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Defund-Police Organizers to Biden: “We’re Not Going Away”

Defund-Police Organizers to Biden: “We’re Not Going Away”On the Saturday after Election Day, not long after media outlets announced the projected winner of the presidential race, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors fired off a short letter to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. She wanted to congratulate them on their historic victory, and also to request a meeting so she could share her organization’s expectations for the next administration. “In short, Black people won this election,” she wrote to them. “We want something for our vote. We want to be heard and our agenda to be prioritized.” “Black people won this election. We want to be heard and our agenda to be prioritized.”Black Lives Matter organizers made their agenda clear over the summer, as millions of people took to the streets to demand that government officials defund law enforcement agencies and end police brutality. That energy helped bring an unprecedented…


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98 Million TikTok Followers Can’t Be Wrong

98 Million TikTok Followers Can’t Be WrongPhotographs by Michael SchmellingCollab day at Clubhouse Beverly Hills was scheduled to start at 2 p.m., but that time came and went and the mansion was still as sleepy as a college dorm on Saturday morning. In one of the house’s four living rooms, an enormous oil painting of George Washington loomed over a pale leather couch. A whiteboard listed ideas for future TikTok videos: shooting range, wine tasting, go-karts, Joshua Tree. Outside, by the sparkling pool, the lawn was studded with statues of Greek gods and human-size hamster balls.In the kitchen, Casius Dean, an 18-year-old from Hawaii who moved to Los Angeles on his coronavirus stimulus check and is now a full-time photographer at the house, told me that the weekly collab days are an occasion for “people with different levels of social media to create together.” A videographer breezed through on his…


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The Internet Trump Built

The Internet Trump BuiltBeing online has changed Donald Trump. He was the internet’s candidate in 2016—he appears in Urban Dictionary’s definition of meme god—and his campaign leveraged the power of Facebook advertising to beat Hillary Clinton. Since then, he’s become even more obsessed with petty grievances and conspiracy theories that play well on Twitter, a platform used by just 22 percent of the American population. On several occasions, the president has employed Reddit posts to help him make points or issue threats.Trump has also changed the internet in obvious ways. During his first term, Americans have watched his administration relish the opportunity to destroy net neutrality—the core principle of a free and open internet. We’ve had to ask whether social-media platforms should penalize the president for threatening and glorifying violence, and whether the president might in turn just ban internet companies he doesn’t like. We’ve seen some people on the…


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Will Twitter Ban Trump?

Will Twitter Ban Trump?The president’s bad tweets are the stuff of slideshows and masterposts. They’ve inspired memes and cultural catchphrases, and some are so artfully inane that they could even be called poetry: “The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!” Donald Trump tweeted, memorably, on Cinco de Mayo in 2016.Others are scarier. There was the time he declared that a tweet could “serve as notification” that the United States would counter any military attack from Iran, “perhaps in a disproportionate manner.” There was the time he joined in on the wild speculation that the Clintons had ordered Jeffrey Epstein murdered. There were the Obama conspiracy theories, one after another, throughout Trump’s entire presidency and well before it. There was the grotesque promise that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Trump’s “worst tweet ever,” according to one Washington Post columnist, was the one he…


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