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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#15761 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2020-June-26, 13:36

From Suzanne Vranica at WSJ:

Quote

Consumer-goods giant Unilever PLC said it would halt U.S. advertising on Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. for at least the remainder of the year, citing hate speech and divisive content on the platforms, a significant escalation in Madison Avenue’s efforts to force changes by the tech companies.

Unilever, whose many household brands include Dove soap, Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Lipton tea, joins a growing list of companies that are boycotting Facebook for varying lengths of time, including Verizon Communications Inc., Patagonia Inc., VF Corp., North Face, Eddie Bauer and Recreational Equipment Inc.

“Based on the current polarization and the election that we are having in the U.S., there needs to be much more enforcement in the area of hate speech,” said Luis Di Como, Unilever’s executive vice president of global media, in an interview.

“Continuing to advertise on these platforms at this time would not add value to people and society,” the company said. Its Facebook ban also will cover Instagram.

The Facebook advertising boycott came after civil-rights groups including the Anti-Defamation League and NAACP called on brands to pull ad spending from Facebook for July. The groups said the social-media giant hadn’t made enough progress enforcing its policies on hate speech and misinformation.

Twitter wasn’t a target of the civil-rights group’s boycott call, but it has also come under scrutiny on Madison Avenue.

In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, Facebook said it invests billions of dollars every year to keep its platform safe and has banned 250 white-supremacist organizations from Facebook and Instagram. It said artificial intelligence helps it find nearly 90% of hate speech before anyone flagged it. “We know we have more work to do,” the company said, adding that it would continue to work with Global Alliance for Responsible Media—an ad-industry group created to improve the digital ecosystem, and of which Unilever is a founding member—as well as other experts “to develop even more tools, technology and policies to continue this fight.”

“We have developed policies and platform capabilities designed to protect and serve the public conversation, and as always, are committed to amplifying voices from underrepresented communities and marginalized groups,” said Sarah Personette, Twitter’s vice president of Global Client Solutions, in a statement. “We are respectful of our partners’ decisions and will continue to work and communicate closely with them during this time.”

Facebook has taken some steps in recent years to better police its platforms, adding workers and developing new technology. That has resulted in the removal of hate speech and other objectionable content.

“We acknowledge the efforts of our partners, but there is much more to be done, especially in the areas of divisiveness and hate speech during this polarized election period in the U.S.,” Unilever said. “The complexities of the current cultural landscape have placed a renewed responsibility on brands to learn, respond and act to drive a trusted and safe digital ecosystem.”

Mr. Di Como said Unilever would like to see a reduction in the level of hate speech on the platforms and wants independent companies to measure and confirm that progress has been made.

Unilever, which is one of the biggest ad spenders in the world, said it would shift its U.S. ad dollars that have been earmarked for Facebook and Twitter to other media. Unilever spent $42.3 million on Facebook ads in the U.S. last year, research company Pathmatics Inc. estimates. Unilever declined to comment on its ad spending.

The big tech platforms have been under increasing pressure—from politicians, outside groups, and their own users—to crack down harder on misinformation and hate speech. Facebook, in particular, has become a target because of its position that political speech, including comments by President Donald Trump, generally shouldn’t be fact-checked and removed.

Tensions have been heightened since the widespread U.S. protests spurred by the killing of George Floyd, and the resulting national dialogue about race and police brutality. But many concerns about the platforms have been festering for years. The Anti-Defamation League, for example, has long pushed Facebook to view Holocaust denial as a form of hate speech.

Corporate advertisers, whose ad spending is the financial foundation for tech giants, have applied pressure as well—sometimes quietly, behind the scenes, sometimes in public. The latest boycott represents a substantial escalation, especially with the addition of bigger players like Unilever and Verizon. Verizon said it was pausing its advertising until Facebook can create a solution that makes the company comfortable.

Motives for joining such boycotts can be all over the map. Some companies see a chance to get positive attention for taking a stand on a social matter. Others are worried about their brand’s association with controversial content —and, if history is a guide, they may return to advertising when the dust settles. Some see an opportunity to strike a blow at the powerful digital platforms.

And for others, ad boycotts are a moral fight that is worth having even if it hurts their business.

