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Protests surged nationwide on July 4 in a collective call for a better America

Protests across the U.S. are still going strong all over the place, showing that people aren't going to back down in the face of the abusive, racist police departments and other institutions that have systemically targeted Black people.

Many shared videos and photos online of protests still going strong in their cities, from New York City to Oakland to Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed by police in May, sparking protests that are still going strong 40 days later.

With the coronavirus pandemic still holding the country in its grasp and many people forgoing large, unsafe gatherings, protesters continued to come together as they have been for more than a month to tell the world that Black lives matter and the racist, abusive, violent police departments all across the U.S. need to be reformed, defunded, and abolished.

Independence Day in the United States saw thousands and thousands of protesters eschewing the typical traditions of relaxed grilling and celebration to instead continue the fight against racism and violence against Black people with inspiring marches, speeches, and demonstrations all across the nation.

Police departments with officers who have recently killed Black people, notably Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Elijah McClain, have largely taken little-to-no action against these officers, and that inaction continues to spark outrage and sustained demonstrations in support of Black lives and against the police.

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Burnout studio Criterion releases game jam games for free

Sometimes, the developers at Criterion Games, the studio behind Burnout and an upcoming Need For Speed game, get together and have a game jam to get the creative juices flowing.

“From time to time, we get together as a studio, and spend a few days jamming together on games,” a write-up on Criterion’s site states.

“We explore everything from ideas for new game features, to exploring wild ideas for games, large and small.

Since then things had gotten quiet, before it was revealed earlier this year that the team was back in charge of Need For Speed, after Ghost Box had been in charge for a few installments, with a new entry in the racing games series on the way.

You can find all the Criterion game jam games here – they’re free, but it’s suggested you make a donation to the British Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, or Show Racism The Red Card if you enjoy them and have some pennies to spare.

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Image of article 'Meeting the Moment of Leadership'

Meeting the Moment of Leadership

The subsequent dialogue and actions must go beyond performative optics, and HR leaders should be developing multi-decade plans within their companies as to what they'll do to address systemic inequities within the workplace.

Staff, particularly Black employees, are looking for commitments and, more important, demonstrable actions to show that race and racism are top of mind.

HR leaders have a host of tools to use in improving the workplace experiences of Black people in very tangible ways.

By examining outcomes relating to the employee life cycle and then reversing the flow of the employee journey and mapping where Black staff face obstacles, you can reverse engineer the problem to implement restorative measures that mitigate the negative outcome.

Specifically, look at: Performance-review processes Evaluating exit interviews The talent-acquisition strategy Training and development (figure out who gets those opportunities and why) Creating job ladders and clear requirements as to what's required to get promoted Data analytics to understand inclusion and belonging scores Getting macro in terms of the year-over-year of Black experiences (and underrepresented people) Keep the same energy The urgency and energy we felt a few weeks ago must be maintained.

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Image of article 'Fortnite is screening anti-racism panel We The People all day'

Fortnite is screening anti-racism panel We The People all day

We The People can be viewed by entering the Party Royale playlist in Fortnite.

Epic has had its own issues in “attaching” itself to black culture, with rapper 2Milly and actor Alfonso Ribeiro both condemning Epic’s appropriation and monetisation of dances predominantly taken from African American artists.

Epic describe it as “a series of conversations that advance the dialogue around race in America with prominent BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) voices in business, sports, media, music, and entertainment”.

Airing every other hour for 24 hours starting this afternoon, We The People’s panel on systemic racism in media, culture and entertainment is being broadcast exclusively via Fortnite: Battle Royale’s Party Royale mode – y’know, the same one wot’s been streaming Christopher Nolan films for the last month.

As Black Lives Matter protests continue into the Summer, the monolithic battle royale hopes to use its new party island to educate – broadcasting Øpus United’s anti-racism presentation We The People throughout the day.

Image of article 'Fortnite Party Royale Hosts Opus United's We The People'

Fortnite Party Royale Hosts Opus United's We The People

Party Royale introduces a new island in Fortnite filled with unique activities such as time trials and soccer matches.

Fortnite, which finally left Early Access three years after it launched in 2017, launched Party Royale in May with a show headlined by Dillon Francis, Steve Aoki, and deadmau5, performing back-to-back sets.

