Things That Matter

What Do You Think? Did This Congressman Fart On Live TV?

Did Congressman Eric Swalwell fart during an interview on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews? Twitter certainly thinks so and #Fartgate has taken political Twitter by storm. The theory appears to have begun when user Andrew Lawrence shared a 5-second clip of the representative with a single caption: “OMFG SOUND ON.” 

Swalwell appears talking as expected, but a couple of seconds in there is an unmistakably loud and distinct fart-like sound. Many believe the hot mic ended up snitching on Swalwell’s bowels but the congressman swears he did not fart. If you think the impeachment hearings are going to damage Trump’s reputation, imagine being known as the congressman who farted. 

#Fartgate was the top trending hashtag on Monday night.

“Chris, so far the evidence is uncontradicted that the president used taxpayer dollars to help him cheat an election,” Swalwell said from the Capitol on Hardball only to be interrupted by a fart sound on live television. 

The audible fart noise sounds so cartoonishly like a fart that it may as well have been a whoopie cushion toy. Most notably in the video, Swalwell seems to acknowledge the toot when he briefly pauses, therefore eliminating the possibility that the noise was added into the video later.  

Reactions on Twitter quickly poured in.

“I heard this live and thought it was my dog. It was not. Turn your sound up. No, really,” journalist Holly Figueroa O’Reilly tweeted.

Some took shot at Swalwell’s excuse for the unfortunate noise mishap.

“Swalwell pauses and flinches at the exact moment someone lightly drags a mug across a desk instead of just picking it up like a regular person What an insane attempt at saving Swalwell,” journalist Tim Pool wrote on Twitter. 

Swalwell says he didn’t even hear the fart. What is the truth? 

Buzzfeed political reporter Addy Baird texted Swalwell to comment on #Fartgate, the congressman denied even hearing the toot. 

“I’m really sorry about this but I have to ask if this was you or someone in the studio,” Baid said in a text to Swalwell. 

Baird told him he looked like he was trying to hold a laugh in during his brief pause. 

“It was not me!!!!!” He wrote back. “Ha. And I didn’t hear it when I was speaking,” adding “I def did not hear it.” 

However, in the age where some politicians cry fake news when confronted with the truth, many users did not believe Swalwell. 

“He paused his speech and ripped one. I can see why he’d not admit to it, but lol to anyone who thinks otherwise,” one user wrote. 

Hardball attempts to clear the air (jajaja). 

While MSNBC did not appear to respond to any of the media’s requests for comment, after deleting a cryptic tweet of the double Spider-man meme, they shared another one. 

“Sorry to disappoint the conspiracy theorists – it was the #hardball mug scraping across the desk. Get yours today and let’s get back to the news!” The MSNBC show wrote on Twitter with a link to purchase the mug. 

People weren’t so keen on this theory. The hard ceramic bottom of a mug producing the sound of a fart as it scrapes against a sturdy news desk just did not seem feasible to the Twitter commentariat. 

“A farting coffee mug? Well that’s a new one. When I scrape my mug across the desk it sounds like a mug scraping across the desk,” Will Donnelly tweeted. 

Donelly also conducted a Twitter poll, which received 3,322 votes, asking users who they believe dealt it. 54 percent believed it was Swalwell, 31 percent Matthews, only 15 percent of users polled bought the coffee mug story. 

But Rep. Swalwell still claimed complete and total exoneration.

After Hardball’s tweet, the Democratic representative who is on the House Intelligence Committee and playing a role in the impeachment hearings took to Twitter to mock Trump and also claim victory. 

“TOTAL EXONERATION!” He tweeted — the same words Trump used after the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. 

We may never know the truth about #Fartgate and that is so 2019. 

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Twitter’s AIs Prefer Ted Cruz With Boobs And White Skin Over Black

Things That Matter

Twitter’s AIs Prefer Ted Cruz With Boobs And White Skin Over Black

Ever notice how on some social platforms like Twitter or Instagram that you yourself are mysteriously unable to crop your display images on your own? That’s because Twitter prefers to let their algorithms make the decision. Over the weekend users on Twitter discovered the surprising dangers of letting algorithms crop your own images.

