Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade. Facebook bans posts about abortion pills. Mastermind behind two election recount riots is pardoned...
Follow relationships to make sense of events. What's their background? Who are they connected to? How did they get to their current position?
A relationship map helps connect the dots despite evasive answers at confirmation hearings. Try this quiz to check your understanding about some the cast of characters behind the abortion ban and Facebook refusing posts about abortion pill. (Answers below).
- Who was involved in both the violent protest to stop the Bush-Gore Florida election recount and the violent Jan 6th insurrection?
- Who was George Bush's legal counsel during the Florida recount?
- Which Facebook exec clerked under Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and was White House deputy chief of staff under President George W. Bush?
- Which senior Facebook executive was at the Republican Brooks Brother's riot in Florida to stop the recount?
- Which current Supreme Court Justice drove the Republican effort to impeach Bill Clinton?
- Which Facebook exec attended the Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearing?
- Which presidential candidate promised to only appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v Wade?
Follow the GOP - Facebook - SCOTUS connections
Joel Kaplan - VP Facebook of Global Public Policy
'Kaplan is a political advisor and former lobbyist. He was in the George W. Bush administration for eight years and is now Facebook's VP of global public policy. Kaplan is seen as a strong conservative voice at Facebook and helped place conservatives in key positions in the company, and advocated for the interests of the right-wing websites Breitbart News and The Daily Caller within the company. He has successfully advocated for changes in Facebook's algorithm to promote the interests of right-wing publications and successfully prevented Facebook from closing down Facebook groups that were alleged to have circulated fake news, arguing that doing so would disproportionately target conservatives.' - Wikipedia
Kaplan - Kavanaugh connection
"Zuckerberg defended Mr. Kaplan’s appearance as a personal decision that did not violate company rules. Mr. Zuckerberg also said he trusted Mr. Kaplan’s judgment, even though he himself would most likely not have chosen to attend the hearing, said two people who were at the meeting. The messaging backfired. Some employees — particularly women — said it came across as if Mr. Zuckerberg was shrugging off Dr. Blasey’s comments about sexual assault, saying that the chief executive’s remarks had caused “stress and trauma” and were “painful to hear.”
Many female employees were also upset that Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, who has made women’s issues a personal platform and project, did not publicly say something about Dr. Blasey and sexual assault. Mr. Kaplan is known as a friend of Ms. Sandberg’s, with the two having gotten acquainted at Harvard, which both attended. In one internal Facebook group that is aimed at supporting female employees, dozens of women this week posted accounts of their own struggles with sexual assault. Mr. Kaplan’s attendance at the hearing made them uncomfortable, they wrote, according to posts reviewed by The Times. Several said they would not feel comfortable working in the Washington office under Mr. Kaplan." - NY Times
Kavanaugh - Florida Bush v Gore election recount
"It was the 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. With the Florida votes still undecided in December because of a state-mandated recount due to the razor-thin margin of the election results, Kavanaugh joined Bush’s legal team, which was trying to stop the ballot recount in the state. The case went before the U.S. Supreme Court, which voted 5-4 to stop the recount, essentially paving the way for Bush to become president. That decision by the Supreme Court is still controversial 18 years later." - Rolling Stone
Kavanaugh: Presidential protector
"Kavanaugh is a former Bush lieutenant who was not only a lawyer in the Florida recount of 2000, but inherited the pivotal job of staff secretary to the president. Legal experts see Kavanaugh as a presidential protector: He has radical views of executive power and privilege and has repeatedly raised doubts about whether presidents are accountable to other branches of government.
This deference to presidential power is also a key reason Kavanaugh won the backing of President Trump. In his confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh pointedly refused to comment on whether a sitting president must respond to a subpoena or has the power to pardon himself." - Rolling Stone
Facebook censors posts about abortion pills
"Facebook is removing the posts of users who share status updates that say abortion pills can be mailed and in some cases temporarily banning those users. When exactly Facebook started removing these and similar posts is unclear. But Motherboard confirmed Facebook removed such posts on the same day that the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the United States.
Post removed. “I will mail abortion pills to any one of you. Just message me,” said a message written by one person who was later banned. The person told Motherboard in an email: “I posted it at 11 a.m. and was notified within a minute that it was removed. I was not notified until I tried to post later that I was banned for it.” When it comes to the legality of mailing abortion pills, there are several telehealth abortion companies in the U.S., and in 2021 the FDA made it possible and legal to send abortion pills via mail." - VICE
Inconsistent Facebook policy enforcement
"The Facebook account was immediately put on a "warning" status for the post, which Facebook said violated its standards on "guns, animals and other regulated goods." Yet, when the AP reporter made the same exact post but swapped out the words "abortion pills" for "a gun," the post remained untouched. A post with the same exact offer to mail "weed" was also left up and not considered a violation. Marijuana is illegal under federal law and it is illegal to send it through the mail.
In an email, a Meta spokesperson pointed to company policies that prohibit the sale of certain items, including guns, alcohol, drugs and pharmaceuticals. The company did not explain the apparent discrepancies in its enforcement of that policy." - CBS
Time to regulate Facebook / Meta
"Dear Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Mosseri: We write to express our concern about reports that Facebook and Instagram are censoring posts containing accurate information about abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson.
As a result of the Court’s decision, it is more important than ever that social media platforms not censor truthful posts about abortion, particularly as people across the country turn to online communities to discuss and find information about reproductive rights.Last month the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade, stripping away constitutional protections for abortion. In the aftermath of the decision, many took to social media to share stories about the impact of the decision, let others know how to legally obtain abortion services, and to discuss their personal experiences. Posts about abortion spiked across social media in the days following the decision.
As people across the country took to the internet to discuss the Dobbs decision, both Facebook and Instagram removed posts about abortion. Reports indicate that multiple posts providing accurate information about how to legally access abortion services were removed, often within minutes after the information was posted. Others reported that posts mentioning abortion were taken down or were tagged with “sensitivity screens” and warnings." Senators Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar (SCRIBD)
TakeAway: Trace people's connections and political agendas to understand their actions.
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Supreme Political payback
Read more about the backgrounds about Supreme Court justices and how they were nominated here.
- Who was involved in both the violent protest to stop the Bush-Gore Florida election recount and the violent Jan 6th insurrection? Roger Stone.
- Who was George Bush's legal counsel during the Florida recount? Brett Kavanaugh.
- Which Facebook exec clerked under Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and was White House deputy chief of staff under President George W. Bush? Joel Kaplan.
- Which senior Facebook executive was at the Republican Brooks Brother's riot in Florida to stop the recount? Joel Kaplan.
- Which current Supreme Court Justice drove the Republican effort to impeach Bill Clinton? Brett Kavanaugh.
- Which Facebook exec attended the Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearing? Joel Kaplan.
- Which presidential candidate promised to only appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v Wade? Trump.