Facebook's Top Ten

Home Depot
Walmart Stores
Microsoft
AT&T
Disney
Starbucks
Procter &Gamble
Wells Fargo
New York Times
Cricket Communications

For many companies, pulling ads off Facebook is a difficult proposition, because it is such an efficient marketing vehicle and has so much data on consumers to help target ads. Unilever said it isn’t removing Facebook and Twitter ads in non-U.S. markets because the divisive content is currently more pronounced in the U.S.

Unilever has been a leader in demanding that tech giants clean up the digital ad ecosystem. It has pushed them to police advertising fraud and has been outspoken about the lack of transparency in Facebook’s and Google’s metrics that show whether advertising is working.

Unilever also has taken stances on social issues: This week, it said it would discontinue the name “Fair & Lovely” for its international skin-lightening cream, acknowledging it reinforces the racist notion that light skin is better. The product will still be sold. The company has also been working to eliminate stereotypical portrayals of women in its advertising.

Procter & Gamble Co., another consumer products giant that is highly influential on Madison Avenue, said it is reviewing all platforms on which it advertises for objectionable content. Facebook is included in that review, according to a person familiar with the matter. The company’s marketing chief, Marc Pritchard, on Wednesday vowed that the company wouldn’t advertise “on or near content that we determine is hateful, denigrating or discriminatory.”

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#15762 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-June-26, 14:55

Quote

I, Too
by Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"
Then.

Besides,
They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#15763 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-June-26, 15:19

Quote

President Donald Trump was harshly criticized on Friday after a bombshell New York Times report on Russia offering bounties for the killing of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

"American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops — amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there," the newspaper reported," the newspaper reported.





To be clear, here is what this administration is presently doing:


Although Russia is offering bounties for killing American soldiers, AG Bill Barr is trying to dismiss the charges against Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI about the discussions he had with the Russian ambassador promising more favorable sanction treatment to Russia after Russia had attacked our democratic election process and hacked into our election machinery.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#15764 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2020-June-26, 17:08

The Times article: Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says

Quote

The officials familiar with the intelligence did not explain the White House delay in deciding how to respond to the intelligence about Russia.

While some of his closest advisers, like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have counseled more hawkish policies toward Russia, Mr. Trump has adopted an accommodating stance toward Moscow.

No surprise there. He never wants to bite the hand that feeds him.

But somebody -- even in the Donald J. Trump administration -- should object to the US president covering up the killing of US soldiers by Trump's Russian base.
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#15765 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-June-26, 17:56

I've often stated I think libertarian thinking is for the most part adolescent thinking. I cannot imagine a better example of my argument than the current iteration of the Republican party:

Quote

WASHINGTON — A bitter dispute erupted in a congressional hearing room on Friday, with Republicans refusing to wear face coverings and Democrats insisting that they do so.




"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#15766 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-June-26, 19:47

View PostPassedOut, on 2020-June-26, 17:08, said:

The Times article: Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says


No surprise there. He never wants to bite the hand that feeds him.

But somebody -- even in the Donald J. Trump administration -- should object to the US president covering up the killing of US soldiers by Trump's Russian base.


There is more and it's worse:




Quote


President Donald Trump has refused to authorize any response after being briefed that Russia was offering bounties for the killing of U.S. troops, according to a bombshell new report in The New York Times.

"American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan


"The intelligence finding was briefed to President Trump, and the White House's National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March, the officials said.
my emphasis



Quote

June 1: Donald Trump has offered to invite Vladimir Putin to an expanded G7 meeting in September, but the invitation has already been adamantly opposed by the UK and Canada.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#15767 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-June-27, 00:17

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-June-26, 19:47, said:


There is more and it's worse:


Of course, there is even more:

Trump confirms plan to cut troops in Germany

Quote

US President Donald Trump has confirmed plans to withdraw 9,500 American troops from bases in Germany.


It is just a coincidence that that is exactly something that Putin would want. Just masterful negotiations by the Dotard in Chief.

