clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Recode Daily: Amazon and Google are fighting again

Plus, Spotify drops R. Kelly from its playlists as part of its new rules about hate content; House Democrats release all the politically divisive Russia-linked Facebook ads; sending inaudible secret commands to Siri and Alexa.

cowboy boots

Amazon has stopped buying a popular type of Google ad, deepening the rift between the tech titans and signaling Amazon’s growing ambition in the digital advertising market. The move affects highly coveted real estate at the top of Google search results; starting in 2016, Amazon competed against Walmart and other retailers in online auctions that Google runs to decide who gets to place their image-rich ads on top of results for queries like “cowboy boots” and “modern couches.” [Mark Bergen / Bloomberg]

[Want to get the Recode Daily in your inbox? Subscribe here.]

Controversial R&B singer R. Kelly’s music was deleted from all Spotify-curated-and-promoted playlists as part of the streaming music service’s new policies on hateful content and conduct. Controversial rapper XXXTentacion was also deleted from playlists; both artists’ music are still available on the service. Spotify has partnered with GLAAD, the Anti-Defamation League and more to audit its catalog; it also created a monitoring tool called Spotify AudioWatch to help it screen for and flag hate content. [Dan Rys / Billboard]

Dropbox beat Wall Street’s expectations for its first quarter as a public company, another sign of momentum after one of 2018’s marquee IPOs. The file-storage company, which has had to battle persistent criticism that it was overvalued at $12.8 billion, collected about $316 million, a 28 percent rise over last year; the Street was looking for about $309 million in sales. Dropbox also reported 11.5 million paying users. [Theodore Schleifer / Recode]

House Democrats released all 3,519 Facebook ads purchased by Russian groups trying to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election. Spanning 2015 to 2017, the majority of the ads published by the House Intelligence Committee were purchased by the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency and targeted politically divisive issues such as gun control, race relations and immigration. Here are the most popular ads, by month and whom they targeted; you can find and download the ads here. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

Google, Facebook and Boeing were among more than 40 companies represented at a White House gathering of artificial intelligence experts. The White House announced a new Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence made of up leading AI researchers in government; the committee will also have representatives from the National Security Council, Office of the Federal Chief Information Officer and the Office of Management and Budget. Trump administration technology adviser Michael Kratsios told the group that the administration will take a hands-off, free-market approach to AI. Meanwhile, Carnegie Mellon announced that it will offer the first undergraduate degree in artificial intelligence in the U.S. [Ben Brody / Bloomberg]

Recode Presents ...

What do you really think of Recode? We want to hear from you about how we can better bring you the best news coverage. Take this brief five-minute audience survey and let us know.

Top stories from Recode

Millennials really hated Snapchat’s redesign.

A generation’s opinion of Snapchat’s brand has taken a major hit.

Why Walmart bought Flipkart — in five charts

There’s a whole bunch of data in Walmart’s corner that supports the risk it’s taking.

WeWork has hired the executive who used to protect Obama and Trump from getting hacked.

Cory Louie is joining as the coworking giant’s first chief security officer.

New Zealand’s government has made a rare investment of $65 million into “Uber for trash” startup Rubicon.

It’s usually other sovereign wealth funds, not New Zealand’s, making Silicon Valley headlines.

Who cares about privacy?

On the latest episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask, “Chaos Monkeys” author and Wired contributing writer Antonio García-Martínez talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about his early-2010s stint at Facebook, where he helped develop the ad-targeting technologies that have landed the company in trouble in recent months.

This is cool

Uh-oh …

This article originally appeared on