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Facebook Audits Itself and Catches a Civil Rights Fade

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On Wednesday, Facebook released the results of a two-year long audit and they were not good.

According to the report, the company made decisions that “represent significant setbacks for civil rights.”

Carried out by civil rights attorney Laura W. Murphy, and the law firm Relman Colfax, the team conducted interviews with more than 100 civil rights organizations.

It resulted in a nearly 90-page report that does not portray a flattering image for the social media behemoth.

“While the audit process has been meaningful, and has led to some significant improvements in the platform, we have also watched the company make painful decisions over the last nine months with real world consequences that are serious setbacks for civil rights,” reads the report.

At the start of the process, there wasn’t any agreement to release the results publicly and Facebook’s executives “actively engaged” with the audit process.

However, the report says Facebook executives did change their tune later in response to pressure from activists and became more involved.

COO Sheryl Sandberg is credited for developing relationships with civil rights leaders. In addition, she transitioned into a “point person for this work.”

When Civil Right & Social Media Collide

The civil rights report does highlight some positive changes and advancements Facebook has made since the audit began in 2018.

It credits the company for its “robust census interference policy” designed to curb disinformation about the 2020 census. In addition, it mentions specific platform changes such as Facebook’s ban of white supremacist and white nationalist content on the platform.

“This report outlines a number of positive and consequential steps that the company has taken, but at this point in history, the Auditors are concerned that those gains could be obscured by the vexing and heartbreaking decisions Facebook has made that represent significant setbacks for civil rights.”

The report specifically mentions controversial Facebook posts published by President Donald Trump that the company let stand on its platform.

Two of the Trump posts mentioned “facilitated voter suppression” says the report, a finding that’s in line with Trump’s repeated spread of misinformation on the legitimacy of mail-in ballots.

Facebook defended its decision to keep those particular posts up. However, the report states that the civil rights auditors told Facebook that the posts broke the platform’s own policies.

Another Facebook post the report singles out has to do with Trump’s threat to protesters in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd.

As Black Lives Matter protests spread throughout the country, the President of the United States warned that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

The audit found that this post violated Facebook’s violence and hate speech policies. Still, Facebook let the post remain and defended the decision.

“These decisions exposed a major hole in Facebook’s understanding and application of civil rights,” states the report. It calls out Facebook’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, by pointing out that these policy decisions were made “at the highest level.”

Facebook’s Complicity

Facebook has faced criticism for the role it played in the 2016 U.S. election. Particularly when discussing Russian meddling.

Facebook commissioned two independent audits in order to address a few of the critiques.

It was intended to address perceived anti-conservative bias and civil rights abuses. They hired Republicans to executive roles within the company and made other changes to the platform. Now, conservative-leaning Facebook publishers are flourishing on the social network.

One change the company made led to the demise of its trending news feature. Conservatives claimed that was the source of the perceived bias. The feature relied upon human content curators to promote popular links and topics on the website.

However, overall the audit found that Facebook has failed to protect civil rights on a range of issues. Voter suppression, hate speech, all are detailed in the report.

Facebook is facing a massive advertiser boycott. Organized by civil rights groups, the main issue is hate speech used on the platform. Some of these organizations met recently with the company, a day before the audit was published.

Many have criticized the meeting as nothing more than a PR stunt.

The post Facebook Audits Itself and Catches a Civil Rights Fade appeared first on The Source.

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Ralo Granted $250,000 Bond on Federal Drug Case

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Atlanta rapper Ralo has been given a second chance to come home.

According to reports, on Monday, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division granted him a $250,000 bond.

This is following his 2018 arrest on four federal counts of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and possession with intent to distribute over 100 kilograms of marijuana.

Real name, Terrell Davis, “Ralo” was arrested on April 15, 2018 at DeKalb—Peachtree Airport. He was returning to his hometown on a private plane with 444 pounds of marijuana on it.

The total haul amounted to $1 million.

However, Ralo will be placed on supervised release and must adhere to a number of conditions. These include residing at a “designated rental property”.

