Newswire: Elon Musk buying Twitter: 5 reasons why Black people should be wary

By Bruce C.T. Wright, NewsOne

The sale of Twitter to Elon Musk has prompted a number of questions about what will become of the popular social media platform once the ultra-billionaire gains complete control of the micro-blogging app. Both sides closed the deal on Monday afternoon to allow the world’s wealthiest man agreed to buy Twitter for a whopping $43 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Black Twitter, a group of influential users whose tweets spotlight issues affecting Black people, is among those who have reason to be concerned about the direction in which Musk could take the app now that the sale is official.
Musk’s intentions for Twitter remained unclear. But if his past commentary and the way he’s run his other businesses are any indications, Black people who use Twitter — and there are millions of them — have reasons to be wary.
Twitter moderation
There are fears Musk could change the way Twitter moderates content from its users, whose words have been policed more aggressively in recent months and resulted in permanent suspensions, like former President Donald Trump. (More on that later.)
The Washington Post described Musk’s social media ambitions in part as wanting “a free speech utopia,” but that could mean allowing misinformation, lies, racism and threats of violence with impunity.
“What Musk seemingly fails to recognize is that to truly have free speech today, you need moderation,” said Katie Harbath, a former Facebook public policy director and CEO of consultancy Anchor Change, recently told the Post. “Otherwise, just those who bully and harass will be left as they will drive others away.”
Racial discrimination
Musk’s main company, automaker Tesla, has been accused and sued by its workforce of and for racial discrimination for years now in a situation that has not been corrected. The implication for Twitter is that same administrative approach that prompted accusations of racism against Tesla will come to Twitter, which already has a disproportionately white workforce. At worst, that suspicion could become true as Musk —  allows racists like Marjorie Taylor Greene to not only regain access to their banned accounts but also resume spewing their white supremacy drivel.
Social media accountability
The free press and other groups have been pushing for accountability on social media platforms for a while now to no avail. But making any inroads in that area with Twitter is not likely to happen if Musk takes over, a prospect that is especially concerning since we are just months away from the pivotal midterm elections.
Political implications
Building off the above sentiment, without any accountability in place, the potential for the aforementioned misinformation could run rampant. Twitter is a major part of the political infrastructure now, but without any accountability for misinformation that has been proven effective, it could revert back to its former Wild Wild West-like environment that fostered the type of propaganda that helped hand Trump his presidency. Conversely, Black Twitter and its attempts to highlight political issues affecting people of color could be censored.
Donald Trump
And speaking of Trump, it’s no secret that his own social media endeavor has been a spectacular flop. If Musk buys Twitter, chances are likely that the racist narcissist and accused traitor will be handed the keys back to his shuttered account that was banned two days after the deadly Capitol Riots for what Twitter called “the risk of further incitement of violence.”This is America.

Fox News hit with class action lawsuit charging racial discrimination

By: CBS News and Associated Press

Attorney Douglas Wigdor addresses the media with Fox News host Kelly Wright regarding a race discrimination class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of former and current Fox News employees, in New York
Attorney Douglas Wigdor addresses the media with Fox News host Kelly Wright (L) regarding a race discrimination class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of former and current Fox News employees, in New York, on April 26, 2017.
An expanded lawsuit filed Tuesday accuses Fox News Channel of racial discrimination “that appears more akin to Plantation-style management than a modern-day work environment.”
The lawsuit, filed in New York State Supreme Court, adds eight former and current Fox employees to a case involving three former Fox workers and their accusations against a since-fired Fox financial executive. It also expands the case to include Dianne Brandi, Fox’s chief counsel.
Speaking at a news conference Wednesday morning, Kelly Wright, an on-air Fox News personality and a plaintiff in the case, said he was joining the lawsuit because of “indefensible and inexcusable” alleged discrimination across departments at the network. “We have a culture of systemic and institutional racial bias,” Wright said. “I can no longer sit in silence.”
Wright is the only on-air black anchor at the network, according to his attorney Douglas Wigdor. Wigdor said he expects additional plaintiffs to join the lawsuit.
Fox News said it vehemently denies the allegations, calling them “copycat complaints.” It said Brandi denies the claims against her. “The allegations — and we must remember they’re allegations — show a systemic, pervasive problem in Fox News culture, ”CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman said on “CBS This Morning” Wednesday, adding the class-action lawsuit “has incredible potential to really hurt Fox News’ bottom line.”
The original lawsuit was filed in late March by two black women, who worked in the network’s payroll department, and a third colleague later joined it. The expanded lawsuit, incorporating the other employees, seeks unspecified compensatory damages and an elimination of unlawful employment practices at Fox.
The workers allege that their complaints about the actions of Judith Slater, the fired former comptroller, went unanswered for years. They say Brandi told them it was because Slater “knew too much” about former Fox Chairman Roger Ailes and top-rated host Bill O’Reilly, who have been ousted over the past year because of sexual-harassment accusations.
A lawyer for Slater, Catherine Foti, said the actions against Slater are meritless and frivolous. She said “all claims of racial discrimination against Ms. Slater are completely false.”
Wright said he’d been effectively sidelined and asked to perform the role of a Jim Crow, an insulting slang term to refer to a black man, according to the lawsuit. Wright said O’Reilly, who’s white, refused to show a piece Wright had prepared after racial protests in Ferguson, Missouri, because they showed blacks in too positive a light.
A former employee, Musfiq Rahman, a dark-skinned Bangladeshi, said he was punished after mistakenly walking into Ailes’ office by no longer being allowed on Ailes’ floor without an escort.
Mark LeGrier, a former financial employee who’s black, said he was subjected to retaliation when he complained to Brandi about Slater’s behavior.
“When it comes to racial discrimination, 21st Century Fox has been operating as if it should be called 18th Century Fox,” said Wigdor, the attorney for Wright.
Meanwhile, Nielsen company ratings showed that Tucker Carlson moved into O’Reilly’s old time slot at Fox News on Monday night and took over his status as the most-watched host in cable news — at least for a night.
O’Reilly, who hosted “The O’Reilly Factor,” was fired by Fox last week following news about Fox settling sexual-harassment cases involving him for millions of dollars. He has denied the allegations.
Nielsen said Carlson’s first night at 8 p.m. attracted 3.17 million viewers, beating the combined audience of MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who reached 1.52 million viewers, and CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who reached 1 million.