Hillicon Valley: Twitter, Facebook label Trump camp's posts prematurely declaring victory in Pennsylvania | California voters approve measure exempting Lyft, Uber from labor law | Biden outspends Trump on Facebook ads

Hillicon Valley: Twitter, Facebook label Trump camp's posts prematurely declaring victory in Pennsylvania | California voters approve measure exempting Lyft, Uber from labor law | Biden outspends Trump on Facebook ads
© Getty Images

Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill's newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don’t already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter with this LINK.

Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.

TWITTER LABELS ABOUND: Facebook and Twitter slapped labels on Wednesday posts by President TrumpDonald TrumpUS, South Korea reach agreement on cost-sharing for troops Graham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump MORE’s allies prematurely claiming victory in Pennsylvania, though critics argued the social media platforms moved too slowly.


Eric TrumpEric TrumpTrump says 'no doubt' Tiger Woods will be back after accident Trump sends well wishes to Tiger Woods after crash Scottish lawmakers want to investigate Trump purchase of golf courses MORE, one of the president’s two adult sons, at roughly 3:30 p.m. EST tweeted, “We have won Pennsylvania!”

At that time, more than a million mail-in ballots remained uncounted in a contest where the president leads by just more than 300,000 votes. Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenLawmakers, activists remember civil rights icons to mark 'Bloody Sunday' Fauci predicts high schoolers will receive coronavirus vaccinations this fall Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump MORE has been winning mail-in votes in Pennsylvania by a nearly 4-to-1 margin, suggesting many of the remaining mail-in ballots would favor him.

Twitter appended a label noting that “official sources may not have called the race when this was tweeted” shortly before 4 p.m. EST based on the platform's civic integrity policy. But by then the tweet had spread widely on social media. The tweet has been shared more than 30,000 times.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted “VICTORY for President @realDonaldTrump in PENNSYLVANIA” at roughly the same time as Eric Trump's post, and the same label was applied.

Facebook added a label saying that “final results may be different from the initial vote counts, as ballot counting will continue for days or weeks after polls close” to the same McEnany post on its platform.

Read more here.

UBER, LYFT WIN BIG IN CALIFORNIA: Voters in California have approved a ballot measure that will exempt companies like Uber and Lyft from Assembly Bill 5, the state’s landmark law that establishes a test for determining worker classification, The Associated Press has projected.


The passage of Proposition 22 is a huge win for gig economy companies that spent more than $200 million to aid its passage.

As employees, ride-share drivers would gain basic worker protections such as a minimum wage, health care access and a right to organize.

Drivers will get more limited job protections under Prop 22 that companies previously did not give them. 

“With the passage of Prop 22, app-based ride-share and delivery drivers across the state will be able to maintain their independence, plus have access to historic new benefits, like a minimum earnings guarantee and health care,” the Yes on 22 campaign said in a statement.

The proposition was one of the gig companies' last stands against the state's labor laws. Uber and Lyft had initially resisted compliance with Assembly Bill 5, which first took effect in January, claiming that their core business is technology rather than ride-hailing.

The law requires that the task performed by workers be outside of the usual course of the hiring entity’s business for them to be classified as independent contracts.

A California judge ruled in August that Uber and Lyft should have to comply with A.B. 5, a decision upheld by a state appeals court last month.

Prop 22 will make those decisions functionally irrelevant by carving gig work out of the state’s labor law. 

Read more.

CALIFORNIANS VOTE FOR PRIVACY: A controversial California ballot measure regarding data privacy appears to have been passed by voters in Tuesday’s election, and it is likely to have a national impact by regulating how tech giants based in The Golden State must operate. 

Proposition 24, known as the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020, seeks to amend and expand on provisions of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) that was passed in 2018. The proposition would establish a California Privacy Protection Agency with the power to enforce CCPA, and changes would go into effect in 2023. 

With 99 percent of precincts partially reporting, the ballot measure was approved by a margin of 56.1 percentage points to 43.9 percentage points, according to state data

The ballot measure would require businesses to not share a consumer’s personal information upon the consumer’s request and provide an opt-out option for consumers to request their personal information not be used or disclosed for advertising or marketing. 

