Facebook this month will add a feature to its app and website that lets users see how their contact information is used for ad targeting. Read more…

Other reading:

Germany to restrict Facebook’s data gathering activities

How Facebook’s Tiny China Sales Floor Helps Generate Big Ad Money

Delay, Deny, and Deal Flow: Two New York Times Reporters Cash in on Seven-Figure Facebook Opus

Happy Birthday, Facebook! 15 years today — and what a rollercoaster it has been. We created a friendship anniversary video for Mark Zuckerberg to mark the day.

Key results from Twitter’s fourth quarter 2018:

Monthly active users fell to 321 million from 326 million in the prior quarter. U.S. users slipped to 66 million from 67 million. International users fell to 255 million from 259 million.

Total revenue rose 24 percent to $909 million from a year earlier (up 26 percent on a constant currency basis). Ad revenue climbed 23 percent to $791 million. Licensing revenue increased 34 percent to $117 million.

U.S. revenue rose 24 percent to $506 million. International revenue also rose 24 percent to $403 million (up 27 percent on a constant currency basis).

For first quarter 2019, Twitter forecast:

  • Total revenue to be between $715 million and $775 million
  • GAAP operating income to be between $5 million and $35 million

For 2019, the company forecast:

  • GAAP and cash operating expenses to be up approximately 20 percent from prior year
  • Stock-based compensation expense of $350 million to $400 million
  • Capital expenditures between $550 million and $600 million

Top reasons consumers aren’t celebrating Valentine’s Day:

  • Over-commercialized
  • Don’t have anyone to celebrate with
  • Not interested anymore

Percentage of People Planning to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Year Ages 18-34 Ages 35-54  Ages 55 and older
2009 72% 65% 52%
2010 69% 61% 49%
2011 70% 59% 47%
2012 71% 61% 47%
2013 70% 62% 48%
2014 57% 55% 49%
2015 60% 58% 47%
2016 62% 56% 47%
2017 60% 57% 46%
2018 59% 57% 49%
2019 53% 52% 47%

Source: NRF’s 2019 Annual Valentine’s Day Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics

No, it hasn’t:

Tax Policy Center argues federal revenue declined.

Other skeptics cite surging government deficits and debt.

The brief economic spurt in 2018 was evidence of the law’s failure to help long-term growth.

Yes, it has:

None of the above arguments concludes whether the tax cut was worth its cost.

Comparing expected growth in gross domestic product with growth in publicly held federal debt — before and after the tax cut — is a better measure, according to Edward Conard, an American Enterprise Institute visiting scholar and former Bain Capital partner, writing in The Wall Street Journal. His comparison includes the long-term effect of tax reform on the economy and the federal budget.

The Congressional Budget Office last week published a 10-year forecast.

Unlike a pre-reform projection, the CBO now expects annual GDP that’s $750 billion higher by 2027, the last year of its prior forecast.

“A strong case can be made that tax reform played a predominant role in accelerating GDP growth. While most large economies stagnated last year, a sharp rise in business investment in the U.S. helped drive the economy forward,” Conard writes. “On the other side of the ledger, the CBO predicts the tax cuts will add $1.9 trillion of additional debt in the coming decade, and that the government will pay about $60 billion more in interest each year as a result. So the bottom line says an extra $60 billion a year buys the U.S. $750 billion in annual GDP. That’s a great deal for taxpayers.”

The government may collect more than $120 billion a year in taxes from that extra $750 billion of GDP, more than enough to cover additional interest payments.

Tax reform increases real, inflation-adjusted GDP by $300 billion to $450 billion a year in the coming decade compared with the CBO’s 2017 projection.
The higher GDP is much bigger than the debt the government borrowed to pay for the tax cuts (assuming a real growth rate of 1.8 percent and a real long-term U.S. government interest rate of about 1.2 percent).

Lawyers representing Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann and his family last week took the first step in filing possible libel suits against more than 50 news organizations, journalists, celebrities and religious organizations. Read more…

Document retention letters sent to:

  • The Washington Post
  • The New York Times
  • Cable News Network, Inc. (CNN)
  • The Guardian
  • National Public Radio
  • TMZ
  • Atlantic Media Inc.
  • Capitol Hill Publishing Corp.
  • Diocese of Covington
  • Diocese of Lexington
  • Archdiocese of Louisville
  • Diocese of Baltimore
  • Ana Cabrera
  • Sara Sidner
  • Erin Burnett
  • S.E. Cupp
  • Elliot C. McLaughlin
  • Amanda Watts
  • Emanuella Grinberg
  • Michelle Boorstein
  • Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
  • Antonio Olivo
  • Joe Heim
  • Michael E. Miller
  • Eli Rosenberg
  • Isaac Stanley-Becker
  • Kristine Phillips
  • Sarah Mervosh
  • Emily S. Rueb
  • Maggie Haberman
  • David Brooks
  • Shannon Doyne
  • Kurt Eichenwald
  • Andrea Mitchell
  • Savannah Guthrie
  • Joy Reid
  • Chuck Todd
  • Noah Berlatsky
  • Elisha Fieldstadt
  • Eun Kyung Kim
  • HBO
  • Bill Maher
  • Warner Media
  • Conde Nast
  • GQ
  • Heavy.com
  • The Hill
  • The Atlantic
  • Bustle.com
  • Ilhan Omar
  • Elizabeth Warren
  • Kathy Griffin
  • Alyssa Milano
  • Jim Carrey