Social media backlash forces Trump to find new ways to spread his message | Donald Trump- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Donald Trump’s campaign manager sent a warning to Twitter last month, weeks after the social media company first took steps to add labels and context to the president’s often inflammatory tweets.
“Hey @twitter, your days are numbered,” Brad Parscale wrote in a tweet, linking to one of his posts on the much lesser-known social media site Parler.
But Twitter did not appear to think much of Parscale’s warning. Less than a week later, the platform added a public interest notice to another Trump tweet for violating its policy against abusive behavior. Days after that, Reddit banned its largest pro-Trump subreddit over hate speech, and the streaming video platform Twitch temporarily suspended the president’s channel for violating its policy against “hateful conduct”.
As the president’s rhetoric on issues including vote by mail and the Black Lives Matter protests attracts more and more controversy, the companies’ escalating actions have led the president and his advisers to lash out against the social media giants. But the response is also forcing Trump and his campaign to consider alternative ways to spread their message before the presidential election in November. For a president who rose to power partly on the back of social media, it is a remarkable reversal of fortune.
Trump signed an executive order targeting social media companies in late May, days after Twitter added a fact-check to two of his tweets about voting by mail. The order was aimed at rolling back a legal shield for online platforms contained in the Communications Decency Act of 1996, and the justice department has since issued a recommendation urging Congress to repeal parts of the law.
But those actions do not seem to have deterred social media companies in their effort to crack down on hate speech when it comes from the American president.
Snap, the company that makes Snapchat, announced last month that it would no longer promote Trump’s posts on its Discover channel because it did not want to “amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover”.
Even Facebook, the social media company that has generally been most lenient with the president, said it would start removing posts that incite violence or seek to suppress voting, with no exceptions for politicians. Days before that, Facebook took down Trump campaign ads that included a symbol associated with the Nazis, saying the ads violated the company’s policy against “organized hate”.
Those decisions come as Facebook continues to face pressure from employees and advertisers to crack down on hate speech, with many critics saying the company’s recent steps do not go far enough to address the issue.
Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout last month over the company’s refusal to remove one of Trump’s posts about the recent protests against police brutality, and more than 300 companies have now joined an advertising boycott in response to the company’s policies on misinformation and hate speech.
The Trump campaign is looking at alternative ways to reach voters. A number of Trump’s advisers and allies have now joined Parler, the Twitter rival, and the campaign has increasingly used its own smartphone app to provide supporters with news and entertainment that is favorable to the president.
“We have always been worried about Twitter and Facebook taking us offline and this serves as a backup,” Parscale said of the campaign app in an interview with Reuters.
But other platforms simply cannot match the reach of social media giants like Facebook and Twitter.
The CEO of Parler, who has described the platform as “an open town square with no censorship”, said late last month that the number of Parler users had quickly climbed to 1.5 million. In comparison, Facebook and Twitter have 175.4 million and 53.5 million US users respectively, according to the market research firm eMarketer.
“There is no replacement for Facebook. There basically is no replacement for Twitter,” said David Karpf, a professor in the school of media and public affairs at the George Washington University. “If they move to these smaller sites, what they’re going to find is, ‘Well, this doesn’t have the audience.’”
Gautam Hans, a professor at Vanderbilt Law School, added that social media companies touting a “no censorship” policy had previously become overrun with violent and hateful rhetoric, which could quickly force Parler to develop a content moderation policy. “And then basically you’re back where you were four months ago on Twitter,” Hans said. “You’re not going to be able to avoid these problems. They’re unavoidable.”
The social media companies’ repeated run-ins with Trump have only underscored the need for platforms to establish uniform rules around hate speech, Hans argued. “I think they thought they could get out of this situation in some meaningful, principled way without having to make a hard call,” Hans said. “I think the last month has demonstrated that that’s not going to happen.”
In the end, the recent steps taken by social media giants may be most important in terms of what they say about how those companies move forward in a world where politicians increasingly interact with voters through virtual platforms.
“Those are meaningful steps, and it’s worth applauding them,” Karpf said. “I don’t think they’re going to change the outcome of the election in meaningful ways, but when social media companies start taking responsibility for the platforms they provide and the activity on those platforms and take some authority for the power that they have, that is a good thing to see.”

