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Image of article 'How COVID-19, Black Lives Matter became the target of FB groups'

How COVID-19, Black Lives Matter became the target of FB groups

A member of the California Facebook group posted a widely debunked flyer that says "White men, women, and children, you are the enemy," which was falsely attributed to Black Lives Matter.

At least one Facebook group, ReOpen PA, asked its 105,000 members to keep the conversation focused on reopening businesses and schools in Pennsylvania, and implemented rules to forbid posts about the racial justice protests as well as conspiracy theories about the efficacy of masks.

Members in these private groups have created an echo chamber and tend to agree with the posts, so are therefore less likely to flag them for Facebook or fact-checkers to review, Ms. Donovan added.

Facebook users in some of these groups post hundreds of times a day in threads often seen by members only and shielded from public view.

An Associated Press review of the most recent posts in 40 of these Facebook groups – most of which were launched by conservative groups or pro-gun activists – found the conversations largely shifted last month to attacking the nationwide protests over the killing of Black men and women after Mr. Floyd's death.

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ACLU director on how the conservative Supreme Court has made three liberal rulings

In the fight for marriage equality, Romero explains, the organization first won civil unions, then domestic partner benefits, then repealed the Defense of Marriage Act, which all paved the way for Obergefell v. Hodges to grant same-sex couples full equal rights.

While the wins were a surprise to liberal pundits and activists alike (due to the court’s majority-conservative makeup) Romero said the approach was strategic: “We can use conservative arguments and force the Supreme Court to end up with liberal outcomes,” Romero says.

In a discussion with FastCompany.com deputy editor Kate Davis on Tuesday morning, the 19-year veteran of the ACLU reflected on the Supreme Court decisions of the past few weeks, which affirmed Constitutional protections for Dreamers, the LGBTQ community, and women’s rights to abortions.

“You can still win over some conservatives,” says Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The organization has invested more money into curbing voter suppression, and so far filed 11 lawsuits forcing states to enact vote-by-mail, usually in more conservative states that “think it’s a way to elect Democrats and hurt the prospects of Republicans.”

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Reddit just banned r/The_Donald, the largest pro-Trump subreddit, as it cracks down on hate speech and targeting

Reddit just banned the biggest pro-Trump forum on its site, saying the subreddit broke its rules about harassment and targeting.

The subreddit, r/The_Donald, was one of roughly 2,000 communities that were banned across Reddit on Monday, CEO Steve Huffman said.

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman announced in a post on Monday that the message-board site had banned more than 2,000 subreddits that regularly broke its rules about harassment, hate speech, and targeting.

Reddit is the latest social-media site to take a stand in recent weeks against speech by Trump or his supporters that violates their policies.

Though Reddit has long been seen as a less-moderated social-media forum, it rolled out anti-harassment policies in 2015 and has taken coordinated action in recent years to remove subreddits that encourage illegal activity.

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Image of article 'The rise of mask shaming reveals the tricky science of social change'

The rise of mask shaming reveals the tricky science of social change

There is a tipping point around this level where adding a single extra voice to the minority group advocating for a social change seems to have a big difference – and the same could be true for mask wearing.

But a behaviour like wearing a mask spreads better over strong ties – you’re more likely to wear one if all your friends are, for instance.

Scientists study the way that behaviours like mask wearing or hand washing spread across a population – anthropologist Mark Granovetter divides connections between people into strong ties and weak ties.

North Dakota, which is just one of a number of states where people have reported being shamed or abused for wearing masks, is one of only a handful of states that aren’t recommending that their residents wear masks in public (although many have said they can’t enforce such guidance legally).

One of the challenges of getting people to adopt the new behaviours that will prevent a second wave will be trying to activate some of those weak ties via the use of social media, for example – if everyone you follow on Twitter is wearing a mask in their profile picture, you might be more likely to wear one outside.

