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The Trump Facebook Decision Is Coming
On Wednesday, Facebook’s Oversight Board will make a ruling about whether or not Donald Trump can return to the platform. If you haven’t been following the decisions of the board, you can see a full list here of how they’ve ruled so far. It’s been an interesting process.
The most recent decision the board made was to restore a post warning that India’s Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) political organization could carryout a “Genocide of the Sikhs”. The post was taken down and a human moderator decided that the post violated “Facebook’s Dangerous Individuals and Organizations Community Standard.” The Oversight Board ruled that it did not violate any standards, restored the piece of content, and removed restrictions the user’s account.
It’s unclear how the board will rule on Trump. They’ve received over 9,000 public responses about his suspension. And, according to a recent Axios piece, politicians around the world are waiting to see what happens. In many ways, this decision will determine a new of sovereignty for Facebook. It’s worth pointing out that Facebook’s Nick Clegg said in January that the platform hopes the board will decide to uphold Trump’s indefinite suspension from both Facebook and Instagram. If they do reinstate his account, it’s also not totally a given that he’ll start using it again. Facebook is not nearly as conducive to rage posting as Twitter is.
Most of what the Oversight Board is doing is essentially trying to sketch out a very basic sense of exactly how powerful Facebook should be. The question is also the prevailing theme of Facebook’s post-Trump era. After five years of unchecked Facebook-driven populism and viral maximalism, there’s a real desire to pare things back.
This question of where Facebook’s borders are was part of the conflict last month, when the Australian government voted for a law that would require digital platforms like Facebook to pay for news that is featured on their site. And it was present earlier this month when, ahead of the Derek Chauvin verdict, the company announced that they were prepared to throttle content related to the verdict. It’s unclear how extensive the throttling was and also unclear why this kind of content is always limited. Facebook sovereignty also came up when the company temporarily blocked the #ResignModi hashtag in India last week, as users took to the site to demand Indian President Narendra Modi resign amid the country’s horrifying coronavirus wave. And it was also central to the conflict between Facebook and Apple over app tracking, which Facebook is now telling users helps keep their products “free” to use.
What’s frustrating is that we know Facebook has reached a scale where things no longer make any sense. Should Trump stay banned from Facebook? Even if he is, in fact, running in 2024? Should Facebook have any influence in how Indians are protesting? Should the site have any say in how a country reacts to a controversial criminal trial? These are not questions we should be asking about one company!
And, while the Oversight Board is a useful way to start passively chipping away at Facebook’s influence, it seems impossible to make any kind of meaningful change as long as the company is allowed to keep getting bigger and bigger.
An Inspirational TikTok Journey About Kicking A Guy In The Balls
This is a really great TikTok project. Last year, a man named Chase was paralyzed after slipping in the bathroom. He’s been documenting his recovery on TikTok. His nurses even get involved in his videos. His original post-rehab goal was climbing the Rocky steps. And he did, in fact, climb the Rocky steps.
He’s still in recovery and got a new goal: kicking his friend Dan in the balls. His training video is amazing. His nurses helped him pick which leg was strong enough to kick Dan in the balls. And, on 4/20 (obvz), Chase finally got to try and kick Dan in the balls. I won’t spoil it, but it’s a great video!
OK, I’m Excited For The Elon Musk SNL Now
Elon Musk will be appearing on SNL on May 8. Apparently, cast members won’t be required to share a scene with him if they don’t want to. Interested to see who does decide to be on stage with him! Also, interested to see which of those cast members also chose to perform with Trump back in 2017.
Musk has been excitedly posting about his upcoming SNL appearance, including sharing some extremely funny and good ideas for skits he could appear in.
Oh hell yeah.
While we’re talking about Musk, here’s an extremely grim video of someone downloading an “acceleration boost” for their Tesla. And here’s a really good thread about the weird connections between Elon Musk, Andrew Yang, and Joe Rogan.
A Really Good Video About Trying To Drink Seltzer
This was dropped in the Garbage Day Discord by harryj. This has very powerful Vine energy. It feels very much in conversation with the boba TikTok guy.
The Webkinz Kiwi Plague
Looks like there’s some drama kicking off in the Webkinz community at the moment. I will admit, I am not the most well-versed in Webkinz, but I’m going to try my best to untangle what’s happening here. If I have any Webkinz users that read Garbage Day, hit me up!
Webkinz World is a Neopets-like online platform for people who buy Webkinz stuffed animals. Think of it like My First NFT. The site even has an in-game currency called KinzCash. And, like Neopets, it has a pretty huge adult user community.
According to a very informative Tumblr post from user bonni, on April 29, which is “Webkinz Day,” users were all given a virtual gift box that could be cashed in for a kiwi — the animal. But I guess, there was a glitch where the box could be opened over and over again. Which created a near-infinite amount of kiwis.
The site turned into a kiwi party until Ganz, the owner of Webkinz, decided to crack down on the counterfeit kiwis. But they didn’t just remove the fake kiwis, they decided to ban hundreds of accounts that exploited the glitch. Which has resulted in absolutely chaos on social media.
I spent some time on the Webkinz Reddit this morning and, wow, this is an entire section of the internet that I really knew nothing about. This iceberg meme is one of the more dense and indecipherable things I’ve read in a long time.
A Good Tweet About Books
A 4chan User Has A Theory About Taco Bell
Tumblr Is On A Shadow And Bone Victory Lap
Ben Barnes (who I really liked in Netflix’s The Punisher) plays General Aleksander Kirigan, the main antagonist of Netflix’s new fantasy series, Shadow And Bone. He’s great in it! What’s even cooler is the idea of Barnes playing the character was first popularized on Tumblr way back in 2013, by a user named supernaturalzombie. The post was even reblogged by Shadow And Bone author Leigh Bardugo.
And my dear friend Cates Holderness, Tumblr's Community and Trend Curator, recently told Mashable that the platform is exploding with Shadow And Bone-related content right now. She said that the Barnes casting has given the already-popular series a massive boost. Definitely check out the Mashable piece, which also goes further into all the Shadow And Bone shipping that’s happening over on Tumblr right now.
A Study Of Meme Glyphs
Can you guess what all of these are? Here’s a good post that breaks down what all of them are meant to be.
P.S. here’s a very good use of Korn’s “Coming Undone”.
***Any typos in this email are on purpose actually***