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Facebook says it suspended Bernie Sanders groups because of a ‘glitch’

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A bug in Facebook’s anti-spam algorithm has been accidentally suspending groups on the social network, sparking anger from the groups’ founders and conspiracy theories from some of their followers.

On Monday night, six pro-Bernie Sanders groups were temporarily suspended by Facebook. A day later, five Facebook groups supporting Filipino presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte, with a total membership of more than 3 million people, were also taken down for a short period.

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In both cases, supporters and administrators of the groups initially blamed the outages on political opponents. On social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, false reports for spam or abusive behaviour can sometimes be enough to trigger automatic bans, if submitted in large enough quantities. One filipino supporter of Duterte suggested that “It takes over 1,000 reports under 30 minutes for a Facebook page takedown to be triggered,” and called on his opponents to “act like decent people!”

Similar reactions were evident amongst Sanders supporters, who blamed astroturfing by pro-Clinton political action committees.

But Facebook told technology site Recode that the outages were actually due to a glitch in its systems. “A number of groups were inaccessible for a brief period after one of our automated policies was applied incorrectly. We corrected the problem within hours and are working to improve our tools.”

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2016

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After Trump: No free pass for Republicans — they own this nightmare

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With the impeachment inquiry leveling up this month as public hearings begin, and with an election that might actually be the end of Donald Trump now less than a year away, the campaign to let Trump's Republican allies — even the most villainous offenders — move on and pretend this never happened is already underway.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Sadly, the clearest articulation of the let-bygones-be-bygones mentality has come from a Democrat — unsurprisingly, former Vice President Joe Biden.Biden, who is still, somehow, the frontrunner in Democratic primary polling, spoke at a chi-chi fundraiser on Wednesday, and dropped this pearl of wisdom: "With Donald Trump out of the way, you’re going to see a number of my Republican colleagues have an epiphany."

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Elections 2016

As climate crisis-fueled fires rage, fears grow of an ‘uninhabitable’ California

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As activist Bill McKibben put it, "We've simply got to slow down the climate crisis."

With wildfires raging across California on Wednesday—and with portions of the state living under an unprecedented "Extreme Red Flag Warning" issued by the National Weather Service due to the severe conditions—some climate experts are openly wondering if this kind of harrowing "new normal" brought on by the climate crisis could make vast regions of the country entirely uninhabitable.

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Elections 2016

‘A profound emoluments clause violation’: Andrew Napolitano slams Trump’s hosting the G7 at Doral

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In the wake of acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney's announcement this Thursday that next year's G7 summit will be hosted at President Trump's Doral golf club, Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano pointed out that Trump would be violating the emoluments clause if he were to go through with the move.

At the outset of the segment, Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto said that the announcement is "effectively saying the president has given himself this contract."

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