The ballot measure also limits businesses' ability to obtain information of minors, requiring businesses obtain permission before collecting data from consumers who are younger than 16 and obtain permission from a parent or guardian before collecting data from consumers who are younger than 13. 


It would also require businesses to correct a consumer’s inaccurate personal information upon the consumer’s request. 

Read more here.

THE TIKTOK SAGA CONTINUES: A federal judge on Wednesday reportedly said he was unsure if he had the legal basis to issue a new injunction barring the Trump administration from restricting the use of the popular video-sharing app TikTok after a Pennsylvania judge blocked the order from taking effect last week. 

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols for the District of Columbia said he was unsure if ByteDance’s TikTok could demonstrate “irreparable harm” as needed to win a new injunction against the U.S. Commerce Department order that calls for app stores to remove the ability for new users to download TikTok, Reuters reported

Last week, U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone issued a preliminary injunction that blocked the Trump administration’s order barring transactions with TikTok that was set to take effect Nov. 12. 

Beetlestone’s order came after Nichols in September temporarily blocked a portion of the executive order.

Beetlestone argued Trump exceeded his authority by invoking his emergency economic powers to impose sanctions against TikTok by citing a threat to U.S. security. 


The Commerce Department said it would comply with Beetlestone’s order, but the department said it would “vigorously defend” the executive order.

Read more here.

BIDEN BEATS TRUMP ON FB AD SPENDING: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign poured roughly $10 million more into Facebook ads than President Trump’s did in the lead-up to Election Day, according to the tech giant’s ad library. 

Biden for President and Biden Victory Fund, both campaign arms for the former vice president, spent a combined $32.4 million on Facebook ads in the 30 days leading up to Tuesday’s election. 

Trump campaign arms Donald J. Trump For President Inc. and the Trump Make America Great Again Committee spent a combined total of $22.4 million on Facebook ads in the same time period. 

Starting Wednesday, Facebook will temporarily pause all social issues, electoral or political ads in the U.S. in an attempt to “reduce confusion or abuse” as votes are counted. The platform announced the decision earlier this month, as part of its measures taken in response to the election. 

Both campaigns poured millions of dollars into Facebook ads in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, with the Biden campaign outspending Trump in the key state the president narrowly carried in 2016.


Biden’s campaign spent roughly $6.1 million in Pennsylvania and Trump’s spent roughly $2.7 million, according to the ad library. 

Read more here.

PAY UP: T-Mobile will pay a $200 million fine to the government to settle a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) investigation into the company’s subsidiary Sprint failing to comply with FCC rules about a program for low-income consumers, the agency said Wednesday

The announcement came after an investigation into reports that Sprint, before its merger with T-Mobile, was claiming monthly subsidies for serving about 885,000 subscribers to the Lifeline program, which helps provide affordable service for low-income customers, even though those subscribers were not using the service, the FCC said. 

In addition to paying the $200 million civil penalty, Sprint agreed to enter into a compliance plan to help ensure future adherence to the FCC’s rules for the Lifeline program, according to the announcement. 

“While we inherited this issue with our merger, we are glad that it is now resolved,” T-Mobile said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to deliver reliable and affordable network connectivity to consumers across the country who depend on it.” 

The investigation regarded Sprint’s compliance with the Lifeline program’s “non-usage” rule, which reimburses providers of service for a Lifeline subscriber if that subscriber has used the service at least once in the past 30 days. It also requires providers to de-enroll subscribers who don't use their phones after giving them a 15-day notice. 

Read more here


Lighter click: The stakes are just a bit higher

An op-ed to chew on: A culture of responsibility: The promise of a safer digital world


Massachusetts just passed the world’s most advanced right to repair law (IFixIt / Kevin Purdy)

Nothing is sacred: Ransomware attack hit toy maker Mattel’s systems this summer (CyberScoop / Tim Starks) 

Tech stocks are soaring amid election uncertainty (Protocol / Shakeel Hashim)

Why the Trump campaign is going all-in on YouTube (Recode / Rebecca Heilweil)