Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Tuesday.
- Booking Holdings has joined MasterCard, Visa, eBay, and others in withdrawing from Facebook’s cryptocurrency project Libra. Facebook’s deteriorating relationships with Libra partners, combined with intense scrutiny from lawmakers, leaves the future of the initiative uncertain.
- Mark Zuckerberg responded to reports that he’s been hosting private dinners with prominent conservatives. Zuckerberg defended his off-the-record dinners, saying “hearing from a wide range of viewpoints is part of learning,” and suggested people should try it.
- Blizzard broke its silence to say China didn’t influence its decision to ban a professional gamer from Hong Kong. Blizzard Entertainment President J. Allen Brack said the company’s relationships in China were not a factor in the decision to punish Blitzchung, a professional gamer who spoke out in support of the Hong Kong protests during a Blizzard-sponsored event.
- Uber has laid off hundreds of employees in its third round of cuts this year. Uber laid off roughly 350 employees in its third round of major job cuts this year, according to TechCrunch’s Megan Rose Dickey.
- Facebook made the unusual decision to push back directly on Elizabeth Warren and her criticism of the company, but its attempt to defend itself backfired spectacularly. Warren recently criticized Facebook’s policies that don’t allow politicians to swear on the platform but do allow them to run ads that don’t pass a third-party fact-check.
- WeWork said thousands of its phone booths could have dangerous levels of formaldehyde after people complained about odor and eye irritation. Leaked emails obtained by Business Insider showed that tenants complained about noxious chemicals in the phone booths as early as August.
- Amazon is offering free Prime 1-day shipping on items that cost as little as $1 as it tries to further eliminate any reason to ever go to a store. Amazon has been gradually making it possible for Prime members to shop for low-cost items on its site (under $5) and have these shipped on their own for free, according to a new report from Recode.
- PornHub has removed ‘Girls Do Porn’ content from its site after its owners and employees were arrested and charged with federal sex trafficking counts. The news comes after an investigation by Motherboard into how Girls Do Porn was manipulating women into signing contracts.
- The banned ‘Hearthstone’ gamer at the center of a China censorship furore spoke out for the first time after Blizzard reduced his ban. Chung ‘Blitzchung’ Ng Wai was handed the ban after he shouted “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age!” during a live post-game interview at a ‘Hearthstone’ tournament, with his prize money also withheld.
- A new study showed that Gen Z women are less likely than millennial women to want to be reachable at all times, and it might be a sign of ‘tech fatigue.’ Increased exposure to and awareness of the darker sides of technology could be responsible for the pessimism Gen Z women feel, according to the study results.
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