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Smash Your Tiny Violins: The Blue Check Twitter Purge Is Here

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Celebrities and other dignitaries around the world, including Bill Gates, the Pope and Hillary Clinton, were stripped of their official ticks on Thursday afternoon when Elon Musk’s promised cleanup of outdated Twitter checks was implemented.

The purge also affected ordinary people such as foodies, podcasters and video game streamers, among others non-celebrities.

“Tomorrow, April 20, we are removing obsolete checked checkboxes,” the post reads. The company tweeted on Wednesday. Many have speculated that the April 20th choice was a prank by Musk in reference to the popular marijuana-based holiday. But it wasn’t a joke.

Musk, the super-rich business mogul, bought the social media giant for $44 billion last year and quickly launched a subscription service that includes a blue check mark for $8 a month. Twitter’s previous verification system, which was launched in 2009, was designed to prevent impersonation of high-profile accounts such as those of celebrities and politicians. Before Musk overhauled the site, there were about 423,000 verified accounts on Twitter. It is not known how many are left today.

A number of high-profile celebrities apparently didn’t pay the $8 monthly fee, and their tick marks disappeared on Thursday. Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber, hall berry, Ben Stiller, Bill Gates and many unfortunate journalists (including this writer) were among those famous and not-so-famous Twitter users who lost their verification.

lakers star LeBron James looks like he was given a subscription.

“Perhaps my blue ✔️ will leave soon, because if you know me, I don’t cry 5,” he said in tweet at the end of March, although the monthly fee is $8.

On Thursday, a blue checkmark appeared on his profile that, when clicked, said: “This account is verified because they follow Twitter Blue and have verified their phone number.”

Musk commented on a Twitter thread about James’ blue check, saying that he “pays for some in person.” It was unclear if he paid for James’s subscription.

A rep for James confirmed that a Twitter employee contacted the Lakers star and said Musk was willing to give him a free subscription. James did not accept the offer, the spokesman said. James’ account is still marked with a blue check mark.

The representative declined to comment further.

There is no blue tick on the account former President Trump, who still has over 87 million followers on Twitter despite moving to his own social media site a long time ago. But there is a tick at the expense of the son, Donald Trump Jr.

And then there is written by Stephen King, who had a tick in his account, although he wrote that he did not subscribe to the Twitter service. Musk posted on King’s account on Wednesday, suggesting that Musk paid for the subscription. “Please namaste,” Musk wrote.

Singer rihanna there is a tick and so Miley Cyrus but no Selena Gomez.

Pope Francis appears to have lost his blue check. “The gaze of God never rests on our past full of mistakes, but looks with infinite confidence at what we can become.” pontiff’s account wrote on Thursday. Without the verification symbol, The Times was unable to verify that the account belongs to the pope.

Times Staff Writer Dan Voik contributed to this report.

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You can now pre-order the Rodina anthology

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On January 24, 2003, Tom Ridge was sworn in as First Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Over the next 20 years, the new agency proved chaotic, bizarre, and sometimes utterly brutal—a humiliating disaster for the officials it hired, as well as the Americans it watched, rescued, aided, mistreated, or frisked.

Last year, we published a series of ambitious investigations into how the Department of Homeland Security rewrote the social contract between government and its citizens. V Motherland The series, along with its beautiful art and design, is now available for a limited time in full color. anthology.

1/9

1/9

From Makena Kelly’s dark and sobering reporting on her recent experience with Afghan refugees and the dispatch of Gaby Del Valle from the surveillance apparatus on the border wall, to Darryl Campbell’s more light-hearted (and equally maddening) TSA story and Sarah Chon’s characteristic ticking of a van abduction in Portland, this volume is filled with untold stories. Josh Dzieza’s investigative article on the power crisis after Hurricane Maria remains the only major article on the subject in the English language edition; and asking the burning question “why does DHS suck so much?” Amanda Chicago Lewis found many possible answers from more than a dozen former Homeland Security officials.

From the very beginning we intended Motherland series to feel cohesive, even handsome. The extreme care with which Kristen Radtke treated the art direction becomes even more evident when the book consists of 160 full color pages with original illustrations and photographs. The anthology is now available for pre-order at forget shop.

