Tag Archives: Donald Trump

You Can be Sued for Blocking People on Twitter… if You’re the President

Some people hurt the president’s feelings and were blocked on Twitter. Turns out Donald Trump may have violated their first amendment rights by doing so. 

Say you’re the president of the United States (POTUS). You won the Electoral College election, but lost the popular vote by a wide margin. Most Americans do not want you to be the president of the United States. You don’t have any political experience, you have archaic social beliefs, you’re a poor orator, you’re violating the emoluments clause of the constitution, you’ve got suspicious ties to a foreign government, you’ve criticized freedom of the press, and perhaps worst of all, you’re quick to anger. What do you do if people start commenting on your Twitter posts in ways that contradict your statements with facts or mock your inexperience? You block them! That’s what you do if you’re @realDonaldTrump, you block the mean people saying true mean things about you. But the president of the United States needs to have a level mind and thick skin. They need to respond to criticisms, the voice of the people, in a dignified manner, not silence them. By shutting down a means of communication between the electorate and the public forum that Donald Trump himself set up willingly, Trump silenced voters. Turns out, that could be a violation of their First Amendment rights. 
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Zero Rating is the Latest Net Neutrality Violation, and Trump’s FCC Allows It

Scott Stantis/Chicago Tribune

Zero rating may be a term you’re not used to hearing yet, but it’ll be the next great battle for proponents of an open and free internet and those who are against net neutrality, large corporations, our new president, and his FCC chairman, Ajit Pai. Zero rating is a new attack on net neutrality, which varies slightly than simply charging customers or companies for access to webpages at fair speeds. It’s the practice many large cellular service providers have begun using to entice customers to sign up for their services. AT&T owns DirecTV, so when you stream DirecTV on your AT&T plan, it’s “zero rated,” as in, it doesn’t count against your data caps. Verizon owns AOL and the go90 platform, so using services from those could be free, but accessing DirecTV on Verizon will cost data like it would anywhere else. Verizon even took this a step further, charging corporations for zero rated data. So if Netflix wants users to be allowed to continue streaming shows on Verizon for more than a few hours, they have to pay Verizon a hefty sum for zero rated data. 

Just like the standard violations of net neutrality we’re used to, zero rating hurts competition, aids in the creation of monopolies, benefits large corporations while hurting small business owners, and limits consumer choices. But is it something Americans want?
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Silicon Valley Unites Against Trump

I’m typing this on a device that wouldn’t exist if not for an immigrant from Syria. Steven Paul Jobs was given up for adoption when he was born. His birth father was named Abdulfattah “John” Jandali, a Muslim man who grew up in Syria. He went to the American University of Beirut and later got a PhD at the University of Wisconsin. It was at the University of Wisconsin that  he met a wonderful woman and… well, Steve Jobs was born about 9 months or so after one of their nights together. He also would not be able to get in the country and father Steve Jobs had Donald Trump been president in 1954. That’s because Donald Trump recently set up a ban against immigrants and refugees from 7 Muslim majority countries, including Syria, specifically giving exceptions to non-Muslims. 

Yes, it’s a Muslim ban, it makes exceptions for “religious minorities” in Muslim majority countries. And most of Silicon Valley, including the CEOs of Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft, have spoken out about it. 
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Net Neutrality and Privacy Are Now at Risk

Trump at the RNC, standing and grinning ominously at a podium in front of a huge screen, zoomed in on his face, and a dizzying array of American flags.

John Moore, Getty Images

Last year, Apple got into a fight with the FBI over an abandoned iPhone 5c. The iPhone belonged to the San Bernardino shooter. It was the shooter’s work phone, and he had destroyed both his and his wife’s primary phones, which were likely used to coordinate the attack It was highly unlikely that the phones in question had anything in them. However, James Comey, Director of the FBI, went after Apple like a rabid dog. The FBI sued Apple, determined to force them to make an easily hacked version of iOS and load it onto the iPhone 5c in question. The iPhone 5c didn’t have the security today’s iPhones have, and therefore could have a new, easily hacked, operating system loaded onto it. Apple refused to make the software, and the FBI sued for the right to force Apple employees to work against their will. Eventually a company that wasn’t affiliated with the U.S. Government was able to hack into the iPhone 5c in question, and the FBI dropped its case, though legal experts believed they didn’t have a chance against Apple. In America, forcing people to work against their will doesn’t go over well. 

In 2015, the FCC finally stood up for net neutrality. Tom Wheeler, head of the FCC, managed to protect the country’s internet and its users. Net neutrality is a concept that all internet traffic is equal. Internet service providers (ISPs) can’t speed up traffic from certain companies if they pay more, or slow down others for not paying what amounts to a legal bribe to ISPs. It’s what prevents AT&T from slowing Verizon’s website down for AT&T customers, or Comcast for charging Netflix users more than Hulu users, or Netflix more than Youtube. It protects users from being forced into using certain services due to pricing, and it allows small businesses to compete with the large ones. 

Net neutrality and encryption protect Americans. They keep our data private and secure, they keep our internet speeds consistent, they keep us from corporate censorship, and they’re in danger. Donald Trump’s pick for the FCC is against net neutrality, and his attorney general is against personal security and encryption. 
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Trump’s FCC Picks Are Bad News for Net Neutrality

Trump’s presidential win may spell bad news for anyone who’s not white, not straight, not cisgender, not male, an immigrant, or not Christian, but now his presidency could prove to be bad for another group: internet based businesses and internet users. Basically, all of you. That’s because Trump has chosen two men to serve as FCC transition advisors who are against net neutrality. Trump himself has called net neutrality an “attack on the internet,” which couldn’t be further from the truth. What’s net neutrality? To sum it up quickly, it’s the idea that the internet should be free for everyone to purchase access to, without restrictions, and without discrimination. It prevents internet service providers like Comcast from slowing down speeds of websites or services of their competitors. It prevents Time Warner from charging Netflix more to use their network than a different streaming partner. Comcast can’t favor their own streaming service, Hulu, over Netflix, thanks to net neutrality. They also can’t create internet “fast lanes” that large companies can pay to use, which would stifle competition and keep small business from being able to compete. Imagine trying to start your own streaming service, but you can’t afford AT&T’s fast lane. No one would use your service. Or imagine a mom & pop electronics store trying to challenge Best Buy. They can’t afford to make their website load as quickly as Best Buy’s, and they’ll lose business. 

