Overnight Tech: Twitter data hinted at Cruz win

LEDE: Twitter is touting its data after Monday night's Iowa caucuses, and delivering a subtle dig at social media rival Facebook.

Twitter tracked mentions of each candidate in the week ahead of the vote. Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDebbie Wasserman Schultz marks 10 years as breast cancer survivor Foreign agent registration is no magical shield against Russian propaganda Let Trump be Trump and he'll sail through 2020 MORE (R-Texas) and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP lawmakers cite new allegations of political bias in FBI Top intel Dem: Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about Trump Tower discussions with father MORE dominated the candidate chatter – and both ended up winning on Monday night.

The company highlighted the result but also had to walk a fine line since social media companies refuse to make claims about the predictive power of their data, especially based on the results of a single caucus.

"That is really interesting, and it will be equally interesting to see if that happens again for NH and SC," Twitter spokesman Nick Pacillo said.

On Facebook, Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSchumer: Franken should resign Franken resignation could upend Minnesota races Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign MORE and Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE dominated the political debate in the day ahead of the caucuses. Both ended up in second place, with Sanders in a near dead heat with Clinton. Late data from Google did show Clinton and Cruz dominating searches about how to caucus in the state. 

Few polls predicted the Cruz win or Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRyan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Richard Gere welcomes lawmakers' words of support for Tibet Dem lawmaker gives McConnell's tax reform op-ed a failing grade MORE's (R-Fla.) third place finish. Pollsters have told people to take social media metrics with a grain of salt, while others say the new data is an increasingly important addition to understand what's happening on the ground.

AIRBNB AND TRIPADVISOR JOINING CTA: The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) will announce tomorrow that the two companies are its newest members. Both are involved in the peer-to-peer lodging industry, with Airbnb being the industry leader and TripAdvisor, known for its reviews, running a similar service that advertises vacation rentals. "CTA stands for policies that allow consumers to fully enjoy the sharing economy and the innovation it delivers, and we look forward to working with them to advocate for the right of everyday people to share their homes in order to generate supplemental income and to provide a travel option that allows everyone to belong anywhere," said Chris Lehane, the longtime progressive operative who now runs Airbnb's public policy operations.

LAWMAKERS TALK FIRSTNET: House lawmakers gathered Tuesday to discuss the First Responder Network Authority's (FirstNet) progress toward creating a nationwide public safety Internet network. But some top lawmakers on an Energy and Commerce subcommittee questioned the network's capacity to reach rural areas, reports The Hill's Jennevieve Fong.

FirstNet's President TJ Kennedy said he'd consulted with local communities and understood that rural communities are usually the last to be incorporated in other networks. But he said FirstNet is working to better incorporate rural areas at the state level. Subcommittee Vice Chairman Bob Latta (R-Ohio) questioned whether states' concerns were being considered, but said he appreciated FirstNet's inclusion of rural providers. FirstNet said it had collected data from public safety agencies across the nation and is seeking to include rural broadband providers in its network.

INCENTIVE AUCTION UPDATE: Gary Epstein, who co-chairs the Incentive Auction Task Force, offered an optimistic assessment of the commission's work so far while speaking at the Americans Spectrum Management Conference. "The commission has come a long way," he said. "We've developed essentially from scratch the rules and procedures for the first-of-its-kind auction. We have developed an auction design and bidding rules, and established a market-based spectrum reserve to promote the competitive availability of this spectrum." But he said there's a challenging task ahead of the agency, comparing the FCC's current position to being at base camp before the complicated process of ascending and descending a mountain.

TICK TOCK: Forward auction bidders have eight more days to get in their applications to participate in the auction. Epstein only made reference to a single mock auction for forward participants, though wireless providers have asked for more.

HOW LONG WILL THIS TAKE: Epstein said that if all goes according to plan, "a reasonable estimate for the completion of the auction is the third quarter of this year."

HOUSE GOP SNAPCHAT GETS SOTU BOOST: House Republicans have posted their full Snapchat story from the evening of the State of the Union last month. Viewership of the videos was double previous messages from the conference. "At Conference, we've always focused on letting innovation and new technologies guide us in developing new ways to connect with the American people where their conversations happen and on the platforms they use with one another," said Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersOvernight Finance: Trump calls for ObamaCare mandate repeal, cuts to top tax rate | Trump to visit Capitol Hill in tax reform push | CBO can't do full score before vote | Bipartisan Senate bill would ease Dodd-Frank rules Overnight Regulation: Bipartisan Senate bill would curb Dodd-Frank rules | Opioid testing rule for transport workers finalized | Google faces state antitrust probe | Dems want investigation into FCC chief Trump to visit Capitol Hill amid tax-reform push MORE (R-Wash.) in a statement.

COMCAST TO BEGIN OFFERING GIGABIT SPEEDS THROUGH CABLE: Comcast will begin offering super fast Internet speeds in a few cities this year, taking advantage of new technology to boost the speed of Internet through cable. Atlanta and Nashville will be the first cities to get the upgrade, followed by Chicago, Detroit and Miami. It is unclear how much money Comcast will charge. But the new technology will offer gigabit speeds without the company having to lay new fiber optic cables, as Verizon and Google have done. 

DEBUNKING #MICROSOFTRUBIOFRAUD: The Washington Post took on Donald Trump supporters who claimed Microsoft's Iowa caucus reporting technology somehow inflated Marco Rubio's vote share Monday night. Those Trump supporters got the hashtag #MicrosoftRubioFraud to begin trending. The Post pointed out that Rubio's poll numbers had been on the uptick already, and asked why if Microsoft wanted to rig the election for Rubio, it would have him come in third. 


At 8:30 a.m., New America will hold an event on "digital equity," including remarks from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. 


The United States and the European Union reached an eleventh-hour agreement that will permit Facebook, Google and thousands of other companies to continue handling Europeans' personal data.

A Democratic senator is pushing the Department of Labor to update a worker survey so that it gathers information about on-demand economy companies like Uber and Lyft. 

Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Utah governor calls Bannon a 'bigot' after attacks on Romney MORE (R-Utah) has moved to speed passage of a key privacy bill that is linked to several transatlantic data sharing agreements.

Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) on Sunday night was the target of a so-called swatting hoax, when an anonymous person calls in an emergency situation to law enforcement in the hope of having a SWAT team show up to a target's home.  

The official webpages for the public to check the results of the Iowa caucuses became inaccessible at some points Monday night amid heavy interest.  


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