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Michigan Governor Blames Trump for Fostering Hate Groups

Hours after federal authorities charged six people with attempting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, she held a press conference and blamed President Donald Trump for creating an environment that encourages such radical criminal behavior.

“Our head of state has spent the past seven months denying science, ignoring his own health experts, stoking distrust, fomenting anger, and giving comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division,” Whitmer told reporters in Lansing, the state capital, on Thursday.

“Last week,” she said, “the president of the United States stood before the American people and refused to condemn white supremacists and hate groups like these two Michigan militia groups. Stand back and stand by, he told them.”

Whitmer said that hate groups heard the president’s words “not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry, as a call to action.”

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said six people had been charged with plotting to kidnap Whitmer as part of a plan to overthrow the state’s government. The suspects allegedly staked out Whitmer’s vacation home and planned to set off explosives to distract police while they kidnapped the governor. The U.S. said it would also bring charges against seven other people connected to the Wolverine Watchmen militia for attempts to target law enforcement officers and start a civil war.

Trump “has continually condemned white supremacists and all forms of hate,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement. “Governor Whitmer is sowing division by making these outlandish allegations. America stands united against hate and in support of our federal law enforcement who stopped this plot.”

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who spoke with Whitmer earlier in the day, complimented the FBI and police for handling the matter and criticized Trump. “The words of a president matter,” Biden said. “They can cause a nation to have the market rise or fall, go to war, make peace, but they can also breathe oxygen into those who are filled with hate and danger. And I just think it’s got to stop.”

Whitmer’s comments are the latest chapter in a running feud with Trump. She accused the president of being slow to deliver medical supplies in March when the Covid-19 pandemic was spreading rapidly in her state. Trump, in turn, criticized Whitmer for not swiftly reopening the Michigan economy.

Trump told Vice President Mike Pence, at a White House briefing in late March, “Don’t call the woman in Michigan.” That prompted her supporters to don t-shirts saying, “That Woman From Michigan.”

Whitmer said during the press conference that she never expected to have her life threatened as governor.

“When I put my hand on the Bible and took the oath of office 22 months ago, I knew this job would be hard, but I’ll be honest, I never could have imagined anything like this,” Whitmer said at the briefing.

The coronavirus pandemic has created a deep political divide in the state where Whitmer initiated some of the nation’s toughest mandates to stop the spread of the virus. That led to criticism from Trump and Republican leaders in the state. Marches against her orders were organized and an armed protest at the capitol led to the cancellation of a legislative session.

Whitmer’s measures were effective at slowing the spread of the virus. In early April, the state was seeing more than 2,000 new cases a day. The number has since dropped to fewer than 1,000 new cases on some days and less then 100 on others. The state’s unemployment rate fell to 8.7% in August from more than 10% in June, close to the national rate of 8.4%.

Whitmer had been using emergency orders to enforce restrictions on schools, businesses and citizens to slow the spread of the virus, relying on a 1945 law granting the governor broad emergency powers. However, the state’s high court found that unconstitutional on Friday. That prompted Trump to call the decision a “BIG win” in a tweet on Wednesday.

@realDonaldTrump

We just got a BIG win for the people of Michigan. Open up your Churches and your Schools. Auto companies pouring in and expanding (thank you Mr. President!). Have fun!Young Americans for Liberty

@YALiberty.@GovWhitmer is very sad the Michigan Supreme Court took away her unconstitutional emergency powers.
She claims with a straight face that the state economy is at risk without her mandates preventing people from working.

3:06 PM · Oct 7, 2020

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Whitmer called for unity to get through the crisis during the press conference.

“We are not one another’s enemy. This virus is our enemy and this enemy is relentless,” Whitmer said. “It doesn’t care if you’re a Republican or a Democrat, young or old, rich or poor. It doesn’t care if we’re tired of it. It threatens us all.”

— With assistance by Jordan Fabian

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Links Kidnapping Plot To Trump’s Hate Rhetoric

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer drew a strong line between an alleged plot to kidnap her and the rhetoric of President Donald Trump, whose recent comments have been interpreted by right-wing militia groups as encouragement.

“Just last week, the president of the United States stood before the American people and refused to condemn white supremacists and hate groups,” Whitmer, a Democrat, said at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Six men involved with a militia group called Wolverine Watchmen are facing federal charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and an additional seven people are facing state charges in connection with the alleged scheme. The men wanted to “storm” the state Capitol in Lansing with 200 men to take hostages including the governor, court documents say.

