Report: Facebook Aware Instagram Makes Teen Girls Feel Bad, Leaked Research Shows

woman with blonde hair in bed on her laptop

Facebook is aware that Instagram, an image-sharing social media platform it owns, has harmful effects on the self-esteem of teen girls, according to leaked research seen by The Wall Street Journal.

Internal research, documents and research reportedly show that Facebook has studied the harmful effects Instagram can have on its users, especially teen girls, according to the WSJ.

“We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls,” one slide from an internal research report read, with another saying that “teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression.”

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New York Times Quietly Updates Report After Calling Hunter Biden Laptop Story ‘Unsubstantiated’

The New York Times quietly removed its assertion that the New York Post’s reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop prior to the 2020 election was “unsubstantiated” from a story published Monday about a Federal Election Commission complaint related to the matter.

The Times reported Monday that the FEC ruled in August that Twitter did not violate any laws by temporarily blocking users from sharing the Post’s Oct. 14 story on a “smoking gun” email from Hunter Biden’s laptop showing that an executive of a Ukrainian gas company had thanked him for an introduction to then-Vice President Joe Biden. The Times called the story “unsubstantiated” when its article on the FEC’s decision was first published early Monday afternoon.

“The Federal Election Commission has dismissed Republican accusations that Twitter violated election laws in October by blocking people from posting links to an unsubstantiated New York Post article about Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s son Hunter Biden, in a decision that is likely to set a precedent for future cases involving social media sites and federal campaigns,” Times reporter Shane Goldmacher stated in its original version of his report Monday.

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Texas Governor Signs Law Preventing Social Media Companies from Banning People for Their Views

Gov. Greg Abbott signs law

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law Thursday preventing social media companies from banning users for their political views.

The law, known as HB 20, prohibits social media platforms from banning or suspending users, and removing or suppressing their content, based on political viewpoint. The bill was introduced by state Sen. Bryan Hughes partly in an effort to combat perceived censorship of conservatives by Facebook, Twitter, Google-owned YouTube, and other major tech companies.

“Social media websites have become our modern-day public square,” Abbott said in a statement. “They are a place for healthy public debate where information should be able to flow freely — but there is a dangerous movement by social media companies to silence conservative viewpoints and ideas.”

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‘Huge Hole’: Congressman Says Feds Aren’t Vetting Social Media Posts of Afghan Refugees

Tom Tiffany

Acongressman from Wisconsin, where thousands of Afghan evacuees are being temporarily resettled, says the Biden administration is creating a significant security risk by failing to aggressively vet refugees’ social media before allowing then to reach U.S. destinations.

Rep. Tom Tiffany, a Republican, told Just the News that the failure to vet social media posts for possible extremism is just one of several byproducts of a chaotic Biden administration exit strategy that has moved immigrants to U.S. installations in third countries before adequate security checks could be completed.

“They said, get them on the planes, and we’ll sort the immigration status out later,” Tiffany said during a wide-ranging interview on the John Solomon Reports podcast. “And Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken acknowledged that this last weekend, on the Sunday news shows that that’s exactly what they did. That is a terrible way to handle national security.”

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Michael Patrick Leahy Explains the ‘Unholy Alliance’ Between Big Tech and Social Media Giants

Thursday morning on First Principles with Phill Kline, host Kline welcomed Michael Patrick Leahy, CEO of The Star News Network and host of The Tennessee Star Report to weigh in on the developing oligopoly of Big Tech and social media giants.

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Calls to Fire Glen Ellyn School District 41 Teacher in Illinois After She ‘Shows Off Book Collection She Uses to Indoctrinate 3rd Grade Students’

D41 Kids Foundation, person reading

Calls to fire Glen Ellyn teacher Lauren Crowe were spreading across social media Thursday night after the D41 educator shared a video on Tik Tok promoting books highlighting LGBTQ+  activism to her grammar school students.

Crowe, who teaches third grade at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School,  posted the video on Tik Tok. It was then shared on Twitter by a user who goes by the name “Libs of Tik Tok.” 

“Activist teacher shows off book collection she uses to indoctrinate 3rd grade students,” the user posted.

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Texas Passes Law Targeting Social Media Companies for Alleged Censorship

The Texas state Senate passed a bill Tuesday that aims to curb perceived political censorship by social media companies.

The bill, introduced in the Texas Senate by state Sen. Bryan Hughes, would prohibit social media platforms from “censoring” users based on their viewpoints. “Censoring” includes actions such as removing content, banning users, demonetizing users, and suppressing posts, according to the bill.