He is “restricted to twenty-four-hour-a-day lockdown at the residence. The only exceptions: medical necessities, court appearances, or other activities specially approved by the Court.”

The 25-year-old rapper must also “submit to location monitoring as directed by Pretrial Services and comply with all of the program requirements and instructions provided.”

Additionally, Ralo is prohibited from communicating with any third parties, directly or indirectly, via “any cellular device, telephone number, email account, teleconferencing or videoconferencing account, or social-media platform that has not been disclosed in advance and approved by Pretrial Services.”

The Return

Ralo is expected to appear in court on Friday (July 10) to sign his release paperwork. Once the provisions of Ralo’s release and bond are met, he will return home.

Days after his arrest in April of 2018, police, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Department of Homeland Security and FBI agents raided an Atlanta apartment complex owned by Ralo, which was called “Lil Pakistan.” The drug raid was connected to Ralo’s arrest.

Nearly a month later, Ralo entered a not guilty plea for his four federal counts of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

He remained behind bars and was denied bond after being accused of orchestrating a cross-country multimillion-dollar drug dealing ring.

Some of his jewelry, including an assortment of diamond necklaces, rings, Rolex watches and pendants, was later confiscated, then seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Petitions were also launched calling for his release.

The post Ralo Granted $250,000 Bond on Federal Drug Case appeared first on The Source.

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Kanye West Called A Bully By Ex-Bodyguard Who Plans To Sue

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There is trouble in Kanye West-land.

Former bodyguard, Steve Stanulis, has labelled West a bully and is threatening to sue him for damages.

Stanulis claims he was accused of breaking a confidentiality agreement.

However, this is not the first time Steve Stanulis has spoken out against the new billionaire. He has even claimed that he was the “neediest, moodiest client” according to reports.

The bodyguard was accused of breaking a confidentiality agreement after he spoke out about his time with West on a Hollywood Raw podcast earlier this year.

Ironically, the bodyguard is launching the lawsuit.

Stanulis shared a couple of stories describing Kanye’s alleged diva demands and behavior. Next, Steve was sent a cease and desist letter by the West’s lawyers in June, threatening to sue him for $10 million if he continued speaking out.

According to reports, the letter claimed Steve had made a number of “false and defamatory” statements about West during his interview. It also claimed he breached a confidentiality agreement he had signed in February 2016.

Keeping It Real?

However, according to Page Six, Steve’s lawyers claim that he never signed any agreement in the first place.

“As such, any efforts undertaken by your clients to enforce any purported ‘confidentiality agreement’ will be met with counterclaims, that will seek significant damages, along with court costs and legal fees.”

“Our client is being bullied here,” said Dmitriy Shakhnevich, “and we will not stand for that.”

Stanulis is sticking by his story.

“I’m not going to let Kanye West and [his wife, Kim Kardashian, whose signature also appeared on the cease-and-desist] push me around just because they are rich and famous. I’m won’t be intimated by these two egotists!

“So if Kanye and Kim want to go to war, bring it on — they aren’t the only ones with a strong legal team.”

The bodyguard added that he would never sign away his “First Amendment rights” and that he’s even developing a new movie based on his experiences as a bodyguard to the stars.

So What Did Steve Say?

Back in May, Steve made a number of claims about the couple on the podcast.

He even went as far as to say he was convinced that Kim and Kanye would tip the paparazzi off about their whereabouts; saying there was no way photographers always just happened to know where they were going.

“First of all, there’s no way [paparazzi] doesn’t get called upfront. There’s no way every time they are leaving, all these people know about it.

“There’s definitely somebody calling ahead. That’s just my opinion. I’m just saying it’s coincidental that wherever we are, they’re always there. Maybe they’re just better than I think they are.”

Steve became a celebrity bodyguard after working simultaneously as a stripper and a police officer.

He revealed that Kanye would insist that he walked 10 paces behind him at all times in public, making it actually pretty difficult for him to do his job, and that Kanye wouldn’t even push an elevator button for himself.

