Platform Accountability, Ruptures in History, and Ending the Fat-Free Tyranny

Dearests! In case I haven’t told you before, non-fat food is garbage and a waste of my time, so I happily share with you that “A new study exonerates dairy fats as a cause of early death.” PSA: I am now 100% justified in slapping shitty/sour non-fat greek yogurt out of people’s hands, including yours. It’s triple cream Siggi’s for breakfast or nothing, bitches.

In light of recent revelations that Uber’s COO made racially-charged comments, their head of HR left because she may have ignored complaints of racial discrimination, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is looking into sexual harassment allegations - which, I mean, WOOF - two of my friends/mentors wrote an op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle calling on Uber’s CEO to release the results of the internal report led by former Attorney General Eric Holder, as well as asking for online platform accountability accountability in general. In the piece, Emily Pierce and Tom Galvin discuss how companies like Uber can no longer just pay lip service to their stated values, but must actually start living up to them by keeping themselves in check. As they state (emphasis mine), “Uber is not alone in its failure to live up to the highest levels of accountability. This is a plague infecting digital platforms across Silicon Valley. Facebook is under fire for allowing Russian meddling on its platform and putting profits over the privacy of its users. Google enables illicit and illegal behaviors including the sale of drugs, stolen credit cards, and the spread of terrorist propaganda across its platforms.“ So yea, enough of assuming that tech platforms are agnostic, because humans sure as hell are not, and we need to do better, now, mmkay?

Two historians resigned their faculty positions at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center because the institution hired a former White House legislative director as a paid senior fellow. In an op-ed in The Washington Post, they outline how their decision is not due to a partisan discomfort, but instead due to this individual’s role in the “rupture in history” this presidency and administration are creating. And if historians are to properly study this rupture, they argue, “treat(ing) Marc Short as a trusted colleague in the pursuit of objective analysis would be a surrender to the forces of unreason and obfuscation that have fed the Trump presidency.”

Facebook told congress that there is an active political influence campaign using fake accounts in lead up to the fall midterms. “The company did not definitively link the campaign to Russia” buuuuuuuuuuut it is using similar “tools and techniques” as the Internet Research Agency, which is linked to the Kremlin and was famously and excellently profiled by Adrian Chen in The New York Times BACK IN 2015. But of course, no puppet, no puppet.

And finally, Donald Trump - who is the actual IRL President of these United States of America, in case you’ve forgotten that very real and very sad and very scary fact - thinks that you need picture ID to purchase groceries. Thank you Dan for alerting me to that, and causing me to hurl insults at my computer. She’s now very sad.

Be kind to each other, and stay away from fat-free anything.