Donald Trump’s picks for FCC advisors are both outspoken against the free, open, and equal internet. They’ll turn the tide of the FCC to the Republicans, who wish to dismantle net neutrality. 

That’s right, internet users, Donald Trump is coming after your Netflix binges and cat memes now. 
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Grubhub CEO’s Positive Message to Employees Interpreted Negatively, Perhaps for Good Reason

After Donald Trump won the U.S. Election, many company presidents and CEOs emailed their employees to reassure that that, though the president elect had suggested many racist, sexist, xenophobic, and homophobic things, their company would not take advantage of any divisive laws he may pass, and would be welcoming to all employees. The CEO of Grubhub, Matt Maloney, took that idea a few steps further, by saying that anyone who thinks his company should enforce racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, or xenophobia in general should send him their resignation immediately. Some people–Fox News–took that to mean that he wanted all Trump supporters to resign. Maloney says that’s absolutely not the case, but read the comments in full for yourself, and ask yourself what you thought his intention was. I’ve also included highlighted sections if you find the screenshot image that was sent to Fox News hard to read. 

“While demeaning, insulting, and ridiculing minorities, immigrants, and the physically/mentally disabled worked for Mr. Trump, I want to be clear that this behavior–and these views, have no place at GrubHub. Had he worked here, many of his comments would have resulted in his immediate termination.”

“I absolutely reject the nationalist, anti-immigrant, and hateful politics of Donald Trump and will work to shield our community from this movement as best as I can. As we all try to understand what this vote means to us, I want to affirm to anyone on our team that is scared or feels personally exposed, that I and everyone else here at Grubhub will fight for your dignity and your right to make a better life for yourself and your family here in the United States.

“If you do not agree with this statement then please reply to this email with your resignation because you have no place here. We do not tolerate hateful attitudes on our team.”

“I want to repeat what Hillary said this morning, that the new administration deserves our open minds and a chance to lead, but never stop believing that the fight for what’s right is worth it.”

-GrubHub CEO Matt Maloney

Admittedly, such harsh language was a risky move, but it seems clear to me that he wasn’t saying that Trump supporters should resign at all. He was instead stating that anyone who supports racism, xenophobia, and hate should resign. Think about it, if you said “They’re rapists” about Mexican immigrants, insinuated a man couldn’t do a job because of his heritage, and said “Grab them by the pussy” about a female coworker, would you get to keep your job? Of course not. This email simply reaffirms the company’s Human Resources policy: that hatred is not going to be tolerated in the workplace. Maloney wanted to make sure his employees knew that Grubhub would always stand up for their rights and the rights of their users. Unfortunately, a group of people, mostly Trump supporters, it would seem, have taken to Grubhub’s App Store and Google Play store pages to voice their opinions. A few of those are below.

People seemed to assume that Grubhub’s CEO was saying that any Trump supporter should resign, even though he ended his letter with a message of inclusiveness, even for those of different political ideologies. It seems they were unable to separate a vote for Trump with his racism, xenophobia, sexism, and hate. Maloney was simply stating that the hate Trump represents will not be welcome in the Grubhub office. But perhaps he was a bit too hasty and aggravated in his email. Many of us have been upset by Trump’s nomination, but not all of us told coworkers they wouldn’t be welcome at the office if they were hateful towards our other coworkers. Of course, we probably didn’t do that because we don’t have to. The HR department already ensures equal treatment of all customers and employees with their company’s anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies, as well as an equal opportunity employment policy. Knowing discrimination in the office was already disallowed, it was ill-advised for Grubhub’s CEO to tell employees to resign if they support bigotry, but with the passion this election inspired, he could hardly be blamed for wanting to ensure employees know they will be safe and hate will not be tolerated in the office. 

Maloney published a press release to Grubhub’s website, stating, “I want to clarify that I did not ask for anyone to resign if they voted for Trump. I would never make such a demand. To the contrary, the message of the email is that we do not tolerate discriminatory activity or hateful commentary in the workplace, and that we will stand up for our employees.” It seems the only people who have a problem with his comments are unable to separate voting for hatred and voting for Trump, and ironically, this seems to be mostly Trump supporters. Perhaps what we’re really seeing here is that Trump supporters don’t like even the possibility of being targeted by someone who doesn’t like them because of what they believe. 

Now where I heard that one before?

Sources: The Verge 1 & 2, Fox News 

Apple Refuses to Support RNC Due to Trump’s Policies

My mom got was upset she had to look at Trump’s face in one of my articles. So here’s a screenshot from Trump Dump instead.

The Republican National Committee needs electronics like everyone else. Unless they bring their own computers, they can expect to get nothing donated to them from Apple, if two separate reports from Politico and John Paczkowski are true. Apple is refusing to supply the RNC with devices or support over Trump’s policies. All things considered, Apple may have protested this year over any of the Republican Party’s nominees, but Trump is especially bad. The Republican Party is fighting against everything Apple stands for: equality, diversity, and the environment.
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