Whitmer said Thursday that the suspects aimed to “possibly kill” her.

Trump failed to speak out against hate groups during his first presidential debate with Democratic contender Joe Biden last Tuesday. Pressed to condemn the Proud Boys, a group of violent right-wing extremists, Trump replied: “Proud boys, stand back and stand by.” Members of the Proud Boys quickly turned the president’s words into a T-shirt and other merchandise. 

Trump also deflected criticism at the debate by claiming ― against the analysis of his own top law enforcement officials ― that the problem comes mainly “from the left wing, not the right wing.” The FBI warned as recently as two weeks ago that right-wing militia groups pose a “violent extremist threat,” particularly as the election approaches.

“Hate groups heard the president’s words not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry — as a call to action,” Whitmer said.

She continued: “When our leaders speak, their words matter. They carry weight. When our leaders meet with, encourage or fraternize with domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions, and they are complicit. When they stoke and contribute to hate speech, they are complicit.” 

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany responded to Whitmer in a statement claiming that Trump “has continually condemned white supremacists and all forms of hate,” and that the Michigan governor was “sowing division.”

Trump has danced around hate groups that profess to support him throughout his presidency; it took him two days after the debate to say the words “I condemn all white supremacists,” which he eventually did on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program.

Whitmer had been attacked by the president at the start of the coronavirus crisis for issuing strict lockdown orders that are credited with preventing statewide outbreaks. In April, Trump reacted to news of Michigan lockdowns by tweeting, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN.” Heavily armed Michiganders began showing up in Lansing around that time to intimidate lawmakers and demand an end to lockdown measures.

When asked by reporters whether he thought Trump’s tweet had influenced militias like Wolverine Watchmen, Biden responded Thursday afternoon, “Yes, I do.”

“Why won’t the president just say ‘stop. Stop, stop, stop,’” Biden said.

One of the men charged with plotting against Whitmer, Adam Fox, called her a “tyrant bitch” in a private Facebook group, according to the FBI.

“Snatch and grab, man. Grab the fuckin’ Governor. Just grab the bitch,” Fox allegedly wrote. He is currently facing life in prison.

Whitmer called the decisions she has had to make in the pandemic “gut-wrenching,” adding that “2020 has been a hard year for all of us.”

“It’s been hard for the teachers, students and parents. Hard for those who have had to stay isolated to stay safe. But here’s what I know. We are Michiganders. We have grit. We have heart. And we are tough as hell,” she said.

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How to delete your Netflix viewing history, and prevent something you've watched from affecting your viewing recommendations

  • You can delete your Netflix history one title at a time, but you can't erase your entire history at once.
  • Deleting your Netflix history will stop those movies and shows from appearing in your "Continue Watching" section, as well as alter what Netflix recommends you in the future.
  • To delete your Netflix history, you'll need to use the Netflix website on a computer.
  • Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

Most of the time, this is a good thing — because Netflix knows exactly what you are watching, it can place shows in progress in the "Continue Watching" section so you can easily pick up where you left off. It also can use shows you have watched to make better recommendations about what you might want to see in the future.

But if you don't want Netflix to use your viewing history, you have a little control. You can remove individual movies and TV shows from your history. This can keep Netflix from making viewing recommendations and is a sort of "nuclear option" for keeping other people on your account from seeing what you're watching.

But since you can't delete your entire viewing history at once, this can be time-consuming if you want to delete a lot of items.

How to delete your Netflix viewing history

1. In a web browser, go to the Netflix website. You can do this on a computer or in a browser on a mobile device, but you can't use the Netflix mobile app.

2. Click your account icon at the top right of the browser window, and then click "Account."

3. Scroll down to the section called My Profile and click "Viewing Activity."

4. On the My Activity page, you'll see a list of the most recent Netflix movies and TV shows you have watched. To see more, scroll to the bottom and click "Show More."

5. To remove a video from your viewing history, click the "stop" icon to the right of "Report a Problem."

6. Repeat that process for any other movies or shows you want to remove.

Anything you delete will be removed from your viewing history within 24 hours.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

  • How to download Netflix movies and shows onto your phone or tablet to watch when you're without internet

  • How to cancel your Netflix subscription, however you subscribed to it

  • How to log out of your Netflix account on any Roku device

  • 'How much does Netflix cost?': All of Netflix's subscription plans, explained

Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.

