SmartNews

'Do you want to start a fight with Steve Bannon?' Facebook accused of exempting Breitbart from ban on false reports

Facebook reportedly exempted the right-wing site Breitbart and other "select publishers" from rules against spreading false news reports, according to a new whistleblower who filed a complaint against the social-media company with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

The whistleblower, a former member of Facebook's Integrity team, told the Washington Post that Joel Kaplan, a former Bush administration official who led the company's Public Policy team, once defended the decision to "white list" Breitbart.

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Republicans rush to mock Alec Baldwin in wake of tragic film set accident

Less than 24 hours after a tragic New Mexico film set accident involving Alec Baldwin claimed the life of a cinematographer and injured the movie's director, Republicans were already making light of the incident and cracking jokes about Baldwin, a longtime right-wing boogeyman.

The A-lister was reportedly rehearsing for a scene in the western, "Rust," when he fired a prop gun that was loaded with a "live single round." The shot killed the film's 42-year-old director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, and injured director Joel Souza, 48, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 44 said in an email to its members.

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Trump is 'hungry' for a rematch whenever Biden's approval dips — and it would take 'a prison sentence' to stop him: DC insider

On Friday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," David Gergen, a Beltway insider who worked under four presidents, said that former President Donald Trump has been emboldened in his determination to run for president again every time bad news or bad polling has hit President Joe Biden.

Recent reporting indicates that Trump had to be talked out of prematurely announcing his 2024 run by his aides this summer — and, said Gergan, the impulse has not gone away.

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'History will not judge us kindly': Facebook internal messages show employees fuming on Jan. 6 over company's role in Capitol riot

Facebook employees fumed with anger and regret on an internal messaging system on Jan. 6, as they blamed the company for contributing to the Capitol insurrection.

"This is not a new problem," one employee wrote on Facebook's Workplace messaging system, according to a new report from the Washington Post. "We have been watching this behavior from politicians like Trump, and the — at best — wishy washy actions of company leadership, for years now. We have been reading the [farewell] posts from trusted, experienced and loved colleagues who write that they simply cannot conscience working for a company that does not do more to mitigate the negative effects on its platform."

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Judge says he wants Capitol rioters' sentences to 'hurt': report

On Friday, NBC4's Scott MacFarlane, the lead reporter covering the prosecution of the rioters in the January 6 Capitol insurrection, reported that a judge has said he wants the sentences for the Capitol defendants to "hurt."

"Today it was sentencing for Lori and Thomas Vinson of Kentucky," said MacFarlane in a Twitter update. "Both pleaded guilty to the lowest level of misdemeanors from January 6th. Unlawful picketing and parading. Both asked for leniency, both expressed remorse, and they got some leniency from the judge. Five years probation, but it's what the judge said. And it was the other thing he did that was so striking."

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Trump aims to use this Russian tactic to be 'installed without winning' in 2024: Yale historian

Former president Donald Trump and his GOP supporters are hoping to rely on a tactic that's common in Russia to return him to the White House in 2024, according to one prominent expert on authoritarianism.

"As someone who follows contemporary Russia, there is a Russian phrase that comes to mind, which is the 'administrative resource,'" author and Yale University history professor Timothy Snyder told MSNBC on Friday. "What the administrative resource means in Russian is that sure, you have an election, but the people who are running the election are going to determine how the election turns out. What the Republicans are going for is precisely that thing, the administrative resource."

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MyPillow CEO slammed by Alabama Republican for claiming voting machines corrupted their election

On Friday, Al.com reported that John Merrill, the Republican Secretary of State of Alabama, is slapping down continued allegations from MyPillow CEO and election conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell that voting machines fraudulently switched votes in the state.

"The thing we have maintained is that we didn't have any issues, any irregularities, any inconsistences, any probing, any concerns that was introduced at any level to us," said Merrill, according to William Thornton.

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Leaked Facebook research shows how the company 'literally helped facilitate a cult': report

Leaked Facebook research obtained by NBC News reveals how the company's algorithms would flood ordinary conservatives' pages with extremist content and make it easier for them to get indoctrinated by QAnon.

According to NBC, researchers at the company created a dummy Facebook profile of a conservative mother who liked both Fox News and conservative broadcaster Sinclair.

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The Matt Gaetz investigation is 'growing' — and he 'really has to worry': former federal prosecutor

The Department of Justice's decision to add two high-level prosecutors to its investigation of Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz is a sign that the case is "growing," and that he should "worried," according to one former federal prosecutor.

The Washington-based prosecutors recently joined a team of authorities in Florida who've been looking into whether Gaetz violated federal law by providing goods or payments to a 17-year-old girl in exchange for sex, the New York Times reported Thursday.

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'The man whispering in Trump's ear': CNN's Borger explains why Jeffrey Clark's Capitol riot testimony is crucial

On Friday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," political analyst Gloria Borger weighed in on former Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark testifying to the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack.

"Clark is set to be, as I pointed out, the first Trump administration official to comply with a subpoena, with a subpoena for an interview with the select committee," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "Could this change, potentially, the trajectory of this investigation?"

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Fight breaks out in Florida school after video shows white students spewing racial slurs and wearing KKK-style sheet

Parents at a Florida high school this week were outraged after a video started circulating on social media platform Snap Chat showing two white students spewing racial slurs while one of them wore a KKK-style white sheet.

News4Jax reports that video of the two white students had been filmed over the summer, but was uploaded this week and sent over Snap Chat to several of the Black students who attend the Yulee High School in Nassau County.

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‘Visual pollution’: MAGA lover faces daily fines for illegal ‘Trump Won’ sign in Florida

A Florida man says he has no plans to take down a large "Trump Won" banner despite facing daily fines of $50 beginning Monday after it was found to be in violation of local signage regulations.

"Fifty dollars a day ain't a damn thing to me. ... I'm not going to take it down," Marvin Peavy told the Northwest Florida Daily News. "I've already had people call me and tell me they'd pay the $50 fines."

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'Death to the Jew': Pennsylvania school board members bombarded with anti-Semitic threats over mask rules

On Friday, LevittownNow.com reported that the Pennsbury School Board will be contacting the FBI about violent threats made against members.

"In a district news release sent out soon after officials had canceled a Thursday afternoon news conference during which [school board president Christine] Toy-Dragoni and fellow board members Debra Wachspress and T.R. Kannan were going to talk about the threats, Toy-Dragoni said she has received threats over her school district e-mail, private messages through social media and on her personal cell phone," reported Chris English. "The messages threaten: 'every woman in my family with rape, every man in my family with significant injury, publication of my personal information on the internet, loss of my privacy, my murder,' Toy-Dragoni said."

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