The event aired at 8:46 am CDT on Independence Day, referencing the 8 minutes and 46 seconds that George Floyd’s neck was pinned to the ground by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee, resulting in his tragic death that has sparked social unrest across the United States.

We The People was presented by marketing collective Opus United, and was described by Epic Games in its announcement of the event as “a series of conversations that advance the dialogue around race in America with prominent BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) voices in business, sports, media, music, and entertainment.”

Fortnite‘s Party Royale, a new mode in the massively popular battle royale shooter that showcases various forms of live entertainment, hosted We The People, a series of conversations on racism, on July 4.

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Image of article 'Infosec community disagrees with changing 'black hat' term due to racial stereotyping'

Infosec community disagrees with changing 'black hat' term due to racial stereotyping

But these efforts to move away from offensive terms like master, slave, blacklist, whitelist started even before the Black Lives Matter protests.

After the Black Lives Matter protests erupted across the US and in some parts of Europe, several companies announced plans to stop using racially- and slavery-charged terms in their technical documentation.

Most security researchers pointed to the fact that the terms had nothing to do with racism or skin color, and had their origins in classic western movies, where the villain usually wore a black hat, while the good guy wore a white hat.

In his withdrawal announcement, Kleidermacher asked the infosec industry to consider replacing terms like black hat, white hat, and man-in-the-middle with neutral alternatives.

The information security (infosec) community has angrily reacted today to calls to abandon the use of the 'black hat' and 'white hat' terms, citing that the two, and especially 'black hat,' have nothing to do with racial stereotyping.

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Ubisoft CEO sanctions formation of 'multidisciplinary working group' to tackle abuse

Guillemot also offered to personally speak with anybody affected by the gamut of issues facing the company, and said he would be calling Ubisoft's managing directors on June 29 to "ask them for their full involvement and exemplarity on these important issues."

Emails obtained by Gamasutra, sent to the Ubisoft team by CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot and chief talent and communications officer Cecile Cornet, reveal plans are in place to establish a "multidisciplinary working group" that will be tasked with finding "better solutions and tools to detect, report and resolve any incident or serious problem without delay and in an impartial manner."

Despite multiple emails sent by Gamasutra asking Ubisoft to address a number of specific claims, including the assault allegation leveled at the now-suspended editorial vice president Maxime Beland and reports of homophobia and racism at Ubisoft Sofia, the company's public-facing response was tepid at best.

Ubisoft has detailed some of the actions it will take to address the rampant abuse allegations that have rocked the company.

Cornet, meanwhile, explained Ubisoft will also be launching an audit into its current processes and practices, along with several investigations that will be conducted by external partners including Rubin Thomlinson LLP and Reddock Law Group.

Image of article 'Pinterest Policy Officials Leave Company, Alleging Racial Discrimination'

Pinterest Policy Officials Leave Company, Alleging Racial Discrimination

"Like so many tech companies that are posting messages of solidarity with Black Lives Matter, Pinterest's actions undermine the company's own words," said Color of Change's campaign director Jade Magnus Ogunnaike.

Civil rights organisation Colour of Change, which worked with Ozoma and Shimizu Banks in their former roles, said in a statement that Pinterest at minimum owed the women an apology and due compensation.

Ozoma also said she was chastised for not presenting the pros and cons for a policy change that restricted Pinterest's promotion of former Southern slave plantations as wedding venues and for a recommendation on contractor pay.

Ifeoma Ozoma, who was Pinterest's public policy and social impact manager, called the company's recent solidarity with the anti-racism Black Lives Matter movement "a joke."

Two former Pinterest employees who left the image-sharing company in late May publicly alleged in tweets on Monday that they had experienced racial discrimination in the workplace.

Image of article 'Donald Trump Suspended From Twitch Over ‘Hateful Conduct’ Violations'

Donald Trump Suspended From Twitch Over ‘Hateful Conduct’ Violations

Whether it’s a young woman, an old woman, a young man or an old man and you’re sleeping.”

The other video broadcast on Twitch that ran afoul of the site’s hateful-conduct policy was from Trump’s June 20, 2020, rally in Tulsa, Okla.

The first was from Trump’s announcement in 2015 that he was running for U.S. president, which was recently rebroadcast on Twitch.

