What We’re Following
Facing Facebook: For years, Facebook has been sharing user data, including private messages, with other large technology platforms including Netflix, Spotify, and Microsoft’s Bing search engine, according to a New York Times report. Few of these data-sharing partnerships have even proven useful for Facebook, writes Alexis Madrigal, and the revelations are, most of all, a testament to Facebook’s sloppy attitude toward user data and privacy over the years. Here’s a refresher on Facebook’s impact on the informational underpinnings of American democracy.
Military Retreat: The White House—including President Donald Trump, via Twitter—confirmed Wednesday that plans to withdraw the U.S. military presence in Syria are under way, though details about the timeline or actual process for the troops’ removal is unclear. Though troops were initially deployed to combat ISIS’s stronghold on the country, their removal could bring immeasurable chaos and unnerve other American allies.
Border Crisis: Hardline views over immigration and borders in France have come to the fore yet again in the recent trial of seven pro-immigration activists who’d assisted at a critical entry point in the French Alps, between Italy and France. The “Briançon Seven,” as the activists would come to be called, were charged with violating a ban on helping foreigners enter the country illegally. Karina Piser writes on what the case means for the tightening borders of Europe.