Shannon Bond

Shannon Bond is a business correspondent at NPR, covering technology and how Silicon Valley's biggest companies are transforming how we live, work and communicate.

Bond joined NPR in September 2019. She previously spent 11 years as a reporter and editor at the Financial Times in New York and San Francisco. At the FT, she covered subjects ranging from the media, beverage and tobacco industries to the Occupy Wall Street protests, student debt, New York City politics and emerging markets. She also co-hosted the FT's award-winning podcast, Alphachat, about business and economics.

Bond has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School and a bachelor's degree in psychology and religion from Columbia University. She grew up in Washington, D.C., but is enjoying life as a transplant to the West Coast.

Updated May 5, 2021 at 11:36 AM ET

Facebook was justified in its decision to suspend then-President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the company's Oversight Board said on Wednesday.

Updated May 5, 2021 at 10:30 AM ET

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

On Feb. 1, the editor of an award-winning Indian magazine got a call from his social media manager: The magazine's Twitter account was down.

"I said, 'Are you sure? Can you just refresh, and check again?' " recalled Vinod K. Jose, executive editor of The Caravan, which covers politics and culture. "But she said, 'No, no, it's real.' "

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

All right. Well, for more on this dilemma facing Twitter in India, we're going to turn now to NPR tech correspondent Shannon Bond.

Hey, Shannon.

SHANNON BOND, BYLINE: Hey, Ailsa.

California voters handed Uber and Lyft a big victory — and labor unions a big setback — when they approved a measure allowing the ride-hailing companies to keep classifying their drivers as independent contractors.

For Joe Renice, who drives for Uber in San Francisco, the measure's passage was a relief.

"This is a job that I make over $100,000 a year doing. And I have complete and total freedom and flexibility to do that," he said.

Murphy Bannerman first noticed the posts this summer in a Facebook group called Being Black in Arizona.

Someone started posting memes full of false claims that seemed designed to discourage people from voting.

The memes were "trying to push this narrative of, 'The system is a mess and there's no point in you participating,' " Bannerman said. She recalled statements such as, " 'Democrats and Republicans are the same. There's no point in voting.' 'Obama didn't do anything for you during his term, why should you vote for a Democrat this time around?' "

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

All right. As we have noted, we are just one week to go until the official Election Day. That means election season will be over, and it's only at this point that Facebook has decided to put a stop to political ads on its site.

Updated at 3:24 p.m. ET

The Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit Tuesday against Google alleging the company of abusing its dominance over smaller rivals by operating like an illegal monopoly. The action represents the federal government's most significant legal action in more than two decades to confront a technology giant's power.

Expect to see more prominent warning labels on Twitter that make it harder to see and share false claims about the election and the coronavirus, the company said on Friday.

This is the latest step that Twitter is taking to prevent the spread of deliberate misinformation as voters cast their ballots amid a pandemic. Like Facebook and other social media platforms, Twitter has announced a cascade of new rules to stop a flood of hoaxes and false claims aimed at misleading voters.

Yoel Roth spends a lot of time thinking about what could go wrong on Twitter. It's his job, as the social media company's head of site integrity.

"Having a vivid imagination is key," he told NPR. "None of the threats are off-limits."

It's a big election year, and one party's candidate is the successor to a popular two-term president. A little-known company offers the other party, which is in disarray, technology that uses vast amounts of data to profile voters. The election is incredibly close — and the long-shot candidate wins.

This was 1960, not 2016, and the winning ticket was John F. Kennedy, not Donald Trump.

Twitter is putting new restrictions on election-related content, including labeling or removing posts that claim victory before results are official or attempt to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.

"We will not permit our service to be abused around civic processes, most importantly elections," the company said in a blog post Thursday.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Updated at 1:16 p.m. ET

Apple has hit $2 trillion in market value, the first publicly traded U.S. company to do so.

The iPhone maker first crossed the $1 trillion milestone just two years ago.

This week, Apple and a handful of other tech giants propelled the S&P 500 index to a new record. Apple's stock is up nearly 60% this year.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

For grocery delivery worker Willy Solis, the last straw came when the app Shipt changed his pay — in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

It wasn't the first time that Shipt, owned by Target, had tinkered with that formula. Solis had complained about smaller paychecks and lack of pay transparency. But now he and others like him were putting their health on the line to do their work. Solis decided he had to take action. From his home in Denton, Texas, he logged on to Facebook and started organizing a nationwide walkout.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

In a new move to stop the spread of dangerous and false information about the coronavirus, Facebook will start telling people when they've interacted with posts about bogus cures, hoaxes and other false claims.

Updated at 3:44 p.m. ET

The CEO and founder of the newly popular video conferencing service Zoom says he'll make his product harder to use, if it improves safety and security.

Zoom has taken off during the coronavirus pandemic thanks to how easy it is to join a virtual meeting on the platform by clicking on a single link.

But now Eric Yuan says, "When it comes to a conflict between usability and privacy and security, privacy and security [are] more important – even at the cost of multiple clicks."

Updated at 11:22 a.m. ET

Dennis Johnson fell victim last week to a new form of harassment known as "Zoombombing," in which intruders hijack video calls and post hate speech and offensive images such as pornography. It's a phenomenon so alarming that the FBI has issued a warning about using Zoom.

Like many people these days, Johnson is doing a lot of things over the Internet that he would normally do in person. Last week, he defended his doctoral dissertation in a Zoom videoconference.

Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are relying more heavily on automated systems to flag content that violate their rules, as tech workers were sent home to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Updated at 6:01 p.m. ET

Some Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island, N.Y., and Instacart's grocery delivery workers nationwide walked off their jobs on Monday. They are demanding stepped-up protection and pay as they continue to work while much of the country is asked to isolate as a safeguard against the coronavirus.

Uber is pausing its pool service, and Lyft is suspending its shared rides feature in the United States and Canada in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Those services let passengers headed in the same direction carpool in exchange for cheaper fares.

But as cities tell people to avoid nonessential travel and stay at least 6 feet away from one another, Uber and Lyft say they are supporting public health guidance.

Joe Renice noticed things were different last week in downtown San Francisco.

"I was driving around the financial district for 3 1/2 hours. I got one ride," he said.

Renice is an Uber driver and normally spends a good chunk of his day ferrying tech workers and tourists around the city.

Puerto Ricans could be casting their ballots online only in the next eight years, according to a bill that is expected to pass this week.

Civil liberties advocates are ringing alarm bells over this plan to shift voting online, warning that the move threatens election security and voting rights.

Flying cars, big-screen TVs that rotate vertically to better show your mobile videos, a trash can that changes its own bag: Welcome to CES.

About 200,000 people will descend on Las Vegas this week to check it all out at the annual technology extravaganza of the Consumer Electronics Show.

Among the robots they will encounter is the Charmin RollBot. That's roll as in a roll of toilet paper, which is what the small-wheel robot carries on top of itself.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

How safe is your Uber ride? That question has dogged the company for years, as it has faced complaints from passengers and drivers alleging they have been sexually assaulted in an Uber.

Now Uber is revealing the scale of those complaints for the first time.

The company received 5,981 allegations of serious sexual assault in the U.S. over two years, according to a new report covering 2017 and 2018. The claims range from unwanted touching and kissing to rape.

Pages