In line with our policies, President Trump’s channel has been issued a temporary suspension from Twitch for comments made on stream, and the offending content has been removed.”

Trump’s first Twitch broadcast in October 2019 was from a rally in Minneapolis, where among other targets he lashed out at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)

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Reddit Brings the Banhammer Down on r/The_Donald and 2,000 Other Subs

In a post this afternoon, Huffman reversed course, explaining that they had banned r/The_Donald because it “consistently hosted and upvoted” content that violated its rule against inciting violence and promoting hate, that members “antagonized us and other communities,” and its mods “have refused to meet our most basic expectations.”

Reddit since quarantined r/The_Donald (put it behind a wall).

In a 2017 AMA with Reddit co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman, one user amassed 45 (now-deleted) examples of violent posts advocating for killing “anti-Whites,” gassing male feminists, killing government officials, and shooting Muslims on sight.

This weekend’s rumors were true: Reddit has swung its mighty banhammer, taking out 2,000 groups, including r/The_Donald and r/ChapoTrapHouse.

A few days after Huffman’s post, co-founder Alexis Ohanian stepped down from the board, asking that Reddit fill his seat with a Black candidate.

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Gun-toting Karen and Ken spawn a thousand memes after pointing weapons at peaceful protesters

A middle-aged white couple in St. Louis thought it prudent to point guns at unarmed, peaceful protesters.

The gun-toting couple quickly morphed into Twitter's main characters of the day on Sunday and that continues today.

According to the Associated Press, at least 500 protesters in St. Louis, Missouri were marching to Mayor Lyda Krewson's house on Sunday, demanding her resignation after she publicly read the names and addresses of a number of people who asked her to defund police.

While folks online were quick to criticize the couple pointing weapons at protesters, President Donald Trump amplified the incident without really commenting on it.

UPDATE: June 29, 2020, 3:34 p.m. EDT In an interview with local news station KSDK, the gun-toting husband — identified as Mark McCloskey — claimed he and his wife Patricia confronted the protesters because they were acting in a threatening manner.

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Exclusive: to dedicate $6 million toward racial justice efforts

Now the company is responding, announcing that it will put $6 million into a fund dedicated to fighting for and supporting racial justice efforts—though it’s still vague about which organizations will receive that money.

While no beneficiaries of the $6 million fund have been picked yet, Allardice says the company is clear on the direction for this fund: toward supporting Black-led organizations on the front lines of racial justice work and grassroots organizers driving change in their own communities—and not just in this moment, but over time.

“There’s been so much energy and attention directed to racial justice work in the recent weeks that many groups are trying to figure out what to do with all the money that they generated, and we want to make sure that our money goes as far as possible,” he says.

It’s also not clear yet whether the fund will be replenished with additional donations if people continue to contribute money after signing popular racial justice petitions.

The site has seen a surge in attention on racial justice campaigns this year compared to last; so far in 2020, more than 15 million Americans have signed at least one racial justice petition, accounting for more than 49 million signatures across this category, as they support multiple campaigns.

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Mark Zuckerberg is $7 billion poorer as more companies join Facebook ad boycott

The drinks giant said it was banning advertising on all social media channels, not just Facebook and Instagram, for at least 30 days starting on July 1.

“Let’s send Facebook a powerful message: Your profits will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence,” wrote the ADL.

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have long been accused of not doing enough to remove hate speech from their platforms.

The ‘Stop Hate for Profit’ campaign, created by organizations including the NAACP, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and Mozilla, asks businesses “to stand in solidarity with our most deeply held American values of freedom, equality and justice and not advertise on Facebook's services in July.”

“We will take this time to reassess our advertising standards and policies to determine whether revisions are needed internally, and what more we should expect of our social media partners to rid the platforms of hate, violence and inappropriate content.

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Image of article 'Forza Games Ban Confederate Flag, Notorious Iconography'

Forza Games Ban Confederate Flag, Notorious Iconography

It is widely expected that Forza Motorsport 8 will be the next game in the franchise, to launch on the upcoming Xbox Series X. Electronic Arts’ EA Sports recently launched similar measures against racism, particularly in its NHL titles, where racism has been rampant on the customizable team names and player names.

Digital Trends has reached out to Microsoft to clarify the severity of the punishment for players who still try to customize their Forza vehicle with a Confederate flag.