Of course we don't have anything to fear from our puppet master Russia. The Grifter in Chief needs those troops in the US to crack down on its own citizens :rolleyes:
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#15768 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-June-27, 08:31

View Postjohnu, on 2020-June-27, 00:17, said:

Of course, there is even more:

Trump confirms plan to cut troops in Germany


It is just a coincidence that that is exactly something that Putin would want. Just masterful negotiations by the Dotard in Chief.

Of course we don't have anything to fear from our puppet master Russia. The Grifter in Chief needs those troops in the US to crack down on its own citizens :rolleyes:


He needs those 9000 soldiers to dominate the streets of Washington D.C. so he can have his propaganda pictures taken without having to hide out in his bunker.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#15769 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-June-27, 11:27

https://www.youtube....h?v=xwBjF_VVFvE
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#15770 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-June-27, 12:01

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-June-26, 19:47, said:

There is more and it's worse:

There is worse still. At the end of March Russia was desperate to find its way out of an oil dispute with Saudi Arabia that had sent its economy into serious deficit. On 30th March, dodgy Donald picked up the phone and called Putin, not to discuss bounties but rather to offer help in brokering a deal and where the two men agreed to "work closely" together. On 13th April then publicly thanked Vladimir Putin and on 26th April the two men issued the joint "Spirit of the Elbe" statement. Into May, the US sent $5.6 million worth of ventilators to Russia despite shortages at home on the 22nd and announced his intention to invite Putin to the G7 summit on the 30th. It is also worth remembering that this period coincided with reports being released where the intelligence agencies confirmed Russian interference in the 2016 election, so it is not like there were secondary considerations for rewarding Putin.

Finally, in case there is any doubt as to what was on dodgy D's mind at this time, he was tweeting about "Mutiny on the Bounty" on 14th April and the US announced a bounty on Venezuelan President Maduro on 2nd April. Apparently the reaction was to think that bounties were a good idea and to reward Putin for giving it to him. I doubt somehow that the friends and families of the US and UK soldiers that were killed by the Taliban will see it the same way.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#15771 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-June-27, 12:39

The worst part is that Trump, as representative of the United States, has not responded at all:



Quote

WASHINGTON — American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops — amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there, according to officials briefed on the matter.

The United States concluded months ago that the Russian unit, which has been linked to assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe intended to destabilize the West or take revenge on turncoats, had covertly offered rewards for successful attacks last year.

Islamist militants, or armed criminal elements closely associated with them, are believed to have collected some bounty money, the officials said. Twenty Americans were killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2019, but it was not clear which killings were under suspicion.

The intelligence finding was briefed to President Donald Trump, and the White House’s National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March, the officials said. Officials developed a menu of potential options — starting with making a diplomatic complaint to Moscow and a demand that it stop, along with an escalating series of sanctions and other possible responses, but the White House has yet to authorize any step, the officials said.

my emphasis



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#15772 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-June-27, 14:46

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-June-27, 12:39, said:

The worst part is that Trump, as representative of the United States, has not responded at all:



my emphasis

Sorry to disagree but the Manchurian President has responded. He has repeatedly rewarded Putin and Russia for their actions. If I lived in Alaska I would be worried that the Manchurian President would give part or all of the state back to Russia. If I was in the military, I would be terrified that the Manchurian President would put a Russian General in charge of the Pentagon. With reelection hopes slipping away, the Manchurian President has limited time to perform for his Russian Puppet Masters before he is voted out of office.
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#15773 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-June-27, 16:39

The White House has now responded: "Nobody told us!"

Quote



By Dave Boyer - The Washington Times - Saturday, June 27, 2020

The White House said Saturday that President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were not briefed on U.S. intelligence that Russia offered bounties to militants in Afghanistan to kill coalition forces, including U.S. troops.

“While the White House does not routinely comment on alleged intelligence or internal deliberations, the CIA Director, National Security Advisor, and the Chief of Staff can all confirm that neither the President nor the Vice President were briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence,” said White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany in a statement.





This is about as believable as a child holding a cookie with a broken cookie jar on the floor saying, Not me!

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#15774 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-June-27, 17:01

TRE45ON

trēzən
noun
the crime of betraying one's country


"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#15775 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-June-27, 18:33

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-June-27, 16:39, said:

The White House has now responded: "Nobody told us!"


