Weekly Reader: Vol 3 Issue 40

It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s another edition of your Weekly Reader! As always, sharing is caring, so if there’s anything you’d like to post, drop by the comments and leave us a link!

Dispute Over Claim That Proud Boys Leader Urged Attack at Capitol (from the New York Times): “For months, however, according to three people familiar with the matter, the government has known Mr. Samsel’s account of the exchange: He has told investigators that Mr. Biggs encouraged him to push at the barricades and that when he hesitated, the Proud Boys leader flashed a gun, questioned his manhood and repeated his demand to move upfront and challenge the police.”

Senate Judiciary Committee issues sweeping report detailing how Trump and a top DOJ lawyer attempted to overturn 2020 election (from CNN): “Trump directly asked the Justice Department nine times to undermine the election result, and his chief of staff Mark Meadows broke administration policy by pressuring a Justice Department lawyer to investigate claims of election fraud, according to the report, which is based on witness interviews of top former Justice Department officials.”

Leaked Facebook Docs Depict Kids as ‘Untapped’ Wealth (from Gizmodo): “Internal documents obtained by the Journal now reveal that Facebook formed a special team to study children and ponder ways in which they could be monetized. One such document is said to refer to children between the ages of 10 and 12 (“tweens”) as a “valuable but untapped audience.” Another suggests “leveraging playdates” as means to drive Facebook’s “growth.””

“Another document cited by the paper, dated March 2021, notes that Facebook is struggling with “global teen penetration” and warns that “acquisition” of teen users “appears to be slowing down.” Internally, Facebook expects its teenaged audience to plummet by an additional 45% by 2023, according to the Journal.”

Survival of the Richest (from Medium): “It’s a reduction of human evolution to a video game that someone wins by finding the escape hatch and then letting a few of his BFFs come along for the ride. Will it be Musk, Bezos, Thiel…Zuckerberg? These billionaires are the presumptive winners of the digital economy — the same survival-of-the-fittest business landscape that’s fueling most of this speculation to begin with.”

‘Pandora Papers’ bring renewed calls for tax haven scrutiny (from AP): “Calls grew Monday for an end to the financial secrecy that has allowed many of the world’s richest and most powerful people to hide their wealth from tax collectors.”

Facebook runs the coward’s playbook to smear the whistleblower (from The Verge): “Like Wigand, Haugen has receipts: internal documents and data from Facebook’s own researchers, all of which make for serious and supported claims about the platform’s harms and choices the company made to maximize profit and engagement in ways that would increase those harms. It is possible to contend with her allegations on the merits, but Facebook is too immoral for that — and Zuckerberg has decided he is above it, instead going on vacation.”

A pro-slavery petition is the latest racist incident at this Kansas City high school. Parents say they’ve had enough (from PBS): “Park Hill South is only the latest school over the past week to make headlines for its handling of racial incidents. Just days after the petition circulated, school officials at Olathe South School, 30 minutes away from Kansas City, Missouri, are investigating a homecoming proposal poster that read “If I was Black I would be picking cotton but I’m white so I’m picking you for HOCO?” A photo of the offensive poster made its rounds on social media before school administrators caught wind of it.”

Here are 4 key points from the Facebook whistleblower’s testimony on Capitol Hill (from NPR): “Revelations brought to light from whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former data scientist at Facebook, has led to what may be the most threatening scandal in the company’s history.”

“The pressure was turned up on Tuesday, when Haugen testified before a Senate subcommittee. She provided a clear and detailed glimpse inside the notoriously secretive tech giant. She said Facebook harms children, sows division and undermines democracy in pursuit of breakneck growth and “astronomical profits.””

That’s all for this edition. But I’ll be back again in another week, with more articles vying for your attention. So until then, have a great rest of your week, stay safe, and I’ll see you soon! ❤

About Silverwynde

I'm a Transformers fan, Pokémon player, Brewers fan and all-out general nerd. I rescue abandoned Golett, collect as many Bumblebee decoys and figures as I can find and I've attended every BotCon--official and non--since 1999. I'm also happily married to a fellow Transfan named Prime and we were both owned by a very intelligent half-Siamese cat, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on June 16, 2018. We still miss him. But we're now the acting staff of a Maine Coon kitty named Lulu, who pretty much rules the house. Not that we're complaining about that.
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