Education tech researcher Colin Madland drew attention to the issue while speaking out about how the video-calling program Zoom, often crops the head out of his black person coworker while on calls.

It didn’t take long for Madland and other users to discover that Twitter’s AIs use discriminatory equations to prioritize certain faces as well. In short, the social platform’s AIs prefer white faces over Black ones.

In response to the discoveries, a Twitter spokesperson acknowledged that the company was looking into the issue “Our team did test for bias before shipping the model and did not find evidence of racial or gender bias in our testing. But it’s clear from these examples that we’ve got more analysis to do. We’re looking into this and will continue to share what we learn and what actions we take,” they stated.

Of course, Madland’s discovery is nothing new. In 2019, test results from the National Institute of Standards and Technology revealed that some of the strongest algorithms online were much more likely to confuse the faces of Black women than those of white women, or Black or white men. “The NIST test challenged algorithms to verify that two photos showed the same face, similar to how a border agent would check passports,” Wired points out. “At sensitivity settings where Idemia’s algorithms falsely matched different white women’s faces at a rate of one in 10,000, it falsely matched black women’s faces about once in 1,000—10 times more frequently. A one in 10,000 false match rate is often used to evaluate facial recognition systems.”

Still, it didn’t take long for users on the platform to ask what other physical preferences Twitter has.

Turns out the AIs prefer Ted Cruz with large anime breasts over a normal-looking Ted Cruz.

(To better understand this Tweet, click the link above)

The user who tested the image of Cruz, found that Twitter’s algorithm on the back end selected what part of the picture it would showcase in the preview and ultimately chose both images of Cruz with a large anime chest.

It’s nothing new that Twitter has its massive problems.

For a platform that so controls and oversees so much of what we consume and how we now operate, it’s scary to know how Twitter chooses to display people with different skin tones. The round of jokes and Twitter experiments by users has only revived concerns on how “learning” computer algorithms fuel real-world biases like racism and sexism.

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


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

iamcardib / Instagram / @iamcardib / Twitter

Cardi B and her sister are being sued for defamation of character after a viral video taken by Hennessy Carolina Almánzar. The video shows two men, one wearing a MAGA hat, and one woman telling Hennessy to move her car, which is parked on the beach.

Earlier this month, Cardi B shared a video taken by her sister showing a confrontation over where a car was parked.

Cardi B, who is notorious for having widely broadcast Twitter feuds with people, posted the video in response to a tweet from Candace Owens. Owens is a controversial conservative figure whose brand is all about shock and awe. Owens famously said she thinks it would be okay if “Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well.”

Immediately, there was skepticism about the incident since the video starts during the confrontation.

Responding to nay-sayers, Cardi B shared a video of her sisters voice messages sent to her IG DMs. Hennessy claims in the messages that the white men were the aggressors against her and her girlfriend while they were on the beach.

The videos did not convince some people that her sister wasn’t in the wrong.

Cardi B’s tweet is filled with responses questioning the video and denying its authenticity. The argument immediately turned political because of the mention of Trump and Trump supporters. The conversation on Twitter is divided among people who believe Cardi B and her sister and those who don’t.

Now, Cardi B and Hennessy are being sued by the beachgoers in the video.

“These peaceful Suffolk County residents were quietly enjoying a Sunday at the Smith Point beach with their families, when rap celebrity Hennessy Carolina suddenly approached them, raging, spitting, insulting, assaulting, defaming and threatening them, all the while videotaping them because one of them wore a MAGA hat,” beachgoers’ Miller Place attorney John Ray said, according to ABC7NYC.

The lawsuit claims defamation of character because of the language used in the video against them.

According to Billboard, plaintiffs Peter Caliendo, Pauline Caliendo, and Manuel Alarcon claim that they had approached Hennessy and her girlfriend, Michelle Diaz, blocked them in with how she parked her car. The lawsuit states that the men asked for Diaz to move her car and that’s when Hennessy started to record the video and hurl names and insults at them.

This story is developing and mitú will be updating as the story unfolds.

READ: Cardi B Is, Once Again, Fed Up With Trolls Trying to Body Shame Her With Edited Photos

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