Mashable: Truth Social already censoring content, bans user who made fun of Trump Media CEO

Mashable: Truth Social already censoring content, bans user who made fun of Trump Media CEO. “Web developer Matt Ortega signed up for the Truth Social service and soon discovered an email from Truth Social telling him that his account had been banned. Ortega confirmed the authenticity of the email and ban in a private message to Mashable. Furthermore, Ortega had never posted a single thing to Truth Social as his account was one of the many still on the waitlist to join. Ortega was banned simply because of the username he used to sign up for the platform: @DevinNunesCow.”

COVID-19: What parties are alleged to have taken place in Whitehall and Downing Street during lockdown (Sky News)

Sky News: COVID-19: What parties are alleged to have taken place in Whitehall and Downing Street during lockdown . “An investigation has been launched into a number of the alleged events that took place in Whitehall and Downing Street while COVID-19 rules were in force. It was originally supposed to be led by Cabinet Secretary Simon Case. But he has since been forced to recuse himself from heading the investigation after it was revealed a Christmas event was held in his own private office in December 2020. The inquiry is now being led by senior civil servant Sue Gray, a former government ethics chief.”

ITV: Email proves Downing Street staff held drinks party at height of lockdown

ITV: Email proves Downing Street staff held drinks party at height of lockdown. “Downing Street staff were invited to a drinks party in the Number 10 garden during the height of nationwide lockdown to “make the most of the lovely weather”. An email shared exclusively with ITV News provides the first evidence of a party on May 20, 2020, when the rest of the country was banned from meeting more than one other person outdoors.”

Business Insider: Members of Congress publicly blast Facebook but quietly invest their savings in the social-media giant

Business Insider: Members of Congress publicly blast Facebook but quietly invest their savings in the social-media giant. “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Facebook shameful and irresponsible. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon suggested prison time for the tech giant’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. Rep. Ro Khanna of California said Facebook should be broken up. But despite their tough talk toward the social-media behemoth, all three of those Democratic lawmakers or their spouses stood to gain financially from Facebook. They were among at least 32 lawmakers in the House and Senate — including both Democrats and Republicans — whose families held investments in the tech company during 2020, according to an Insider investigation of lawmakers’ most recent financial disclosures.”

‘Absolute disgust’: readers react to footage of No 10 aides laughing about lockdown rules (The Guardian)

The Guardian: ‘Absolute disgust’: readers react to footage of No 10 aides laughing about lockdown rules. “The government is facing a furious backlash after a video emerged showing senior No 10 aides joking about lockdown rules and a Christmas party held at Downing Street. After Boris Johnson and various aides repeatedly denied that a party took place at all and that Covid rules were broken, Johnson said on Wednesday that he ‘apologises unreservedly for the offence that [the video] has caused’ as well as ‘for the impression that it gives’, while still insisting that, as far as he was aware, no party took place. He said there would be investigation into the matter by the cabinet secretary.”

CNN: San Francisco mayor scolds ‘fun police’ after being criticized for flouting city’s indoor mask mandate

CNN: San Francisco mayor scolds ‘fun police’ after being criticized for flouting city’s indoor mask mandate. “San Francisco Mayor London Breed is defending herself after flouting the city’s indoor mask mandate, criticizing ‘fun police’ for raising questions about her recent appearance at a live concert where she was seen dancing and posing for photos without a mask on.”

CNBC: Facebook shields millions of VIP users from standard moderation protocols, per report

CNBC: Facebook shields millions of VIP users from standard moderation protocols, per report. “Every day Facebook users can have their content taken down immediately if the company’s artificial intelligence technologies or contracted content moderators find their posts to be in violation of the company’s rules. Users in the XCheck program, however, may have their content stay live on Facebook’s services before being routed into a separate moderation system. That process is also staffed by better-trained content moderators who are full-time employees, and XCheck users , according to the report.”

CNN: Fox News mandates employees disclose vaccination status, contradicting rhetoric from top stars

CNN: Fox News mandates employees disclose vaccination status, contradicting rhetoric from top stars. “The right-wing channel Fox News, whose top personalities have for months assailed the concept of vaccine passports and argued that asking about vaccine status amounts to a major intrusion of privacy, told employees this week that they must disclose their vaccination status to the company.”

Fresno Bee: The GOP usually loves US military vets, but not the Fresno State College Republicans

Fresno Bee: The GOP usually loves US military vets, but not the Fresno State College Republicans. “The mean tweet criticizing a U.S. military veteran was cutting in its sarcasm: ‘You’re such a hero that you’ll break down when I light fireworks next door.’ The reference was to how many vets who served in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and have difficulties when hearing loud sounds that remind them of explosions.”

Techdirt: Clearview Forbids Users From Scraping Its Database Of Images It Scraped From Thousands Of Websites

Techdirt: Clearview Forbids Users From Scraping Its Database Of Images It Scraped From Thousands Of Websites . “Clearview called out Google’s apparent hypocrisy on the subject of site scraping when Google sent a cease-and-desist demanding it stop harvesting images and data from Google’s online possessions. But Clearview is apparently unable to recognize its own hypocrisy. While it’s cool with site scraping when it can benefit from it, it frowns upon others perpetrating this ‘harm’ on its own databases.”

CNN: Newsmax portrays Facebook as an enemy of conservatives. Behind the scenes, it’s spending millions on Facebook ads

CNN: Newsmax portrays Facebook as an enemy of conservatives. Behind the scenes, it’s spending millions on Facebook ads. “In the last 90 days, Newsmax has purchased approximately $1.5 million in ads from Facebook, according to records available publicly on the social media company’s website. And since 2018, the right-wing network has spent a total of $3.7 million with Facebook. The staggering amount in advertising spent over the last 90 days has gone toward more than 2,300 Facebook advertisements — many of which promote the very hosts who describe the platform in diabolical terms.”

Preachers and their $5,000 sneakers: Why one man started an Instagram account showing churches’ wealth (Washington Post)

Washington Post: Preachers and their $5,000 sneakers: Why one man started an Instagram account showing churches’ wealth. “On his feed, [Ben] Kirby has showcased Seattle pastor Judah Smith’s $3,600 Gucci jacket, Dallas pastor T.D. Jakes’s $1,250 Louboutin fanny pack and Miami pastor Guillermo Maldonado’s $2,541 Ricci crocodile belt. And he considers Paula White, former president Donald Trump’s most trusted pastoral adviser who is often photographed in designer items, a PreachersNSneakers ‘content goldmine,’ posting a photo of her wearing $785 Stella McCartney sneakers.”

Business Insider: 13 prominent Democrats stand accused of hypocrisy for ignoring COVID-19 restrictions they’re urging their constituents to obey

Business Insider: 13 prominent Democrats stand accused of hypocrisy for ignoring COVID-19 restrictions they’re urging their constituents to obey. “Few Democratic politicians have attended anything comparable to the now-infamous late September nomination ceremony for Justice Amy Coney Barrett at the White House that became a coronavirus superspreader. But many have contradicted their own guidance or even official rules they issued aimed at preventing the transmission of COVID-19.”