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Facebook to add link to 'authoritative' info on posts about voting—even Trump's

"We are adopting a policy of attaching a link to our Voting Information Center for posts that discuss voting, including from politicians," Zuckerberg wrote.

The announcement is loaded because Trump used Facebook to spread misinformation about voting, and the company did nothing about it.

That "information" will consist of a link to Facebook's new Voting Information Center.

Zuckerberg announced that the company would add a link to "authoritative information" on all Facebook and Instagram posts having to do with voting.

In addition to the links to the Voter Information Center, Facebook said it would add a label to posts that violate its policies (such as hate speech) if they're newsworthy (i.e., if they're from Trump).

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Image of article 'Facebook will label more controversial content and tighten advertising policies'

Facebook will label more controversial content and tighten advertising policies

The expanded policy will prohibit ads that claim these groups are a threat, Zuckerberg said on a livestream Friday.

"Specifically, we're expanding our ads policy to prohibit claims that people from a specific race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status are a threat to the physical safety, health or survival of others," Zuckerberg wrote in a post .

"We're also expanding our policies to better protect immigrants, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from ads suggesting these groups are inferior or expressing contempt, dismissal or disgust directed at them."

Zuckerberg also announced that Facebook will begin applying warning labels to user posts that are newsworthy but violate the platform's policies.

Rashad Robinson, president of the civil rights group Color of Change, called the remarks "11 minutes of wasted opportunity" and doubled down on calls for advertisers to boycott Facebook.

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Image of article 'Twitter Hides US President Donald Trump's 'Serious Force' Tweet Targeting Protesters'

Twitter Hides US President Donald Trump's 'Serious Force' Tweet Targeting Protesters

Twitter's move escalated the battle between the White House and social media firms which Trump has accused of bias against conservatives, despite his own large following.

The action by Twitter requires users to click through to read the Trump tweet, with a tag on the message that it "violated the Twitter rules about abusive behavior" but that it would remain accessible "in the public's interest."

The move appeared to be the first by Twitter against the president for an "abusive" tweet.

Twitter on Tuesday hid a tweet from President Donald Trump in which he threatened to use "serious force" against protestors in the US capital, saying it broke rules over abusive content.

Twitter said in a statement to AFP it took the action Tuesday because the tweet violated its policy against abusive behavior with "a threat of harm against an identifiable group."

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Nextdoor eliminates its Forward to Police program

Neighborhood social networking app Nextdoor says it is discontinuing its Forward to Police feature which let users send message board posts directly to local police, Bloomberg CityLab reported.

“As part of our anti-racism work and our efforts to make Nextdoor a place where all neighbors feel welcome, we have been examining all aspects of our product,” the company announced in a blog post.

Black Nextdoor users have told The Verge that posts on the app often make them feel unsafe, and that volunteer moderators have silenced posts about Black Lives Matter protests.

“To be clear, conversations related to racial inequality and black lives matter are allowed on Nextdoor,” the email stated.

According to Bloomberg CityLab, Nextdoor apparently will keep in place other features that allow communication with police departments through the app, including the sending and receiving of direct messages.

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Tim Cook interview with CBS to air this Sunday, June 21

Tim Cook has given a rare interview with CBS Sunday Morning, set to air on June 21.

CBS shared a preview of the interview in an article covering Tim Cook's discussion of civil rights, the president and the Supreme Court ruling on discrimination based on sexual orientation.

From the report: Apple's top executive Tim Cook, who six years ago became the first Fortune 500 CEO to come out as gay, is "incredibly grateful" for the Supreme Court decision this week making it illegal for companies to discriminate based on someone's sexual orientation, he said in an interview with John Dickerson for "CBS Sunday Morning," to be broadcast Sunday, June 21.

Cook said the Supreme court ruling was "one more brick in the wall" of America's journey to equality.

The interview will air at 9 am ET on Sunday, June 21 on CBS.

