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Republican humiliates himself at Senate hearing as his attempt to nail Instagram for liberal bias falls apart

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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) on Tuesday fell flat on his face when he tried to get technology experts to admit that major social media platforms were biased against conservatives.

While talking with assorted experts on artificial intelligence and algorithms, Johnson said that he had his staff members go to Politico’s Instagram account and record what other recommendations the app gave to them after following it.

According to Johnson, the vast majority of recommendations that came back were for news websites like the Washington Post or progressive outlets like Huffington Post, and none were for right-wing websites such as Breitbart.

Dr. Stephen Wolfram, the founder and chief executive officer of Wolfram Research, scoffed at Johnson’s claim of bias and said it was more likely that Instagram delivered liberal recommendations to Politico followers because those followers were more likely to follow neutral or progressive political news websites in the first place.

“The thing that will happen is, if there’s no other information, it will tend to be just where the most content that people on the platform in general have clicked,” he said. “It may be a statement, in that case — I’m really speculating — that the users of that platform tend to like those things.”

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Johnson also complained that many conservative news groups were having their articles removed from social media feeds — but Ms. Rashida Richardson, the director of policy research at the AI Now Institute, said that research shows most of those removals came because those articles contained demonstrably false information.

“That’s more of a content moderation issue,” she said.

“OK, anyway,” Johnson replied.

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Trump defenders argued his latest tweets weren’t really racist — but he just completely undercut their arguments

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Donald Trump in coal helmet thumbs up

If you try to defend President Donald Trump, you will always end up having the rug pulled out from underneath you. It's a law of nature.

And yet, so many of the president's allies have failed to learn this simple lesson. So when Trump launched a new attack at progressive Democratic lawmakers that was one of his most obviously racist smears, inevitably, some of his defenders tried to deny the obvious truth.

His screed attacked a group of women who have come to define the left wing of the Democratic caucus, which includes Reps. Ilhan Omar (MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Rashida Talib (MI), and Ayanna Pressley (MA). Though only Omar is an immigrant (she was a refugee from Somalia as a child), Trump seemed to assume all four women of color weren't born in the United States, and most egregiously, he suggested they should "go back" to other countries:

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UK prime minister hopefuls slam Trump tweets — but refuse to call them racist

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The two candidates vying to become Britain's next prime minister both condemned on Monday US President Donald Trump's xenophobic tweets about progressive Democrat congresswomen as "totally offensive" and "totally unacceptable".

But front-runner Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt refused to call the tweets racist when pressed to do so during their last debate before next week's announcement of who will succeed Prime Minister Theresa May.

May's spokesman had earlier said that the outgoing leader's view was that Trump's comments were "completely unacceptable".

On Monday Trump doubled down on a series of his tweets from the day before urging the four congresswomen of colour to "go back" to the countries they came from.

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New Zealand prime minister condemns Trump’s racist tweets

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday joined international condemnation of US President Donald Trump's xenophobic tweets about progressive Democrat congresswomen.

Ardern, the charismatic young leader who has been hailed as "the anti-Trump" by US media, said she proudly celebrated her country's diversity.

"Usually I don't get into other people's politics, but it will be clear to most people that I completely and utterly disagree with him," Ardern told Radio New Zealand.

Trump on Sunday urged a group of four Democratic congresswomen of colour -- three of them US-born -- to "go back" to the countries they came from, then renewed his attack on them a day later.

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