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‘A brand in his own right’: Trump campaign spends $325,000 on Facebook ads promoting campaign manager- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has begun spending heavily on Facebook ads that also promote the social media pages of his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, running more than $325,000 (£262,135) in such ads, mostly in recent weeks.
Until this week, Mr Parscale was one of only three people whose Facebook and Instagram pages the campaign had used to display ads. The other two were Mr Trump and Mike Pence.
Digital strategists said it was highly unusual to use a campaign staff member’s page to run ads. But the Trump campaign said that it was testing the use of Mr Parscale’s page to run ads from different accounts, with more to follow, including Donald Trump Jr, and that Mr Parscale had received no financial gain.

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Here is how it works: the Trump campaign buys ads and uses Mr Parscale’s Facebook and Instagram accounts as the vehicles to display those messages to social media users scrolling through their timelines, showing Mr Parscale’s accounts, even to those who do not follow his pages. The Parscale ads have shown campaign videos, asked supporters to take online surveys and urged people to donate before this week’s end-of-quarter deadline.
“I’m relying on grass-roots donations from hard-working Patriots, like YOU, to lead us to victory,” says one ad that has run this week using Mr Parscale’s page. On Monday, the Trump campaign began running ads using the Facebook page of a second strategist, Katrina Pierson; those ads are so new that her page does not yet appear in Facebook’s archive of advertisers.

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Mr Parscale’s follower counts have risen as the advertisements have been running. His number of Instagram followers has risen by 10 per cent in the past two weeks, to nearly 50,000; his Facebook followers now top 90,000.
Digital strategists said that one reason to use something other than a candidate’s main Facebook page to run ads is that the platform does throttle how repetitive an ad can become. Using different pages can help get around that limit. Mr Parscale, who served as digital director on the 2016 campaign and is an outspoken personality on the 2020 race, has also become something of a celebrity in Mr Trump’s political circles.
Still, Democratic strategists said they had never heard of using a campaign’s limited resources to promote the social media accounts of a campaign strategist.
“The ads may well be raising money for the Trump campaign,” said Andrew Bleeker, the president of the Democratic firm Bully Pulpit Interactive, “but certainly in the Democratic Party this would feel more like personal profiteering than in the interest of the campaign when you’re building up the audience of someone who is also the principal of a private marketing firm and wants to sell himself as an influence.”
Of Mr Parscale, he added: “He’s becoming a brand in his own right on Trump’s dime, and if there is ever a candidate who understands the value of personal branding and what that’s worth, it’s Donald Trump.”

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The spending represents a small fraction of the millions that Mr Trump has been spending on Facebook, but it is still a significant sum of money in politics. The total the Trump campaign has spent on ads via Mr Parscale’s Facebook and Instagram pages in the past month, for instance, is more than many of the Senate Republicans facing re-election fights this fall have spent on the platform in the same time period, including senators Joni Ernst, Susan Collins, Cory Gardner and Martha McSally.
Facebook data does not make immediately clear what date the Trump campaign began spending to run ads via Mr Parscale’s Facebook page, but only about $37,000 (£29,814) of the more than $326,000 (£262,687) in ads ran before 30 May, records show. The ads are paid for both by the Trump re-election committee itself and a shared account with the Republican Tempemail Committee called the Trump Make America Great Again Committee.
Mr Parscale’s Facebook page had linked to his private consulting firm, Parscale Strategy, until recently; that link appears to have been removed after Mother Jones first pointed it out last week.

It is not uncommon for a campaign to use multiple Facebook accounts to run ads. For instance, senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, spent about $61,000 (£49,000) on ads in recent months through an account called “Wrong Path McGrath”, attacking the Democrat who on Tuesday became his general election opponent, Amy McGrath.
The Trump campaign has run ads through four other Facebook group pages: Team Trump, which has seen the most spending, Latinos for Trump, Black Voices for Trump and Women for Trump.
In the past 30 days, the Trump campaign has run more ads using Mr Parscale’s page than the Black Voices for Trump and Latinos for Trump pages combined.

Taryn Rosenkranz, a Democratic digital strategist, said she had not seen a campaign use a staff member’s page to run ads before. But she said that using multiple pages to serve ads on Facebook was one way around the site’s algorithm limiting how many ads can be delivered.
“It gets more bites at the apple,” she explained.

