Zuckerberg still thinks freedom of speech is the freedom to lie.
Facebook employees are pushing back at CEO Mark Zuckerberg's decision to let politicians (and probably Russia) post ads on the social media platform stating whatever they hell they want about whomever they want to smear. So far, 250 employees have signed an open letter that's visible on Facebook's internal message board. That's a small fraction of the company's more than 35,000 employees but it's a notable chip in the wall.
You can read the full text here, but this is a key passage:
Free speech and paid speech are not the same thing.
Misinformation affects us all. Our current policies on fact checking people in political office, or those running for office, are a threat to what FB stands for. We strongly object to this policy as it stands. It doesn't protect voices, but instead allows politicians to weaponize our platform by targeting people who believe that content posted by political figures is trustworthy.
The letter details the obvious flaws in Zuckerberg's position. The Facebook CEO has tried to present himself as the Frederick Douglass of co-opted Martin Luther Kings of comedy and free speech. Like Dr. Frankenstein, Zuckerberg assumes everyone will thank him later for the monster he's created. He remains oblivious to how Facebook spreads disinformation from the powerful while suppressing minor voices (hi!) with arbitrarily enforced rules.
Sucks to have to do law'n'shit!
US District Judge Carl Nichols is having a Maalox morning. First, Judge Trevor McFadden, a fellow Trump appointee on the DC District, noped out of the president's nonsense "First Amendment" lawsuit to stop the House Ways and Means Committee from getting his New York State tax returns. Reasoning that the case was insufficiently related to the Committee's suit against the IRS to merit a spot on his docket, Judge McFadden dropped that hot potato back into the random assignment pool, where it was promptly dumped on Judge Nichols's desk. Thanks, pal!
So Judge Nichols scheduled an emergency hearing for Monday and asked the parties to prettyplease work this shit out among themselves and spare him having to decide whether Trump can stop the state of New York from complying with its own law and handing his tax returns over to Congress.
Didn't happen on 5th Avenue, but we're pretty sure she didn't lose a single follower.
We don't know why Elizabeth Warren decided to murder John Delaney last night. It certainly wasn't on her must-do list for the CNN debate, unless she just really wanted America to know she was ready and willing on day one to make things that annoy us go away, like for instance dumb men with dumb egos who won't get the fuck out of our faces. There were 8,895,682 people on that stage, and she could have picked any of them. Beto? Boring. Marianne Williamson? Nothing to get your chakras in a bunch about. Buttigieg? She could just PINCH HIS CHEEKS. Also he might be a good cabinet nominee down the road. Klobuchar? Oh, was she in attendance last night? Tim Ryan or Jim Monkeydongler or Steve Buttocks of Montana? Eh, that just didn't seem FUN, and Elizabeth Warren had a plan for last night, and that plan involved FUN.
And she didn't seem to feel it was necessary to bring it to Bernie Sanders last night. No, better to riff off him and save that for later. Maybe she's pretty sure the universe is going to work that one out on its own.
So John Delaney it was. A man who started last night with 29,000 Twitter followers, most of whom are probably his mom. It was he upon whom Warren decided to use a line that was obviously worthy of somebody far above his paygrade, but that's OK, she has a whole room full of zingers at her house. Plus, have you seen his dumb face? It is dumb. And quite frankly, she probably was getting very tired of the no-name moderate men in the race who seem hellbent on mucking it up with chants of "What do we want? A marginal improvement! When do we want it? Whenever we get around to it!"
Maybe Warren found a shiny quarter behind Jake Tapper's ear, and Tapper, unreasonably giddy over the magic trick Warren had just performed, agreed to try to help tee her up for MURRRRRDERRRRRRRR.
Last exit before hell!
OH HEYYYYYYYY EVERYONE, are you happy to be here? Trick question, you can't leave now!
Anyway, tonight, in like 10 minutes, is night one of the Democratic debates on CNN, and because CNN is a common "CNN," you have to watch it at their website if you don't want to watch it on TV. (No linky for the stinky, you know where "CNN" is.)
So what will happen tonight? Will one of the Tim Ryans eat one of the other Tim Ryans? Will Marianne Williamson pull a total Marianne Williamson and chakra the living fuck out of the entire auditorium? Will Elizabeth Warren and Bernie FIGHT? Will Beto go on a road trip by himself to the dentist? STAY TUNED!
Shall we liveblog? We shall.