🤿 A deeper dive…
The tech giants said Parler, a social network that invites users to “speak freely and express yourself openly, without fear of being ‘de-platformed’ for your views,” violated their terms of service by failing to sufficiently moderate users’ posts encouraging violence and crime.
In a letter to Parler sent Saturday, Amazon said it had sent the company 98 examples of posts on its site encouraging violence in the wake of Wednesday’s events at the Capitol, and that many remained active.
Parler’s rules ban spam, threats of violence, and other illegal activity. In the past few days, Parler said it has doubled its volunteer team of “jurors” to more than one thousand (moderators responsible for enforcing the site’s guidelines).
Parler CEO John Matze said Amazon’s move would likely make the app unavailable on the internet for up to one week as the company seeks alternative options.
💬 What They’re Saying
“AWS provides technology and services to customers across the political spectrum, and we continue to respect Parler’s right to determine for itself what content it will allow on its site. However, we cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others. Because Parler cannot comply with our terms of service and poses a very real risk to public safety, we plan to suspend Parler’s account.” -Amazon, in a letter to Parler.
“In order to protect user safety on Google Play, our longstanding policies require that apps displaying user-generated content have moderation policies and enforcement that removes egregious content like posts that incite violence. All developers agree to these terms and we have reminded Parler of this clear policy in recent months. We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the US. We recognize that there can be reasonable debate about content policies and that it can be difficult for apps to immediately remove all violative content, but for us to distribute an app through Google Play, we do require that apps implement robust moderation for egregious content. In light of this ongoing and urgent public safety threat, we are suspending the app’s listings from the Play Store until it addresses these
issues.” –Google’s statement
“Parler has not upheld its commitment to moderate and remove harmful or dangerous content encouraging violence and illegal activity, and is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.… For these reasons, your app will be removed from the App Store until we receive an update that is compliant with the App Store Review Guidelines and you have demonstrated your ability to effectively moderate and filter the dangerous and harmful content on your service.” –Apple’s statement
“Amazon, Google, and Apple purposefully did this as a coordinated effort knowing our options would be limited and knowing this would inflict the most damage right as President Trump was banned from the tech companies. This was a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the market place. We were too successful too fast. You can expect the war on competition and free speech to continue, but don’t count us out.” -John Matze, Parler CEO, in a statement.
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✈️ Plane Crash in Indonesia
A Boeing passenger plane carrying 62 people crashed into Indonesia’s Java Sea four minutes after take-off Saturday afternoon local time.
The Boeing 737-500 – not the 737 MAX model behind two crashes in 2018 & 2019 – was headed on a domestic flight from the capital of Jakarta to Pontianak in West Kalimantan.
Indonesian authorities on Sunday identified the locations of the plane’s two ‘black boxes’ containing key flight data that could offer clues as to the cause of the crash, which is currently unknown. There has been no sign of survivors.
🏛️ Capitol Update
Dozens of people involved in last Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol have been arrested by the FBI and charged with a range of counts, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
The DOJ opened formal probes into the deaths of Capitol Hill Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who was injured while engaging with rioters, and Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by Capitol Police as she and other pro-Trump supporters swarmed the building.
On Friday, officials confirmed five National Security Council officials had resigned since Wednesday’s events.
More: Capitol Police disclosed the off-duty death of a second officer in an apparent suicide, per the Associated Press (though it’s unclear whether the death was connected to the riot).
⚾📚 Hall of Fame baseball managerTommy Lasorda died on Thursday at 93; American journalist and writerNeil Sheehan, famous for obtaining the Pentagon Papers in 1971, died last week at 84.
📺 The late Alex Trebek’s final taped episode of Jeopardy! aired on Friday, closing with a 90-second video tribute to the legendary game host.
💰 A Fine Line
Deutsche Bank AG agreed to pay a ~$130M fine to avoid U.S. prosecution for claims it engaged in foreign bribery schemes and manipulated precious metal markets. According to court papers released Friday, the DOJ and SEC accused Deutsche Bank of bribing intermediaries to make payments in Saudi Arabia from 2009 to 2016.
More: Last summer, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay the state of New York $150M to settle allegations of “significant compliance failures” in its dealings with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died in prison awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges.
🤝 Stream Dream Team
Roku, maker of the largest U.S. streaming video-player, acquired the rights to content from streaming service Quibi for an undisclosed price, which the WSJ reports is “significantly less” than $100M. Roku will display Quibi’s content in the Roku Channel, an app found on its associated streaming devices filled with more than 40k movies and TV shows.
🤷 Mixed Signals
The stock of an obscure company called Signal Advance rose nearly 1,100% on Thursday and Friday. The jump followed Tesla CEO Elon Musk telling his Twitter followers to “use Signal” – an encrypted messaging app completely unaffiliated with Signal Advance – as an alternative to texting apps such as Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp, or Apple’s iMessage.
More: Last March, the SEC suspended trading of Zoom Technology, a defunct Chinese company unrelated to Zoom Video Communications, after its stockrose more than 1,500% at the beginning of the pandemic.
Mal Osborn, a 92-year-old from Winston-Salem, NC, lettered in track nine times at the University of Maine between 1949-1952, and has consistently worn his letterman jacket from the school for more than 70 years.
One day this past October, Mal misplaced his beloved jacket. “I must’ve thrown it on top of the roof of the car and drove down the street,” he told WFMY News.
After weeks of searching, Mal’s daughter, Beverly, posted about the predicament on Facebook, quickly connecting with a local family who had found the jacket in their yard. After having it dry-cleaned, Beverly returned the coat to her father.
“As challenging as this year has been, this has given us some hope,” said Beverly.
Need more good news to satisfy that sweet tooth?
A recent soccer match in Potosí, Bolivia, was interrupted when a stray dog ran onto the field and stole a player’s shoe – after receiving pets and cuddles from the athletes, the playful pooch was adopted by one of the players. (Video)
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🚘 Behind the Screens… Mercedes-Benz unveiled the “Hyperscreen”last week – an AI-powered, 56-inch curved touch-screen infotainment display that will debut in the company’s EQS all-electric sedan later this year.
🖥️👓 Reality Check… Lenovo released a new pair of AR glasses allowing users to project up to five virtual monitors at once when connected to their PC (for enterprise customers only).
🤖🐶 See Spot Explore… researchers with NASA/JPL-Caltech unveiled “AU-Spot,” a modified version of Boston Dynamics’ autonomous robot dog designed to navigate on Mars.
📶 Need for Speed… Japanese researchers achieved the world’s first transmission faster than 1 petabit per second (125k gigabits per second) in a single-core multi-mode optical fiber.
📸 Picture This
In 2017, Saudi Arabia accidentally published a textbook containing a doctored image of the late King Faisal sitting next to which fictitious character?
A) Winnie the Pooh
C) Mickey Mouse
(keep scrolling for the answer)
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The photograph, which Saudi Arabia’s education minister referred to as an “unintended mistake,” shows the ancient Jedi Master seated beside King Faisal as he signs the UN Charter in 1945. The artwork, titled United Nations (Yoda), is part of a 2013 series featuring American pop culture symbols superimposed onto photos of historical events.