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Mozilla CEO: ‘We need more than deplatforming’

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Chief Executive Officer of Mozilla Mitchell Baker said in a statement that the internet needs “more than deplatforming” and that change “requires more than just the temporary silencing or permanent removal of bad actors from social media platforms.”

Baker, who began as CEO in April, issued a post on the company’s blog calling for different solutions to be taken that “don’t start after untold damage has been done.”

“There is no question that social media played a role in the siege and take-over of the US Capitol on January 6,” the CEO wrote. “The rampant use of the internet to foment violence and hate, and reinforce white supremacy is about more than any one personality. Donald Trump is certainly not the first politician to exploit the architecture of the internet in this way, and he won’t be the last.”

Baker called for actions to be taken beyond “temporary silencing or permanent removal of bad actors from social media platforms.” Instead, she proposed four ideas.

First, it should be revealed who is paying for advertisements and who is being targeted by the ad.

Next, she proposes that unsaid entities should “commit to meaningful transparency of platform algorithms so we know how and what content is being amplified, to whom, and the associated impact.”

Tools should be utilized that prioritize facts over disinformation, as well.

Lastly, a focus should be put on “Work[ing] with independent researchers to facilitate in-depth studies of the platforms’ impact on people and our societies, and what we can do to improve things.”

The solution is not to change the internet or get rid of it but rather “to build a better one that can withstand and gird against these types of challenges,” the statement says.

These proposals should be committed to by “platforms” so that mistakes like allowing the President of the United States to practice his/her first amendment right is never made again.

You can follow Ben Wilson on Twitter @BenDavisWilson 

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Economy

Biden spends $1.65 trillion taxpayer dollars while vacationing in St. Croix

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Joe Biden

While vacationing in the island of St. Croix for the holidays, President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law the massive $1.65 omnibus spending package.

The whopping 4,155 pages was supported by only nine House Republicans and 13 Senate Republicans. Majority of criticism from the GOP includes concerns that the bill was rushed and crammed with wasteful spending by a lame-duck Democratic-dominated Congress. The recourse will punish American families by adding to the national debt and exacerbate inflation.

“Today, I signed the bipartisan omnibus bill, ending a year of historic progress. It’ll invest in medical research, safety, veteran health care, disaster recovery, VAWA funding — and gets crucial assistance to Ukraine,” Biden tweeted. “Looking forward to more in 2023.”

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell “praised the bill on the grounds that it represents a real decrease in discretionary spending. He presented it as a positive that nondefense spending jumped by only 5.5 percent, from $730 billion to $772.5 billion, amid an inflation rate of 7.1 percent” writes National Review.

“The bipartisan government-funding bill that Senators Shelby and Leahy have finished negotiating does exactly the opposite of what the Biden administration first proposed,” he said. “This bill provides a substantial real-dollar increase to the defense baseline . . . and a substantial real-dollar cut to the non-defense, non-veterans baseline,” McConnell insisted as negotiations were wrapping up.

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, however, stated his strong disapproval of the bill before it even advanced. Affirming a letter from 13 House Republicans, McCarthy demanded the bill is reckless, irresponsible, and a “purposeful refusal to secure and defend our borders.”

For example, it failed to incorporate protections for Title 42, the pandemic policy that allows illegal immigrants to be expelled on a public-health basis, which currently hangs in the balance at the Supreme Court.

National Review adds, “The funding in the bill, which averted a federal government shutdown before the new year, includes an allocation of $45 billion in defense assistance to Ukraine. Some Republican priorities, such as Electoral Count Act reform and a bigger military budget, were nested in with Democratic appropriations, such as increased funding for Medicaid and food stamps.”

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