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Marjorie Taylor Greene is said to have approved the execution of Democrats on Facebook before being elected to Congress.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a first-term Georgian Republican, has repeatedly endorsed the execution of senior Democratic politicians on social media before being elected to Congress, including telling a follower who asked if they could hang former President Barack Obama that “the scene was brewing.” “

A review of Ms Greene’s social media accounts, first reported by CNN, found that she repeatedly liked Facebook posts dealing with the prospect of violence against Democratic lawmakers and federal government employees. Ms Greene liked a Facebook comment in January 2019 that “a bullet in the head would be faster” to fire President Nancy Pelosi, and liked another about the execution of FBI agents.

After a Facebook follower asked Ms. Greene “Now can we hang them,” referring to Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate, Ms. Greene responded. : “The decor is being set. The players fall into place. You have to be patient. It has to be done perfectly, otherwise Liberal judges will let them go.

In one long statement posted on Twitter On Tuesday, before CNN released its report, Ms Greene did not disown the posts, but accused CNN of “coming after” her for political reasons and noted that several people had managed her social media accounts.

“Over the years, teams of people manage my pages,” Ms. Greene wrote. “Many messages have been liked. Many messages were shared. Some did not represent my views. “

Ms Greene has been previously scrutinized for promoting conspiracy theories, including QAnon, the pro-Trump fringe group that falsely claims the existence of a satanic pedophile cult led by top Democrats and for mistakenly suggesting that the Fatal school shooting in Parkland, Florida. , was staged.

She has repeatedly suggested that Ms Pelosi stand on trial for treason for her refusal to support the immigration policies of former President Donald J. Trump, stressing that treason is a crime punishable by death.

In the days leading up to the storming of the Capitol by pro-Trump insurgents on January 6, Greene called the day the Republicans’ “1776 moment”. After the riot, she vowed that Mr. Trump would “stay in office” and that attempts to remove him from the White House were “an attack on all Americans who voted for him,” even though he lost the votes. elections.

Ms Greene’s inflammatory rhetoric drew scolding from some members of her own party. But since she joined Congress, Republican House leaders have refused to condemn her. Before being elected, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Republican No. 3 in the House, disowned her comments as “offensive and bigoted,” and Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Republican No. 2, went so far. ‘to support Mrs Greene. main opponent.

After Ms Greene arrived at Capitol Hill in November, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, claimed Ms Greene had distanced herself from QAnon.

“So the only thing I would ask you in the press – these are new members,” Mr. McCarthy said. “Give them a chance before claiming what you think you’ve done and what they’re going to do.”

A spokesperson for Mr McCarthy told Axios that Ms Greene’s new Facebook posts were “deeply disturbing” and that he planned to “have a conversation” with Ms Greene about them.

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Facebook will temporarily stop displaying ads for gun accessories and military equipment.

Facebook will temporarily stop running ads “promoting weapon accessories and protective gear in the United States at least until January 22,” two days after the day of the inauguration, according to a statement from the society.

According to a Buzzfeed News article, the social media platform served ads for military equipment, like bulletproof vests and gun cases, to users who engaged with content that promoted disinformation about the presidential election and information about the Capitol riot. Ads for weapon accessories were also shown to people following far-right pages or groups on Facebook, according to the article, which cited data from the Tech Transparency Project, a nonprofit watchdog group. .

Facebook’s move comes after affected employees and users of the social network noted an increase in ad placement. Facebook already bans ads for weapons and ammunition, the company said, but it is expanding the ban to related equipment in the coming days.

Much of the planning for last week’s attack on the Capitol was conducted in public on social media, including mainstream sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as lesser-known sites used by the far right like Parler and Gab.

U.S. Senators and other elected officials wrote letters this week urging Facebook to remove ads from its site, permanently or at least until the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.

“Facebook must be held accountable for how the national enemies of the United States have used the company’s products and platform to promote their own illicit goals,” wrote Senators Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, all Democrats, in a letter Friday to Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook, urging a permanent end to the ads.

“Whether through negligence or knowingly, Facebook is putting profit ahead of our nation’s democracy,” the senators said in the letter.

Attorneys General in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois and Washington, DC, have asked the company to halt ads for the sale of weapons accessories and military equipment until the transition is complete presidential election, citing security concerns in another letter to Will Castleberry, a Facebook vice president on Friday.

“We believe that Facebook’s micro-targeted advertising on this type of equipment, including to an audience that has an affinity for extremist content and electoral disinformation, could promote and facilitate further politically motivated attacks,” wrote the attorneys general.

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Fringe Groups Splinter Online after Facebook and Twitter bans

Just hours after the rioters were evacuated from the Capitol on Wednesday, there was already a discussion of what would happen next on Speak and Gab, another social media platform that has become popular with the far right.