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His TikTok went viral. So Ocean Spray gave him a truck

New York (CNN Business)IBM is spinning off a significant part of its business to focus on new opportunities in hybrid cloud growth, the company announced on Thursday.

The IT services unit of IBM’s Global Technology Services business will become a separate public company. It represents a major departure from IBM’s previous priorities and one of the boldest moves in the company’s more-than-a-century-long history.
IBM’s managed infrastructure services business represented nearly a quarter of IBM’s revenue last year. But IBM believes its future lies in the hybrid cloud — a technical setup wherein companies may use multiple clouds in addition to their own on-premises servers. IBM’s platform gives companies tools to more easily navigate between those various environments.

    New CEO Arvind Krishna made the hybrid cloud the focus when he took the reins from former CEO Ginni Rometty earlier this year. IBM has made large investments in cloud computing over the past several years. In 2019, IBM acquired RedHat for $34 billion. The company says the spinoff will grant IBM (IBM) the opportunity to be “laser-focused on the $1 trillion hybrid cloud opportunity.”
    Investors liked the news, sending shares of IBM up 5% Thursday.

    “Now is the right time to create two market-leading companies focused on what they do best. IBM will focus on its open hybrid cloud platform and AI capabilities,” said IBM CEO, Arvind Krishna. “NewCo will have greater agility to design, run and modernize the infrastructure of the world’s most important organizations. Both companies will be on an improved growth trajectory with greater ability to partner and capture new opportunities — creating value for clients and shareholders.”
    IBM’s dedicated investment in hybrid cloud could help position the 109-year-old company against others in the space such as Amazon (AMZN) and Microsoft (MSFT).

      The company also reported preliminary third quarter earnings results Thursday. IBM says it expects to report revenue of $17.6 billion and adjusted earnings per share of $2.58. The computing firm is set to report earnings, later this month, on October 21.
      The spinoff, tenatively named NewCo, is expected to be tax-free and completed by the end of 2021.
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      The Trump campaign accused Michigan's governor of having 'hatred in her heart' just hours after the FBI said it foiled an extremist plot to kidnap her

      • Trump campaign senior advisor Jason Miller on Thursday attacked Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer just hours after the FBI said that it had stopped armed right-wing extremists who were plotting to kidnap her.
      • Miller went after Whitmer for suggesting President Donald Trump was "complicit" in extremist violence due to his hateful rhetoric and refusal to condemn white supremacist groups.
      • "If we want to talk about hatred, then Gov. Whitmer, go look in the mirror — the fact that she wakes up everyday with such hatred in her heart for President Trump," Miller said in a Fox News appearance.
      • Earlier in the day, federal prosecutors charged six men with plotting to kidnap Whitmer and overthrow Michigan's government.
      • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

      Jason Miller, a senior advisor for President Donald Trump's 2020 reelection campaign, accused Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of having "hatred in her heart" the same day the FBI revealed it foiled a right-wing extremist plot to kidnap her.

      The Michigan governor was critical of the president during a Thursday news conference in which she addressed the plot. Miller attacked Whitmer during a Fox News appearance soon after.

      "These are some pretty shameful comments here from Governor Whitmer, because how can you even go from a moment of unity to attacking President Trump, I thought was just completely ridiculous," Miller said.

      He added: "If we want to talk about hatred, then Gov. Whitmer, go look in the mirror — the fact that she wakes up everyday with such hatred in her heart for President Trump." 

      During her press conference, Whitmer said Trump was "complicit" in extremist violence in the US. 

      The Michigan Democrat said Trump has been "fomenting anger, and giving comfort to those who spread fear, hatred, and division."

      "When our leaders meet with, encourage or fraternize with domestic terrorists they legitimize their actions and they were complicit," Whitmer added. "When they contribute to hate speech, they're complicit."

      Whitmer cited the fact that Trump declined an opportunity to explicitly condemn white supremacist groups during the first presidential debate last week, and instead opted to publicly boost the far-right extremist group known as the Proud Boys. 

      The president has a long record of being endorsed by white supremacist groups and other far-right extremists, and they've often looked to him as a source of encouragement. Trump in some instances has condemned white supremacist groups, but typically after significant pressure from the public and lawmakers in Washington, DC.