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‘We’re on a Mission’: Advocacy Groups Behind Push to Save Women’s Sports Campaign Against Trans Surgeries for Minors

The battle to “Save Women’s Sports” resulted in a slew of legislation banning biological males from girls’ sports and conversations on the national stage about gender, sex, individual dignity, and much more. Now the advocacy groups behind this push are assembling to battle the next burgeoning culture war issue — transgender sex change surgeries and procedures for minors.

Progressive activists, media, lawmakers, and even some medical professionals call such procedures “gender affirming medical care” and protest that denying an individual this “care” is cruel, regardless of age. Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed the state’s SAFE Act in April, arguing that the legislation was a “vast government overreach” and that it shouldn’t jump into every ethical issue.

But advocacy groups like the Family Policy Alliance (FPA) insist these procedures irrevocably hurt children. And backed by a network of about 40 independent, state-based family policy councils, FPA aims to multiply the number of states across the nation that legally protect children from gender transition.

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Big Tech, Woke Finance Crack Down on Flynn, Gateway Pundit, Berenson in Cancel Culture Purge

Person holding phone up in Times Square.

With national attention riveted over the weekend on two major stories — the frantic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan amid its fall to the Taliban and category 4 Hurricane Ida slamming into the Louisiana coast — Big Tech and woke finance dramatically extended the reach of cancel culture with brazen moves to silence and harass three high-profile voices of political and scientific dissent: independent journalist Alex Berenson, popular conservative news and opinion website The Gateway Pundit, and Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

On Saturday, Twitter permanently banned Alex Berenson, who has built a large social media following challenging public health establishment orthodoxy on COVID issues ranging from lockdown to vaccine mandates.

“The account you referenced has been permanently suspended for repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation rules,” a Twitter spokesperson responded to an inquiry from Fox News.

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Former New York Times Journalist Alex Berenson Permanently Suspended by Twitter

Alex Berenson

Twitter has permanently banned Alex Berenson, a former New York Times journalist who has become a major critic of Big Tech censorship and coronavirus lockdowns and mandates.

Responding to an inquiry from Fox News, where Berenson has been a frequent guest during the pandemic, a spokesperson for Twitter replied that “The account you referenced has been permanently suspended for repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation rules.”

Berenson responded on his Substack page, where he posted a message titled “Goodbye Twitter.”

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January 6 Committee Demands 15 Social Media Companies Hand over Records, Documents Tied to Capitol Riot

The House committee probing the Jan. 6 riots is demanding over a dozen social media companies hand over extensive records related to the events at the Capitol.

The Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot sent letters dated Aug. 26 to Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube and Reddit, along with Parler, TikTok, 4chan and seven other social media platforms asking them to provide all documents, data and other information related to the Capitol riot since April 2020.

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While Taliban Flourish on Twitter, Social Media Giants Restrict U.S. Conservative Voices

Person holding smartphone

While the Taliban and Iranian mullahs still enjoy Twitter privileges, a growing number of Americans, mostly of conservative persuasion, face a range of restrictions imposed on their accounts by U.S. social media platforms.

The list of Americans who have seen their social media reach limited is topped by former U.S. President Donald Trump, who has been banned indefinitely on Twitter and for two years on Facebook. More recently, Georgia GOP Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene was temporarily silenced by Twitter.

The firebrand freshman congresswoman was suspended earlier this month for seven days for what Twitter called “misinformation” for arguing COVID-19 masks and vaccines are “failing,” as more fully vaccinated Americans are contracting the virus’s highly contagious delta strain.

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U.S. Files New Complaint Against Facebook over Monopoly Concerns

The U.S. government amended its antitrust complaint against Facebook on Thursday, bolstering allegations that the tech company illegally maintained a monopoly.

The amended complaint follows the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) dismissed December 2020 complaint which failed to adequately prove the tech giant’s monopoly in the “Personal Social Networking Services” market.

The FTC alleges that Facebook illegally acquired competitors WhatsApp and Instagram in order to stifle competition, maintaining monopoly power by preventing competitors from operating on Facebook software.

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Twitter Enlists Users to Flag ‘Misleading’ Tweets as Part of Misinformation Crackdown

Person holding phone up with Twitter sign up page on smart phone.

Twitter announced Tuesday it will test a feature allowing users to report tweets they believe are misleading, as the company cracks down on alleged misinformation.