Mr. Trump was expected to take his megaphone to the platforms, and tens of thousands of people have joined these sites waiting for him to land there. But on Monday night, Parler was mostly offline. Gab had also become largely unusable, as a flood of new users and downloads seemed to overwhelm the site, making it impossible to find or post new material.

Some groups have moved to smaller sites, like MeWe and CloutHub, as well as fringe message boards.

“There is a mass exodus going on, and we are really seeing people scattering around different sites as they look for a home,” Argentino said. “Different groups have settled in different places.”

On Telegram, where members of the Proud Boys and other militia groups host popular channels, calls were made for people to organize marches on the state capitol buildings on Saturday, January 16. On a Telegram channel, which has more than 20,000 subscribers, the addresses of these buildings have been published, along with the addresses of tech companies, including Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Google.

Members of the Boogaloo movement, another far-right group, also held rallies on Telegram and Signal on Sunday (January 17). On 4chan and other messaging groups, flyers were posted calling for another march in Washington, DC on January 20. In comments under those posts, people expressed support for targeting various news organizations like the New York Times and CNN.

Andrew Torba, Managing Director of Gab, said: “As we communicated to our law enforcement partners, we have adopted an enhanced security posture prior to the inauguration and are ready to respond quickly to any request from the law enforcement agencies. law enforcement. of us during the period.

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Facebook will remove the erroneous “Stop the Steal” information.

Facebook on Monday announced plans to remove content focused on the “Stop the Steal” movement from its platform, as the social network prepares for a potentially contentious presidential inauguration on January 20.

The company said it plans to remove any posts, photos or videos containing the phrase “Stop the Steal,” a term commonly associated with Trump supporters attempting to delegitimize the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, which was won by the president-elect Joseph R. Biden.

“We enabled robust conversations related to the election outcome and that will continue,” said Guy Rosen, vice president of Facebook’s Integrity division, responsible for overseeing and moderating problematic and harmful content. “But with the continued attempts to stage events against the outcome of the US presidential election that may lead to violence, and the use of the term by those involved in Wednesday’s violence in Washington, we are taking that extra step ahead of the inauguration. . “

The move, which comes just days after hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in Washington, goes beyond Facebook’s previous actions. Facebook deleted the official “Stop the Steal” Facebook group in November for inciting violence. The company said it is also proactively monitoring the platform for other types of harmful content.

Facebook also said it will include a new section in the Facebook News tab of its mobile app on inauguration day, providing users with up-to-date and reliable information on the day’s events in the nation’s capital. The company has refused to remove most types of disinformation from its network in the past, with Mark Zuckerberg saying he didn’t want Facebook to become “an arbiter of truth.”

And following last week’s storm in the capital, Facebook also confirmed on Monday that it plans to suspend all contributions to any political action committee at least until the first quarter of 2021, citing the need to review its policies. Other big tech companies, like Microsoft, Google and Airbnb, took similar action on Monday afternoon.

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Facebook lifts the ban on political ads for the second round of elections in Georgia.

Facebook said on Tuesday it would allow certain advertisers to run ads on political issues and candidacies in Georgia, a change from its recent ban on political ads in the United States and just weeks before a run-off election in the state could decide the future Senate.

As of Wednesday morning, Facebook said it would allow authorized advertisers to buy and serve political ads targeting people in Georgia. Only those persons previously authorized to serve such advertisements on the platform will be authorized, a process which involves identity verification and other security measures. Facebook’s ban on political ads will otherwise remain in effect for the remaining 49 states.

Georgia is the home of two consecutive Senate second-round elections. Two Democratic candidates, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, are fighting against two Republican incumbents, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. The results will determine which party controls the Senate when President-elect Joseph R. Biden takes office next year.

“In recent weeks, we have heard comments from experts and announcers from all political backgrounds on the importance of speaking out and using our tools to reach voters ahead of the second round of elections in Georgia,” Sarah Schiff, Facebook product manager in charge of political advertising, said in a corporate blog post on the change. “We agree that our advertising tools are an important way for people to get information about these elections.”

The move follows months of controversy over political advertising on Facebook, which critics say helps spread disinformation. Over the past few years, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said he wants to maintain a largely hands-off stance on speech on the site unless it causes immediate harm to the public or to others. individuals, claiming that he “doesn’t want to be the arbiter of truth.

But ahead of the November 3 presidential election, Facebook took steps to contain disinformation. This included stopping new ad purchases the week before election day and pausing all political advertising in the United States after the polls closed. The company said the ban on political ads was temporary, but did not say when those ads might resume.

Facebook said it plans to slowly scale up the advertising program in Georgia, starting with those leading political campaigns in the state, as well as state and local election officials and national and national political parties. The company added that it would reject political advertising that is targeted outside Georgia or that does not concern the upcoming run-off election.

