Breakfast Briefing: 5 things for PR pros to know on Thursday morning

Twitter still has a big fake news problem; Apple back on top of most valuable brands study; Get ready for Kavanaugh leak-a-palooza.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Fake news is still very prevalent on Twitter. Eighty percent of accounts used to distribute false information during the 2016 presidential election are still active, according to research from the Knight Foundation. Researchers examined more than 10 million tweets from 700,000 accounts for the report.

Apple has taken back the number one spot as the world’s most valuable brand, elbowing out Google for the top position. Apple’s brand grew 16% year-over-year to $214.5 billion, according to Interbrand’s Best Global Brands report. Google and Amazon rounded out the medalists. Meanwhile, Facebook’s brand value dropped 6%, with data security crises dragging it down to ninth place.

Senators are getting extremely restricted access to the FBI’s investigation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh this morning, so the leaking will probably have begun by the time you read this. The White House has found no corroboration of sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh in the investigation, according to The Wall Street Journal. New polling has shown the Kavanaugh ordeal may give Republicans an edge in Senate races in November.

Apple and Amazon Web Services are pushing back against a Bloomberg Businessweek report that Chinese "spy chips" may have been used to access company networks. The federal government began investigating the chips in 2015.

Elon Musk is stepping down as Tesla’s chairman, and not by choice, but he could have an outsized role in picking his successor. The agreement he reached with the Securities and Exchange Commission doesn’t stop him from acting as a board director, and therefore influencing the search. One former top SEC official told Business Insider, "Musk is still the CEO and his friends still control the board, so tell me what has really changed."

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