A Russian disinformation operation used millions of posts on every major social media platform to help elect then-presidential candidate Donald Trump — and worked even harder to support him while in office. A leaked report prepared for the U.S. Senate analyzes millions of posts provided by Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, Tumblr, Pinterest and other major technology firms to the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., its chairman, and Sen. Mark Warner, its ranking Democrat. “What is clear is that all of the messaging clearly sought to benefit the Republican Party — and specifically Donald Trump,” the report says. [Craig Timberg and Tony Romm / The Washington Post]
HQ Trivia co-founder and CEO Colin Kroll died over the weekend, in what the New York City Police Department has said was likely a drug overdose. The entrepreneur was found dead in his apartment early Sunday morning after a woman phoned the police with concerns about the 34-year-old. Kroll and his co-founder Rus Yusupov founded the popular trivia app as well as the once-popular video service Vine, which they sold to Twitter in 2012 and which helped create a new wave of internet stars. Kroll was known as a strong engineer, and a rare one who created not one but two breakout hits. But his career was also marked by controversy: He was fired from Twitter for poor management and was recently the target of an HR complaint at HQ Trivia. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]
Amazon is cutting the CraP: Some products, like heavy and bulky bottled beverages and snack foods, are costly to ship and don’t make money — inside the company, they’re nicknamed CRaP, short for “Can’t Realize a Profit” — so Amazon is pushing big brands to change how they use its site, lower prices eliminating unprofitable items and pressing manufacturers to revamp their packaging to better sell online. Some manufacturers, including Coca-Cola, have been asked to ship from their warehouses so Amazon can cut its own costs. This profitability push by Amazon began nearly two years ago. [Laura Stevens, Sharon Terlep and Annie Gasparro / The Wall Street Journal]
Netflix is trying to make its original film lineup as formidable as its television operation, which received 112 Emmy nominations this year — more than any network. Now the release of Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma,” which mostly bypassed theaters and arrived on Netflix last Friday, has pushed the streaming service into the center of the Oscar race, and the internet giant is backing the film with perhaps the most extravagant Academy Awards campaign ever mounted. Netflix’s original-film operation is set up to supply 55 original films a year, including some with budgets as high as $200 million. And the Netflix app was the No. 1 highest-grossing iOS app in the world in 2018; five of the Top 10 apps are from Chinese companies. [Brooks Barnes / The New York Times]
CBS is giving $20 million of ousted CEO Les Moonves’ potential severance package to 18 organizations that work to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace. Since the former CBS chief was removed from his post in September, the company has been besieged by new allegations about its culture and treatment of female staffers and actresses; an investigation alleges that Moonves obstructed the corporate probe and as a result might forgo the $120 million that might have been due him. [Brian Steinberg / Variety]
Behind their blissful marketing mantras, two smartphone apps — Headspace and Calm — are locked in a head-to-head fight to dominate the booming $1.2 billion meditation market. Both startups are venture-backed and have been downloaded more than 38 million times, with each hitting one million paid subscribers in June. Founded in 2010, Headspace had dominated the meditation category until this year, when Calm caught up, thanks to a boost from winning the iPhone App of the Year award from Apple’s App Store last December. About 22 percent of U.S. companies started offering mindfulness meditation training in 2016, and another 21 percent planned to add it in 2017. [Hilary Potkewitz / The Wall Street Journal]
Top stories from Recode
Facebook promised in May to let users clear their browsing history. But the privacy feature is still months away. “It’s taking longer than we initially had thought.” [Kurt Wagner]
Another Facebook bug may have exposed millions of users’ private photos to app developers. The issue may have affected as many as 6.8 million users. [Kurt Wagner]
This is cool
SNL imagined a world where Trump was never elected president. Trump was not amused.
Parents prank their kids by pulling the plug on Fortnite.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.