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Recode Daily: Bad behavior by the co-founders of the hot HQ Trivia app is a buzzkill for potential investors

Plus: John Skipper is leaving ESPN on the verge of Disney’s big deal, animatronic Trump finally takes his spot at Disney World, and analyzing Bob Dylan’s Malibu Xmas lights.

Honorees Rus Yusupov (L) and Colin Kroll accept the Breakthrough Award for Emerging Technology onstage at the Variety Breakthrough of the Year Awards during the 2014 International CES at The Las Vegas Hotel & Casino on January 9, 2014 in Las Vegas, Ne
HQ Trivia co-founders Rus Yusupov (L) and Colin Kroll accept the Breakthrough Award for Emerging Technology on behalf of Vine — which they also co-founded— during the 2014 International CES.
Jeff Bottari / Getty Images for Variety

The most-talked-about app of the moment, HQ Trivia, has had trouble capitalizing on its buzz after due diligence revealed concerns about its co-founders, who also co-founded Vine, the video app acquired by Twitter. Would-be investors were particularly concerned about how HQ co-founder Colin Kroll managed people during his time at Twitter, as well as a reputation he’s garnered for exhibiting inappropriate behavior toward women. More than 680,000 people played HQ on Sunday night, just two months after its launch; here’s the backstory on the game’s co-founders. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

ESPN president John Skipper is leaving the network just as parent company Disney is about to make a huge bet on TV sports. Skipper — who has had the top job at the powerful sports network since 2012 — is stepping down, citing “substance addiction.” George Bodenheimer will take over as acting chairman; whoever Disney CEO Bob Iger taps as ESPN’s boss will face significant challenges, both immediately and down the road. ESPN employees praising Skipper included Jemele Hill, the anchor he recently suspended: “I seriously cannot express how much respect I have for him.” [Peter Kafka / Recode]

Facebook has identified a new kind of spam: Engagement baiting. The social network is clamping down on posts that ask people for “Likes” or shares — “Like if you think cats are best” — by de-prioritizing and demoting them in the News Feed. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

An animatronic version of President Trump has finally arrived at Walt Disney World, after a delay that prompted online conspiracy theories, the most common one being that Disney was trying to silence Trump. “Above all, to be American is to be an optimist ... and that the best days of our great nation are still ahead of us,” says the life-size robot president, who stands next to a seated Abraham Lincoln in the theme park’s Hall of Presidents exhibit. [Brooks Barnes / The New York Times]

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” opened to $220 million in the U.S. over the weekend, coming in as the second-biggest opening of all time — right behind “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” No spoilers, but here are six lessons from how the 10th “Star Wars” theatrical film was made, how it performed and how it generated reactions. [Steven Zeitchik / The Washington Post]

Some of you didnt get our email yesterday because of a tech problem on our end. Sorry about that. Those of you who did get it didn't get the link to this excellent NYT story about Pentagon-funded UFO research. That was due to human error. Apologies for that, too.

Top stories from Recode

“Sunday Night Football” was the highest-rated TV show this year, but its audience is smaller than last year.

On average, 18.6 million people watched it this year; 19.3 million watched it last year.

Meeting with potential funders shouldn’t be an opportunity for sexual harassment.

Just in time for the holiday party season, here are six defensive strategies every woman should know.

SoFi’s CEO is resigning immediately.

Mike Cagney has been battling sexual harassment allegations at the lending startup.

This is cool

A critical analysis of Bob Dylans 2017 Xmas lights.

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