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So far, Joe Biden’s campaign has not run any Facebook ads beyond those promoting Mr Biden’s main page.
Mr Parscale, who has been Mr Trump’s campaign manager since 2018, has come under some criticism recently, particularly for hyping the president’s recent rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that failed to fill an arena during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Trump has recently added some political reinforcements to the campaign, promoting Bill Stepien to deputy campaign manager, and making Stephanie Alexander the campaign chief of staff in March. Jason Miller, a veteran of the 2016 campaign, has returned in a senior role.
Whatever Mr Parscale’s future, an expanded social media footprint may be beneficial.
“He will be able to take his very valuable list of followers and monetize that in the future,” said Mark Jablonowski, the chief technology officer at the Democratic digital advertising firm DSPolitical.
New York Times

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Reddit bans Donald Trump fan page and thousands of other communities in move against hate speech- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Reddit has banned an online message board dedicated to supporting Donald Trump, and thousands of other online communities, in sweeping new measures designed to combat hate-speech.
Reddit said in a statement that it banned The_Donald subreddit, which had nearly 800,000 users, due to repeated rule-breaking, as it announced new rules aimed at banishing hate from the popular social media site.
“We banned r/The_Donald because it has not done so, despite every opportunity. The community has consistently hosted and upvoted more rule-breaking content than average (Rule 1), antagonized us and other communities (Rules 2 and 8), and its mods have refused to meet our most basic expectations,” the company said in a statement.

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“Until now, we’ve worked in good faith to help them preserve the community as a space for its users—through warnings, mod changes, quarantining, and more.”
More follows…

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What is Elite TikTok and what has it got to do with Donald Trump? | Culture- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Matilda, help! I have come across something called Elite/Alt TikTok. Have Elon Musk and Grimes renamed their baby?
Ha, no. So, to understand Alt and Elite TikTok you first need to understand how TikTok started. In the beginning, the platform was essentially a bunch of genetically blessed teenagers lip-syncing to popular songs and repeating the same five or six trendy dances over and over again. There is an upper echelon of popular creators, including Addison Rae, Charli D’amelio and Chase Hudson, who are popular with kids, very brand-safe and have millions and millions of followers. Think of this side of TikTok as “Straight Tiktok”. “Elite TikTok”, “Alt Tiktok” or “Queer TikTok” is the anti-capitalist rebellion to this.
The content is all on the same platform, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Alt TikTok replaces relatable dances with pure chaos. Soundtracks are distorted and unsettling, and rather than coveting brands and material possessions, users are obsessed with frogs, beans and pretending to be the official TikTok accounts for Walmart.
There is no way to “find” Elite Tiktok, you just have to be strange enough, or cool enough that the videos you like and spend time on will mean the algorithm will let you into this exclusive club.

Crystal clear. All of that sounds eminently sensible and productive. But now Alt TikTok (let’s call it that, ‘elite’ troubles me) has been trolling Donald Trump. How has it managed to bewilder this very stable genius?
The thing about Alt TikTok is that it’s all about being part of the in crowd (it is elite, remember) so this whole Trump rally saga began as just another inside joke.
Essentially it all started when @TeamTrump posted to Twitter suggesting that people reserve seats for Trump’s infamous Tulsa rally in a few days’ time. It was free to reserve tickets, and it only took a passing knowledge of how to create dummy email addresses and get fake numbers off Google Voice to make multiple accounts and notionally reserve hundreds of seats.
So that’s exactly what Alt TikTok encouraged people to do. Most of the TikToks were deleted or made private after a few days, but hundreds if not thousands of small creators posted instructions on how to reserve tickets to ensure the 19,000-seat stadium would be nearly empty when the president himself rocked up.
“Man, it would be a shame if people knew you could reserve tickets for Trump’s Tusla rally for free,” said a TikTok user, Triippmusic.
“Man, it would be a bummer if the only real information you needed was the area code which was 74103.” The video has nearly 200,000 likes and 18,000 shares.
The wildest thing about this plan is it seems as though it might have worked. Before the rally, Trump’s team was boasting that more than 1 million people had expressed interest, but when it began there was only about 6,000 people in attendance, with photos of vast empty rows plastered across global media.
While it’s extremely difficult to prove that fake bookings actually caused any genuine Trump supporters to lose seats, figures from both sides of politics have attributed the low turnout to the campaign. As the New York Times reported, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez gave a shoutout to “Zoomers” and the Republican strategist Steve Schmidt said “the teens of America have struck a savage blow against Donald Trump”.
K-Pop is somehow involved in this. Can you explain the political weaponisation of Korean boy bands?
K-pop Twitter is a huge subsection of the social network that is is obsessed with Korean pop bands such as BTS and Black Pink. It has close ties with Alt TikTok and shares the ability to act en masse when it comes to social media activism. You may remember that it flooded the “White Lives Matter” hashtag with random posts to make it nearly impossible for white supremacists to use the hashtag to spread information.
The callout to book Tulsa tickets also spread across its corner of the internet, to apparently great success.
Being serious for a moment: this subversion is being applauded by some on the progressive side of US politics as a spectacular win over the conservative establishment. But what if it were a Joe Biden rally, and the interference was from Chinese citizens on Weibo? Is it just because it’s Trump?
I think the answer might be that it’s both, and in the end it will be history that decides if these frog-loving, K pop-befriending internet weirdos are heroes or villains.
On one hand it’s a bit of a laugh; some teens found a funny flaw in the Republican party’s plans for a controversial rally and managed to make some silly old rightwingers believe that more than a million people wanted to come to their event –only to be embarrassed when barely anyone turned up.
On the other hand, it’s a group of nameless and faceless internet trolls who have purposefully disrupted an election campaign event by the president of the United States. Not to mention that vast numbers of accounts originate from a foreign country (in this case, Korea), and TikTok is owned by the Beijing-based ByteDance.
But I guess as Xoomers would say, “It’s not that serious, bruh.”