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Watch ‘The Banker’ Free on Apple TV+ Until June 30

To celebrate Juneteenth Apple is making “The Banker” free to watch on Apple TV+ without needing a subscription until the end of June.

Find it in the TV app here.

Starring Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie, it tells the true story of two African American businessmen in the 1960s.

Their actions led to the Fair Housing Act established in 1968.

Based on a true story, THE BANKER stars Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson as two African American entrepreneurs who attempt to circumvent the racial limitations of the 1950s and quietly provide housing loans to the black community in Jim Crow Texas.

published minority group technology
Image of article 'Google boosts racial equity program pledge to $275 mn'

Google boosts racial equity program pledge to $275 mn

Google is building racial equality awareness into products, with features such as teaching its assistant digital aide to answer questions about Black Lives Matter or the Juneteenth celebration of the end of slavery in the US, he added.

Google will also establish a range of anti-racism educational programs and better support the mental health of black workers, according to Pichai.

Pichai outline "concrete commitments" being made by Google to promote racial equity in the company, its products and its programs.

"Listening to the personal accounts of members of our Black Leadership Advisory Group and our Black+ Googlers has only reinforced for me the reality our black communities face," chief executive Sundar Pichai said in a letter to employees.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and parent firm Alphabet, said the Silicon Valley giant is committing $175 million to racial equity programs in addition to a $100 million initiative at Google-owned YouTube Google on Wednesday announced a $175 million package to support black business owners, startup founders, job seekers and developers, along with an array of racial equity initiatives at the technology giant.

How one woman's yard sign became a rallying cry for allies

Little did I know that the sign had originated thousands of miles away, earlier that month, as a collaborative effort by a group of Wisconsin women whose story I tell below.

At time of writing, the top-selling yard sign on Amazon is an unauthorized version that omits "in this house," the plant-your-stake intro that made the original so powerful, and replaces the second line with "feminism is for everyone," which has been criticized by feminists on Reddit despite somewhat referring to the title of a book by social activist bell hooks.

That Sharpie-drawn sign is now in the National Women's Party Museum, devoted to the century-old National Woman's Party, a political organization in Washington, D.C. Garvey doesn't need it; she sees the professional renderings everywhere.

Having found one that just seemed to click with a wide swath of people, Rosen Heinz roped in a local artist, Kristin Joiner, who turned the sign we see today around in 24 hours.

So they made the decision to hand over ownership of the sign to the Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health, a tiny advocacy group funded to this day by proceeds from the sign.

published minority group technology

Apple launches $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative

Cook didn’t offer specifics in the video, but he said the initiative would expand Apple’s work with historically black colleges and universities as well as underserved students and teachers.

“The initiative will challenge the systemic barriers to opportunity and dignity that exists for communities of color and particular for the black community,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a video today.

The program, named Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, will be led by Apple VP Lisa Jackson.

Apple is launching a $100 million initiative to promote racial equality for people of color with a focus on “education, economic equality, and criminal justice reform.”

“I’ll continue the work leading Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative.”

published minority group technology

Scientists strike to call out systemic racism in STEM

Kamai's grandfather is a police officer in Hawaii, but she says she didn't learn to become afraid of the police until she came to the mainland U.S. Through living in places such as Nashville, Los Angeles, and Chicago, she saw the everyday discrimination black people face from law enforcement.

"Our colleagues, broadly speaking, within STEM and academia don't participate in the work that's needed to eradicate racism," says Brittany Kamai, one of the shut down's original organizers and an astrophysicist.

Black people, not just those in academia and STEM, are encouraged to spend the day processing the emotional and physical has had on them.

As people all over the world come together in solidarity to protest systemic racism and police brutality, a coalition of STEM professionals and academics are calling on their colleagues to dismantle anti-black racism within academia and STEM.