      After Trump told the Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by," South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate, urged Trump to "correct" his remarks. 

      In late April, armed protesters descended upon Michigan's state capitol in opposition to Whitmer's extension of the state's stay-at-home order amid the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier in the month, Trump had tweeted: "LIBERATE MICHIGAN." Trump called the armed demonstrators "very good people."

      "These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal," Trump said in a May 1 tweet.

      Federal prosecutors have charged six men with plotting to kidnap Whitmer and overthrow Michigan's government.

      The men were identified in court documents as Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, and Brandon Caserta.

      The FBI said that the men contacted members of an armed right-wing militia in Michigan to orchestrate the plot. 

      "In early 2020, the FBI became aware through social media that a group of individuals were discussing the violent overthrow of certain government and law-enforcement components," Richard Trask II, an FBI agent, wrote in an affidavit.

      "Several members talked about murdering 'tyrants' or 'taking' a sitting governor," Trask added. "The group decided they needed to increase their numbers and encouraged each other to talk to their neighbors and spread their message."

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      This Andreessen Horowitz-backed startup will allow investors to see the social impact of their investments, down to the number of trees planted

      • Andreessen Horowitz-backed startup OpenInvest just released Portfolio Diagnosis, a platform which allows investors to understand the social impact their investments.
      • For example, investors can learn about the amount of carbon emissions they've saved and how that translates to trees planted. Or, if they wish, they can ensure they are not investing in companies that support the politically divisive National Rifle Association.
      • OpenInvest was co-founded by two former Bridgewater Associates hedge funders and is backed by Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator.
      • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

      Andreessen Horowitz-backed fintech startup OpenInvest is making it easier for investors to measure the impacts of their social or sustainable investments — down to the number of trees or carbon emissions they've saved.

      The product, called Portfolio Diagnosis, will allow registered investment advisors — the people who help rich people manage their portfolios — more concretely describe the social impact specific investments will deliver. 

      Its release comes at a ripe moment: more investors now want to understand the social implications of their investments, a field known in the industry by the term, environmental, social and governance (ESG). The trend is particularly hot among wealthy millennials — 95% of whom are interested in sustainable investing, according to a 2019 Morgan Stanley survey. 

      The company was co-founded in 2015 by two ex-Bridgewater Associates hedge funders Conor Murray and Phil Wei. Murray is now CEO of OpenInvest and Wei is the CTO.

      Murray said the grand idea is to build a whole new class of what he called "active-passive" investors who align their portfolios with their values without sacrificing on market performance, he told TechCrunch's Jonathan Shieber.

      From carbon emissions to the NRA

      So, for example, Portfolio Diagnosis can show investors how their investments translate into the number of trees planted through reductions in carbon emissions. Or it can help them ensure their money was not spent on corporations that support the politically divisive National Rifle Association.

      OpenInvest's scoring system analyzes billions of data points from in-house research, public reports, and industry experts, looks for the progress on diversity initiatives and supply chains and so on to determine this information.

      OpenInvest did not disclose the fee for using the platform, or the number of registered investment advisors on the platform, to Investment News' Nicole Casperson. But the startup manages around $55.4 million in assets and works with more than 520 retail clients, Casperson  reported.

      OpenInvest has raised over $24 million in Series A funding, according to Crunchbase from backers including Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator. 

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      Republicans baffled by Pelosi's 25th amendment suggestion, say she wants to 'stage a coup'

      Fox News Flash top headlines for October 8

      Republicans were baffled by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Thursday suggestion that she might introduce a bill allowing a body appointed by Congress to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office as he recovers from the novel coronavirus.

      The 25th Amendment allows for the vice president to become acting president if it is determined that the president "is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office." Currently, the vice president and cabinet can invoke that amendment.

      "Tomorrow, by the way, tomorrow, come here tomorrow," Pelosi said. "We're going to be talking about the 25th Amendment."

      Pelosi was referring to a bill she will unveil Friday with Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., that would allow Congress to establish a permanent body to determine whether the president is fit for office: an Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity. The bill is expected to reflect legislation that Raskin introduced in 2017.

      Still, Pelosi would have to convince Senate Republicans to go along with it. Plus, Vice President Mike Pence would also have to sign the declaration as well, which would be highly unlikely.