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Twitter flags doctored Trump video about ‘racist baby’ as manipulated media | Technology- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Twitter has flagged a video tweeted by Donald Trump, which contained a fake CNN news segment about a “racist baby”, adding a warning label that the post contained manipulated media.
The video, which had been doctored to make it appear as if were a CNN broadcast, features two toddlers running and includes a fake chyron that reads “Terrified todler (sic) runs from racist baby”. The clip later accuses “fake news” of spreading misinformation.
Twitter added a label to the video, which was tweeted out by Trump late on Thursday evening, marking it as manipulated. Earlier in the day, Facebook removed Trump campaign ads that prominently featured a Nazi symbol.
This latest move from Twitter comes after Trump signed an executive order last month is designed to narrow protections for social media companies over the content posted on their platforms.
Although Twitter had taken a largely hands-off approach to the president’s controversial tweets, in recent weeks the company began adding a label that fact-checked misinformation amplified by the US president, as well as a note cautioning that a post glorified violence.
The company’s policy prohibits sharing videos that have been “deceptively altered”, which is what earned the video sourced from a pro-Trump meme creator a warning label. The platform previously enforced the policy when the White House social media director, Dan Scavino, posted a manipulated video that made it appear as if Joe Biden had endorsed Trump.
Later on Thursday night, the president posted another video, which included another apparently manipulated CNN clip. The video again accuses journalists of amplifying fake news, and misconstruing what happened when a white Trump supporter chased after an Uber driver. It features CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta speaking to the camera, with a fake chyron that reads: “Trumps Fault? White Man in MAGA Hat Attacks Black Uber Driver.”
The manipulated toddler video shared by the president remained unlabelled on Facebook. Earlier this month, Facebook employees staged a virtual “walkout” over CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to leave up a post from Trump that appeared to encourage violence against demonstrators protesting police brutality. Trump invoked the phrase, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”, which dates back to the civil rights era, when it was used by a segregationist politician and white police chief justifying a crackdown against protestors. Twitter hid the message behind a grey box.
Twitter previously labeled a Trump post about fraudulent mail-in ballots with a message that reads, “Get the facts about mail-in ballots”, and redirected the public to news articles fact-checking Trump’s false claims.
The social network has also removed Trump tweets for copyright infringement after Trump used unlicensed music in an advert featuring music from the film Dark Knight Rises and in a video set to the song Photograph by the band Nickelback.

