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Exclusive: Google Says Truth Social Must Clean Up Act Before Gracing Android App Store – TalkOfNews.com

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Google Says Truth Social Must Clean Up Act Before Gracing Android App Store

#Google #Truth #Social #Clean #Act #Gracing #Android #App #Store

Truth Social, the Twitter-esque social media platform launched by former President Donald Trump, is being barred from the Google Play store over content moderation concerns.

Google Play is the default place to find apps on Android phones. Exclusion from the Google Play store doesn’t mean people are prohibited from downloading and installing an app on Android devices, but it does make doing so more difficult. And Truth Social does not currently offer a version of the app that can be downloaded and installed from its website or elsewhere. So, anyone who wants to use Truth Social on an Android phone has to do so via web browser rather than through a dedicated app.

“On Aug. 19, we notified Truth Social of several violations of standard policies in their current app submission and reiterated that having effective systems for moderating user-generated content is a condition of our terms of service for any app to go live on Google Play,” a Google spokesperson told Axios, which reports that Google is concerned with Truth Social not effectively moderating threats of violence.

The situation echoes concerns over the right-leaning social media platform Parler, which was banned from app stores (though only temporarily from Apple’s) for alleged indifference to posts from January 6 rioters. Many conservatives accused the tech companies of liberal bias and potentially illegal conduct.

There are two important things to keep in mind when it comes to the Truth Social and Google Play situation.

Number one is that the situation looks likely to resolve itself soon enough. Google said it has raised its concerns with Truth Social, and the two companies are working to resolve the issue. Trump Media & Technology Group said in a statement: “It is our belief that all Americans should have access to Truth Social no matter what devices they use. We look forward to Google approving Truth Social at their earliest convenience.”

Also important to keep in mind: The impossible situation app stores find themselves in.

Google and Apple have both been harassed by regulators and politicians over app store policies, with some suggesting that tightly controlling the app store could be an antitrust violation or grounds for losing Section 230 protections.

Meanwhile, these companies are also hammered for not doing enough to stop dangerous, misleading, or violent content, including content on apps that appear in app stores. Sometimes, the government even tries to ban certain apps from being available through app stores. And increasingly, intermediaries—like tech companies and payment processors—face lawsuits for not stopping potentially harmful content.

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In effect, tightly controlling its app store may get Google in legal and political trouble. But not tightly controlling its app store may also get Google in legal and political trouble.

This sort of catch-22 has become all too common for tech companies, which face demands to both stop more speech and allow all speech.


FREE MINDS

“Is ‘Woke’ just PC with faster internet?” asks Phoebe Maltz Bovy. The impetus for this question: her discovery of an early ’90s book titled The Official Politically Correct Dictionary and Handbook. In a post on Freddie DeBoer’s blog, Maltz Bovy looks at what’s different between today’s version of “political correctness” and that from 30 years back, and what’s the same. “But the point of the book feels about as 2022 as it could. There are the defenses of free speech, which, yes, but more powerful, and more relevant, is the critique of PC’s fixation on language over substance, and indeed in obscuring the absence of substantive change.”


FREE MARKETS

A city in Vermont has repealed two ordinances against prostitution. The Montpelier ordinances state that “no female person shall be a prostitute” and “no person shall keep a house of prostitution.”

City Manager Bill Fraser said the ordinances hadn’t been used in a long time. And prostitution will still be criminalized in Montpelier under Vermont state law.

But despite minimal practical impact, the repeal could be a sign of winds shifting.

“Montpelier has become the second city in Vermont to repeal its antiquated prostitution ordinance in the past year,” notes the group Decriminalize Sex Work. “Last summer, the Burlington City Council voted to repeal that city’s prostitution ordinance and voters subsequently chose to strike discriminatory and archaic language on sex work from the city charter.”

More on the debate over Montpelier’s ordinances here and here.


FOLLOWUP

DOJ responds to Trump. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has responded to former President Donald Trump’s request to appoint a special master to oversee the handling of documents gotten from Mar-a-Lago. You can read the full filing here; CNN offers highlights here.


QUICK HITS

• Read Reason‘s Matt Welch on the death of Mikhail Gorbachev.

