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Hillicon Valley: Twitter will not allow Trump account archive on platform | Commerce Dept. still weighing approach to Huawei, TikTok | Dating apps work to reinvent amid COVID-19 pandemic

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

Twitter on Wednesday said that it will not allow any of former President Trump’s archived tweets while in office on its platform due to the account’s suspension. Meanwhile, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo teased next steps around Huawei and TikTok, and dating apps are scrambling to reinvent themselves in the age of COVID-19. 


45 DENIED: Twitter will not allow an archive of former President Trump’s @realDonaldTrump account on its platform.

A Twitter spokesperson told The Hill that the platform has been working with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) on preserving tweets from the account, as they’ve done in the past with government Twitter accounts.

However, content from the account will not appear on the platform itself.

“Given that we permanently suspended @realDonaldTrump, the content from the account will not appear on Twitter as it did previously or as archived administration accounts do currently, regardless of how NARA decides to display the data it has preserved,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Hill. “Administration accounts that are archived on the service are accounts that were not in violation of the Twitter Rules.”

Read more about the policy here. 


COMMERCE PENDING: Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Wednesday that while she intends to aggressively push back against China, reviews are ongoing about how the Biden administration will address Chinese companies Huawei and TikTok. 

“We have to level the playing field, no one can outcompete the American worker if the playing field is level,” Raimondo told reporters during the daily White House press briefing. “The fact is China’s actions are uncompetitive, coercive, underhanded, they have proven they will do whatever it takes, and so I plan to use all the tools in my toolbox as aggressively as possible to protect American workers and businesses from unfair Chinese practices.”

Telecommunications giant Huawei and social media platform TikTok, whose parent company ByteDance is Chinese, became major focuses of the former Trump administration’s efforts to take a stance against China.  

Huawei was placed on the Commerce Department’s “entity list” by the Trump administration, effectively blacklisting the company. Former President Trump also issued an executive order last year requiring ByteDance to sell TikTok or have it banned from use in the United States. 

The effort to ban TikTok stalled out in the last months of the Trump administration following a contentious election, with the deadline for sale of the app passing with no action taken and leaving the Biden administration to set its own rules on the app. 

While Raimondo did not directly commit to how the Commerce Department or the Biden administration will approach either company, she noted that national security advisor Jake Sullivan is currently leading a review of the companies and other China-related topics.

Read more here. 


FINDING LOVE IN A HOPELESS PLACE: COVID-19 hit dating hard over the last year due to social distancing recommendations and stay-at-home orders. Popular dating apps adapted by adding features for users to connect virtually and share their safe dating preferences.

As the coronavirus vaccination rollout ramps up, with President Biden announcing Tuesday all adults in the U.S. will be eligible to receive vaccines by April 19, dating apps have said some of their popular pandemic-induced changes will remain in place.

Video dates, long-distance dating and filtering dates based on health restrictions saw an increase in popularity amid the lockdowns, and the companies behind multiple dating apps expect those trends to continue even as the pandemic eases its grip on the country.

Read more here


YOUTUBE ON THE RISE: YouTube’s popularity since 2019 has increased more than other social media sites, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.

Eighty-one percent of respondents said they use the Google-owned video-sharing site, up from the 73 percent who said the same in 2019.

The video platform also remained the most used social media site among U.S. adults, followed by Facebook at 69 percent, Pew found in its survey results that were released Wednesday.

But unlike YouTube, Facebook has seen little change in user popularity over the last five years, according to the poll.

The only other site to see a significant increase in use since 2019 was Reddit, which increased to 18 percent from 11 percent.

Read more about the poll


CYBER SUPPORT: Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), the chair of a key cyber House panel, said Wednesday that she would push for inclusion of language on securing critical systems as part of negotiations around President’s Biden’s infrastructure proposal.

“I believe the administration’s infrastructure package, the American Jobs Plan, is an opportunity to ensure that security is integrated, or baked into, critical infrastructure projects at the beginning, and not tacked on at the end or patched up along the way,” Clarke, the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee’s cybersecurity subcommittee, said during a virtual event hosted by the Cybersecurity Coalition.

The proposed $2.25 trillion infrastructure package, rolled out last week, did not include any language specifically around securing the electric grid or other critical infrastructure against increasing cyber threats, raising concerns among some experts. 

Clarke also noted that she would soon reintroduce legislation to provide $500 million to help state and local governments defend themselves against cyberattacks. 

Read more here. 


AMAZON AD MARKET GROWS: Amazon now controls more than one-tenth of the digital ad market after growing its share over last year.

An analysis from eMarketer obtained by The Wall Street Journal found that Amazon’s share of the U.S. digital ad market grew to 10.3 percent in 2020, compared to the 7.8 percent it controlled in 2019.

The company is projected in the report to grow its share to 10.7 percent this year, 11.9 percent in 2022 and 12.8 in 2023, according to the Journal.

The projections still put Amazon far behind Google and Facebook, which each control more than a quarter of the market, but signals that its competitiveness in the field is growing even amid calls for it to face antitrust action due to its dominance in the online market space sector.

Read more here


NEW TWITCH POLICY: The popular streaming platform Twitch announced Wednesday that it would begin banning streamers for “serious cases” of misconduct that occur even offline.

In a lengthy blog post, the company said that “serious offenses that pose a substantial safety risk to the Twitch community” committed on other platforms or out in the real world would result in punishments up to and including indefinite suspensions for first offenses.

Among the banned behaviors include violent or terroristic threats, harassment, sexual assault and affiliation with known hate groups.

Read more here. 

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Tags Donald Trump Gina Raimondo Hillicon Valley Jake Sullivan Joe Biden Yvette Clarke

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