Users in the U.S., South Korea, and Australia will be able to select the “It’s Misleading” option when reporting a tweet, the company announced Tuesday. The social media platform said it may not take direct action on each flagged tweet, but will use the reports to identify misinformation trends.

Twitter staff will review certain reported tweets depending on the topic or level of exposure and determine if they violate the company’s misinformation policies, a Twitter spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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Facebook Threatens Legal Action Against Group Conducting Research on Algorithm Manipulations

Person looking on Facebook with trending topics

A research group that has been investigating the manipulation of algorithms by Instagram was forced to shut down its research after legal threats from Facebook, according to Breitbart.

The Germany-based group, AlgorithmWatch, was investigating how Instagram favors certain types of content over others, and thus promotes them more heavily on users’ timelines. The group had been utilizing a browser extension that specializes in collecting data from users’ Instagram feeds in order to determine certain trends.

Among other findings, AlgorithmWatch determined that Instagram, a photo-sharing website, more heavily prioritizes images that include faces rather than just text. In May, representatives from Facebook, which owns Instagram, requested a meeting with the project’s leaders; during that meeting, Facebook accused the group, without any evidence, of violating Instagram’s terms of service. They also claimed that the investigation was in violation of the European Union’s GDPR data laws, since the project was allegedly collecting user data without the consent of the users.

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Bipartisan Bill Targets Apple, Google for App Store Tactics

Marsha Blackburn

Senators from both parties introduced a bill Wednesday targeting alleged anticompetitive conduct among Apple and Google app stores.

The Open App Markets Act, introduced Wednesday by Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn along with Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Amy Klobuchar, would prevent app stores such as Google Play and Apple’s App Store from requiring developers to use the tech giants’ in-app payment systems as a condition of distribution. The bill would also stop Apple and Google from taking “punitive action” against developers who offer different pricing terms in other app stores.

“This legislation will tear down coercive anticompetitive walls in the app economy, giving consumers more choices and smaller startup tech companies a fighting chance,” Blumenthal said in a joint statement.

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Apple Will Scan All U.S. iPhones for Illegal Child Abuse Imagery, Prompting Privacy Concerns

Apple plans to scan all iPhone in the U.S. for potential child abuse imagery.

The move announced Thursday generated shock waves among security experts who say it could allow the company to surveil many millions of phones for reasons unrelated to images of child abuse.

“This sort of tool can be a boon for finding child pornography in people’s phones. But image what it could do in the hands of an authoritarian government,” tweeted Johns Hopkins professor and cryptographer Matthew Green.

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Associated Press and Reuters Team Up with Twitter to Patrol Political Dissent as ‘Misinformation’

Person on phone with Twitter open

Two of the largest news publications in the country, the Associated Press (AP) and Reuters, have teamed up with one of the leading tech giants, Twitter, in a new partnership to crack down on “misinformation” and “elevate credible information,” the Daily Caller reports.

Twitter confirmed the new alliance in a blog post, saying that the two publications would be responsible for identifying “misleading” information, and to help Twitter expand its efforts to mediate trending stories, “especially where facts are in dispute.” The websites will also help Twitter staff whenever they lack “sufficient expertise or access to a high enough volume of reputable reporting.”

“This program is just part of our ongoing efforts to help people understand the conversation happening on our service,” the Twitter blog post continued. “People experience a range of public conversations on Twitter every day, and we’re committed to continuing our work to elevate credible information and context.”

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University Refuses to Rehire Math Professor Who Criticized Slavery Reparations

Saint Joseph’s University will not renew its contract with math Professor Gregory Manco despite the fact that a three-month investigation into his Twitter history found he had not violated any campus policies.

Manco has been a non-tenured assistant professor of math at Saint Joseph’s since 2005 and also a volunteer assistant baseball coach, but tweets in February criticizing slavery reparations and racial bias training had prompted the probe even though he used an anonymous account.

He was put on administrative leave during the probe. Its outcome, announced in May, determined Manco could not be found guilty of violating any policies, citing “insufficient evidence.”

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Democrats Introduce Bill Holding Tech Companies Liable for ‘Health Misinformation’

Amy Klobuchar and Ben Ray Luján

Senate Democrats introduced legislation Thursday removing liability protections from online platforms that promote content deemed health misinformation.