• Young people are interested in the news—but not very happy with it.

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• France is using drones to spy on and tax unauthorized swimming pools.

• “California lawmakers are on the verge of passing a bill that would significantly scale back solitary confinement in prisons, jails and private immigration detention centers,” reports Fox News. The measure—AB 2632—would limit solitary confinement to no more than 15 consecutive days and no more than 45 cumulative days in a 180-day time frame.

• A pair of Virginia lawsuits seeking to get the books Gender Queer and A Court of Mist and Fury removed from the shelves of libraries and private booksellers has been dismissed.

• New York is hobbling its legal cannabis market with excessive taxes and regulations.

• A new book showcases six decades’ worth of Maurice Sendak’s work.

• Women are the fastest-growing incarcerated group in Texas, reports Scalawag magazine. “In Texas, women’s incarceration rates have increased dramatically over the past few decades—over 1000 percent since 1980.”

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Politics

Exclusive: Today in Supreme Court History: January 26, 1832 – TalkOfNews.com

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Today in Supreme Court History: January 26, 1832

#Today #Supreme #Court #History #January

1/26/1832: Justice George Shiras Jr.’s birthday.

Justice George Shiras Jr.

The post Today in Supreme Court History: January 26, 1832 appeared first on Reason.com.

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Exclusive: Liberals Are Mad That McCarthy Named MAGA Republicans to Subcommittees on COVID and Government Weaponization – Good – TalkOfNews.com

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Liberals Are Mad That McCarthy Named MAGA Republicans to Subcommittees on COVID and Government Weaponization – Good

#Liberals #Mad #McCarthy #Named #MAGA #Republicans #Subcommittees #COVID #Government #Weaponization #Good

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced members named to two select subcommittees – one investigating the origins of COVID and another looking into the weaponization of the federal government – and Democrats are livid over the addition of certain MAGA lawmakers.

“The government has a responsibility to serve the American people, not go after them,” McCarthy said in a statement.

“The Members selected to serve on these subcommittees will work to stop the weaponization of the federal government and will also finally get answers to the Covid origins and the federal government’s gain of function research that contributed to the pandemic,” he added.

McCarthy notes that the weaponization subcommittee is necessary because congressional Democrats and the Biden administration engaged in a “dangerous pattern of the government being used to target political opponents while they neglected their most basic responsibilities.”

RELATED: Conservative Victory: Dan Crenshaw Loses Race To Chair Homeland Security Committee to Freedom Caucus Member Green

MAGA Members Named to House Select Subcommittees

A couple of names that showed up on the House select subcommittees raised the ire of Democrats, particularly those associated with the MAGA movement.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) continued reaping the fruits of a kinship with McCarthy that would make Frank Luntz blush, being named to the COVID-19 subcommittee.

Greene celebrated the appointment, stating her intention to investigate the role of gain-of-function research, the Democrat “authoritarian” lockdowns, the ineffective vaccines forced on the American people, and Dr. Anthony Fauci’s role.

Greene will also be sitting on the House Homeland Security and Oversight Committees.

Also named to the COVID subcommittee is former White House physician Ronny Jackson (R-TX), who has consistently challenged President Biden to undergo a mental fitness evaluation.

Jim Jordan (R-OH) will chair the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government after being rejected by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve on the January 6th panel.

RELATED: White House Terrified of MAGA Republicans Being Named to Committees Investigating Biden Administration

Liberals Aren’t Happy

Liberals on social media responded with outrage over MAGA Republicans representing their constituents on the select subcommittees.

Because see, it would be better to have completely partisan sham committees like the January 6th debacle.

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Democratic Congressman Don Beyer dismissed both panels as “devoted to conspiracy theories.”

This is fine by us, since these days “conspiracy theories” mostly just means “the media hasn’t admitted it yet.”

House Judiciary Democrats lambasted McCarthy for having “sold out our democracy to empower MAGA extremists.”

Richard Stengel, a former Obama administration official, also took the dismissive ‘conspiracy theory’ path.

The ‘Weaponization’ subcommittee, Stengel claims, is “a body that creates rather than investigates conspiracy theories and which will eventually undermine itself.”

