Tech giants rally against immigration policies, 'fake news'

Facebook is among nearly 100 tech companies filing a brief to oppose President Trump's temporary immigration ban.

Nearly 100 tech companies, including Apple, Google, and Microsoft, collectively filed a legal brief on Sunday opposing President Trump’s temporary immigration ban, arguing that it “inflicts significant harm on American business.” Joining in the brief, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th district, were Facebook, Twitter, Intel, eBay, Netflix, Spotify, and Uber.

“The Order represents a significant departure from the principles of fairness and predictability that have governed the immigration system of the United States for more than fifty years,” the brief stated. “Immigrants or their children founded more than 200 of the companies on the Fortune 500 list.”

The filing is in support of a lawsuit from Minnesota and Washington states brought against Trump’s executive order temporarily barring citizens of the predominately Muslim-countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the U.S.

“Of course the federal government can and should implement targeted, appropriate adjustments to the nation’s immigration system to enhance the Nation’s security,” noted the brief. “But a broad, open-ended ban — together with an indication that the ban could be expanded to other countries without notice — does not fit the goal of making the country more secure. Instead, it will undermine American interests.”

Coincidentally, perhaps, both Google and Facebook have also announced new, not-gonna-take-it-anymore efforts to combat the circulation of so-called fake news.

CrossCheck, billed as “a collaborative journalism project,” will launch first in France and Germany where major elections are looming. The nonprofit group First Draft News, of which Google News Lab is a founding partner, will supervise the effort with participation from numerous media partners. Seventeen in France have already signed-on, including the prestigious Agence France-Presse (AFP), France Medias Monde, France Televisions, Le Echo, LeMonde, and BuzzFeed News.  

“CrossCheck brings together expertise from media and technology industries to ensure hoaxes, rumors and false claims are swiftly debunked, and misleading or confusing stories are accurately reported,” stated in a press release.

Facebook, subject to intense criticism in the U.S. for sharing incorrect articles preelection, is also launching its own anti-fake news measures in France and Germany, reported Les Echo. Partnering with the nonprofit organization Correctiv, questionable content will be flagged with a warning and down ranked in the Facebook news feed.   

Possibly in response to both, President Trump took to his favorite pulpit on Monday to bash polls showing that many Americans are unhappy with his performance to date, calling them “fake news.”