The limitations of Facebook’s anti-discrimination policy and others like it
Facebook recently removed ‘Ethnic Affinities’ targeting on its ad platform, but contributor Andy Taylor notes that this update only addresses the most immediate and obvious ways discrimination based on ethnicity can be perpetrated.
Under pressure from activists and lawmakers, Facebook moved recently to prohibit using its “Ethnic Affinities” targeting in conjunction with any advertising for housing, employment or credit opportunities. This update is aimed at curbing discrimination against minority groups which have historically been subjected to prejudice in these areas.
The move has been heralded by most as a significant step toward combating prejudice in advertising for the social media giant, and it publicly makes clear Facebook’s position on the matter. However, like many efforts in the past to prevent discrimination, this update only addresses the most immediate and obvious ways discrimination based on ethnicity can be perpetrated.
To understand why, it’s important to know how online ad targeting works, and how advertisers can subtly discriminate in ways that are sometimes even unintentional.
Trump election: US Jewish activist vows solidarity with Muslims
The Jewish head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an anti-bigotry group, has vowed to register as a Muslim if Donald Trump creates a database of Muslim Americans.
The idea of a Muslim database arose in November 2015, when Mr Trump told a reporter he would “certainly implement that. Absolutely”.
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the ADL, said: “If one day Muslim Americans will be forced to register their identities, then that is the day that this proud Jew will register as a Muslim”.
His comments came at the group’s Never Is Now conference on anti-Semitism, held in New York.
“We must stand with our fellow Americans who may be singled out for how they look, where they’re from, who they love or how they pray,” Mr Greenblatt said.
The ADL chief, who previously served in the White House as special assistant to President Barack Obama, told BBC News: “The bottom line here is – we in the Jewish community know what it is when you apply a litmus test based on faith – when you identify people and tag them based on faith…
“When you take one group and make all of them suspect. I feel we have more obligations to speak out.”
Mr Trump’s position on the proposed Muslim register is presently unclear.
In a statement on Thursday, a spokesman for the Trump transition team appeared to row back from his comments last year, saying Mr Trump had “never advocated for any registry or system that tracks individuals based on their religion, and to imply otherwise is completely false”.
Gloria Allred won’t rule out defamation suit: Trump accusers now facing ‘world’s most powerful man’
Attorney Gloria Allred is still representing a number of women who have accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct during his campaign run, and she announced on Friday that her clients can sue the President-elect for defamation, according to the Guardian.
At a press conference on Friday, Allred said, “Now Mr. Trump has been elected President of the United States. He now has the opportunity to begin his term with a clean slate. I challenge him to seize this opportunity now, to retract his statement that these accusers are liars and that their allegations are fabrications and fiction.”
Summer Zervos, a former Apprentice contestant who accused Trump of sexually harassing her appeared alongside Allred. “He now has the largest bully pulpit in the world, and he has not yet taken back his threat to sue me and the others who came forward,” Zervos said, visibly upset by the matter.
“I want to make it clear that even though it is hard and painful to speak up against the world’s most powerful man, I will continue to speak the truth and I refuse to be intimidated into silence,” she said.
Donald Trump Lawsuits: President-Elect Faces 75 Lawsuits For Discrimination, Racketeering, Defamation
Over the course of his campaign, president-elect Donald Trump has laid out an extensive plan of legislative actions for his first 100 days in office, but he may be a bit preoccupied with something unrelated to the nation’s highest office: dozens of lawsuits. The soon-to-be-president faces the unprecedented task of defending himself in 75 cases while preparing to transition and settle into the job of commander-in-chief, a months-long USA Today investigation found.
Three cases stem from the false claims, racketeering and fraud used by the so-called “Trump University,” a for-profit, online business education program that is not accredited, nor does it offer degrees, grades or college credit to its students. Gonzalo Curiel, the judge presiding over the class action suit Low, et al. vs. Trump University LLC, et al., the most prominent of the three cases, denied the defendant’s motion for a case dismissal after Trump accused him of bias on account of his ethnic heritage. Curiel, who was born in Indiana, will preside over the full trial on Nov. 28.