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Facebook v Twitter: how to handle Donald Trump – podcast | News- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The killing of George Floyd at the hands of a US police department outraged the country and prompted protest movements across the US and then the world. As Donald Trump witnessed scenes of disorder, he did what he often does: fired off some comments on Twitter, which were cross-posted to Facebook. After condemning protesters he signed off with an ominous threat “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”.
It left the two social media companies with a dilemma: how to handle such provocative words from the US president. Twitter hid the tweet behind a message outlining an infringement of its guidelines. Facebook, on the other hand, did nothing.
The Guardian’s UK technology editor, Alex Hern, tells Anushka Asthana that failing to take a harder line with Trump has resulted in cascading consequences internally for Facebook as criticism spilled out publicly of internal disputes on the matter. Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook CEO, has been forced to explain his policy of non-interference in a series of tense all-staff meetings. As pressure on Facebook grows, can its founder avoid being dragged into a divisive political war in an election year?

Photograph: Mark Lennihan/AP

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Boris Johnson’s polarising statue tweets are pure Trump | Jonathan Freedland | Opinion- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

When Boris Johnson starts copying Donald Trump’s signature move – taking sides in a culture war by firing off a string of tweets – you know that America’s global domination remains so complete it can turn even one of the country’s most grotesque defects into a cultural export.

In fact, you knew that already because the last three weeks have demonstrated it. The videotaped killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer has triggered antiracist protests in every corner of the planet. People have taken to the streets in Paris and Berlin, Tel Aviv and Stockholm; Floyd’s face has been painted as a mural on a shattered wall in Idlib, Syria. “I can’t breathe” has become a universal slogan. Floyd once told a high school classmate, “I want to touch the world”. And he has.
Of course, the protests are not solely in solidarity with Floyd and black Americans. In each country, they have been rooted in the very specific experience of that country. But America was the spur to action. Bristolians had been campaigning for years against the statue of Edward Colston. But it took the murder of a man in faraway Minnesota to bring it down, and spark a national inquiry into who and what gets memorialised in stone and bronze – the debate that got Johnson’s Twitter finger twitching, and to which we shall return.
It’s a paradox. The world denounces the racism that remains the defining birth defect of the United States, pointing its collective finger at that country to shame it – and yet, by that very act of castigation, it confirms America’s power. The US is still the global arena, the place where issues that vex every nation are played out. It remains the reflecting glass in which so much of the world sees itself.
Racism is a clear example. There is hate in every country, of course, but largely thanks to its colonisation of the global imagination through TV and movies, America’s horrors are endowed with a vivid, even epic quality that somehow renders them uniquely universal. A murder in Minneapolis can trigger a global reaction, in a way that a murder in Manchester never would. Gene Hackman never starred in a film called Brixton Burning.
The result is that an episode that should be damaging for America’s global influence, its soft power, somehow only adds to it. Just as capitalism can co-opt and profit from anticapitalism – with corporations now seizing on the slogan Black Lives Matter as a useful bit of ad copy – so the US can gain from its failure to address the racism that has disfigured it since the founding of the republic.
We shouldn’t be surprised. This is a country that can turn its most dysfunctional excesses into commercial gold – witness Netflix’s Tiger King – and it has done so for decades. While Britain tried to hush up its atrocities overseas, even burning incriminating documents through the so-called Operation Legacy, Hollywood made a cottage industry of examining, for example, the Vietnam war, cementing its place in international pop culture. And so while British teenagers in the 1980s might know nothing of Britain’s brutal crushing of the Mau Mau insurgency in Kenya, they certainly did know that the average age of a US serviceman killed in Vietnam was 19.
This dynamic works well for America, but it should have the rest of us on our guard. For the aftermath of Floyd’s death has revealed the risks of importing yet another trademark US product: namely, the culture war.
Take Johnson and those tweets. The language (and punctuation) may not have been Trumpian, but the form is pure Trump. Not a speech, not a TV interview, but a direct, unfiltered appeal via social media to his base, and on a topic calculated to polarise public opinion. Cannily, Johnson avoided the question of slaver statues, opting to speak instead in defence of the Whitehall memorial to Winston Churchill defaced by protesters last weekend. You don’t need a poll to tell you that the PM is likely to have a comfortable majority on his side for that one.
There is a lesson here for campaigners and activists, a lesson from America. The right loves a culture war, because such a battle changes the subject – almost always shifting from ground on which they would lose to ground on which they can win.
Let’s imagine the initial focus had remained instead on a demand to tackle discrimination in policing and criminal justice, expanding to include the higher death rates from Covid-19 among black Britons. Johnson and others in power would now be on the defensive, forced to promise action.
But once the focus shifted, they could exhale with relief. Not only is a debate about statues or faulty TV shows a handy distraction from the specific injustices at the heart of all this, it also splits the coalition, even the consensus, that had, remarkably, formed in revulsion at Floyd’s killing. Once statues of Gandhi and Mandela are also boarded up for their own protection, as they now are, it means precious unity has been lost.
Of course, the case against memorials to slavers is cast-iron and just. But widening the focus also allows those in charge to stop talking about something hard for them, and shift to something much easier. US-style culture wars don’t just poison the air: even when progressives win, victory often comes at the expense of the structural change that might matter more. In America, celebrities have been coaxed to make the right noises on race for years – and all the while the Minneapolis police department was left untouched.
So let’s be wary of adopting one of the US’s most unappetising exports. Let’s borrow instead the slogan, and wisdom, of its civil rights movement of nearly 60 years ago – and keep eyes on the prize.
• Jonathan Freedland is a Guardian columnist

