elections, the war in Ukraine and abortion.

TikTok’s algorithm tends to keep people on the app, making it harder for them to turn to additional sources to fact-check searches, Ms. Tripodi added.

“You aren’t really clicking to anything that would lead you out of the app,” she said. “That makes it even more challenging to double-check the information you’re getting is correct.”

TikTok has leaned into becoming a venue for finding information. The app is testing a feature that identifies keywords in comments and links to search results for them. In Southeast Asia, it is also testing a feed with local content, so people can find businesses and events near them.

Building out search and location features is likely to further entrench TikTok — already the world’s most downloaded app for those ages 18 to 24, according to Sensor Tower — among young users.

TikTok “is becoming a one-stop shop for content in a way that it wasn’t in its earlier days,” said Lee Rainie, who directs internet and technology research at the Pew Research Center.

That’s certainly true for Jayla Johnson, 22. The Newtown, Pa., resident estimated that she watches 10 hours of TikTok videos a day and said she had begun using the app as a search engine because it was more convenient than Google and Instagram.

“They know what I want to see,” she said. “It’s less work for me to actually go out of my way to search.”

Ms. Johnson, a digital marketer, added that she particularly appreciated TikTok when she and her parents were searching for places to visit and things to do. Her parents often wade through pages of Google search results, she said, while she needs to scroll through only a few short videos.

“God bless,” she said she thinks. “You could have gotten that in seconds.”

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LGBTQ+ Individuals Face Heightened Safety Risks In Prison

LGBTQ+ inmates often face bias, discrimination and unsafe circumstances in prison.

Dee Farmer served time at a federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, for credit card fraud. She was housed in a male facility even though she identified as a trans woman. Based on prison policy, she was placed with her gender assigned at birth. Within two weeks of her arrival, she says she was beaten and raped by her cellmate. 

“I stayed in prison for 17 years. And while there, you know, I suffered all the types of abuses,” she said. “When I was raped, the guard was sitting down in his office and there were maybe 200 inmates in the unit I was in, in Terre Haute. There’s only one guard, generally, to every housing unit. So, to believe that the officers can protect you is just a myth.”

A lawsuit by Farmer against the prison system reached the Supreme Court. 

The justices ruled in her favor, saying that prison officials may be liable for harm if they know of safety risks and disregard them. That case was in 1994. 

Today, LGBTQ+ inmates still face bias, discrimination and unsafe circumstances in prison. 

Jane Hereth is an assistant professor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee whose recent report documented the overrepresentation of LGBTQ+ people in the criminal justice system and the pipeline that funnels many of them there.

“Bias and discrimination across the board by police, by judges, by attorneys,” she said. “Things like family rejection, poverty, homelessness, bullying in schools — were all part of their story leading to the criminal legal system.”

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, LGBTQ+ individuals were twice as likely to be arrested compared to their straight counterparts.   

“When we talk about incarceration, probation, the justice system in general, there’s a high representation of LGBTQ Black and brown folks,” Black and Pink Social Worker and Deputy Director Andrew Aleman said.

Once behind bars, trans individuals are at a heightened risk, especially trans women of color. 

“We know that most trans women who are who are taken into custody are housed in a men’s facility, despite knowing the risk and the high rates of sexual assault and violence that happen to trans women in men facilities,” Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Richard Saenz said.

Shows like “Orange Is the New Black” introduced many in the public to life in prison for LGBTQ+ people. 

“‘Orange Is the New Black’ and some other shows that have come out since then have really humanized people who are in custody,” Saenz continued. “One of the things that I remember seeing is that a trans woman was approached, you know, maybe by four or five inmates at once, sort of like jokingly harassing her sexually. And so that is something that you generally see within the prison system on a daily basis.”

Farmer says harassment takes a mental toll.  

“They suffer a number of times, many of them, even if they’re not raped, they are constantly sexually harassed and pressured into sexual relationships,” Farmer said. “And many of them have to do it for their safety.”

Farmer says there’s still a revolving door of LGBTQ+ people who go through solitary confinement for  protection but then return to the general prison population because confinement was depressing.  

“I was placed in the segregation unit and I was there for over a year. And while I was there, there were maybe eight or nine, not necessarily transgender, but gay and transgender — I would just say gender-nonconforming inmates — that were just back and forth into the segregation unit,” Farmer said.

Organizations like Black and Pink are advocates for LGBTQ+ in the criminal justice systems. Their programs connect gay inmates to support networks outside prison.  