Quote

By Dave Boyer - The Washington Times - Saturday, June 27, 2020

The White House said Saturday that President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were not briefed on U.S. intelligence that Russia offered bounties to militants in Afghanistan to kill coalition forces, including U.S. troops.

“While the White House does not routinely comment on alleged intelligence or internal deliberations, the CIA Director, National Security Advisor, and the Chief of Staff can all confirm that neither the President nor the Vice President were briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence,” said White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany in a statement.


This is about as believable as a child holding a cookie with a broken cookie jar on the floor saying, Not me!


Of course, now that they have been instructed to do so, nobody who wants to continue working for the Administration is going to say anything different as long as they aren't under oath and subject to perjury prosecutions. You can be sure that nobody who actually knows what happened is going to testify before a House committee before the November election.

Nobody will confirm that when a briefing was attempted the Manchurian President put a finger into each ear and ran out of the room while screaming "Nyet, Nyet, Nyet..."
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#15776 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2020-June-27, 23:20

Joe Biden said:

Not only has he failed to sanction or impose any kind of consequences on Russia for this egregious violation of international law, Donald Trump has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin. His entire presidency has been a gift to Putin, but this is beyond the pale. It’s a betrayal of the most sacred duty we bear as a nation, to protect and equip our troops when we send them into harm’s way.

Well said.
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#15777 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-June-28, 05:36

It's not just the guy in the White House - it's the entire GOP disinformation industry, including Twitter and Facebook echo chambers. Example? Covid-19 news:

Quote


C. Associations between Media Exposure and Information/Misinformation While Taking Ideology and Party into Account

1C. Mainstream Broadcast and Print Media Exposure Correlates with More Information and Less Misinformation Even after Taking Ideology and Party into Account

2C. Conservative Media Exposure Correlates with Higher Levels of Misinformation• Use of conservative media (sources such as Fox News and Rush Limbaugh) correlated with beliefs in the malign underlying motives of some at the CDC and the Chinese origin of the virus. Furthermore, exposure to conservative media correlated with unwarranted confidence in vitamin C consumption as a means of preventing infection by SARS-CoV-2

3C. Social Media Exposure Correlates with Lower Levels of Information and Higher Levels of Misinformation• Exposure to outlets such as the web aggregators Google News and Yahoo News correlated with lower belief in the efficacy of regular hand washing and avoiding contact with symptomatic individuals

Exposure to sources such as Facebook, Twitter or YouTube was positively correlated with belief in the efficacy of vitamin C, the belief that the CDC was exaggerating the threat to harm President Trump, and the belief that the virus was created by the US government

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#15778 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-June-28, 16:11

View Postshyams, on 2020-February-02, 14:03, said:

I think the current odds suggest that Trump is less likely to be beaten (as per betting odds, he has a 53% chance of winning).

Secondly, if Michael Bloomberg becomes a big player, he is more likely to steal Dem votes than Rep votes. i.e. the stronger he gets in the polls, the higher is the chance that Trump is re-elected.


FYI, today --- for the first time in almost three years --- the betting odds of Trump being reelected as President crossed 2:1 (i.e. less than 1 in 3 33.3% chance of winning).
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#15779 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2020-June-28, 18:36

Marty Baron Made The Post Great Again. Now, the News Is Changing.

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The ultimate old-school editor is grappling with a moment of cultural reckoning.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#15780 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2020-June-29, 01:12

View Postshyams, on 2020-June-28, 16:11, said:

View Postshyams, on 2020-February-02, 14:03, said:

I think the current odds suggest that Trump is less likely to be beaten (as per betting odds, he has a 53% chance of winning).

Secondly, if Michael Bloomberg becomes a big player, he is more likely to steal Dem votes than Rep votes. i.e. the stronger he gets in the polls, the higher is the chance that Trump is re-elected.

FYI, today --- for the first time in almost three years --- the betting odds of Trump being reelected as President crossed 2:1 (i.e. less than 1 in 3 33.3% chance of winning).

While that is good news for those who were betting against Trump in February, it shows how much can change in four and a halve months. There are still about four and a halve months left until the day that really counts.

Rik
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