The bill, proposed by Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Ben Ray Lujan on Thursday, seeks to carve out an exception from Section 230 liability shields enjoyed by online platforms, such as Facebook or YouTube, if those platforms boost content classified as health misinformation, Vox first reported.

The legislation, known as the Health Misinformation Act, directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create a definition of health misinformation, and strips liability protections from platforms “if the provider promotes that health misinformation through an algorithm used by the provider.” HHS defined health misinformation in an advisory last week as “information that is false, inaccurate, or misleading according to the best available evidence.”

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Commentary: Critical Race Enthusiasts Should Learn the Lesson of ‘Defund the Police’

Crowd of people in the streets, protesting and Black Lives Matter movement

A year ago, “defund the police” activists were having quite a time. Outlets like CNN and Vox were publishing fawning profiles. Social media sensations like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar were leading the parade. Cities like Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Austin even approved partial defundings. It was a juggernaut.

Now? A tough-on-crime former cop just won the Democratic mayoral nomination in Bill de Blasio’s New York. Former President Barack Obama is warning fellow Democrats, “You lost a big audience the minute you say [‘defund the police’].” Sen. Bernie Sanders has rejected calls for “no more policing.” And White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, a few weeks ago, bizarrely claimed that it was not Democrats but Republicans who wanted to defund the police (because they opposed President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill).

What happened? Intoxicated by a few policy wins in deep blue cities, enthusiasm in the left-leaning Twitter echo chamber, and their viselike grip on the national media, “defund” activists overlooked one important detail: Their agenda was deeply unpopular with most Americans. A summer 2020 YouGov poll found that just 16 percent of adults wanted to cut police funding — much less “defund” the police. Indeed, 81 percent of black Americans wanted police to spend as much or more time in their communities. During a year when major American cities saw an unnerving increase in homicides, after years of declines, that reaction was not just understandable, it was wholly predictable.  

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Facebook Faces Lawsuit for Suspending User Who Cited Lack of Evidence for Masking Children

Blonde child wearing hair up, holding journal and wearing a mask

An influential COVID policy skeptic is threatening to sue Facebook for suspending his account based on a graphic he posted Tuesday, titled “Masking Children is Impractical and Not Backed by Research or Real World Data.”

Justin Hart was identified in a recent MIT paper as one of a handful of “anchors” for the anti-mask network on Twitter. He’s also chief data analyst for the COVID contrarian website Rational Ground.

A warning letter to Facebook from Hart’s lawyers at the Liberty Justice Center said the graphic was “science-based and contains footnotes to scientific evidence supporting its claims.” Facebook issued him a three-day suspension the next day, citing the post as misinformation. The page remains live but the post is no longer there.

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Louisiana’s Senator Kennedy Files Bill Targeting Social Media Companies That Promote Divisive Content

Lousiana Senator John Neely Kennedy

Louisiana U.S. Sen. John Kennedy has introduced a bill to limit protections for social media companies that secretly leverage user data to promote divisive content.

Kennedy, a Republican, blasted Silicon Valley behemoths such as Facebook and Twitter for “provoking” platform users and blamed the “manipulative” business practice for causing unnecessary social conflict.

“Social media giants are using people’s data to manipulate them into spending more time on their sites, but the price is a more polarized America,” Kennedy said in a statement. “It’s time to stop rewarding platforms that use their algorithms to target users with content that plays on individuals’ emotions without their consent.”

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Commentary: The Battle Against Big Tech Is an Existential Fight for Conservatives

Person holding phone up in Times Square.

For Big Tech billionaires, these are the best of times, and the worst of times.

Why the best? Because the long arm of social media and online commerce has never reached further and deeper into Americans’ culture, spending habits, lifestyles, and worldview. Likewise, the net worth of these billionaires has risen to undreamed-of heights. COVID was, for tech barons, a blessing in disguise: it trapped Americans indoors, where they could do little else but browse the web, consume digital entertainment, and spend their stimulus dollars on imported Chinese doohickeys. Even as the dreaded virus has retreated, Big Tech has successfully locked in its gains.

Why the worst of times, though? The very rise of Big Tech has portended greater scrutiny. The debasement of Big Tech’s competitors and natural enemies—from brick-and-mortar stores to Trump supporters—has ensured that the drumbeat of criticism of social media companies and online retailers has never been more stridently percussive. 

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YouTube Deletes Video on Trump’s Big Tech Lawsuit, Blocks His CPAC Speech from the Platform

YouTube deleted the American Conservative Union’s (ACU) video featuring former President Trump announcing his class-action lawsuit against Big Tech, citing an alleged violation of its COVID-19 terms and conditions.