In Turn 10 Studios’ new Forza enforcement guidelines, other symbols categorized as notorious iconography include swastikas, SS-runes, the Wolfsangel, the Black Sun, the Arrow Cross, the Iron Cross (with contextual clues), and the Rising Sun.

Some Forza players customize their vehicles with a decal of the Confederate flag to recreate the General Lee, the 1969 Dodge Charger from the TV series The Dukes of Hazzard.

Microsoft’s Turn 10 Studios released new enforcement guidelines for the Forza Motorsport and Forza Horizon games, which include a ban on the Confederate flag and other so-called “notorious iconography.”

12 free and printable Black Lives Matter posters from Black artists

They're all free to print under a creative commons license, if you have a printer at home, and either take to a protest or local demonstration or pop in your window, or you could share them on social media with credit if you don't — it's courteous to tag the artist and Fine Acts.

The group's latest project invited 12 Black artists and typographers to create a collection of 24 posters — "one for each hour of the day with systemic anti-Black racism," according to the organisation — ready to be used in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

You can also support and amplify the work of Black artists, like a new project from Bulgarian nonprofit group Fine Acts, which brings together activists and creatives for social good campaigns.

With the fight for racial justice renewed following the police killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and many other Black people at the hands of officers, showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement and demanding systemic change can be done in many ways.

"Whether it be for the lives of Black transgendered people being murdered, for Black lives being murdered by police, or for Black people being constantly oppressed by systemic racism, there’s a lot of causes worth fighting for right now," added Memphis-based artist Eso Tolson.

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Image of article 'Young novice protest leaders help drive US wave of dissent'

Young novice protest leaders help drive US wave of dissent

Pierre is part of a grassroots, decentralized wave of young organizers across the U.S. helping drive the outpouring of protest against racism and police brutality in cities and towns around the nation.

Halfway across the country in Detroit, 16-year-old Stefan Perez said his only real public speaking experience was on his school’s debate team before early June, when he was handed a megaphone and asked to help lead a protest at the city's police headquarters.

In the tiny town of Wimberley, Texas, two high school friends spent a day creating and posting fliers on Facebook and Instagram for a Black Lives Matter demonstration that brought 100 people to the town square.

But Perez said realizing she and Belleau could draw many more like-minded people to protest in public within a matter of hours was empowering and satisfying.

Now, she runs a network of people helping deliver groceries and household goods to people living in neighborhoods on the south and west sides of Chicago, where access has become more difficult during the protests and corresponding police presence amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Image of article 'Gamers urged to join #TwitchBlackOut today after racism claims'

Gamers urged to join #TwitchBlackOut today after racism claims

This blackout, which is trending on Twitter with the hashtag #TwitchBlackOut, seems to have completely divided the community with some streamers pledging to go offline and others saying they will stream to spread awareness of the blackout and allegations.

There is also a huge concern about racism, homophobia and transphobia that users claim goes unchecked by Twitch and huge streamers, which the blackout also hopes to shine a spotlight on.

Mr Shear has also published some internal Twitch emails about the issue: "As many of you are aware, over the weekend people from across the gaming industry came forward to share their accounts of sexual misconduct, harassment and assault," reads the email.

Insomniac has since responded to the allegations, stating in a series of tweets: "We were aware of the allegations made in a former employee's tweets today and had taken numerous steps to address them.

The Standard Online has also contacted Insomniac for a comment regarding the allegations of sexual abuse.

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Image of article 'K-Pop's Digital 'Army' Musters To Meet The Moment, Baggage In Tow'

K-Pop's Digital 'Army' Musters To Meet The Moment, Baggage In Tow

K-Pop's Digital 'Army' Musters To Meet The Moment, Baggage In Tow A week before President Trump held his controversial campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla., was when Viviana Dark, a K-pop fan from Wisconsin (who has requested pseudonymity over concerns of online harassment), first heard of plans to "sabotage" the event.

"The main point of why we were fighting was for the Black Lives Matter cause, not to get recognized [as K-pop fans]."

Ironically, for a music industry seen as heralding diversity politics, with millions of POC fans worldwide, K-pop creators still face constant accusations of cultural appropriation and racism, particularly against Black people.

