In today’s wrapup of life science and technology news:

  • Pfizer profit plunges 38 percent, misses market forecasts
  • Angie’s List may seek outside help, possible sale
  • Clock ticking for Facebook to act over hate speech 
  • Judge to rule by week’s end on ballot selfies in New York

The details:

  • Pfizer profit plunges 38 percent, misses market forecasts

Drugmaker Pfizer topped off a difficult third quarter with news that it’s scrapping a closely watched experimental cholesterol drug, partly due to expectations insurers would limit access so much that it wouldn’t make much money, a possible bad omen for the pharmaceutical industry.

The biggest U.S.-based drugmaker on Tuesday reported its quarterly profit plunged 38 percent as higher spending and a slew of acquisition-related charges more than offset higher sales. The mediocre results missed Wall Street expectations and Pfizer lowered the top end of its 2016 profit forecast.

  • Angie’s List may seek outside help, possible sale

Angie’s List may be seeking a partner or a buyer after watching its sales slide for more than a year. The Indianapolis company is working with Allen & Co. LLC and BofA Merrill Lynch to explore “strategic alternatives.”

Last year, the Indianapolis company rejected a $512 million takeover offer from internet company IAC/InterActiveCorp. It said the per-share offer of $8.75 was too low.

Angie’s List Inc. reported a third-quarter loss of $16.8 million Tuesday, with per-share results and revenue missing Wall Street expectations.

  • Germany: Clock ticking for Facebook to act over hate speech

Facebook and Twitter have months to improve their response to online hate speech in Germany or face legal measures, the country’s justice minister said Tuesday.

Heiko Maas said checks show that social networking sites have a patchy record of deleting posts that are considered illegal in Germany.

A two-month test conducted over the summer found that Facebook removed 46 percent of posts flagged by users, while Twitter removed just 1 percent. The figures increased to 91 percent for Facebook and 82 percent for Twitter when the companies were contacted directly or flagged by so-called privileged users.

Maas said the checks will continue until March.

“If it turns out that the removal rate remains so low, then we’ll take legislative measures,” he said.

Twitter declined to respond directly to Maas’ comments, but cited its policy banning accounts whose primary purpose is to incite harm toward others. The company said it cooperates with law enforcement agencies and regularly publishes figures for how many information requests it gets from German authorities .

  • Judge to rule by week’s end on ballot selfies in New York

A federal judge heard lawyers debate whether the “selfie” social media phenomenon was a fad or a permanent fixture before promising Tuesday to ruleby week’s end whether the First Amendment extends selfies to the polling booth despite a state law banning people from showing their marked election ballot to others.

Judge P. Kevin Castel listened as a lawyer for three voters insisted his clients should be allowed to distribute ballot selfies on social media. A city lawyer, Stephen Kitzinger, argued against it.

“Selfies have been a thing, in my opinion, far too long,” Kitzinger said. “But it’s a fad. And fads don’t give rise to Constitutional rights.”

Leo Glickman, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of three voters, disagreed.

“Facebook and social media is not a fad, your honor,” he told Castel. “For better or worse, it’s a fact of life.”

Kitzinger said the request to declare bans on distributing pictures of completed ballotsunconstitutional came too late for this election. He said over 35,000 polling place workers and 2,500 police officers already have been trained and it would be “incredibly disruptive” to change the rules, which in New York City includes a ban on photography at polling locations.