While the Trump University cases are the most high-profile and serious suits Trump faces, other cases include a discrimination lawsuit filed by a woman alleging she was fired from Trump Kids Club at Trump’s Jupiter, Florida, golf club two weeks after alerting her managers of an instance of sexual harassment; another discrimination case involving an employee at Trump’s New Jersey golf club who said he was harassed because of his sexuality; a class-action lawsuit accusing the president-elect’s campaign of sending text messages to the cell phones of plaintiffs who didn’t provide phone numbers and a $4 million defamation suit by a Republican consultant against Trump and his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
Blake Wins Defamation Lawsuit, Faces Separate Suit From L.A. Church
Bishop Charles E. Blake, presiding bishop of the Church of God in Christ, emerged victorious in his defamation lawsuit against the Rev. Earl Carter, who mounted a yearlong campaign attacking Blake’s character, sexuality and handling of church funds.
In an order signed last week by Judge Roy B. Dalton of the Middle District Court in Orlando, Florida, judgment was ruled in favor of Blake, who filed an injunction to remove all of Carter’s defamatory videos, tweets, posts and oral commentary from all published mediums, including Youtube.
“We anticipate that the federal court in Orlando will shortly be issuing a final and formal permanent injunction that will require the take-down of all of Earl Carter’s defamatory Internet videos, and will perpetually prevent Mr. Carter from repeating any of the outrageously false, utterly baseless and despicable claims he has made about Bishop Blake,” said Uleses Henderson, general counsel of the Church of God in Christ.
Also, Carter had filed a counterclaim alleging that he was financially harmed by Blake’s denunciation of Carter’s speech at the COGIC Holy Convocation in 2014. Carter’s counterclaim was permanently dismissed with the court finding that Carter, “violated the Show Cause Order by failing to present evidence of his financial condition through a sworn Long-Form Affidavit of Indigency.”
$3 Million Awarded in Rolling Stone UV Rape Defamation Case
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – A federal jury has awarded $3 million to a University of Virginia administrator who they concluded was defamed by a now-discredited Rolling Stone magazine article about a gang rape at a fraternity house.
Nicole Eramo claimed the 2014 article “A Rape on Campus” portrayed her as a villain who sought only to protect the university. Eramo had sued for $7.5 million.
The jury concluded Friday that the magazine, its publisher and journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely were responsible for libel, with actual malice.
Eramo testified Monday that she was distraught by the article in the days after its publication and “just wanted to disappear.” Rolling Stone’s attorneys sought to show jurors that her reputation was not badly damaged by the piece.
This story has been corrected in the headline to show that Nicole Eramo is now an administrator, not a dean.
Trump’s closing argument faces allegations of anti-Semitism
In a year filled with cringe-worthy moments, among the most memorable came just a few weeks ago, when Donald Trump traveled to West Palm Beach to share the latest in a series of conspiracy theories.
“The Clinton machine is at the center of this power structure,” the Republican insisted, reading a prepared text from a teleprompter. “We’ve seen this first hand in the WikiLeaks documents, in which Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special interest friends, and her donors.”
It was the kind of speech that seemed designed for the joke, “It sounded better in the original German.”
With this in mind, consider Slate’s report on the Trump campaign’s new closing-argument ad, which was unveiled over the weekend.
Donald Trump has released what seems like the closing-argument ad of his campaign, and several people are pointing out that the whole thing has rather troubling anti-Semitic overtones by at the very least implying that it’s prominent Jews who control the “levers of power.”
The two-minute–long ad uses audio from a speech Trump gave last month in West Palm Beach that was harshly criticized by the Anti-Defamation League for “rhetoric and tropes that historically have been used against Jews and still spur antisemitism.” The speech is interspersed with photos of powerful people. Besides Hillary and Bill Clinton and President Obama, the other three readily identifiable people in the video are all Jews: financier George Soros, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.