      Trump fired back at “Crazy Nancy” on Twitter. “Crazy Nancy is the one who should be under observation,” he said. “They don’t call her Crazy for nothing!”

      Trump said during a FOX Business interview Thursday morning that he is "feeling good," and does not believe he is "contagious at all."

      Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., noted previous attempts by Pelosi to remove Trump from office.

      “@SpeakerPelosi will stop at NOTHING to take down @realDonaldTrump,” he wrote on Twitter. “First it was the Russia hoax, then sham impeachment. Now she’s trying to invoke the 25th amendment because he… fully recovered from the coronavirus? We won’t let her get away with it.”

      PELOSI NOT CONSIDERING ANOTHER TRUMP IMPEACHMENT: 'I DON'T THINK HE'S WORTH THE TROUBLE AT THIS POINT'

      “Congressional Democrats have not stopped their quest to remove President @realDonaldTrump from office since the day he was sworn into office, working night and day to overturn the will of Americans,” Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., wrote on Twitter.  “Here is another installment of their pathetic series."

      "The person who is third in line to the nuclear codes but was “setup” by her hair salon wants to have a conversation about the 25th amendment… Good one," the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., wrote on Twitter.

      "I wouldn’t put it past @SpeakerPelosi to stage a coup," Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., said. "She has already weaponized impeachment, what’s to keep her from weaponizing the 25th amendment?"

      Pelosi had earlier questioned the status of Trump's health, as well as exactly how long he has had COVID-19.

      “I think that the public needs to know the health condition of the President," Pelosi said. "There's one question that he refused to answer … when was his last negative test?" Pelosi said that this information is necessary in order to “make a judgment about the actions that were taken after that.”

      Fox News' Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report. 

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      NYC Mayor de Blasio warns Orthodox Jewish protesters of ‘no tolerance’ policy for violence

      Orthodox Jews gather in NYC to oppose coronavirus restrictions

      For a second day in a row, hundreds of Orthodox Jewish men hit the streets of Brooklyn to protest new lockdown measures

      New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged individuals protesting lockdown measures in Orthodox Jewish communities to remain peaceful, as the state and city look to swiftly prevent a larger coronavirus outbreak.

      De Blasio said during a press conference this week that the measures were put into effect to “save lives,” and he understood that people would disagree with the plan – but that they still needed to respect it, as well as local law enforcement.

      “People have and will protest, and we understand that there is a place for peaceful protest, but the NYPD will not tolerate people doing harm to others,” de Blasio said. “There'll be no tolerance for assaults, for damage to property, for setting fires – anything like that is unacceptable.”

      The New York City Mayor added that people who don’t follow instructions from the New York Police Department will face “consequences.”

      ORTHODOX JEWISH PROTESTERS BLAST CUOMO, DE BLASIO OVER NEW CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS 

      To address clusters of outbreaks in some zip codes surrounding Manhattan, Cuomo announced new restrictions this week in areas that have large Orthodox Jewish populations. The measures, in some cases, require schools and nonessential businesses to shutter once again. They also restrict religious gatherings and attendance at houses of worship.

      The outrage within the Orthodox Jewish community was immediate. As previously reported by Fox News, protesters took to the streets and burned masks and clashed with police, while condemning rhetoric used, and actions taken, by de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

      On Wednesday, a Jewish reporter was attacked.

      NYC ORTHODOX JEWISH COMMUNITY PROTESTS NEW STATE-MANDATED CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWNS

      Cuomo said on Thursday that areas where there have been recent outbreaks, including parts of Brooklyn, Queens, and Rockland and Orange Counties – recorded a 5.8% positivity rate on Wednesday.

      The positivity rate for the remainder of the state, excluding the affected ZIP codes, is around 1%.

      Around 11,600 people in New York City have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since Sept. 1, compared with less than 7,400 in August.

      CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

      Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.

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      Maker of At-Home Covid Test Seeks Funds at $1 Billion Valuation

      Everlywell Inc., a health startup that sells a Covid-19 home-testing kit, is in talks to raise fresh capital at a valuation of $1 billion or more.

      Prospective investors including venture capital firms are participating in the discussions, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be named. The company reached a valuation of $175 million after a fundraising round last year, according to Pitchbook estimates.

      The latest effort, if successful, would vault Everlywell to unicorn status, giving it a lead among niche telehealth startups that are rushing to expand. The global pandemic has been a boon for such companies as patients seek to avoid the risk of visiting a doctor.