$35

Paperback volume in a slipcase with 160 full color pages on high quality coated paper. Ten magazine stories are accompanied by original illustrations and photographs.

If you followed Motherland for a year, thanks again for giving us the opportunity. For a series about bureaucratic systems and blatant incompetence on a national scale, that was pretty fun, right?

– Kevin Nguyen and Sara Chong

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Paralympic TikTok Account Controversy Explained: NPR

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The Paralympics TikTok account combines sports footage with viral audio to showcase athletes. But critics of the compilations posted on Twitter say he’s mocking them instead.

Paralympic Games/TikTok


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Paralympic Games/TikTok


The Paralympics TikTok account combines sports footage with viral audio to showcase athletes. But critics of the compilations posted on Twitter say he’s mocking them instead.


Paralympic Games/TikTok

The next Paralympic Games are over a year away, but they are in the spotlight thanks in large part to their official – and controversial – TikTok account.

The account, which has more than 3 million followers, publishes vivid videos about Paralympic athletes: world-class athletes with disabilities that fall into 10 categories including limb failure, impaired muscle strength, and visual impairment.

Some of the Paralympic TikTok explain how equipment and fixtures work for different sports, such as blind football penalty or help setting up a bocce ball. Most are set to viral sounds or social media songs, and many show athletes falling or crashing into each other.

One video reproduces footage of Australian cyclist Darren Hicks, who had his right leg amputated after a crash, winning the gold medal in the Tokyo 2020 time trial. The sound is a popular TikTok song that has been altered so the only word heard is “left.” The video got 4.8 million likes.

A slow motion the fall of a basketball player in a wheelchair with his back to the floor is accompanied by Family Guy version from “Walk Like an Egyptian” (“My back hurts from the chair I’m sitting in… if I lay down on the floor it usually sort of heals”). In the other, the sounds of the electronic game “Bop It!” play as blind and visually impaired swimmers knocked on the head with foam-tipped rods, which the account explains is that they are notified when they are approaching a wall.

Many of the videos have racked up millions of likes and tons of comments from incredulous viewers who obviously can’t believe they’re seeing what they’re seeing from a verified account. (Other comments, both from the account and other viewers, focus on the sport and the exploits of the athletes.)

The TikTok account has been active for many years. But it sparked outrage last week after several popular Twitter accounts, including Barstool Sports, common compilations.

Many criticized the social media account for what they felt was bullying the athletes and downplaying their accomplishments. describing it as “disrespectful”, “evil”, “rude”, and “ableism for looks”. There were calls for shooting who is behind it.

“It’s a little strange that the official [sic] There are so many videos on Paralympic TikTok that make fun of their athletes.” reads the tweet by a user named Yasmin. It has received over 178,000 likes and almost 11,000 retweets.

She also shared side by side compilation videos from the Paralympic and Olympic Games accounts – the latter showing athletes training, competing and receiving medals – to draw attention to the perceived difference in tone.

Disability rights advocate Imani Barbarin said on Twitter that the video of the Paralympic Games “has no voice and no perspective”.

“Not only that, but if you use certain audios with people with disabilities, the context changes almost completely…and it’s the whole page,” she added.

Reaction to TikTok videos of the Paralympic Games has been overwhelmingly negative, but not entirely negative. Those who maintain the account, and some of the athletes who have been featured on it, say it’s an important way to build visibility.

Although the number of participants in the Paralympic Games has increased in recent years, their spectators are lagging behind far behind the Olympics. For example, NBC’s prime-time broadcast of the 2020 Olympics averaged 15.5 million viewers per night, while 14 million watched the entire Paralympic Games.

A spokesperson for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), which manages both the account and the games, told NPR in an email that the criticism appears to be coming mostly from people who don’t have a disability and may not be aware the account is up and running. “a Paralympian who fully understands disability.”

He added that the account has a lot of support from Paralympic athletes as well as spectators.

“We have built a strong audience through poignant and unique content that allows us to educate an audience that may be less aware of Paralympic sport and the achievements of our athletes,” he added. “We understand that not everyone will like the content and sometimes we don’t get it right, but we keep a close eye on the posts, always discussing reactions to them and learning from all the feedback.”