Rolling Stone Defamation Conviction Reveals Danger of Dogma When Addressing Campus Sexual Assault
Former University of Virginia associate dean Nicole P. Eramo won her defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone magazine, and the implications are significant. Successful defamation suits are rare in the U.S., in large part to protect the freedom of speech and press. I think, however, the jury verdict was correct in this case. Indeed, the verdict highlights the problem of what happens when an enormously complicated problem is shoeboxed into a simple storyline informed more by dogma than evidence.
In short, Rolling Stone published a story using the point of view of a woman who claimed she was gang raped at a UVA fraternity. The story began to fall apart rather rapidly as other journalists began investigating many of the victim’s claims, many of which appeared extreme on their face. The staff journalist failed to conduct her due diligence in verifying the truth of the victim’s claims, and criticized UVA administrators for failing to respond.
Eramo was featured prominently in the article and, in the narrative, became the face of university intransigence, denial, and insensitivity. Eramo sued, and the jury found that the journalist and magazine, in the words of the New York Times (Nov 4, 2016), “acted with actual malice, a legal standard that means that the publication either knew the information published was false, or acted with reckless disregard for whether it was true or not.” I believe in this case the magazine acted in reckless disregard for the truth in order to fit an internal narrative supported by the magazine’s organizational culture.
Rolling Stone eventually retracted the article, but only after other journalists made it almost impossible for the editors to support the story (and its narrative) based on the facts. The idea that a gang rape could occur in a fraternity without consequence had become so embedded in the journalistic world view of the magazine that researching the veracity of the claims by the victim was given low priority, even to the point where inconsistencies and holes in the story didn’t have to be investigated.
Erdely continues testifying in defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone
Sabrina Erdely is back on the stand, talking about her retracted article, which is at the center of a defamation lawsuit filed by a former University of Virginia dean.
Friday is day five in the trial against Rolling Stone for the article “A Rape on Campus,” in which a woman known only as Jackie claimed she was gang raped by a several men at a fraternity party.
The jury listened to a recording of a conversation between Erdely and Jackie that was recorded in September of 2014, two months before the article was published.
Erdely’s attorney is using the tape in an effort to show that Jackie was convincing in her story of a sexual assault and to help explain how Erdely believed her.
In the recording, Jackie sounds upbeat and energetic, but she describes her depression and struggle after the alleged assault, including saying she gained weight, stopped going out and getting into an emotionally abusive relationship.
Jackie is also heard telling Erdely about a tattoo she got to memorialize the assault and her ability to overcome it.
“Did it ever occur to you that a human being would get a tattoo on their body to commemorate something that never happened,” asked Erdely’s attorney.
“Never,” Erdely replied.
The attorney repeatedly stopped the tape to point out the great detail that Jackie used when describing people and events.
She is also heard talking about two other women that were allegedly raped at the same fraternity, going so far as to describe one of these women in great detail even though Erdely’s attorney says the woman may not exist.
Stevie J Sues Joseline Hernandez For Defamation
Stevie J and Joseline Hernandez’ relationship has hit yet another rocky patch as the New York MC is taking his ex to court and suing her for defamation, TMZ reports.
The Love & Hip Hop Atlanta star is saying that Hernandez made false statements about him to the public and in a report to Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Service claiming he sexually abused his daughter he shares with Mimi Faust. In the allegations, he says she called him a gay man and a devil-worshipper. She also tweeted about the reported molestation. Faust sided with her baby daddy and denied Hernandez’ claims. Stevie obtained a temporary restraining order against Hernandez in the midst of it all.
Stevie and Hernandez were supposedly married in August of 2013, but Stevie revealed on the VH1 program that the couple never officially said “I Do.” And court documents show that Hernandez actually married another man in 1997.
Then there was the baby drama after she revealed this summer that she was pregnant and claimed Stevie was the father, which he has denied.