      A spokesperson for the Austin-based company declined to comment.

      In May, Everlywell, led by Chief Executive Officer Julia Cheek, received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to sell a home Covid-19 test. It costs $109. Last month, the company hired Andy Page, former president of 23andMe, as president.

      Everlywell raised $50 million in April 2019 from investors including Goodwater Capital, Highland Capital Partners, Next Coast Ventures, NextGen Venture Partners and SoGal Ventures, among others.

      The company may exceed $100 million in sales this year after achieving $40 million in 2019, according to the Austin Business Journal.

      Everlywell, which has partnerships with CVS Health Corp. and Humana Inc., is luring investor interest even as its products have attracted criticism. It is best known for its controversial tests for food sensitivity —- and an appearance on the popular reality TV show Shark Tank. Experts have said that test, which the company has called a best-seller, is medically dubious.

      Last week, another player in this sector, Hims Inc., which also sells a Covid-19 test, said it would go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company.

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      Sacha Baron Cohen just slammed Facebook for being a home for conspiracy theories that could 'kill democracy as we know it'

      • Actor Sacha Baron Cohen wrote an op-ed for Time condemning social media platforms for allowing misinformation to spread, and he singled out Facebook in particular.
      • The "Borat" actor, who has come out hard against Facebook before, said the company is a "dutiful ally" to President Donald Trump and attacked the firm for its failure to fact-check misleading political ads and posts.
      • Cohen wrote how the "trifecta" of President Trump, Facebook, and the spread of misinformation has created "a whirlwind of conspiratorial madness" leading up to the 2020 election that could "kill democracy as we know it."
      • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

      Actor Sacha Baron Cohen in an op-ed for Time Magazine called for an end to the proliferation of conspiracy theories on social media platforms — and the actor zeroed in on Facebook specifically.

      The actor slammed the company for the role it has played in misinformation spreading online, calling out Facebook's algorithm that is designed to promote content that more people find interesting. Cohen also called Facebook out for its refusal to fact-check political ads and remove misleading posts.

      The actor pointed out that conspiracy theories are more easily spread during times of uncertainty.

      "Donald Trump — who averages 23 lies a day and is the world's greatest superspreader of coronavirus conspiracies —has caught the virus himself. He has a dutiful ally in Facebook — the greatest propaganda machine in history. And this is a time when Americans are especially vulnerable to lies and conspiracies. This trifecta has created a whirlwind of conspiratorial madness," Cohen wrote in the op-ed.

      Cohen's damning remarks come as the 2020 presidential election looms just weeks away and as social media sites continue to grapple with policing disinformation on their platforms. Facebook has been in the spotlight specifically for giving QAnon networks a platform. The baseless far-right conspiracy theory spouts the claim that President Trump is secretly fighting a "deep state" group of human traffickers. Its scores of supporters found a home on Facebook up until Tuesday when the company said it was banning QAnon from its platform. 

      This isn't the first time Cohen has come out as a staunch opponent of Facebook. The actor slammed the company — and other Silicon Valley giants — in late 2019 for what he says is the firm's failure to stop the spread of lies and hate speech.

      In January of this year, the actor attacked Zuckerberg in a Twitter post, calling the CEO out for a series of political ads the firm allowed to run on the site that a Guardian investigation found to be riddled with disinformation. "Mark Zuckerberg, history will judge you harshly — if we still have historians after you help destroy democracy," Cohen wrote in the tweet.

      Zuckerberg said he does not wish Facebook to be an "arbiter of truth" after Twitter opted to attach a warning label to a tweet posted by President Donald Trump in which he falsely stated that "there is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent."

      Facebook's reputation has been tarnished since its handling of user data came to light in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, as well as its involvement in the 2016 presidential election. The social media firm has rolled out a series of moves leading up to this year's election in an effort to stunt the spread of misinformation on the platform.

      In September, Zuckerberg said Facebook would start labeling posts from candidates that declare victory before the official results can be counted. With the influx of mail-in ballots, it's possible that the nation will not know the election results until after November 3. Facebook also announced it would attach a label to content that touches on the "legitimacy of voting methods, for example, by claiming that lawful methods of voting will lead to fraud." President Donald Trump has peddled claims that mail-in voting will lead to election fraud.

      The social media firm has also announced that it would not accept political ads starting the day after the election. 

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