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Facebook moderators join criticism of Zuckerberg over Trump stance | Technology – Blog – 10 minute

Pressure from Facebook staff is continuing to mount on Mark Zuckerberg over his policies towards posts by Donald Trump, with moderators joining those criticising their boss for his stance.
The moderators penned an open letter to their colleagues in support of virtual walkouts that have broken out at the company, after Zuckerberg refused to take down posts by Trump that many believed breached the site’s policies on incitement of violence.
“We would walk out with you – if Facebook would allow it,” the moderators write. In their statement, all the company’s currently employed moderators remained anonymous, highlighting the precarious nature of their employment, which is subcontracted out through third parties.
“As outsourced contractors, non-disclosure agreements deter us from speaking openly about what we do and witness for most of our waking hours. Safety and data protection are important, but so is a healthy debate about what happens at Facebook.
“We can’t walk out, but we cannot stay silent … Facebook can do better,” the letter continues. “We need to express that Mr Zuckerberg’s words about personal dismay caused by Trump’s ‘looting and shooting’ rhetoric are not enough. The benefit of the doubt this politician is being given as a user, even with such a large platform, is unparalleled – the attempt to retroactively place his words behind the context of other posts actually has had effect of putting it on an isolated pedestal. This may be the ultimate exhibit of white exceptionality and further legitimisation of state brutality we have witnessed in the last weeks.”
The precariousness of their employment situation has even limited the ability of the moderators to put together a statement of support. “We are so alienated, even more with working from home,” one currently employed moderator told the Guardian. They, and a colleague, both asked to speak anonymously for fear that they would lose their jobs for breaking a non-disclosure agreement. “We are not able to speak freely because we communicate mainly on the company channels. It’s really tricky to even talk about it, to find someone and ask if they want to sign this sort of statement.”
The letter was co-ordinated by the legal nonprofit Foxglove, whose co-founder Cori Crider said: “Zuckerberg could do so much more to make his platform safe and equal, and the real experts in that are the moderators themselves – people who clear the hate speech and violence off Facebook day in and day out. But their contracts are so precarious it’s almost impossible for them to organise, or to speak up the way employees can. The Google walkout showed massive solidarity with Google’s precarious contract workers; this is a golden opportunity for Facebook staff to follow suit.”
The walkouts began on 1 June, as dissatisfaction within Facebook spilled out into the public sphere. Employees took to Twitter to state their opposition to Zuckerberg’s personal decision to take no action against Trump for a post published amid unrest in Minneapolis that said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”. Twitter hid Trump’s post and added a warning, but Zuckerberg decided to leave the post intact.
Employees then staged a virtual walkout that was quickly endorsed by the company as an act of protest. “We encourage employees to speak openly when they disagree with leadership,” a Facebook spokesperson said at the time.
After the walkouts, pressure mounted: employees resigned as activist leaders condemned Zuckerberg for “setting a very dangerous precedent”, and more than 140 scientists directly funded by the Facebook founder’s personal charity called on him to take action over the weekend. On Saturday, Zuckerberg made another public statement, promising to “review potential options” for how to intervene.
As well as expressing general support for their directly employed colleagues, the moderators wanted to highlight the direct effects racism and police brutality has on their work. “We are definitely seeing more difficult content in our [moderation] queues recently,” one told the Guardian. “We are seeing a lot of police brutality – the images we are seeing from the US are just terrible. My colleague told me they are quitting the queues today because they saw three videos from the protests in a row and they can’t handle it.
“And we’re also seeing an increase in hate speech and racism, not only in our queues but also amongst ourselves. I have heard a few people, who I would have never expected, express racist opinions – this work is impacting our attitudes and our views.”
The moderators’ letter ends with a plea to Zuckerberg “and the rest of Facebook management to reconsider this decision [to take no action against] Donald Trump, to listen and honour the voices of its black employees and users.
“To the employees themselves – solidarity. Let’s mourn. Let’s organize. Let’s unionize. #BlackLivesMatter”

