Breakfast Briefing, 10.11.2017: Facebook apologizes for VR tour of Puerto Rico

Mark Zuckerberg conceded the hurricane-crippled island wasn't the best venue for Facebook to show off its VR technology. Plus: Trump in Pennsylvania, Uber's growing list of legal problems, and misery for U.S. soccer fans.

(Screenshot from Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook page).
(Screenshot from Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook page).

As if Facebook doesn’t have enough problems...The social network apologized late Tuesday for showing off its VR technology with a tour of storm-ravaged Puerto Rico. Critics accused the company of insensitivity and promoting disaster tourism, according to Fortune. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his goal was to raise awareness of events happening around the world. Meanwhile, Facebook number two Sheryl Sandberg is heading to Washington, DC, this week to put out fires stemming from Russia’s use of the platform to influence the 2016 election, according to Recode.

What to keep an eye on today...President Donald Trump will be in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to pitch his tax-reform plan with an assist from dozens of truckers. (No word on whether he’ll climb in the cab of a big rig). Since Tuesday night, Trump has used Twitter to push back against media reports on the job security of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, dinged the NFL, and said the news media isn’t covering the stock market. But there’s still no response to Eminem from the commander-in-chief.

Uber’s legal problems worse than thought...The ride-hailing company is facing at least five criminal probes by the U.S. Justice Department, two more than had been previously reported, according to Bloomberg. The investigations are looking into possible bribes, illicit software, pricing schemes, and IP theft, according to the report.

Reports: NBC dropped ball on Weinstein investigation. NBC News let the Harvey Weinstein bombshell story, published by The New Yorker on Tuesday, fall through its fingers late this summer, according to HuffPost. The network had concerns about the story’s sourcing and allowed investigative reporter Ronan Farrow to take it to The New Yorker, according to the website. NBC News head Andy Lack is set to appear at a staff town hall on Wednesday.

Speaking of dropping (or, ahem, not kicking) the ball...There will be no World Cup glory for the U.S. next year. The U.S. Men’s National Team won’t be making the trip to Russia after a stunning loss to Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday night. The loss is also a major blow to Fox Sports, which paid $400 million for the English-language rights to the next two World Cups in the U.S., according to Sports Illustrated.

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