"This moment is about police murdering black people and how all of us, if we’re not working to eradicate racism, we’re perpetuating it,” says Kamai.

published minority group technology
Image of article 'Twitter, Square to Make Juneteenth a Company Holiday'

Twitter, Square to Make Juneteenth a Company Holiday

Vox Media Inc. also said in a company memo Tuesday that it will observe Juneteenth as a company holiday.

The social-media platform and mobile-payments company join a chorus of corporations that have announced financial support for efforts connected with racial justice and made statements against racism and police misconduct.

“Countries and regions around the world have their own days to celebrate emancipation, and we will do the work to make those dates company holidays everywhere we are present,” Mr. Dorsey said on Twitter, adding that the day would be for celebration, education and connection.

Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said the companies will honor Juneteenth as a holiday in the U.S., as American corporations grapple with ways to show support for black employees and celebrate racial diversity.

Other tech companies, such as Cisco Systems Inc., Alphabet Inc., Uber Technologies Inc.

published minority group technology

Facebook removes 190 white supremacist accounts trying to incite anti-protest violence

The social network removed 190 accounts tied to white supremacist groups Proud Boys and American Guard, the Associated Press first reported, and Facebook confirmed to Mashable.

“We saw that these groups were planning to rally supporters and members to physically go to the protests and in some cases were preparing to go with weapons,” Brian Fishman, Facebook’s director of counterterrorism and dangerous organizations policy, told the AP.

Both hate groups are already banned from Facebook.

But hate group members spreading discord often crop back up on the social network under different accounts.

By continuing to monitor resurgent accounts Facebook identified as associated with the banned groups, it was able to identify messages indicating that the protests would be targets.

published minority group technology

Alexis Ohanian steps down from Reddit board, black board member

Tech companies have long been criticized for their broad lack of black leadership at the highest levels, a failing that likely factors into their myriad policy failures around race — like the fact that Facebook only banned white nationalism one year ago.

I’m…alexisohanian.comAlexis Ohanian Sr. ✔@alexisohanian I’ve resigned as a member of the reddit board, I have urged them to fill my seat with a black candidate, + I will use future gains on my Reddit stock to serve the black community, chiefly to curb racial hate, and I’m starting with a pledge of $1M to @kaepernick7’s @yourrightscamp86.7K Twitter Ads info and privacy16.4K people are talking about this With the decision, Ohanian also announced that future gains of his company stock would be invested in the black community, “chiefly to curb racial hate.”

— Alexis Ohanian Sr.I co-founded Reddit 15 years ago to help people find community and a sense of belonging.

Ohanian is calling on the company he founded to fill his position with a black board member, a high-profile step for a company with its own rocky track record around issues of race.

Update: Reddit CEO Steve Huffman (u/spez) said that the company would honor the request to bring on a black board member in Ohanian’s place.

published minority group technology

Mark Zuckerberg says 'Black lives matter' after defending Trump's posts

In a lengthy open letter Friday, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg defended his decision to not touch a Donald Trump post with racist overtones — before ending with the statement "Black lives matter."

Now Zuckerberg says the company will review its existing policies regarding the use of police force.

Black lives matter."

It isn't the first time Zuckerberg mentioned the Black Lives Matter movement.

In 2016, he publicly chastised employees who had erased Black Lives Matter slogans on Facebook's campus, replacing them with "all lives matter."

published minority group technology

Jeff Bezos says ‘black lives matter’ in response to angry customer email

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos issued a public pledge of support to the Black Lives Matter movement on Friday.

Right now, Amazon.com has a prominent “Black Lives Matter” banner at the top of the page that links to a blog post describing actions the company is taking to support black communities and racial justice.

The customer took issue with the banner, saying “it is quite disturbing to get on the AMAZON website and see ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER.

’” The customer later said that “ALL LIVES MATTER,” a common right-wing refrain used to criticize the Black Lives Matter movement.