“My ask would be that we don’t forget our roots, and we don’t forget that there are thousands of LGBTQ people in prisons and jails right now. And these are our loved ones,” Saenz said. 

Source: newsy.com

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From Humble Past, William Ruto Sworn In As Kenya’s President

Ruto had been the deputy to outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta but had a bitter split that left the two not speaking for months at a time.

William Ruto was sworn in as Kenya’s president on Tuesday after narrowly winning the Aug. 9 election in East Africa’s most stable democracy, and quickly signaled that his leadership will be a strongly Christian one.

The Supreme Court last week rejected a challenge by losing candidate and longtime opposition figure Raila Odinga of the official results, completing a markedly peaceful election in a country with a history of troubled ones.

The 55-year-old Ruto had been the deputy to outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta but had a bitter split that left the two not speaking for months at a time. On Tuesday, the audience cheered as the two shook hands, and again as Kenyatta handed over the instruments of power.

Ruto, who had dropped to his knees in tears and prayer when the court upheld his win, knelt on the stage minutes after his swearing-in during an extended sermon.

“A chicken seller to a president,” intoned the pastor, highlighting Ruto’s humble youth. “A village boy has become the president of Kenya,” Ruto said in his speech.

In his first tweet as president, the evangelical Christian quoted Psalms: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” His speech praised both the church and Islamic leadership, and he vowed that “we will enhance our partnership, build on our collaboration and enhance our support to them.”

The event began with some chaos. Scores of people were crushed and injured as they forced their way into the packed stadium. Medic Peter Muiruri said a fence fell as people pushed it and about 60 were injured, though the number may rise.

People tried to dodge baton-wielding security forces. Some failed. “I was beaten by the police after trying to get inside,” said a witness, Benson Kimutai.

Ruto takes power in a country heavily burdened by debt that will challenge his efforts to fulfill sweeping campaign promises made to Kenya’s poor, whom he has described as getting by on “stubborn hope.” In his speech, he acknowledged that “clearly, we are living beyond our means.”

He promised cheaper fertilizer as food prices rise and more affordable credit. He also vowed more money for the judiciary, financial independence for the national police from the presidency and efforts to fight a drought in Kenya’s north that brings the threat of famine.

Ruto also asked Kenyatta to continue “chairing discussions” on the regional crises in neighboring Ethiopia, where the government is fighting Tigray forces, and in eastern Congo, where tensions exist with Rwanda. Kenyatta has accepted, the new president said.

“Will come as a big relief to diplomats who worried Nairobi would back out of the two initiatives,” tweeted Murithi Mutiga, Africa director with the International Crisis Group.

But Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed didn’t shake hands with other African leaders afterward, even rejecting his Kenyan Foreign Ministry escort, and went straight to his car.

With the transition, Kenya’s presidency moves from one leader indicted by the International Criminal Court to another. Both Kenyatta and Ruto were indicted over their roles in deadly 2007 post-election violence, but the cases were later closed amid allegations of witness intimidation.

The August election was calm in a country with a history of political violence. Chaos erupted only in the final minutes when the electoral commission publicly split and prominent Odinga supporters tried to physically stop the declaration of Ruto as the winner.

Ruto’s campaign portrayed him as a “hustler” with a humble background of going barefoot and selling chickens by the roadside, a counterpoint to the political dynasties represented by Kenyatta and Odinga. His presidential flag features a wheelbarrow, the symbol of his campaign.

But Ruto received powerful political mentoring as a young man from former President Daniel arap Moi, who oversaw a one-party state for years before Kenyans successfully pushed for multiparty elections.

Ruto now speaks of democracy and has vowed there will be no retaliation against dissenting voices. “I will work with all Kenyans irrespective of who they voted for,” he said in his speech.

But in a warning sign for media, local broadcasters that were accused by Ruto of bias in the past were restricted in their coverage of the inauguration, forced to use a feed from a South African broadcaster in which Kenya’s national broadcaster has a share.

The losing candidate, 77-year-old Odinga, is setting himself up to be a prominent opposition voice once again after former rival Kenyatta backed him in the election. In a statement on Monday, Odinga said he would skip the inauguration and later “announce next steps as we seek to deepen and strengthen our democracy.”

Though Odinga also asserted that “the outcome of the election remains indeterminate,” a spokesperson told The Associated Press it was “highly unlikely” he would seek to declare himself the “people’s president” as he did after losing the 2017 election.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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