Elevator Fail

“The first day I met him, it was fashion week. I was supposed to meet him at the studio.

“When he gets there, we get into the elevator and he’s says, ‘Aren’t you going to push what floor we are going to?’

“I was like, ‘I have no idea what floor, it’s my first day’. So he starts ranting, ‘So you mean you didn’t call ahead to find out where I’m supposed to be going?’

“I said ‘no’. So he’s ranting and raving. So I said, ‘Look bro, we can do this one of three ways. One, you could tell me what button to press, and now I’ll know. Two, you could press the button, and I’ll see which one you press so I’ll know. Or three, you can sit in here all day and tell me how important your time is and we are not going to go anywhere’.

“Again, that was our first interaction. He went for the first option.”

West has not responded yet to the allegations.

The post Kanye West Called A Bully By Ex-Bodyguard Who Plans To Sue appeared first on The Source.

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Lil Baby: Walmart Got Me F****d Up For Selling Knockoff ‘4PF’ Chains

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Walmart is trying to cash in on Lil Baby’s commercial success and the Atlanta born and bred rapper isn’t having it.

The superstore giant has an image of a pendant posted on their website captioned “Hip-hop celebrity style fashion silver plated Lil Baby 4PF Pendant” priced at a meager $25.

Lil Baby called out Walmart’s fugazi shines on Twitter, tweeting, “Walmart got me f***ed up.”

The post Lil Baby: Walmart Got Me F****d Up For Selling Knockoff ‘4PF’ Chains appeared first on The Source.

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DITC’s Lord Finesse Remixes Classic Motown Songs For Forthcoming ‘Motown State Of Mind’ Album

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Legendary rapper, hip-hop producer, and founding member of the influential collective Diggin’ In The Crates Crew (D.I.T.C.), Lord Finesse is back with his most ambitious project to date: Motown State of Mind, a set of handpicked Motown classics remixed and reimagined. The inspired new remix album will be available to stream on June 26 via Motown/UMe and the remix of Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You” is available to stream now (available here)

In true DJ style, the remixes will also be released as a 45 RPM box set on July 24 containing seven 7-inch records on black vinyl featuring the remixed version on Side A and the classic original on Side B. In support of the release, there will be digital activations throughout June including livestreams and IG live takeovers from Motown’s various handles. 

Curated and arranged for the new generation, going back to the original masters/sources, the remixes include chart toppers such as Michael Jackson’s I Wanna Be Where You Are” and DeBarge’s “I Like It” alongside deep cuts from Motown’s catalog like Sisters Love’s “Now Is The Time.”

“Now Is The Time” is a unique track as it was originally recorded in 1970 and in 1973 the group recorded a version of the song which was produced by Willie Hutch and appeared in the movie The Mack, but was never officially released. As an ode to the 1973 version, Lord Finesse and J Zone (producer, drummer, multi-instrumentalist, rapper, and writer) recreate the song as if it was released that year. The instrumental version of the track will be included as the B-side in the 45 box set. 
 
The reimagined versions also feature collaborations from the likes of Dinky Bingham (the CEO of production/publishing company Dinky B. Music and a producer of gold and platinum hits for artists such as Changing Faces, New Edition, Kylie Minogue andJaheim) as well as producer Tall Black Guy (who’s worked with artists such as Gilles Peterson, Lefto, Anthony Valadez, Jazzy Jeff, Questloveamongst others). 
 
Lord Finesse classifies the remixes to be his “best project to date.” “I’m my own worst critic. If I like it, I don’t think no one can really tell me anything,” he explains. With that in mind, Finesse closes out the album with a mastermind remix of the critically acclaimed Jackson 5 medley “I Want You Back/ABC/The Love You Save.” The standalone singles of those three original aforementioned tracks, alongside the release of their fourth single “I’ll Be There,” made the group the first to debut with four consecutive number one hits on Billboard’sHot 100
 

The post DITC’s Lord Finesse Remixes Classic Motown Songs For Forthcoming ‘Motown State Of Mind’ Album appeared first on The Source.

