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Recode Daily: Facebook reels from the blowback to its user-data expose

Plus, one of Uber’s self-driving cars killed a pedestrian, Facebook rolls out Patreon-style subscriptions for video makers, and an ode to a beloved meme.

Whistleblower Christopher Wylie came forward to expose the data-harvesting practices of Cambridge Analytica.
Whistleblower Christopher Wylie came forward to expose the data-harvesting practices of Cambridge Analytica.
Screenshot / The Guardian / YouTube

Facebook’s top security officer is leaving the company after disputes about Russia. Alex Stamos’s planned departurereflects heightened leadership tension at the top of the social network” over how to handle interference from Russia and other actors who wanted to abuse the social network. “Some of the company’s executives are weighing their own legacies and reputations as Facebook’s image has taken a beating.” Facebook stock is also getting bruised: Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth dropped by about $5 billion following news that Facebook data from 50 million users ended up with the Steve Bannon-linked data analytics company that helped get Donald Trump elected. Facebook has suspended the accounts of whistleblower Chris Wylie and is auditing Cambridge Analytica to see if it still has the Facebook user data it promised to destroy in 2015; the U.K.’s data protection authority wants a warrant to search the offices of the London-based political data harvesting operation. A British undercover investigation secretly filmed Trump’s election consultants describing how they use bribes, sex workers and other dirty tricks to entrap politicians. Here’s a deep look into how Facebook groups are being exploited to spread misinformation, plan harassment and radicalize people. Keep current with this story with our continually updated storystream. [New York Times]

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One of Uber’s self-driving test cars hit and killed a pedestrian in Arizona on Sunday — a human was in the driver’s seat but not controlling the car. Uber has pulled its autonomous test cars off the road in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Tempe, Ariz., where the accident occurred; the National Transportation Safety Board is conducting an investigation. [Johana Bhuiyan / Recode]

Tronc chairman Michael Ferro announced his retirement from the publishing powerhouse yesterday — the same day that Fortune published a story detailing two women’s reports of his inappropriate sexual advances. CEO Justin Dearborn will succeed him as chairman at Tronc, the parent company of the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, among others; Ferro will still be paid $5 million per year through 2020 to serve as a consultant. In January, LA Times CEO and publisher Ross Levinsohn took a voluntary unpaid leave after reports that he had been a defendant in two sexual harassment lawsuits. [Kristen Bellstrom and Beth Kowitt / Fortune]

Facebook will start letting video creators charge $4.99 a month for their work. The company won’t take a cut of the subscriptions, but Apple and Google, which will process the transactions on their platforms, will take the standard 30 percent cut they take for all in-app purchases they facilitate, leaving creators with about $3.50 for each subscription. Patreon, which also lets fans fund their favorite creators, processed more than $150 million in donations last year — and takes just 5 percent off the top. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

Big Data is catching up with biology: We’ve been collecting an overwhelming amount of individual health data for a long time — throw in the stuff from medical claims, clinical trials, prescriptions and academic research, and the yield is something on the order of 750 quadrillion bytes every day — some 30 percent of the world’s data production. Now we have the computing power to process and understand that data — which may be driving the current frenzy of health care–related dealmaking. [Erika Fry and Sy Mukherjee / Fortune]

What if ADHD turns out to be a natural adaptation — even an asset — in our hyperactive world? [Leonard Mlodinow / The New York Times]

Recode Presents …

Do you have questions about Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and data privacy on social media? We’ll be discussing all of that on an upcoming Too Embarrassed to Ask podcast with Recode’s Kurt Wagner, so tweet your questions with #TooEmbarrassed or email

Top stories from Recode

The Facebook exec who helped hunt down Russia’s political ads is leaving the company.

Chief security officer Alex Stamos would be the most high-profile Facebook executive to leave since the 2016 election.

Bumble called Tinder’s parent company a “bully” and promised it would never sell to them, “no matter the price tag.”

Bumble finally responded to a recent lawsuit from Match Group: “We swipe left on you ... We’ll never be yours.”

Google and Facebook have banned cryptocurrency ads — but these networks still haven’t.

Microsoft, Snap and Twitter are exceptions — for now.

Google and Facebook’s share of the U.S. ad market could decline for the first time, thanks to Amazon and Snapchat.

But don’t worry — digital advertising is still a duopoly.

Here are the Top 2 reasons Americans still pay for cable TV.

Soon these reasons will hold less water.

This is cool

On the death of a beloved meme.

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