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The Fed deserves the praise for America’s jobs turnaround. But Trump benefits | Business- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The political obituaries of Donald Trump were all prepared. At the end of a week that has seen American cities convulsed by protests over the killing of George Floyd, the president would be faced with an increase in unemployment worse than anything seen in the Great Depression.
Well, it didn’t turn out like that. The US economy actually created 2.5 million jobs in May and the unemployment rate went down rather than up. The consensus among analysts was that it would shed 7.5 million jobs, a colossally wrong call. And a deeply significant one.
Instead of Trump being the new Herbert Hoover – the one-term occupant of the White House from 1929-33 – the amazingly good jobs figures hold out the prospect of him stealing Bill Clinton’s nickname and being the next comeback kid.
The US has a reputation for bouncing back from adversity quickly, but even by its own standards the turnaround has been remarkable. If the data from the Bureau for Labour Statistics (BLS) are to be believed, large numbers of workers who lost their jobs when the economy went lockdown in March were rehired as restrictions were eased from mid-May onwards. On Thursday, the day before the official payroll data was released, there had been figures out showing almost 2 million Americans had filed jobless claims the previous week, taking the total to more than 40 million since the crisis began.
Trump seemed as surprised as anyone by the news, but for once his hyperbole was fully justified. The president tweeted that the numbers were incredible, stunning and stupendous – as indeed they were. He also praised himself for the sudden reversal of fortune, which was less justified. If any one man can claim credit, it is the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, who acted early and acted big to provide record amounts of stimulus.

There’s no getting away from the fact that this was good news for Trump at a time when he appeared to be overwhelmed by a triple-whammy