That's why, for Dark, some K-pop fans jumping in online to support the Black Lives Matter movement feels hollow.

Meanwhile, many K-pop artists have spoken out on Black Lives Matter — a rare sight, since unlike many of their fans, most artists refrain from making political statements in public.

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Apple's Coronavirus Keynote Was Slick But Extremely Dystopian

Apple's campus is known as the spaceship; this keynote felt like it was filmed on the Starship Enterprise holodeck.

"Privacy matters now more than ever," Federighi emphasized meaningfully, standing in front of a virtual screen with a Black man holding up an iPhone to cover his face.

The Apple CEO was right to lead with Black Lives Matter, and he made the right noises about systemic racism.

CEO Tim Cook couldn't just not have a keynote, the event that is so integral to Apple's strategy of surprise reveals.

Apple likes to keep such things fuzzy; it just wants you to feel it's on your side in the privacy wars, unlike that nasty Google, which has a business model that thrives on selling data.

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Image of article 'Facial recognition: IT and police in delicate dance'

Facial recognition: IT and police in delicate dance

Tech giants love to portray themselves as forces for good and as the United States was gripped by anti-racism protests a number of them publicly disavowed selling controversial facial recognition technology to police forces.

Privacy and rights groups worry about the implications of the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement.

Microsoft and Amazon announced they would suspend sales of facial recognition software to police forces while IBM said it would exit the business.

But the technology has a dark side, with facial recognition integrated into China's massive public surveillance system and its social credit experiment where even minor infractions of public norms can result in sanctions.

According to advocacy group AlgorithmWatch, at least 10 European police forces already use facial recognition technology and haven't needed to turn to the tech giants.

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Tom Petty's family demands Trump stop using Petty's music for the best reasons

This time, it's from the family of the late Tom Petty demanding that the president back down from using Petty's song "I Won't Back Down."

Tom Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate.

This isn't even the first time Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" has been a matter of legal dispute for a U.S. Republican president.

When he was still alive during the 2000 presidential race, Petty himself demanded George W. Bush stop using the same song for his campaign events with a cease and desist.

The estate's statement to the Trump campaign made it clear that his use of the song went against all of Petty's original intentions for it.

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Perry Mason doesn’t quite justify its lavish reboot

As Sister Alice, the charismatic leader of the Radiant Assembly of God, Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany gives a fantastic performance that shines a light on a complicated moment in history, as the depression between World Wars had far-reaching effects on American culture.

Merely replicating the bigotry of the past does not make a period portrait more compelling Perry Mason is a detective story that’s strangely reluctant to go all-in on being a mystery.

The grotesque crime becomes a media flashpoint, and Perry Mason (Matthew Rhys, every bit as fun to watch as he was on The Americans) — a down-on-his luck, alcoholic World War I vet scraping by as a private investigator — becomes the only person willing to get to the bottom of the death of little Charlie Dodson.

HBO’s new Perry Mason miniseries, however, has little in common with these previous iterations — it’s less a legal drama and more an old-school hard-boiled detective story with a prestige TV sheen.

The long, slow development of Paul Drake (Chris Chalk), a black police officer who finds himself caught between American racism and police corruption, feels rote in the wake of a more satisfying, confrontational show like Watchmen.

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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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US marks 'Juneteenth' end of slavery amid tensions over racist past

Several major US companies including Nike and Twitter recently announced they were making Juneteenth a paid holiday for employees.

Dozens of events Friday throughout New York will mark the holiday, including a march to City Hall demanding "justice, dignity and equality" for black Americans.

Trump faced an outcry over his provocative choice of date and location -- Tulsa suffered one of the country's worst racist massacres, in 1921, when as many as 300 black Americans were killed -- and he changed the rally to Saturday.

US President Donald Trump used incendiary language to level criticism at protesters following Floyd's death, and he added fuel to the fire when he scheduled a huge campaign rally on Juneteenth in Tulsa, his first since the pandemic began.

People watch crew members remove the the 30-foot Confederate monument which is been brought down on late June 18, 2020, in Decatur northeast of Atlanta: AFP marks the end of slavery by celebrating Juneteenth on Friday, with the annual unofficial holiday taking on renewed significance as of Americans confront the nation's living legacy of racial injustice.

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