People are using Facebook more than ever during the coronavirus pandemic — but its business is still taking a hit

As people around the world are shut in their homes under lockdown, they’re using Facebook more than ever to share news, message their friends, and find entertaining distractions from the dullness of quarantine life.

But that doesn’t mean Facebook, or other social media companies like Twitter and Snap, are making more money.

On Wednesday, in Facebook’s first earnings statement since the pandemic hit, the company shared impressive statistics: Nearly 3 billion people now use at least one of Facebook’s apps (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, or WhatsApp) each month, an 11 percent increase year over year and the highest it’s ever been. …

Megan Thee Stallion’s “Hot Girl Summer” is the dark horse song of quarantine

Against the backdrop of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Megan Thee Stallion’s 2019 anthem “Hot Girl Summer” has been in heavy rotation on my Spotify account. The song has become an essential part of my personal quarantine soundtrack, and I think it should be part of yours, too. Don’t let the fact that it’s not summer, or that you don’t feel like your best “hot girl” self, or that you haven’t attended anything remotely resembling a party in months stop you from enjoying this song for a second longer.

Let me explain.

A quick refresher on where you may already …

Amazon is cracking down on internal communication after a surge in worker activism

Amazon’s corporate employees have started to question the e-commerce giant’s business and labor practices more than ever before. In response, the company appears to be cracking down.

This week, Recode has learned that Amazon has started strictly enforcing rules that limit its employees’ internal communications with each other on several large company email listservs, where workers have been criticizing how the company is treating its warehouse workers during the coronavirus pandemic and have organized protests in response.

On Monday, Amazon’s IT department notified some employees who manage listservs of more than 500 people that they are required to have employee …

The Apple-Google contact tracing tool gets a beta release and a new risk level feature

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The Apple-Google coronavirus exposure notification tool is one step closer to its planned mid-May release. On Wednesday, the companies announced that a beta version of the application programming interface (API) is being released to developers for the public health authorities who will be incorporating the tool into their digital contact tracing efforts.

As contact tracing becomes an increasingly hot topic in the Covid-19 pandemic, details of the new tool built by Apple and Google are coming into focus. In late April, the companies offered updates that included a closer look at how the tool will work on smartphones, information …

The birth control wars return to the Supreme Court. And this time, conservatives have the votes.

Next Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear a pair of cases, Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania and Trump v. Pennsylvania, which could write the final chapter in a multi-year struggle over whether employers with religious objections to birth control may deny insurance coverage of contraceptives to their employees.

With two Trump appointees occupying seats on the Supreme Court, the Court is now far more conservative than it was four years ago, when a similar birth control case reached the justices. It is likely, in other words, that religious conservatives can look forward to a big win …

Justin Amash just announced an exploratory committee for a bid for the White House

Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI), a libertarian House representative and frequent critic of Donald Trump’s presidency, announced his intention on Tuesday to launch an exploratory committee to examine a run for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination.

The announcement was not a surprise, as Amash paused campaigning for his Congressional seat to “carefully consider a presidential run” back on April 15th. On …