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Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.As mainstream internet companies like Facebook and Google have gradually limited white nationalist and neo-Nazi access to their platforms, more and more have turned to Telegram, an encrypted messaging app with very lax moderation policies.
On the app, neo-Nazis openly talked about threatening minorities, carrying out violence, and made frequent allusions to “Day of The Rope”—their fantasied reckoning whene race traitors will be murdered en masse. All the while, Telegram generally opted to not do anything about it.  The company was aware of the channels, but had opted to let them stay.But after last week’s deadly pro-Trump riot at the Capitol, Telegram appears to be changing its mind. Since Tuesday, a wave of neo-Nazi and white nationalist accounts have come down. The removals follow an online campaign by activists, including extremist researcher Gwen Snyder, who pushed over the last week for Apple and Google to ban Telegram from their app stores, and for the app’s users to undertake reporting campaigns to prompt such channels removal.  While Telegram did start taking down neo-Nazi channels on Wednesday, neither Apple nor Google have publicly acknowledged putting pressure on Telegram to delete the channels, nor is it clear if the mass reporting campaign played a role. Telegram has not released the exact number of accounts taken down. Snyder says she’s seen roughly two dozen banned in the last two days, most of which had between 2,000 and 10,000 followers.  Telegram is best known for being an encrypted messaging app, where users or groups can send private, secure messages. But unlike other similar messaging apps, it also lets users create channels that anyone can view and follow. The anti-racist activists targeted those public-facing channels. Apple, Google, and Telegram did not respond to Mother Jones requests for comment, but in a statement to CNN’s Brian Fung, Telegram said it had removed “dozens” of channels that were posting “calls to violence for thousands of subscribers.” Telegram founder Pavel Durov also acknowledged in a public channel on the app that the company was banning neo-Nazi groups for posting threats.  In a phone call with Mother Jones, Snyder called the bans “unprecedented” for Telegram, especially given that they happened en masse. The only similar action Snyder said she could recall was when the app banned dozens of neo-Nazi channels last year, but only in the Apple version of the app. (That step took place after Mother Jones flagged that the channels violated the Apple App Store’s terms of service.) Since then, many of the channels remained accessible through the Google Android version of Telegram, suggesting that company was aware of the channels, but opted to let them stay. Since Parler, a right-wing social media app, was banned from major app stores for its role in helping incite violence on Capitol Hill last week, users have flocked to Telegram and elsewhere. Far-right groups have been trying to seize on the influx of new users to recruit and radicalize them to even more extreme politics. If the bans continue, on Telegram, they won’t get their chance.

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Justin Timberlake finally confirms he and Jessica Biel had second child

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Justin Timberlake has finally confirmed that he and wife Jessica Biel welcomed their second child over the summer — a son named Phineas.

The 39-year-old star opened up about life as a dad of two during a virtual appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” set to air on Monday.

“He’s awesome and so cute. Nobody’s sleeping,” Timberlake quipped. “But we’re thrilled. We’re thrilled and couldn’t be happier. Very grateful.”

Reports in July said that Biel, 38, and her hubby had a new addition to their family.

The couple had managed to keep the pregnancy a total secret while they holed up in Montana with their 5-year-old son Silas amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The famous pair, who got married in 2012, craftily avoided posting any full-body shots of Biel to social media during the later stages of the pregnancy to keep the baby under wraps.

DeGeneres was apparently among the first outside of immediate family to hear the news.

“I think we were FaceTiming and you said, ‘Hey, you want to know a secret?’ and then Jessica walked in and you put your hand on her stomach. You were like, ‘I’m having another baby!'” she recalled.

Timberlake — who will be performing during President-elect Joe Biden’s inaugural TV special on Wednesday — said son Silas is “super excited” about being an older brother.

“Right now he’s very much liking it,” Timberlake said. “Phin can’t walk yet or chase him down, so we’ll see what happens.”

Filed under celebrity babies ,  celebrity pregnancies ,  ellen degeneres ,  jessica biel ,  justin timberlake ,  1/17/21

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