The ACU, which hosts the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), received “a strike” on their account from YouTube on July 9, preventing them from uploading new content for a week. This includes ACU’s CPAC 2021 Part 2 in Dallas, Texas, and Trump’s CPAC speech scheduled for Sunday, the organization said in a statement.

In the deleted YouTube video of Trump’s announcement of a lawsuit against Big Tech, which includes Google, he also cited a medical study on hydroxychloroquine as a therapeutic for COVID-19.

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Business Insider Compiles Database to Track Former Trump Officials

President Donald Trump meets with (from left) U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price; Vice President Mike Pence; Speaker of the House Paul Ryan; Dr. Zeke Emanuel; and Andrew Bremberg, Dir. Domestic Policy Council, Monday, March 20, 2017, in the Oval Office. (Official White House Photo by Benjamin Applebaum)

A Business Insider list of former President Donald Trump’s officials tracks where these figures are working since departing the administration, warning that like Trump, these former staffers are “nowhere close to being gone.”

Insider said it combed through the interviews, LinkedIn profiles, and public records of over 327 former Trump staffers and compiled a searchable database “to show where they all landed.”

The publication noted that almost 100 former staffers have obtained “establishment” jobs, that over 40 of these former Trump officials still work in the government or in politics, and that at least 85 have gone “off the grid with no information available about their next move.”

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Amazon Demands Recusal of Federal Trade Commission Chair from Any Antitrust Investigations

Federal Trade Commission

Tech giant Amazon recently demanded that the chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission be recused from any antitrust investigations into the company, according to the Daily Caller.

Amazon filed the petition with the FTC on Wednesday, accusing Chairwoman Lina Khan of being biased due to the fact that she “has, on numerous occasions, argued that Amazon is guilty of antitrust violations and should be broken up.” The petition continued by declaring that “these statements convey to any reasonable observer the clear impression that she has already made up her mind about many material facts relevant to Amazon’s antitrust culpability as well as about the ultimate issue of culpability itself.”

The FTC is already conducting several antitrust investigations, including against Amazon; their most recent efforts are focusing on Amazon’s possible acquisition of the film studio Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), a purchase of nearly $9 billion announced last month.

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Facebook Is Spamming Conservative Users With Messages About a Support Group for ‘Extremists’

Facebook users are expressing shock and dismay after being spammed with messages touting a support group for people concerned about “extremists.”

“Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist?” the message begins. “We care about preventing extremism on Facebook. Others in your situation have received confidential support,” the message continues.

The Facebook message goes on to suggest that “you can help” by joining their support group. “Hear stories and get help from people who have escaped violent extremist groups,” the message concludes.

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Commentary: Big Tech Only Has Itself to Blame for Republican Rethinking of Antitrust

Smartphone with display of social media apps

There are few, if any, political issues that now generate the breadth and intensity of bipartisan backlash as does the rise of Big Tech.

During Donald Trump’s presidency, the major parties largely diverged on their specific grievances against the woke Silicon Valley monopolists who serve as gatekeepers for America’s 21st-century public square. Republicans, by and large, focused on censorship of conservative online speech. Democrats, by contrast, tended to focus on economic concentration; the five American corporations with the largest market caps, for example, are tech behemoths Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google Alphabet, and Facebook. This divergence has stymied efforts to rein in the Big Tech oligarchy on issues such as Section 230, the 1990s-era provision permitting platforms to engage in publisher-like content-moderation decisions without being legally treated as publishers.

Conservatives still have myriad concerns with Big Tech’s noxious brew of speech suppressions, shadow bans, and unaccountable deplatformings. Those concerns are both legitimate and justified by Big Tech’s ever-expanding list of misdeeds. But there is an emerging sea change in the way conservatives conceptualize the relationship between Big Tech’s unfettered content-moderation leeway and the sheer economic clout wielded by the relevant corporate actors.

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Conservative Sues Twitter, California Officials, and Biden Campaign Consultants For Colluding to Deplatform Him

Screen cap of Fox News interview

Conservative political commentator and attorney Rogan O’Handley is suing former California Secretary of State and now U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, current Calif. SoS Shirley Weber, Twitter, Team Biden campaign consultants SKDK, and others, for coordinating to deplatform him from Twitter after he tweeted his concerns about the 2020 election.

