Things That Matter

The Trump Administration Just Announced That They’re Banning TikTok Downloads Starting on Sunday

On Friday, the Trump administration announced that it would be blocking future downloads of social media app TikTok starting on midnight on Sunday.

“At the President’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross

The Trump Administraiton is also taking action against the popular messaging and payment app WeChat, banning American companies from hosting the app’s internet traffic or processing transactions for the app (one of its key features).

Both TikTok and WeChat are the two most popular tech exports from China.

via Getty Images

TikTok is a popular video-sharing platform that allows users to share 15-second videos of themselves dancing and lip-syncing to popular music (among other things). The app recently exploded in popularity, racking up 99.8 million downloads in the first six months of 2020.

TikTok and WeChat have both been recent targets of the Trump administration due to their data-collection practices.

TikTok, specifically, has recently come under fire for violating Google privacy policies. TikTok collects and documents massive amounts of data from their users, like videos watched and commented on, location data, device type, and copy-and-paste “clipboard” contents. The app even records people’s keystroke rhythms as they type.

The Trump Administration has long been suspicious of TikTok’s data-collection, speculating that TikTok might be sending the data to the Chinese government.

The Trump administration has argued that such massive amounts of data in the hands of a foreign government is a threat to national security. TikTok denies that they are handing over the data to the Chinese government.

TikTok, for their part, are not hiding their displeasure about the ban, releasing a public statement saying: “We will continue to challenge the unjust executive order, which was enacted without due process and threatens to deprive the American people and small businesses across the US of a significant platform for both a voice and livelihoods.”

This isn’t the first time TikTok has gone toe-to-toe with the Trump administration. The social media company sued the administration in August after Trump signed an executive order enacting broad sanctions against the app. TikTok claimed that the order denied the company of due process.

The TikTok ban is making waves because it marks the first time the U.S. has banned a tech app on the basis of national security concerns.

But some critics are saying that there doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason behind the ban. “It just feels to me to be improvisational,” said cyber-security expert Adam Segal.

Both TikTok users and concerned Americans have taken to the internet to express their anger at the Trump administration’s decision.

“Don’t be mistaken folks,” said one Twitter user. “Sunday it will be TikTok. Tomorrow it will be twitter, FB, Instagram…you name it…We must protect free speech!”

Another pointed out the hypocrisy of Trump targeting China when he doesn’t seem to be as concerned about Russia meddling in our internet affairs. “I live in a world where TikTok is a threat to national security but Russian interference in our elections is not,” she said. “This is Trump’s America.”

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Undocumented Residents Could Be Excluded From The 2020 Census After All, Thanks To New Supreme Court Case

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Undocumented Residents Could Be Excluded From The 2020 Census After All, Thanks To New Supreme Court Case

Phil Roeder / Getty Images

The drama over the 2020 Census continues.

First, was a Supreme Court decision that found the Trump administration wasn’t being totally honest about it’s reasoning for including the citizenship question on the 2020 Census – so the court effectively removed the question from the census. 

Then, Trump tried to delay the constitutionally mandated census to give his administration more time to come up with a better reason to tell the courts.

None of that worked as planned by the administration, and the Census has continued as normal. However, so many in minority communities – particularly migrant communities – have been fearful of completing this year’s census. Well, a new Supreme Court case could erase all the progress we made to make sure all residents – regardless of immigration status – were fairly counted.

The Supreme Court will hear a case that could allow the Trump Administration to exclude undocumented residents from Census data.

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments next month over whether President Trump can exclude undocumented immigrants from the census count used to apportion congressional districts to the 50 states.

The court’s announcement means that the court – which could soon have a 6-3 conservative majority – will hear arguments in the case on November 30.

In July, Trump issued a memorandum asking the Census Bureau to subtract undocumented immigrants from the count for the purposes of congressional apportionment — the reallocation of the nation’s 435 House districts every 10 years. Trump’s memo came after the Supreme Court had rejected his last minute efforts to add a citizenship question to the census.

By the time the high court hears this case, federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett could be confirmed as the ninth justice, cementing a conservative majority. Senate Republicans hope to confirm her nomination to the Supreme Court before the election on Nov. 3.

However, the U.S. Constitution explicitly calls for the counting of all residents within the country.

Credit: Tetra Images / Getty Images

The 14th Amendment requires districts to apportion congressional seats based on “counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.”

Since the first U.S. census in 1790, the numbers of U.S. residents who are counted to determine each state’s share of congressional seats have included both citizens and noncitizens, regardless of immigration status.

“President Trump has repeatedly tried — and failed — to weaponize the census for his attacks on immigrant communities. The Supreme Court rejected his attempt last year and should do so again,” said Dale Ho, a lead plaintiffs’ attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union who successfully argued against the now-blocked citizenship question the administration wanted on the 2020 census forms.