The people behind the account want to educate a new audience

An IPC spokesperson said that TikTok at the Paralympics provides a valuable way to connect with a younger audience “about the power of Paralympic sport as a tool for social inclusion.”

Accounts first viral videoin September 2020, two basketball players in wheelchairs maneuvered on the court to Jack Harlow’s song “What’s Poppin'”.

IPC Digital Media Coordinator Richard Fox said adweek it was then that the team realized the power of TikTok in showing Paralympic sports to people outside of their bubble.

And Fox, a former Paralympic athlete who has been a Paralympic athlete since he was 10, said he doesn’t want these videos to be equated with “inspiration porn.”

“I wanted to show people with disabilities playing sports, but not in the way it was done before,” he explained. “So using viral sounds and using trends, here’s how we do it.”

Fox wants the account to be informative too. He said he spends up to an hour reviewing the comments on each video after it’s posted to respond to comments and answer people’s questions about the video and Paralympic sports in general.

They have undoubtedly seen the critical comments as well. in on adweek video, Jonas Oliveira, head of content for IPC, asks if these critics would be asking the same questions if the subject of the video were Olympic athletes rather than Paralympic athletes.

“There should be no difference in how you treat athletes, whether they are Olympians, healthy athletes or athletes with disabilities,” he said.


The flame is lowered during the closing ceremony of the 2022 Winter Paralympic Games in Beijing. The next Paralympic Games will be held in Paris in August 2024.

Wang He/Getty Images for the International Paralympic Committee


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The flame is lowered during the closing ceremony of the 2022 Winter Paralympic Games in Beijing. The next Paralympic Games will be held in Paris in August 2024.

Wang He/Getty Images for the International Paralympic Committee

Some athletes defend the score

Several Paralympic athletes who have spoken publicly about this offer different points of view, although many agree that the balance between the two is a delicate one.

Amputee footballer Sean Jackson told the BBC that he is disappointed that the account focuses so much on the mistakes of the athletes, and not on their skills.

“They just decided to mock them and turn them into memes and also try to use their sport to entertain people from a comedic point of view,” he said.

Several of the athletes featured on the account told news outlets that they weren’t offended.

Hicks, cyclist, told NBC News he was unaware of Barstool’s viral tweet showing his video and had no issues with the original.

“I don’t feel like they’re bullying me, just using a song that uses the word left and I was pedaling with my left foot only,” he said.

André Ramos, a boccia bronze medalist who has also been the subject of a TikTok post, told the publication that “making fun of our shortcomings is a sign that we accept ourselves for who we are and that others don’t see disability as different.”

Other athletes agree that humor can help raise awareness and normalize differences.

This was told by parasurfer Liv Stone. adweek that she appreciates the account doesn’t “push awareness … in your face”, while wheelchair-bound basketball player Jess White told the BBC that “if we’re going to celebrate great things, we can also laugh over funny things. “

Brad Snyder, a six-time Paralympic gold medalist (most recently in a paratriathlon) who was blinded by an IED in Afghanistan, which was also good for video in which he appeared last year

It shows the guide leading him from the water to the bike and gently reaching for it, a gesture that TikTok has dubbed and praised as an “air piano”.

snyder told CNN that he found the video funny and reposted at the time. But he also acknowledges that there is a fine line between being cocky and being disrespectful, and that no individual can “completely understand the full gamut of disability.”

However, he appreciates that the account is using sports and humor to try and fill that gap.

“Now let’s talk about what my experience might be like and what problems I might have and how you, as an able-bodied person, could understand and adapt to me in various ways or help me cross the street or help me without regret. me and the like,” Snyder said.

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The Importance of Asset Management for Improving ROI

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In the past two years alone, businesses across industries have spent more than $2 trillion on digital transformation. From the cloud (will open in a new tab) With the transition to IoT (Internet of Things) and the ability to connect to third parties, enterprises are looking to increase their digital presence and improve operational efficiency.

However, this digital approach is rapidly expanding an organization’s IT resources—so much so that businesses often lose track of how many IT assets are running on their networks. These invisible, unaccounted for and uncontrolled assets are often a backdoor for critical cyberattacks.

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