Google, which put more than five million ads referring to the presidential election to sleep after the polls closed, said last week it was changing that policy and allowing advertisers to resume running election-related ads “as long as they follow our global advertising rules.”

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News Quiz: Facebook, Universal, Chuck Yeager

Did you catch the headlines this week? Take our quiz to find out.

Last week, 98% of those polled knew which Trump administration official said there was no evidence of fraud that could have tipped the US presidential election. Only 44% knew about the recent protests in India.

The quiz is published on Friday. Click here for the quizzes of the other weeks. Related article

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Video: New York attorney general asks courts to take action against Facebook

new video loaded: New York attorney general asks courts to take action against Facebook



New York attorney general asks courts to take action against Facebook

New York Attorney General Letitia James, who led the multi-state Facebook investigation, on Wednesday called on courts to prevent the company from behaving in an “anti-competitive” manner to protect small businesses.

Facebook has spent its time monitoring and profiting from users’ personal information. No business – no business should have so much unchecked power over our personal information and social interactions. And that is why we are taking action today and standing up for the millions of consumers and many small businesses who have been harmed by Facebook’s illegal behavior. We therefore ask the court to put an end to Facebook’s anti-competitive behavior and prevent the company from continuing this behavior in the future, as well as to provide any further relief it deems appropriate. By restoring competition, our legal action will help consumers have alternatives to Facebook and vote with their feet. Today, we send a clear and strong message to Facebook and all other businesses that all efforts to stifle competition and hurt small businesses, reduce innovation and creativity, or cut costly protections – privacy protections – will be satisfied with all the strength of our offices. .

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Video: Facebook executed ‘biggest campaign integrity effort’, says Zuckerberg

TimesVideoFacebook carried out “ the greatest effort at electoral integrity, ” Facebook’s Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey said before members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to defend their companies’ actions to moderate speech during the election.

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Accountability companies caught in Facebook ad ban

What a small business that sells wrapped socks by homeless youth and a start-up that makes bracelets from life vests once worn by refugees have to do with the spread of disinformation during the presidential election season?

Nothing, the entrepreneurs who started them thought, until Facebook informed them that their ads had been taken down because they fell into a category of “social, electoral or political issues” blocked by the site.

The social media giant announced last week that it was extending a ban on certain advertisements during the election to prevent the spread of false information. The ban has trapped a number of social enterprises not directly linked to partisan politics.

Businesses related to issues such as hunger, the environment and immigration, many of which rely heavily on social media to drive customers to their websites, have seen their access abruptly cut off.

“We’re just selling socks and trying to do a good thing,” said Sam Harper, 27, co-founder of Hippy Feet, a Minneapolis-based company that employs homeless youth. “We are not trying to advance a particular agenda on homelessness and unemployment.”

“Facebook is thinking about political campaigns, and we are collateral damage in the process,” Harper said.

Entrepreneurs say they don’t blame Facebook for banning lies and deceptive content. But they argue that it is unfair that their welfare businesses are lumped together with politically motivated advertisers. As the crucial holiday season quickly approaches, some fear the ban, extended on November 11 for another month, could lead to their demise.

In the run-up to the 2016 election, misleading and distorted information disseminated by automated Russian accounts and others on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube was designed to influence voters. Some of the reviews generated articles on social issues, such as civil rights and women’s rights, which were found to be divisive.

This election cycle, amid growing pressure to improve ad monitoring, Facebook and several other platforms blocked new political ads ahead of election day and extended the suspension during the contested vote count afterwards.

“The temporary hiatus for ads on politics and social issues in the United States continues to be in place as part of our ongoing efforts to protect the election,” the company said last week when announcing the extension. “Advertisers can expect this to last another month, although it is possible to resume these ads sooner.”

Sarah Schiff, Facebook product manager, said the company had made “tough decisions” to temporarily suspend advertising not only on politics and elections, but also on many social issues, “to protect the integrity of elections”.

“We know it can be disappointing, but we encourage businesses to run ads on other topics and reach people during this time with their organic posts and tools like fundraisers on Facebook and Instagram. Ms. Schiff said in a statement.

The company said business owners who believed their ads had been incorrectly flagged could request a review, either through an automated process or through a personal review.

“The app is not perfect but we are improving over time,” the statement said.

Advertising policy so far has cast a wide net.

“Because you have to implement this on a huge scale, you can’t make exceptions on a regular basis,” said Jessica Alter, co-founder of Tech for Campaigns, a nonprofit that advises Democratic campaigns on their strategy. advertising on social networks. “Organizations and businesses that try to do good are unfairly disadvantaged.”

“If you have a total ban, that’s the unintended consequence,” added Ms Alter, who said she didn’t blame Facebook. “Is advertising meditation political? Yoga?”

