-based problem-solving app, a School OS for personalized in-school, after-school experience, and a dedicated service to help kids learn coding.
Camera-maker Kodak will now make drug ingredients
Kodak, an American technology company best-known for its camera and other photography-related products, is branching into the pharma sector. The company has announced that it will be making the ingredients used in generic drugs to help fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic. The effort has been backed by the US government which has given a $765 million loan to support the company.
Here is Kodak's announcement
Kodak is proud to be a part in strengthening America’s self-sufficiency in producing the key pharmaceuticals we need to keep our citizens safe. More to come at the signing ceremony. https://t.co/PEeFP6Dh3F— Kodak (@Kodak) July 28, 2020
Other important developments to note
Among other things, Microsoft launched a new Family Safety app to let parents manage screentime of their kids, while Twitter updated its policies to ban tweets including links to content promoting violence and hateful conduct. Spotify, on the other hand, began testing a 'Group Session' feature that lets Premium users stream music together, even when they are not in the same room.
Finally, some COVID-19 updates
On Tuesday, India reported roughly 49,000 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total to 15.32 lakh, while the death toll rose to 34,239 with nearly 800 more deaths. Separately, France sent 120 ventilators and 50,000 serological test kits (among other things) to India to help fight against the deadly pandemic, while a Bengaluru-based start-up developed an app to help detect possible infections.