Removing those immigrants from the population counts would shift power to less diverse states. A Pew Research Center study last year found that it could result in House seats that would otherwise be assigned to California, Florida and Texas going instead to Alabama, Minnesota and Ohio — each of which is set to possibly lose a House seat in the next decade due to population shifts.

And drawing new districts within the states based only on the counts of citizens and legal immigrants would likely benefit Republicans, shifting power from cities and immigrant communities to rural parts of the states, which vote for GOP candidates at higher rates

The announcement comes shortly after the court also allowed the Trump Administration to end the Census count early.

Earlier last week, the Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration to stop the census count, blocking lower court orders that directed the count to continue through the end of the month. 

The decision, which the Trump administration favored, came with a candid dissent from Justice Sonia Sotomayor – the court’s only Latina justice.

“Meeting the deadline at the expense of the accuracy of the census is not a cost worth paying,” Sotomayor wrote in her dissent. “Especially when the Government has failed to show why it could not bear the lesser cost of expending more resources to meet the deadline or continuing its prior efforts to seek an extension from Congress. This Court normally does not grant extraordinary relief on such a painfully disproportionate balance of harms.”

But it wasn’t long ago that Trump tried to completely derail this year’s census.

The Trump administration has decided to print the 2020 census forms without a citizenship question, and the printer has been told to start the printing process, Justice Department spokesperson Kelly Laco confirms to NPR.

The move came shortly after the Supreme Court ruled to keep the question off census forms for now and just a day after printing was scheduled to begin for 1.5 billion paper forms, letters, and other mailings.

President Trump had said he wanted to delay the constitutionally mandated headcount to give the Supreme Court a chance to issue a more “decisive” ruling on whether the administration could add the question, “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” A majority of the justices found that the administration’s use of the Voting Rights Act to justify the question “seems to have been contrived.”

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A Hairstylist Defended Her Latina Assistant From An Angry Customer And The Video Has Gone Viral

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A Hairstylist Defended Her Latina Assistant From An Angry Customer And The Video Has Gone Viral

SHARON / YouTube

A Los Angeles hairstylist named Sharon is getting a lot of love for how she handled an upset client. According to Sharon’s account, the client was being racist and she was not going to let the woman get away with it. Here is what we know so far.

A TikTok video is going viral showing a hairstylist reprimanding an upset client.

@sharon.simplyinsane

Y’all ROBIN IS THE NEW KAREN!!! This literally had me shaking!!!! Beware of this behavior people!!! #fyp #xyzbca #karen

♬ original sound – SHARON👑

The brief video shows the client, Robin, telling Sharon that she didn’t want the assistant working on her hair. The video is brief and shows the interaction after Robin is already in the chair and having her hair done. However, Sharon claims that Robin has been racist in the past and that the actions on this day just further exacerbated that sentiment.

Sharon has been working on Robin’s hair for about two years and she feels she understands her.

In an Instagram Live video, Sharon talks about how she has experienced Robin’s racism growing throughout the years of working together.

“She’s always coming into the salon and was really proud of doing derogatory things. That’s why I say I connected the dots like 30 minutes after everything happened cause I started to think about the way she spoke in every appointment and she was always very derogatory towards Mexicans. She’d be like, ‘Oh yeah, and guess what. They were Mexican,’” Sharon says in the IG Live. “So, I’m like thinking, I’m putting the pieces together. I look at Alex and I go, ‘Alex, you let me know what feeling. Is it just me or did you feel from the jump that there was some racism off the f***ing bat?’ She’s like, ‘Oh my god! I’m so happy you said that because I didn’t want to say anything but I 1000 percent felt that way.”

Sharon claims to have the beginning of the experience on camera and has promised to share it.

During her IG Live, Sharon says that Robin entered and immediately started treating her assistant, Alex, with disrespect. According to Sharon, Robin didn’t address Alex directly and checked her out with an up and down glance.

“For all of you people saying your own opinions saying like, ‘There was no racism,’” Sharon tells the IG Live audience. “First of all, you only got a three-minute and 15-second post so let’s relax. Second of all, Alex and I were the only ones in the room and if we felt like there was racism happening then there was racism happening. Point blank. Period.”

Some people are celebrating Sharon and her handling of Robin in the video.

“Mind you, you guys, her own granddaughter reached out to me,” Sharon says in the video. “Her own granddaughter reaches out to me and she basically said we don’t condone Robin’s behavior, we don’t have a relationship with her, we are so sorry this happened. We want to pay you. I was like, ‘No. Honestly, you coming to me and having the energy and the balls basically to come to me and say, ‘Hey. I’m her granddaughter and I’m so sorry.’ I was like, ‘You win. Hands down to you.’”

Here’s a longer version of the interaction that Sharon posted to YouTube.

READ: Cardi B And Sister Sued Over Video Claiming To Show ‘Racist MAGA Supporters’

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