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Trump Will Not Return To Twitter Despite Elon Musk Acquisition

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Donald Trump

On Monday, former President Donald Trump said that he is not going to return to Twitter, which he was permanently banned from last year, after Twitter’s board of directors unanimously approved the sale of the company to Elon Musk.

Trump told Fox News that he is “not going on Twitter” and that he is instead going to be busy on his new social media platform, Truth Social.

“I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on TRUTH,” Trump told Fox News. “We’re taking in millions of people, and what we’re finding is that the response on TRUTH is much better than being on Twitter. Twitter has bots and fake accounts, and we are doing everything we can.”

“The bottom line is, no, I am not going back to Twitter,” Trump concluded.

As Fox News explained, “Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat following the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot. Twitter deemed a number of his tweets connected to the violent protests as inflammatory and warned of ‘the risk of further incitement of violence.’”

On Monday, Twitter’s board of directors unanimously agreed to be acquired by Elon Musk for $54.20 per share, or approximately $44 billion.

“The two sides worked through the night to hash out a deal that would be valued at $54.20 a share, or $44 billion,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Twitter had been expected to rebuff the offer, which Mr. Musk made April 14 without saying how he would pay for it, and put in place a so-called poison pill to block him from increasing his stake. But after [Musk] disclosed that he has $46.5 billion in financing and the stock market swooned, Twitter changed its posture and opened the door to negotiations.”

In a press release, Musk highlighted the importance of free speech and Twitter’s role as a “digital town square.”

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”

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International

Chinese-Owned TikTok Censored War against Ukraine for Russians Only, Created ‘Alternate Universe’

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China is publicly siding with Russia politically in its inhumane invasion of Ukraine, but when it comes to technology, things are a bit more convoluted. Last month TikTok seemingly joined other big tech companies siding with Ukraine over Russia in the war by suspending uploads and live streams from Russia.

TikTok said it made the move, along with others, to “protect Russia users from the country’s new laws criminalizing criticism of its military” , reports The Washington Post. However, the Chinese-owned social media app “also walled off Russian users from seeing any posts at all from outside the country, including from Ukraine.”

Thus, a censored, ‘alternate universe’ was created for tens of millions of Russians who were unable to see and learn of the critical posts and atrocities the Kremlin was creating outside the Russian TikTok bubble.

Giulia Giorgi, a researcher at Tracking Exposed shared with The Washington Post that “in just one month, TikTok went from being considered a serious threat to Putin’s national support for the war to becoming another possible conduit for state propaganda.”

Tracking exposed has been studying the platform’s policies and actions in Russia since February when the invasion of Ukraine began. “Our findings show clearly how TikTok’s actions influenced that trajectory” Giorgi said of the escalation of state propaganda.

Giorgi shared information with The Washington Post “that videos bearing pro-war hashtags such as ‘for us’ and ‘Putin top’ continued to proliferate on TikTok in Russia for weeks after the block, while previously popular antiwar hashtags all but vanished from the platform.”

Tracking Exposed’s co-director added “our findings unequivocally show that TikTok is not being transparent about its actions in Russia” said Marc Faddoul.

The Washington Post reports:

Among the new findings is that TikTok appears to have belatedly closed a loophole in late March that Russian propagandists and creators alike had been exploiting to evade its ban on new video uploads from inside the country. Since March 26, according to Tracking Exposed and others, TikTok users who access the app from Russia cannot see any new content at all, with the app’s For You page limited to posts from inside Russia before that date. Yet thousands of pro-Putin posts that went up between March 6 and March 26, circumventing TikTok’s stated policies, remain available on the platform, uncontested by any outside or antiwar narratives.

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Media

MSNBC Host Complains of Conversation Around ‘Opinions of White Folks’ Surrounding Will Smith Slap

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MSNBC Host Tiffany Cross has opinions about Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock in the face, but doesn’t believe white people get that privilege. Cross, host of The “Cross Connection,” said that although she is sick of discussing the Will Smith saga, white people should “sit this one out.”

Panelist TheGrio columnist Michael Harriot said the slap was “about how Black people relate to each other.” He continued, “it’s hard to explain to a White person what’s the difference between an open-handed slap and a punch is, because they consider it all violent. It’s hard to explain that everyone, really, has a certain threshold for which they will react in a certain way- whether it is say something to their mother, their sister.”

Cross added there’s a “commonality” amongst Black Americans regarding the Oscars slap. She then went into a detailed example as to how one would be allowed to react if they went into a “white person’s home” and the mother “hauled off and slapped the father.”

“I will try to put this in context for our White fellow countrymen as best I can,” Cross said. “In really, truly Black America, there’s a commonality amongst us all. If we went to a White person’s home, and it was their family dinner, and we were sitting at the table, and the mother hauled off and slapped the father and everybody at the table has an opinion.”

She explained, “If I weigh in as the guest in this home and say, ‘Yeah, you guys are terrible,’ Everybody’s like ‘I’m sorry. When did you get an opinion? This is our family table.’ That’s what this moment felt like for many of us. And there is a nuance that happened.”

Though Cross condemned Smith’s actions calling him a “bully” she reemphasized the conversation should not revolve around the opinions of White people. “I want to be really clear, while we talk about family talk. I think it is utterly ridiculous to center this conversation in the opinions of White folks. This is just about what happened there. The jumping off point should not be what might the White people think about it. It is just this moment between those two men. I thought it was uncalled for,” Cross said.

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