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Facebook pulled ‘thriving’ white supremacist accounts after being called out in new report

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Facebook took down dozens of white supremacist pages after being contacted by the Huffington Post.

“A new study reported that white supremacist groups are “thriving” on Facebook, despite repeated assurances from the company that it doesn’t allow extremists on its platform,” Huffington Post reported. “The watchdog group Tech Transparency Project released a study Thursday that found more than 100 white supremacist groups had a presence on Facebook.”

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The report is titled “White Supremacist Groups Are Thriving on Facebook” (PDF).

“Dozens of white supremacist groups are operating freely on Facebook, allowing them to spread their message and recruit new members, according to a Tech Transparency Project (TTP) investigation, which found the activity is continuing despite years of promises by the social network that it bans hate organizations,” the report explained. “TTP recently documented how online extremists, including many with white supremacist views, are using Facebook to plan for a militant uprising dubbed the ‘boogaloo,’ as they stoke fears that coronavirus lockdowns are a sign of rising government repression. But TTP’s latest investigation reveals Facebook’s broader problems with white supremacist groups, which are using the social network’s unmatched reach to build their movement.”

The report explained that TTP “conducted searches on Facebook for the names of 221 white supremacist organizations that have been designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), two leading anti-hate organizations.”

“Of the 221 designated white supremacist organizations, more than half—51%, or 113 groups—had a presence on Facebook,” the report noted. “Those organizations are associated with a total of 153 Facebook Pages and four Facebook Groups. Roughly one third of the organizations (34) had two or more Pages or Groups on Facebook. Some had Pages that have been active on the platform for a decade.”

Some of those pages have since been removed from the social networking platform.

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“After HuffPost emailed a Facebook spokesperson about TTP’s report this week, project researchers noticed the company had removed pages for 55 white supremacist groups identified in its report,” the site noted. “Still, many white supremacist organizations identified in TTP’s report remain on Facebook. One user-created page for Arktos Media — the fascist European publishing house with close ties to American white supremacist Richard Spencer — is still active. More than 42,000 people have liked the page. A page for the hate group Fight White Genocide, which has more than 1,000 likes, is still active. A trio of years-old pages or groups called Right Wing Death Squad are also still online.”


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On the minds of Black Lives Matter protesters: A racist health system

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ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, when he decided to protest, William Smith, 27, used a red marker to write a message on the back of a flattened cardboard box: “Kill Racism, Not Me.”

As he stood alone, somber, he thought about George Floyd, a fellow black man whom he’d watched die on video as a Minneapolis cop kneeled on his neck eight days earlier. “Seeing the life leave his body was finally the last straw that broke the camel’s back for me,” he said.

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A historian details Trump’s surprising and peculiar relationship with America’s Puritan legacy

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Whatever one feels about it, the ‘Trump phenomenon’ is often described as the US version of a populist trend that has impacted on many areas of contemporary global politics.  However, despite the global political similarities, Donald Trump’s success is also rooted in a peculiarly American experience, since a very large and influential part of his support base lies among Christians of the so-called ‘evangelical right’.

The presidential inauguration, in 2017, featured six religious leaders, more than any other inauguration in history.  Since then many evangelical leaders have (controversially) claimed that God has placed Trump in the White House, despite his character flaws, because he is the man who will get God’s work done at this – in their  view – critical point in US and world history. As a result, the influence of evangelical Christians on American politics has never been more pronounced. From the appointment of Supreme Court judges to US relations with Israel, from support for ‘The Wall’ to abortion legislation, the power of this extraordinary lobby is seen in the changing politics and policies of the nation. A veritable culture war appears to be occurring over the future direction of the USA; a battle for the ‘soul of America’.

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White House decided to violate social distancing guidelines for journalists because it ‘looks better’: reporters

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President Donald Trump held a press briefing in the White House Rose Garden on Friday — and according to an official statement from the White House Correspondents Association, the event was inconsistent with the administration’s own social distancing guidelines.

WHCA President Jonathan Karl explained: “Today, the White House press office positioned seating for the president’s Rose Garden’ ‘news conference’ in a way that violated the federal government’s guidelines on social distancing and needlessly put reporters’ health at risk.”

WHCA statement on today’s press conference—at which Trump took no questions—where seats were initially placed far apart but were moved closer together before the event started. The press office told WHCA that decision was made because "it looks better.” pic.twitter.com/KEXbHxfLh5

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