Archive for  July 6th 2018

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The Declaration of Independence contains hate speech, according to Facebook’s algorithms.

Though the social media site eventually allowed the famed historical document to be shared in full, Texas’ Liberty County Vindicator ran into trouble while posting fragments of the text on its Facebook page ahead of Independence Day.

Facebook’s algorithms specifically flagged three words in a line accusing the British monarchy of endeavoring “to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages,” claiming the line violated the site’s standards on hate speech, per the BBC. “Unfortunately, [Thomas] Jefferson, like most British colonists of his day, did not hold an entirely friendly view of Native Americans,” the Vindicator‘s managing editor, Casey Stinnett, commented after the text was removed.

Stinnett wasn’t all that upset, though. “The newspaper has little grounds for complaint other than the silliness of it,” he wrote.

Still, Facebook later restored the content and apologized. “We made a mistake and removed something you posted on Facebook that didn’t go against our community standards,” the company told the paper.

It’s an admission surely welcomed by Christian Britschgi at Reason, who accused Facebook of “whitewashing America’s founding.” While “clearly racist,” the flagged line of text “serves as another example of the American Revolution’s mixed legacy; one that won crucial liberties for a certain segment of the population, while continuing to deny those same liberties to Native Americans and African slaves,” he writes.

(A copy of the Declaration was reportedly hidden behind wallpaper.)

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DES MOINES, Iowa–  Outrage Thursday in Beaverdale some residents calling on city officials to act.

For some residents recovering from a flood is common.

Residents blamed their sewer drains for the problem saying they’re too old and unreliable.

At one meeting, community members met in the middle of 57th street.

Where nearly a week ago there was more than 3 feet of water.

“My husband almost drowned in that backyard he couldn’t get out he had to swim up” resident Kayde Heidt said.

Heidt and others blame the flooding on an outdated drainage system, that they thought was fixed.

“I am very angry we thought that they had fixed it then come to find out all they did was try to put a band aid on it,” Heidt said.

The city said at the time, that was the only option.

“A bunch of us are going to get together, we are going to talk about it what can we put off getting this taken care of because this is a priority,” Des Moines City Councilman Bill Gray said.

Ten blocks down on 47th and Holcomb another group of residents expressing similar concerns.

“I want them to fix the infrastructure it wants them to quit putting money towards beautification,” Heidt said.

At this meeting, city and state officials joined the conversation.

“I don’t agree with you that its failing infrastructure, it think it is overwhelmed,” Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie said.

According to Polk County Mitigation Plan, there are 54 new and existing river or flash flood projects, all of which listed as high priority.

Despite being a high priority, these neighborhoods sit miles away from a body of water so, their sewer drainage systems are not top of that list.