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Recode Daily: The hired guns of Instagram

Plus: Facebook employees are turning — sort of — on Mark Zuckerberg. 

Men looking at guns on display at a trade show. ]Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images

How do gun companies manage to advertise on Instagram? Through influencers. Facebook technically forbids advertising firearms on its platforms, but gun companies have found a loophole: influencers — usually female influencers. “Influencers skirt the rules and restrictions platforms impose on official businesses that want to advertise guns or gun-related services and accessories,” reports Kaitlyn Tiffany for The Highlight by Vox. “This makes gun influencers more directly, tangibly important to the businesses they partner with than perhaps any other type of influencer in the bloated influencer economy.”
[Kaitlyn Tiffany / Vox]

Facebook employees are turning — sort of — on Mark Zuckerberg. A new survey from the job rating site Glassdoor shows that Zuckerberg’s popularity is declining at Facebook, falling from 16th place among US CEOs to 55th place. But the reason it’s only a “sort of” is that he is still broadly popular with Facebook employees, with a 94 percent approval rating, at a company that prizes loyalty to the CEO. Still, it’s down — and especially so given that, per Glassdoor data, he had the No. 1 rating slot as recently as 2013.
[Rani Molla / Vox]

American charitable giving fell last year for the first time since the recession. While philanthropic gifts by billionaires have increased, giving by Americans overall fell in 2018 by 1.7 percent, according to new data. Donations totaled about $428 billion, down from a high of $435 billion in the previous year. It’s pretty rare for total giving to decline, and lots of experts think the recent tax changes may have disincentivized charitable giving by doubling the standard deduction, therefore removing some of the tax write-off that people can claim with charity.
[Emily Haynes and Michael Theis / Chronicle of Philanthropy]

Google pledges $1 billion to build new housing in the Bay Area. The growth of tech giants like Google has played no small part in the housing crisis in the Bay Area. But now Google is throwing a billion dollars at the problem to try to help fix it. CEO Sundar Pichai said the company would repurpose $750 million worth of Google land for residential housing, which the company says will help build 15,000 homes near its headquarters in Mountain View, California. Some of the housing will be for middle- and low-income residents, but it’s not clear how much or how Google would define those levels. The company will also dedicate another $250 million for incentives for developers. That’s not nearly enough to address the area’s shortage, but it’s a start.
[Roland Li and Melia Russell / San Francisco Chronicle]

Top Stories from Recode

Listen: RAICES immigration activists Jonathan Ryan and Erika Andiola Live at Code 2019. Jonathan Ryan and Erika Andiola, the CEO and chief advocacy officer at RAICES, talk with Vox’s Ezra Klein at the 2019 Code Conference.
[Kara Swisher]

This is Cool

Social media networks’ popularity over time.

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