The Center for American Liberty in conjunction with the Dhillon Law Group, Inc. filed the federal civil rights lawsuit on Thursday in the United States District Court in Central California.

O’Handley spent years developing a verified Twitter account with 440,000 followers only to find his account permanently suspended at the direction of the Secretary of State’s office, according to a press release from Center for American Liberty.

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Google ‘Diversity Head’ Posted Anti-Semitic Comments, Will Stay with Company

Phone with Google search engine on screen

Google announced that it will remove its global lead for diversity strategy and research, Kamau Bobb, after a 2007 blog post in which he’d made antisemitic comments surfaced, Fox News reported.  Bobb will be reassigned to a STEM research role.

The reassignment comes after revelations that Bobb had previously authored a blog post that contained antisemitic statements.

In a 2007 blog post by Bobb titled “If I Were a Jew,” he wrote that Jewish people had an “insensitivity” to suffering and stated “If I were a Jew I would be concerned about my insatiable appetite for war and killing in defense of myself.” The post has since been removed, but is recorded here.

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Utah School Board Member Arrested for Soliciting Child Pornography

Joel-Lehi Organista

On Wednesday, a Utah school board member was arrested on charges of using social media to solicit child pornography from students, the Daily Caller reports.

The suspect is 29-year-old Joel-Lehi Organista, who had recently been elected to the Salt Lake City School Board after having previously taught at Horizonte High School. He faces eight felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. The authorities were led to him by a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which alleged that Organista had child pornography downloaded onto his Dropbox account. A subsequent search of his computer confirmed this, and Organista was arrested.

Following his arrest, he “admitted to having downloaded, viewed, and kept the images and videos containing child pornography.” One of his chief tactics was to use the social media app SnapChat to message children between the ages of 12 and 17, asking them for nude photos and other inappropriate material. He first started sending such messages and downloading such content in January, shortly after he became the youngest board member in the board’s history upon his election in January.

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Facebook Suspending Trump from the Platform for at Least Two Years

Donald Trump sitting at desk

Facebook announced Friday that former President Trump will continue to be suspended from the platform for at least two years, through Jan. 7, 2023.

“We are suspending his accounts for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on January 7 this year,” said Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, according to Politico.

“Given the gravity of the circumstances that led to Mr. Trump’s suspension, we believe his actions constituted a severe violation of our rules which merit the highest penalty available under the new enforcement protocols,” Clegg said.

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Commentary: Florida Governor DeSantis Strikes Back Against Big Tech Censorship

Person holding phone up in Times Square.

After months of aggressively censoring what it called “COVID-19 misinformation,” Facebook recently announced that it would no longer block user posts claiming that the coronavirus was “man-made” or “manufactured.” That’s because those posts, which typically referenced the work of scientists who supported the idea of a possible coronavirus “lab leak” from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, now appear to have been credible.

This entire episode should be extremely embarrassing for Facebook, a company so confident it has cornered the market on “truth” that it has made it their prerogative to “fact-check” individual user posts, banning anything that fails to comport with Silicon Valley’s extreme left-wing view of reality. Last year, Facebook banned an ad from the American Principles Project PAC claiming Joe Biden and the Democrats would destroy girls’ sports by supporting policies that allowed boys who identify as transgender to compete against girls.

Facebook said the ad was “missing context,” and so our PAC wasn’t allowed to communicate with voters. On Joe Biden’s first day as president, he signed an executive order specifically allowing these boys to compete in girls’ sports.

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New Docuseries Takes Aim at the ‘Woke Reformation’

Dave Rubin

An upcoming docuseries hopes to burst the woke bubble billowing across Western culture.

“The Woke Reformation,” first teased on “The Rubin Report” May 14, tracks the rise of a woke culture that has infiltrated everything from academia to global corporations like Coke, Starbucks and Nike.

Dave Rubin, a self-described “classical liberal,” broke the news about the docuseries via his “Rubin Report” YouTube show and podcast.

“Woke Reformation” director Travis Brown also teamed with Rubin to share details about the project via Locals.com, Rubin’s social media platform. The author of 2020’s “Don’t Burn This Book” created the cyber network to allow artists to speak their minds without fear of cancellation.

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Commentary: Facebook ‘Fact-Checkers’ Disagree About University COVID Vaccine Mandates

Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook’s “fact-checkers” cannot agree on the legality of university COVID vaccine mandates.