We literally just watched the January 6th sham create highly directed and produced filmography rather than evidence, doctored actual evidence, created conspiracy theories, and admitted they wanted to tell people what they should believe.

If Democrats are mad about MAGA Republicans serving on committees to provide a counterpoint to Democrat and media lies, then McCarthy is most definitely doing the right thing.

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Exclusive: Why older mass shooters like the California gunmen are so rare – TalkOfNews.com

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Why older mass shooters like the California gunmen are so rare

#older #mass #shooters #California #gunmen #rare

The gunmen in both of the recent shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, California, had an unusual profile compared to most perpetrators of violent crime: They were both senior citizens.

The Monterey Park gunman, who killed 11 and injured nine before fatally shooting himself, was 72. The Half Moon Bay gunman, who killed seven people before he was arrested in what police have characterized as an act of workplace violence, is 66.

Mass shooters of that age are rare, especially those with no prior criminal record, as was the case with the Half Moon Bay gunman. (The Monterey Park gunman had one arrest in 1990 for illegal possession of a firearm.) According to data from the National Institute of Justice, mass shooters between 1966 and 2021 were on average 34 years old, and those over the age of 60 accounted for a little over 3 percent of all mass shootings, which are defined as shootings in which four or more people are killed.

The notion that people “age out of crime” is one of the most well-documented phenomena in the field of criminology. The California shootings should be seen as exceptions to that principle, not as nullifying examples, according to Ashley Nellis, co-director of research for the Sentencing Project, which advocates for criminal justice reform.

“The predictability of age is probably the most reliable point of data that we have about people who commit violent crime. Young people are just substantially more likely, and by extension, older people are substantially unlikely, to commit crime,” Nellis said. “It’s certainly a cautionary note to anybody who would be jumping to make policy based on these two events.”

Research has repeatedly shown that criminal activity increases throughout teen years, reaches its highest point at age 17, the oldest that someone can be charged with a juvenile crime, and subsides thereafter throughout life. Property crime peaks at a slightly younger age than violent crime. But even chronic offenders would be statistically likely to stop committing crime by around the age of 40, Nellis said.

There are a lot of theories as to why that might be. Typical milestones associated with getting older, like graduating or getting married, may put people on a trajectory that veers away from criminality. Brain development isn’t complete until the mid-20s, hindering decision-making that might lead to crime and risky behavior. Young people have less financial security, and people in poverty are more likely to commit crimes. Some crimes might be physically demanding, and older people just might not have the strength to carry them out.

But both gunmen in the California shootings buck the archetype of a violent criminal, and their motives still aren’t entirely clear. Investigators have said that the Monterey Park shooter frequented the dance studio where he killed his victims and that the Half Moon Bay gunman, who lived and worked as a forklift driver at a mushroom farm, was angry at the coworkers he shot. Previously, there have been mass shooters as old as 70, including a gunman who opened fire at a church in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, and killed three people last June.

Though age can sometimes factor into the decision to impose a less harsh sentence on young offenders, the Half Moon Bay shooter’s advanced age won’t have any bearing on the length of his sentence, as is standard practice in the US.

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He will be charged with seven counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, with a special circumstance allegation of multiple murder and sentencing enhancements for each count because of his use of a firearm, the San Mateo County district attorney announced Wednesday. If convicted on those charges, he could be facing up to life in prison without the possibility of parole. (He won’t face the death penalty, given that California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, placed a moratorium on executions in the state in 2019.)

Life sentences without parole have become increasingly common in the US over the last few decades. But Nellis argues the age of older offenders like the Half Moon Bay shooter should be considered a mitigating factor when making sentencing decisions — especially given that the use of executive clemency to release them early has become nonexistent, as she writes in a 2022 report.

“Regardless of age, somebody who does commit an act of violence like this is likely to be rehabilitated, be reformed, be ready to return to society within 10 years,” she said.

Recidivism is unlikely among older people, according to data from the US Sentencing Commission, and keeping them in prison comes at a high taxpayer cost, which includes health care bills that balloon at the end of life. It’s difficult to say how much those who’ll decide the fate of the Half Moon Bay suspect will take that data into account; his initial arraignment is Wednesday.

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