Mark Zuckerberg also stated “black lives matter” in an email sent to employees that he posted publicly Friday evening.

published minority group technology
Image of article 'Curbing Implicit Bias: What Works and What Doesn't'

Curbing Implicit Bias: What Works and What Doesn't

The problems surfacing in the wake of George Floyd’s death include all forms of bias, ranging from implicit bias to structural bias built into the operation of police departments, courts and governments, to explicit, intended bias, to hate crime.

But when it was the European American names and pleasant words with one hand, and the African American names and the unpleasant words with the other hand, that was something I could zip through.

The first implicit association test I created was one involving the names of flowers and insects, and words meaning things pleasant or unpleasant.

Since then, Greenwald and his main collaborators, Mahzarin Banaji and Brian Nosek, have used the implicit association test to measure how fast and accurately people associate different social groups with qualities like good and bad.

I don’t know why we have not succeeded in developing effective techniques to reduce implicit biases as they are measured by the implicit association test.

added minority group programming

Here are 5 ways you can show your support for the black rights movement

The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.

The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.

As a national online force driven by 1.7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America.

The mission of The Antiracist Research Policy Center (ARPC) is to convene and team up varied specialists to figure out novel and practical ways to understand, explain, and solve seemingly intractable problems of racial inequity and injustice.

Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.

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Image of article 'BlackLivesMatter: A joint statement by Forwards and R-Ladies'

BlackLivesMatter: A joint statement by Forwards and R-Ladies

While the R-Ladies mission is focused on improving gender diversity within the R community, we also recognize both the struggle that Black people face, and the compound effect of intersectionality when a member identifies with multiple underrepresented groups.

At a time when we are reminded that racial injustice pulls people down, it is our goal to create space for Black, Indigenous and People of Color to rise as R programmers and community leaders.

Forwards recognizes that Black people are often missing or overlooked in core activities of the R community.

We are aggregating resources and are taking deliberate actions to amplify the voices of Black, Indigenous and People of Color in the R community now and moving forward.

R-Ladies Global makes a commitment to improve how the organization supports Black, Indigenous and People of Color through the following actions: We will start and continue dialogue around concrete actions to promote social justice globally through dedicated channels in our Slack workspaces.

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Image of article 'Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian leaves board, calls for black successor'

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian leaves board, calls for black successor

With protests raging over the killing of George Floyd, that stance drew the ire of former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao, who earlier this week slammed the for profiting off of hate speech.

Despite what appeared to be an emotional resignation on Friday, Ohanian — who co-founded the company in 2005 with CEO Steve Huffman — has previously been reluctant to combat hate speech and abuse on Reddit’s platform, instead preferring to allow most users to say whatever they like.

’” Ohanian added that he will use future gains on his Reddit stock to serve the black community, “chiefly, to curb racial hate.”

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian resigned from the company’s board and asked that he be replaced by a black candidate, just days after a former chief executive blasted the company for allowing racism to thrive on its popular web forums.

“You don’t get to say BLM when reddit nurtures and monetizes white supremacy and hate all day long,” Pao tweeted on Tuesday in response to a letter from CEO Huffman, who had said in a blog post a day earlier that Reddit doesn’t tolerate “hate, racism, and violence.”

published minority group technology
Image of article 'LinkedIn employees made 'offensive comments' during anti-racism meeting'

LinkedIn employees made 'offensive comments' during anti-racism meeting

A 9,000-employee video call intended to address racial barriers and promote diverse hiring at LinkedIn was disrupted by "offensive comments," Ryan Roslanksy, the CEO of the professional network, said Thursday, acknowledging that the virtual company town hall held earlier in the week had gone awry.

More than 3,500 comments were posted and 200 questions were asked during the meeting, Roslansky said in an online post.

LinkedIn allowed participants to ask questions anonymously, Roslansky said, in order to create a safe space for all.

However, some people used the anonymity to make offensive comments without a small number of offensive comments reinforced the very hard work we still have to do," Roslansky wrote.

Roslanksy said he couldn't see the comments while moderating the event because he was in presenter mode.

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