Disagreement about the legality of the COVID vaccines is understandable — The College Fix explored this topic several weeks ago in our own article, but the problem is that a Facebook fact-check on an article can lead to reduced distribution.

And enough strikes against a page can lead to a permanent ban. The College Fix has seen this firsthand, after Facebook overlords punished us for sharing the comments of an epidemiologist who made a prediction about what would happen if lockdowns were lifted.

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Facebook Oversight Board Member Rips Social Media Giant As ‘Inconsistent’ After Trump Ban

Graffiti of Mark Zuckerberg "You've been zucked"

Aformer federal judge who serves on Facebook’s oversight board on Sunday slammed the social media giant for “arbitrary” and “inconsistent” enforcement of its rules in the aftermath of a permanent ban on Donald Trump’s account.

“We gave them a certain amount of time to get their house in order,” Michael McConnell told Fox News Sunday. “They needed some time because their rules are a shambles. They are not transparent. They are unclear. They are internally inconsistent.”

McConnell said the board made a series of recommendations “about how to make their rules clearer and more consistent.”

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Facebook Permanently Blacklists LifeSite News

The pro-life news website LifeSiteNews has been removed from Facebook accusing the group of violating policies regarding COVID-19.

According to reports Facebook permanently blacklisted the LifeSite’s page over “false information about COVID-19” and “vaccine discouraging information.”

Via LifeSite News:

In a quick series of notices and emails to LifeSiteNews’ marketing department, Facebook delivered the shocking news, accusing LifeSite of publishing “false information about COVID-19 that could contribute to physical harm.”

Facebook also said that they deplatform Facebook pages that publish “vaccine discouraging information on the platform.”

Facebook cited an article posted on April 10, 2021, headlined “COVID vaccines can be deadly for some.”

“Much like when LifeSite was removed from YouTube, this comes with little surprise,” noted LifeSiteNews Marketing Director Rebekah Roberts. “We have known this day was coming for months now.”

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Republicans Debate Breaking up Big Tech After Trump’s Facebook Suspension

Smart phone with Facebook etched out

Many Republicans in Congress have reignited their calls to break up the big tech companies after Facebook announced last week they would maintain the suspension of former President Donald Trump’s account.

A new poll released by Rasmussen Friday found that 59% of likely voters “believe operators of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are politically biased in the decisions they make” with only 26% disagreeing. The rest are unsure.

The poll results went on to say that “a majority of voters now favor ending legal protections for social media companies.” The reported public opinion against the tech giants comes the same week Facebook announced they would keep Trump suspended from their platform, citing his alleged role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

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Commentary: A Tribute to Mothers with Inspiration from Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou speaking

You wouldn’t think any possible controversy could append itself to that day, except that we are living in preternaturally contentious times. Two days ago, Rep. Cori Bush, a freshman Democrat from St. Louis, was testifying about racial disparities in health care, focusing specifically on childbirth. While describing her own medical experiences, Bush used the unwieldy phrase “birthing people” instead of “mothers.” Apparently, this was an awkward attempt to use inclusive language.

Predictably, this rhetorical gambit earned her a fair amount of ridicule on social media. I’m sure Rep. Bush has many virtues, but neither self-awareness nor self-deprecating humor are at the top of that list. Just as predictably, Bush lashed out at those who mocked her wording for their “racism and transphobia.” She also accused her critics of trivializing an important subject, which was a more substantive rejoinder. Bush was discussing racial disparities in America’s medical system, which is no laughing matter, and invoking her own harrowing experiences in hospital delivery rooms to do it.

Yet breezily trying to replace the word “mothers” as a sign of wokeness a few days before Mother’s Day wasn’t likely to go down well. It was Cori Bush’s own peculiar choice of words that distracted listeners from her story.

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Facebook Is Keeping Trump Off Its Platform

Facebook’s oversight board upheld the company’s decision to ban former President Donald Trump Wednesday morning.

“The Board found that, in maintaining an unfounded narrative of electoral fraud and persistent calls to action, Mr. Trump created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible,” the board said in a statement.

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Former President Trump Launches New Communications Platform ‘From the Desk of Donald J. Trump’

Donald Trump

Former President Trump has launched a new platform to communicate with the public, adding a page on donaldjtrump.com that looks something like a social media feed.

The page headlined “From The Desk of Donald J. Trump,” includes statements from Trump as well as a video at the very top of the feed apparently advertising the new communications outlet.

The posts have buttons for people to share to Twitter and Facebook. “This is just a one-way communication,” a source informed Fox News. “This system allows Trump to communicate with his followers.”