The Facebook ad is a lifeline for Epimonia, a Minneapolis-based company that makes and sells bracelets and other items made from the discarded life jackets worn by refugees fleeing on fragile boats to Europe.

The company spends several thousand dollars a year advertising on Facebook, which targets users who have a favorable view of refugees based on the interests listed on their profiles. When an Epimonia ad appears, those who click on it are taken to the company’s website.

“I have been advertising on Facebook for years. It’s very frustrating for me now to be categorized with groups using fake ads for political reasons, ”said Mohamed Malim, 24, a Somali American who started the business three years ago with 2,000. $ remaining on his university scholarship.

Epimonia’s ads were put on hold at the end of October, when Facebook first announced a week-long freeze on certain ads. They have not recovered since, said Mr Malim, who has repeatedly appealed the decision to no avail.

“Not being able to run ads before the holidays could bankrupt us,” said Malim, who employs a handful of refugees to make bracelets, hats and t-shirts.

Three of Epimonia’s banned ads say buying a bracelet would help refugees build new lives in the United States. The ads also indicate that a portion of the proceeds will go to charitable causes.

“The ads were approved but were suspended due to a blackout period,” Facebook told the company. “All broadcast, electoral and political advertising in the United States has been temporarily halted.”

Facebook did not specify what was wrong with the ads, but Mr Malim said he assumed that “since we are talking about refugees in our brand communications, Facebook considers us a political advertiser.”

Given the uncertainty, he decided to postpone the launch of a new clothing line scheduled for next week. “It will be difficult for us to sell and donate to nonprofits if we continue to have this problem,” Mr. Malim said.

Even before the election, Facebook was requiring companies with a social agenda to include a disclaimer in their ads. But businesses and advertising agencies, which place ads for some of them, have reported that Facebook has become more aggressive in disabling ads in recent weeks.

One of the companies targeted was Bridgewater Candle Company, which donates the money from each scented candle it sells to orphans in Haiti, India, and other countries through a Christian organization for purpose. non-profit. Its slogan is “Light a candle, feed a child”.

On November 4, the company was informed by Facebook that an advertisement promoting its mission had been suspended. “The simplest line, ‘With every potted candle, we provide three meals,’ triggered its withdrawal,” said Kelly Barter, marketing manager for Spartanburg, SC. “Facebook sees our restitution mission as a social issue.”

It was the first time since the candle company started advertising on the platform three years ago that an approved ad has been withdrawn. It took a week of back and forth communication with Facebook to resuscitate him.

“This is problematic for an e-commerce business trying to drive sales and educate the public to shut down,” Ms. Barter said. “Fortunately, we were able to cross the roadblock.”

Blueland, which sells refillable and reusable cleaning products, does not ask its customers to donate to environmental causes. But the e-commerce site markets its soap, detergent and dishwater tablets as “a gift to you and the planet” because the products help eliminate polluting plastic containers.

It is on this basis that Facebook recently banned an ad from Blueland that explained how its reusable hand soap prevents single-use plastic bottles from washing in the oceans and going to landfills. Facebook then reviewed the ad at Blueland’s request and allowed it to run without any changes.

“This is something we were able to fix, but it wasn’t the best time when we were about to enter the holiday season,” said Gina Pak, director of marketing for the company.

Ms Pak said she agreed with Facebook’s efforts to address the “big, big issues” during the election, but suggested it was “disruptive” to see the ads removed.

Hippy Feet, which sells wacky and colorful socks with music-oriented names like Sunset Lovers, Fleetwoods and Joplins, is committed to helping homeless teens and young adults by employing them part-time to fill and wrap the orders, screen printing and embroidery.

On the eve of the election, Facebook repeatedly informed Hippy Feet that its ads violated advertising policy, according to a communication provided by the company.

“Their algorithms see words like homelessness and decide we’re political,” said Mr. Harper, who founded Hippy Feet four years ago with a friend.

The company is more reliant on Facebook ads than ever to help increase its online sales as the coronavirus pandemic has kept it from selling as it normally would in holiday markets and bazaars. The company traditionally generates around 40% of its sales during the holidays, when it also employs the most homeless youth in its establishment.

“We’re a little nervous and unsure of where things are going,” said Harper. “It makes us question the safety and sustainability of what we do, if we are affected by something like an election.”

After discussions between Hippy Feet and Facebook, some of the ads were resurrected on the platform at the end of last week; others remain disabled.

“We cannot be mad at the intention of the policy. It’s supposed to make Facebook and the world a safer place, ”Harper said. “We just found ourselves on the wrong side of the stick.”

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Video: Watch Live: Tech CEOs Testify Before Senate

TimesVideoWatch Live: Tech CEO testifies before Senate Executives, who have now testified several times in recent years, will likely face new questions about how they handled the election.