Stock markets soared on the news. For days, equity prices have been rising amid optimism about a V-shaped recession, even though there has been little hard evidence to support this view. Now there is. The BLS said there had been sharp increases in hiring in those sectors especially hard hit by the Covid-19 lockdown: hospitality, leisure, retail, construction and education. Average earnings also fell, a sign that the lower-paid employees that bore the brunt of the pandemic-induced layoffs have started to find work again.
All that said, the labour market is still a long way from being in the sort of rude health that an incumbent president would wish it to be five months before an election. The number of job losses for March was revised up, meaning that employment in the US has fallen by 20 million since peaking earlier this year. The unemployment rate has almost quadrupled from 3.5% to 13.3% and social distancing is likely to mean that the pace of hiring will be slower than it would be otherwise. There could be a second wave of the virus when temperatures start to drop in the autumn.
But there’s no getting away from the fact that this was good news for Trump at a time when he appeared to be overwhelmed by a triple-whammy of coronavirus, street protests and rising unemployment. He will now be hopeful of further falls in unemployment as lockdown restrictions are eased in the densely populated north-eastern states, and that the better jobs news will continue to keep the stock market running hot.
None of which is to say that Trump will get a second term come November. But if he does, the May jobs report will have proved to have been a decisive moment.
Facebook’s stance on presidential tweets risks a staff exodus
Compare the responses of two social media giants to President Trump’s threat to Americans protesting about the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” Trump tweeted, later claiming that he had been ignorant of the rhyme’s racist origins.
Both Facebook and Twitter hosted the message, but the latter quickly distanced itself from the president’s words, hiding the post on the grounds that it glorified violence. In a bold move, a private company censored the White House.
Facebook, on the other hand, took a long hard look at what Trump had said and shrugged its shoulders. Its founder and boss, Mark Zuckerberg, said Facebook was aware of the racist resonance of the president’s comment but had a policy of allowing states to warn the public about the potential use of force.
Reports of Facebook’s demise are usually premature, but this could yet prove a defining moment.
It isn’t so much that Facebook risks sparking an exodus of socially conscious young people. After all, it is already the social network of their parents’ generation rather than their own. Its users are, typically, a cohort who have little appetite for migrating to new platforms but who wield the kind of spending power that keeps advertising dollars rolling in.
The Silicon Valley starlets who keep Facebook at the cutting edge of progress might prove more of a problem. Its staff are famed for their almost cultish devotion to Zuckerberg’s empire but their dear leader’s stance has sparked insurrection. Hundreds staged a walkout while several came forward to condemn Zuckerberg’s stance. Some have even quit in disgust.
Facebook has no shortage of brilliant engineers queuing up to work at the company. But in the fast-evolving world of Silicon Valley, it needs to attract and retain the very best. Many of them may now be looking elsewhere.
This crisis must not become a reason to postpone climate action
For those hoping the coronavirus crisis might be the moment to steer Britain towards a greener, cleaner future, the publication of the list of companies who have benefited from the Bank of England’s cheap Covid-19 loans will have made depressing reading. Airlines and car manufacturers are among the major beneficiaries.
That list was disclosed amid revelations that the government has been pondering car industry demands for a “market stimulus”, or scrappage scheme, that would not discriminate between diesel and electric vehicles.
With the chill winds of an economic reckoning ahead, once the lockdown spring and summer is over, it could be tempting to simply boost demand and preserve any and all jobs. Right now, simply to restore a functioning economy and society might appear a sufficiently worthwhile and ambitious target for government. But the hard truth is that when the pandemic is over, the climate emergency will loom ever closer and larger – as even Boris Johnson acknowledged on Friday’s World Environment Day.
The prime minister’s tweets had the scent of a Green New Deal, talking of a recovery that would help shape more resilient, relevant industries for the future. The world economy has now seen how its foundations can be rocked by a natural disaster – and, sooner or later, there will be another one. But few will now have faith that the government’s actions will match its environmental rhetoric.
So far, the only condition imposed on emergency funding appears to be demanding fare rises on Transport for London’s public services. It would be perverse indeed now to refrain from the tough love of attaching environmental conditions to private firms. Any scrappage scheme that simply allowed the UK taxpayer to subsidise the purchase of more fossil-fuel cars, and did not attempt to significantly alter emissions and infrastructure, would be an appalling missed opportunity.

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More than 140 Zuckerberg-funded scientists call on Facebook to rein in Trump | Facebook- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

More than 140 scientists funded by Mark Zuckerberg have said Facebook should not be letting Donald Trump use the social media platform to “spread both misinformation and incendiary statements”.
The researchers, who include more than 60 professors at leading US research institutions and one Nobel laureate, sent the Facebook CEO a letter on Saturday asking him to “consider stricter policies on misinformation and incendiary language that harms people”, especially during the current turmoil over racial injustice.
The letter calls the spread of “deliberate misinformation and divisive language” contrary to the researchers’ goals of using technology to prevent and eradicate disease, improve childhood education and reform the criminal justice system.
Their mission “is antithetical to some of the stances that Facebook has been taking, so we’re encouraging them to be more on the side of truth and on the right side of history, as we’ve said in the letter”, said Debora Marks of Harvard Medical School, one of three professors who organized it.
The others are Martin Kampmann of the University of California, San Francisco, and Jason Shepherd of the University of Utah. All have grants from a Chan Zuckerberg Initiative program working to prevent, cure and treat neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
They said the letter had more than 160 signatories. Shepherd said about 10% were employees of foundations run by Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan.
The letter objects specifically to Zuckerberg’s decision not to act on a post by Trump that stated “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”. The letter’s authors called the post “a clear statement of inciting violence”.
Zuckerberg has faced significant backlash, including from Facebook staff, over the choice not to remove Trump’s post this week amid nationwide protests over police brutality. Twitter had both flagged and demoted a Trump tweet using the same language.
In a statement, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative noted that the philanthropic organization was separate from Facebook and said “we are grateful for our staff, partners and grantees” and “respect their right to voice their opinions, including on Facebook policies”.
Some Facebook employees have publicly objected to Zuckerberg’s refusal to take down or label misleading or incendiary posts by Trump and other politicians. But Zuckerberg has so far refused.
On Friday, Zuckerberg said in a post that he would review “potential options for handling violating or partially-violating content aside from the binary leave-it-up or take-it-down decisions”.

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