Trump can't block people on Twitter: A federal appeals court upheld an earlier 2018 ruling that Trump can't block people who criticize him on Twitter. This applies to his personal account, @realDonaldTrump, which the court decided he uses for "official purposes." The president has another official account, @POTUS, which he stopped using. That account is currently used to retweet the tweets sent from his personal account. Partly because of this, the court determined that Trump's personal account is a "public forum" and he cannot "exclude persons from an otherwise‐open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official [Trump] disagree."
This decision will definitely have a ripple effect: And shift how government figures use all of their social accounts. Obviously, the President of the United States shouldn't block people who criticize him on Twitter, but where is the line between harassment and criticism? And who determines that line? Twitter? The courts? Should other public officials—like, say, city council members—block users they feel are harassing them? Would such a block violate the Constitution? What a world!!! You can read the court's opinion here.
JESUS FUCKING CHRIST: That red spark in the back is literally hell opening up. A passenger told ABC: "I was about to be the first person to jump off."
A Delta flight from Atlanta to Baltimore had to make an emergency landing in North Carolina after one of the plane's engines failed.
There were no reported injuries. https://t.co/Crm0PRxp1i pic.twitter.com/23obfUsQjg
— ABC News (@ABC) July 9, 2019
Me jumping off that plane: Byeeeeeeeee!
Man stabs three people in downtown Seattle: It happened around 10 a.m. near Sixth Avenue and Olive Way. Two of the people stabbed were in their 70s, reports the Seattle Times. Seattle Police Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said the Seattle Police Department currently believes this was "an unprovoked, random attack." The 29-year-old suspect stripped off his clothes and fled naked after the stabbings. He is in custody.
Some words of wisdom from RuPaul: I never thought Seattle Urbanist Twitter would meet up with RuPaul's Eckhart Tolle-drag, but here we are...
Trump's rainy 4th of July "Salute to America" celebration cost: $1.2 million. How's that for draining the swamp?!
The Pentagon says the military support to Trump's July 4th celebrations cost $1.2 million. These are the different types of military equipment that took part in it. pic.twitter.com/34dcVp02yR
— Idrees Ali (@idreesali114) July 9, 2019
Nancy Pelosi v. "the squad": House Speaker Nancy Pelosi isn't happy with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and three of her fellow progressive freshman, a.k.a. "the squad." Pelosi, as you know, isn't on team Impeach The Mother Fucker Already. The Squad has been ready to ITMFA since Day 1. “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” said Pelosi to the New York Times's Maureen Dowd over the weekend. “But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people, and that’s how many votes they got." AOC shot back:
That public “whatever” is called public sentiment.
And wielding the power to shift it is how we actually achieve meaningful change in this country. https://t.co/u6JtgwwRsk
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 7, 2019
People are worried about their Blue Bell: After a video of a teen licking Blue Bell ice cream and putting it back on the shelf went viral, customers are asking Blue Bell to provide plastic safety seals on their containers to ensure that no one tongue fucks their Rocky Road before they do. Blue Bell says their lids are frozen so tightly that tampering is already evident, so plastic seals aren't necessary. This is getting ridiculous. People pee in each other's mouths! It's just a little tongue!
An update on Twitter, porn, and #TumblrRefugees: Last week, I wrote a blurb on an Xbiz post that warned about some language in Twitter's updated Terms of Service (TOS) that could spell doom for porn accounts—or accounts with "sensitive material"—on the social platform. Xbiz highlighted this part of Twitter's TOS:
"Accounts dedicated to posting sensitive media [including all "adult content"]—your account may be permanently suspended if the majority of your activity on Twitter is sharing sensitive media."
This was seen as a warning shot: To the influx of sex workers and porn stars, both amateur and professional, who recently migrated their followings to Twitter after the social platform Tumblr evicted them. Out magazine's Mikelle Street contacted Twitter to clarify their stance on porn. “Accounts that simply post adult content either to express their sexuality or their interests will not be suspended,” Twitter clarified. So, for now, Twitter seems to be the social media home of porn. (If Apple would let PornHub onto its App Store, maybe that would change.)
More union news: Today, reporters at the Seattle Times publicly launched a big fight to remove pay inequity from their newsroom and renegotiate the terms of their contracts and salaries. Times reporter Neal Morton has a good thread on it.
For 3 years, I've worked with some of the most intimidating & passionate journalists I ever met. But too many of my colleagues have left the newsroom since then — not because they ran out of story ideas, but because they couldn't afford to live in Seattle #SeattleTimesUnion (1/5) pic.twitter.com/QVsEeQjYwk
— Neal Morton (@nealtmorton) July 9, 2019
I also worked as a nanny in Seattle — while working full-time as a reporter & engagement editor @seattletimes — to make sure I could pay rent. https://t.co/gqAxKqIAHq
— Jessica Lee (@byjlee) July 9, 2019
An update on Crosscut's unionizing efforts:
This is confusing to me. I'm still willing to hold out hope that management will not make this overly combative, but that's up to them. https://t.co/Sf2zubB5Zf
— David Kroman (@KromanDavid) July 9, 2019
Which is why I really do believe (maybe naively) that this doesn't need to be a fight! I really do believe that Cascade Public Media cares about local journalism or they wouldn't have hired all these people! So let's work together on this!
— David Kroman (@KromanDavid) July 9, 2019
Federal judge says Justice Department can't swap out lawyers on their census citizenship case: The department requested to swap out its legal team mid-case but have been denied. “Defendants provide no reasons, let alone ‘satisfactory reasons,’ for the substitution of counsel,” wrote United States District Judge Jesse M. Furman, adding that the department's claim that the legal switch would not disrupt the case “is not good enough.”
Friends is migrating from Netflix to: "HBO Max," a new streaming service announced today by WarnerMedia. The streaming service will carry Friends, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and Pretty Little Liars, along with an estimated 10,000 hours of programming. It will be priced above WarnerMedia's "HBO Now" streaming service. It's unclear how different "HBO Max" will be from "HBO Now." This news follows Disney's announcement of "Disney+," a streaming service that's been priced at just $7/month. As Stranger writer Jasmyne Keimig just whispered over my shoulder, "Somehow we ended up reinventing cable. Capitalism ouroboros."
Swamp monsters head north: An alligator was found in Chicago's Humboldt Park Lagoon. It's just a little baby one. I say let it breed. Growing up in Florida, I was taught how to run away from gators in preschool.
A new banner for Seattle: Is this the Emerald City's new flag? Mark Ostrow, a core leader of Queen Anne Greenways, submitted this beautiful flag* to The Stranger's city flag redesign contest. I think it has chutzpah.
Stirring, isn't it?: Here's Mark's explanation*:
Here is my second entry, in honor of Mayor Durkan. The colors represent her policies as mayor. The poop color is for her Vision Caca transportation policies. The pee color is for the lack of public restroom facilities in Seattle. Baby puke green is for her photo ops that make people want to barf.
*It should be noted that we've received a shit ton (technical term) of serious contenders for our flag contest—although, clearly, this flag is the shittiest. To prevent copycats, I'm keeping most of the submissions secret until after the contest deadline ends.