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[WATCH] Racist Cyclist Assaults Group Posting Police Brutality Flyers On Bike Trail In Maryland

Police in Montgomery County, MD are looking for the man in the video below who physically assaulted a small group posting racial justice flyers along the Capital Crescent Trail in Bethesda.

At approximately 12:45 pm today(June 5), three young adults were walking the Capital Crescent Trail near the Dalecarlia Tunnel. The young adults, one man and two women, were posting flyers in support of Black Lives Matter and justice for George Floyd.

The suspect, a white man, began to argue about the flyers and grabbed the flyers from one of the victims, as seen in the video. The suspect then pushed his bicycle and began to charge one of the victims, causing them to fall to the ground.

The Maryland-National Capital Park Police tweeted they were seeking the assault suspect, with photos taken from the video.

The post [WATCH] Racist Cyclist Assaults Group Posting Police Brutality Flyers On Bike Trail In Maryland appeared first on The Source.

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Man Shoots Hotel Clerk in Atlanta After Asking ‘Where’s 21 Savage?’

A worker at a Hilton Atlanta front desk was shot three times by a guest who came asking for the location of 21 Savage.

The guest was described as “delusional” to 11 Alive News and was check into the hotel a day before the incident.

“The guy, he’s a guest, we checked him in yesterday and he just came downstairs – I kid you not, just tripping, just saying, ‘I’m looking for 21 Savage,’” a witness said. “Kid you not, he said, ‘Where’s 21 Savage?’ He started tripping and he pulled a gun out on the girl at the front desk and pistol-whipped her a few times and he let off about four shots and I believe he struck my co-worker.”

The woman was shot twice in the shoulder and once in the arm. She is listed in stable condition.

The incident happened after 2 a.m. and police state the suspect “may have been under the influence of drugs which contributed to the attack.”

The witness states the woman who was attacked never said a word. The man just went on attack.

“She didn’t say anything. Just walked up saying, ‘Where is 21 Savage,’” he said. “Verbatim, ‘Where the f*** is 21 Savage.’”

The post Man Shoots Hotel Clerk in Atlanta After Asking ‘Where’s 21 Savage?’ appeared first on The Source.

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Today in Hip Hop History: Boogie Down Productions Released Their Second LP ‘By All Means Necessary’ 32 Years Ago

On this day in 1988, Boogie Down Productions dropped one of the best and most influential albums of all time. It was widely seen as one of, if not the first, politically conscious efforts in Hip Hop

KRS-One was initially popular for fueling the Juice Crew vs. BDP beef on wax and expanding intellectual Hip Hop music through 1987, with the release of Criminal Minded. However, when BDP’s DJ Scott La Rock was shot and killed in the South Bronx, it had a profound effect on the Brooklyn native, which resulted in a drastic rethinking of his on-record persona. By All Means Necessary was one of the first albums the group made after Scott La Rock’s death that would have a lasting effect on generations to come. The “Blastmaster” began to talk about a lot of the issues that were plaguing the black community like police brutality, government corruption, institutionalized racism, and later on giving birth to his “Stop the Violence” Campaign.

As “The Teacher”, on perhaps one of the most influential tracks from the LP, “Stop the Violence”, he spits,

“I look, but it doesn’t coincide with my books/Social Studies will not speak upon hard hitting crooks/It’s just the Presidents, and all the money they spent/All the things they invent, and how their house is so immaculate/They create missiles, my family’s eating gristle/Then they get upset when the press blows the whistle”

. As a plea to end violence in Hip Hop, which still hasn’t been heeded to this day, KRS-One took on the role as the spearhead of Hip Hop’s Stop The Violence Movement, choosing the single, “Self Destruction”, as the lead single.