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Commentary: Use Twitter’s New Weakness to Start Upending Big Tech

Person holding phone up with Twitter sign up page on smart phone.

Twitter’s stock fell 15 percent last week apparently because they’re not getting sufficient numbers of new users to please the market. People are not as intrigued as they used to be with an allegedly open social media platform that’s not really open, in fact is something of a dictatorship.

I know you’re not supposed to kick someone when they’re down. But when that someone has been acting in the most unAmerican, peremptory ways for years, as if the Bill of Rights never existed, censoring people without explanation—even a former president—blocking free discussion of medical science, for Heaven’s sake, and treating conservatives and libertarians pretty much the way Ferdinand and Isabella treated the Jews before they finally kicked them out of Spain, it’s time to take action.

And, when that “down” is the first chink in the armor of Big Tech that has dominated discourse in this country and around the world to a degree never thought possible, it is all the more urgent to let that foot fly and jump up and down on top a little as well if necessary.

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'Deplorable' Professor Creates 'Anti-Indoctrination Mill' with New Education Startup

Michael Rectenwald

Michael Rectenwald got himself chased out of New York University when the self-identified communist copped to tweeting against trigger warnings, safe spaces and bias reporting under the pseudonym “Deplorable NYU Prof.”
The professor left two years ago with a golden parachute — the result of a legal settlement with the private university that included a retirement package.
He’s not content anymore with just writing polemical books and fiction in retirement. Now Rectenwald is scouting for academics to join an educational startup, American Scholars, that is launching this summer.

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Documents Reveal Twitter Failed to Properly Register in Florida Before Doing Business There

Government documents from Florida show that social media giant Twitter failed to properly file to do business in the state, incurring a fine for transacting business there without the official permission of state officials.

The documents, available on the website of the Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations, show that in March the department received from Twitter an “application by foreign corporation for authorization to transact business in Florida.”

The application reveals that Twitter “first transacted business in Florida” in June 2015, apparently well before it registered to do business there. A letter sent back to Twitter by the department indicates that the social media company failed to properly register with the state, potentially for many years.

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Twitter Refuses to Address Whether Lebron James Tweet Violated Terms of Service

LebBron James

Twitter is refusing to address whether a tweet by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James violated the platform’s terms of service.

James tweeted, then deleted, a picture Wednesday of Ohio police officer Nicholas Reardon who shot 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant as she attempted to stab another girl, body cam footage showed.

“YOU’RE NEXT,” James tweeted to his millions of followers with the hashtag #ACCOUNTABILITY. He has since deleted the tweet.

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USPS Monitoring Americans’ Social Media Accounts in ‘Covert’ Operation

The U.S. Postal Service’s law enforcement division is running a covert operation tracking and collecting Americans’ social media posts, Yahoo News reported.

The postal service’s Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP) monitored social media accounts for “inflammatory” posts and protest plans, according to an internal document obtained by Yahoo News. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) investigated Parler and Telegram accounts that referenced protests that were supposed to occur on March 20 for the so-called International Day of Protests, the document showed.

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‘Enemy of the People’: Minneapolis Star-Tribune Publishes Biographical Information of Derek Chauvin Trial Jurors

Juror tag on dress shirt

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is being blasted online for releasing biographical information of all twelve jurors plus two alternates in the Derek Chauvin trial in the killing of George Floyd.

Without naming the jurors, reporters Paul Walsh and Hannah Sayle on Tuesday published enough details about their lives, internet sleuths and local snoops may be able to figure out who they are.

Walsh is a general assignment reporter at the Star-Tribune, and Sayle is a digital features editor. Online critics are accusing the paper of trying to intimidate the jurors into reaching a guilty verdict.

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DeSantis and Doctors Accuse Media, Big Tech of Hiding Harm from COVID Restrictions

Ron DeSantis

The media, academy and Big Tech are suppressing facts about the harms caused by COVID-19 lockdown policies, especially for younger generations, Gov. Ron DeSantis and public health experts said in a “roundtable discussion” on the novel coronavirus Monday.

These powerful American institutions are also misleading their audiences about the public health results from Florida’s open approach, which contrasted sharply with most states, they said.

The potential Republican presidential candidate hammered Google and its YouTube platform in particular for removing his earlier COVID-19 roundtable with the same doctors, branding it “misinformation.” Even some Florida news stations had their coverage removed.

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