Shannon Bond | WCAI

Shannon Bond

Shannon Bond is a business correspondent at NPR, covering technology and how Silicon Valley's biggest companies are transforming how we live, work and communicate.

Bond joined NPR in September 2019. She previously spent 11 years as a reporter and editor at the Financial Times in New York and San Francisco. At the FT, she covered subjects ranging from the media, beverage and tobacco industries to the Occupy Wall Street protests, student debt, New York City politics and emerging markets. She also co-hosted the FT's award-winning podcast, Alphachat, about business and economics.

Bond has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School and a bachelor's degree in psychology and religion from Columbia University. She grew up in Washington, D.C., but is enjoying life as a transplant to the West Coast.

Facebook has launched its answer to TikTok, the wildly popular video-sharing app that the Trump administration considers a national security threat.

Reels is a new feature on Instagram, the photo-sharing app owned by Facebook. Like TikTok, users can make short videos set to music, add filters and other effects, and easily share them.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Four Big Tech CEOs spent Wednesday being grilled — virtually — by House lawmakers, creating a first-ever spectacle that was by turns revealing and, inevitably, awkward.

Updated at 7:17 p.m. ET

Some of the world's most powerful CEOs are coming to Capitol Hill — virtually, of course — to answer one overarching question: Do the biggest technology companies use their reach and power to hurt competitors and help themselves?

Here's what you need to know:

Who: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

Google is letting its employees work from home for at least another year — a sign that the technology industry is expecting disruption from the coronavirus pandemic to linger for a long time.

The company had expected most employees to return to the office by the end of this year and has reopened some offices around the world.

Now, CEO Sundar Pichai has told staff by email: "To give employees the ability to plan ahead, we are extending our global voluntary work from home option through June 30, 2021 for roles that don't need to be in the office."

Updated 6:51 p.m. ET

Twitter is now under scrutiny from the FBI, Congress and state authorities in New York. Officials are demanding details about a breach that targeted some of the social network's most high-profile users.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

Facebook's decisions to put free speech ahead of other values represent "significant setbacks for civil rights," according to an independent audit of the social network's progress in curbing discrimination.

Uber is buying the delivery app Postmates, bolstering its food-delivery business at a time when few people are hailing rides.

The $2.65 billion all-stock deal is a sign of how Uber's business model has been turned upside down as customers have stayed home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

A Black Facebook employee is accusing his employer of racial discrimination.

In a complaint filed Thursday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Oscar Veneszee Jr. said the social network does not give Black workers equal opportunities in their careers.

When the Stop Hate for Profit campaign launched just two weeks ago, its organizers had not yet persuaded a single advertiser to boycott Facebook in July.

Updated at 8:05 p.m. ET

Facebook will put warning labels on posts that break its rules but are considered newsworthy, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Friday. The new policy marks a reversal for Zuckerberg and comes as more brands pledge to stop advertising on the social network until it does more to curb hate speech and harmful content.

Joe Biden is demanding that Facebook crack down on false information, including from President Trump, adding his voice to escalating criticism over the social network's hands-off approach to political speech.

Congressional Democrats and two influential Washington think tanks this week joined the mounting criticism of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for doing nothing about President Trump's most inflammatory post on the recent protests over police brutality and racism.

Uber is seeing signs of recovery as cities, states and countries lift lockdown restrictions and businesses reopen, according to one of the ride-hailing company's top executives.

Commuters are the first people returning to Uber as businesses reopen, Andrew Macdonald, senior vice president of mobility and business operations, told NPR in an interview.

"Morning and evening rush hour are the parts of the business that have come back first, and then you tend to see the social hours start to come back after that," he said.

LinkedIn's CEO has apologized to staff after anonymous employees made "appalling comments" about racism and diversity during a companywide meeting.

"We are not and will not be a company or platform where racism or hateful speech is allowed," Ryan Roslansky wrote in an email to staff that was also posted on LinkedIn. Roslansky took over as CEO of the professional networking company this week.

Some of Facebook's earliest employees are condemning CEO Mark Zuckerberg's hands-off approach to President Trump's inflammatory rhetoric about protests over police brutality.

Updated at 10:52 p.m. ET

Facebook is facing an unusually public backlash from its employees over the company's handling of President Trump's inflammatory posts about protests in the police killing of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis.

At least a dozen employees, some in senior positions, have openly condemned Facebook's lack of action on the president's posts and CEO Mark Zuckerberg's defense of that decision. Some employees staged a virtual walkout Monday.

Updated on June 9 at 2:40p.m. ET

Kim Timko used to rely on Rent the Runway for dresses for weddings and parties, outfits for date nights, and professional clothes for her job as a lawyer in New York. She said the clothing-rental service is "a nice way to have expensive clothes without having to buy."

But weddings have been postponed, parties canceled, and Timko is working from home during the coronavirus pandemic. Like many others, she has put her Rent the Runway subscription on hold. She may even cancel it.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he expects half of the tech giant's 48,000 employees to be working remotely in the next five to 10 years as part of a major shift in how the company operates.

The company plans to begin "aggressively" hiring remote workers, and it will soon allow some current employees to apply to work remotely on a permanent basis, the CEO said in a livestreamed meeting with staff Thursday.

Facebook is making a big push into online shopping by letting businesses set up free storefronts on its social network and Instagram.

Businesses can feature items in their shops, advertise them to users, and communicate with customers through the company's messaging services. Shops will eventually be integrated across Facebook's apps, including WhatsApp and Messenger.

Music is jazz composer Michael O'Dell's passion, but it doesn't pay the bills. So he drives for Lyft and Uber in Columbus, Ohio.

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, demand for rides has fallen so much, he says, that on many days he can't get enough business to make it worth getting in the car.

Uber is laying off another 3,000 employees as it tries to weather the damage to its business from the coronavirus pandemic.

The layoffs come less than two weeks after the company cut 3,700 jobs and said it would eliminate $1 billion in costs this year.

When Vern Dosch heard that Apple and Google had teamed up to develop smartphone technology to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, he was excited.

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