With classic tracks like, “Nervous”, nearly every track on the album had a distinct narrative, and even the album cover art and the theme were Malcolm X (By Any Means Neccessary) inspired. On the track, “Jimmy”, the rapper became the first rapper to speak on the AIDS/HIV epidemic that plagued Black and Brown communities in America. On the song, “Illegal Business”, Kris gave the masses a startling perception into the drug trade and how it corrupts the police and the government.

Salute to KRS and the entire Boogie Down Productions crew for giving us this epic piece of Hip Hop history!

“It’s not about a salary, it’s all about reality..”

The post Today in Hip Hop History: Boogie Down Productions Released Their Second LP ‘By All Means Necessary’ 32 Years Ago appeared first on The Source.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo Gets Tested for COVID-19 on Live TV

Andrew Cuomo

Everyone seems to love New York’s governor because of his “tell it like it is” disposition and seemingly political transparency. People are going to love him even more now that he went on live television to demonstrate for nervous citizens afraid to actually get tested for the potentially deadly coronavirus disease.

He took the nose test during his daily briefing on Sunday, May 17th. He further stressed that if people are showing symptoms they should get over their fear and make sure they are right.

“If you think you have symptoms, get a test. It’s up to you,” he said. “We just don’t have enough New Yorkers coming to be tested.”

New York is now conducting 40,000 COVID-19 tests per day at 700 testing sites.

“There is a testing site near you,” Cuomo said. “The new problem is we have more sites and more testing capacity than we’re using.”

People have to get tested in New York state.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The post Gov. Andrew Cuomo Gets Tested for COVID-19 on Live TV appeared first on The Source.

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Today in Hip-Hop History: Gang Starr’s Third LP ‘Daily Operation’ Dropped 28 Years Ago

Nothing beats a classic rap record, and few MCs were dropping them on the regular quite like legendary ’90s rap duo Gang Starr. The group, consisting of Guru holding things down on the mic and DJ Premier handling the head-bumping production, dropped six albums in their career before calling it quits in 2003.

While a reunion album was reportedly planned, unfortunately, Guru passed away on April 19, 2010, before the project could be completed or properly executed overall. While the Hip-Hop community definitely took a blow due to the loss, the work they did create while recording together influenced the genre in ways that we’re still seeing today. One LP that specifically represents Gang Starr’s influential legacy is their third album Daily Operation, which celebrates its 28th anniversary today.

Chrysalis Records

Comprised of jazz-tinged samples and lyrics that illustrated life in the streets of New York City during the early ’90s, Daily Operation saw Gang Starr striding smoothly towards the legendary status that we now place the group in today. The project is East Coast-inspired through and through, from recording the LP entirely at the dearly missed D&D Studios on West 37th Street in Midtown Manhattan all the way to lamenting about Brooklyn on the opening track “The Place We Dwell.” Other standout cuts include “I’m The Man,” featuring the solely credited cameos by Group Home member Lil Dap and Jeru the Damaja, “B.Y.S.” — cleverly abbreviated for “Bust Yo’ Shit” — and the lead single “Ex Girl to Next Girl” that gave us one of the most 90s-looking music videos ever created.

The key to Gang Starr is that, while none of their albums ever crossed Top 5 status on the Billboard 200 — their highest placement happened in 1998 when Moment of Truth hit #6 — sales were never the thing that represented their effect on the game; the music always came first and foremost. Daily Operation received all sorts of critical acclaim nonetheless, and we even included it on our “100 Best Rap Albums” list for The Source‘s 100th issue (January 1998). So, while it only reached #65 on the Billboard 200 and faired slightly better on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart at #14, those numbers mean nothing when compared to the slick verses, smooth-yet-rugged instrumentals and thought-provoking bars that still makes this album a certified classic almost three decades after its original release.

Give Daily Operation by Gang Starr a spin today to celebrate the album’s 27th anniversary, and also read our original review of the album from The Source Issue #33 (June 1992) below:

The post Today in Hip-Hop History: Gang Starr’s Third LP ‘Daily Operation’ Dropped 28 Years Ago appeared first on The Source.

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