Meta menace? / ‘Bigot button,’ begone / ‘Enough is enough’

Meta menace? Illinois is among 33 states suing Facebook, Instagram and Threads parent Meta, contending the company’s ignored the threat its platforms have posed for kids.
 Illinois’ attorney general: The company’s products “interfere with sleep and education, enable cyberbullying, and contribute to depression, anxiety, body dysmorphia and thoughts of self-harm.”
 The suit follows reporting by The Wall Street Journal and others, exposing the company’s own research about Instagram’s risks to teenagers, especially girls.
 Platformer’s Casey Newton: “It’s hard to see how a complaint about ranking algorithms, likes and augmented reality filters can withstand a First Amendment challenge.”
 Read the (extensively redacted) suit here.
 Disclosure: For reasons unclear, Meta has begun paying Chicago Public Square about $45 a month.

‘Bigot button,’ begone. Exposed by Popular Information (Oct. 16 link), Scholastic has reversed a policy that made it easy for schools to opt out of book fair titles featuring people of color or LGBTQ characters: “It was a mistake to segregate diverse books.”
 Meanwhile, in the far western suburb of Hampshire, a high school musical about four Broadway actors coming to a small conservative town to help a lesbian girl forbidden from bringing her girlfriend to a prom has been canceled due to “safety concerns” …
 … or maybe just postponed?

City Hall’s ‘amateur hour.’ A Tribune editorial complains about Mayor Johnson’s failure “to consult or even provide notice to Ald. Julia Ramirez … about plans to place a large migrant camp” in her ward.
 The Sun-Times says a tense community meeting in that ward, Brighton Park, last night exposed a divide among residents: “Welcoming spirit” vs. worries over safety.
 Block Club Chicago: Some chanted “Send them back.”
 Axios: “Chicago has absorbed more than 30,000 Ukrainian refugees over the last 18 months with little controversy, but the arrival of 19,000 Latino migrants over roughly the same period has triggered a crisis.”
 For the second time in a week—the first involved Ramirez—a Chicago City Council member has been accosted in public.

‘No means no.’ A Sun-Times editorial slams Illinois lawmakers, including State Senate President Don Harmon, for backing a ban on campaign cash from red-light camera companies—but then taking the money anyway.
 The motorist involved in a bicyclist’s death along a troubled stretch of Damen Avenue is under investigation for driving under the influence.

‘Enough is enough.’ The publisher of a small-town Tennessee newspaper is punching back against vandals who targeted its offices after it reported on the white supremacist ties of a MAGA mayoral candidate …
 … who may in fact actually reside in Chicago (September link).
Update, 12:45 p.m.: She lost.

‘Anyone who fights with monsters, should be careful that he does not become a monster.’ Columnist Neil Steinberg invokes Nietzsche as he assesses the Israel-Hamas war: “Were I Israel, I’d call a cease-fire right now and finally solve this thing.”
 The Conversation: An Israeli invasion of Gaza would probably resemble the quagmires in Iraq and Syria.
 The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Will Bunch on the murder of a Detroit synagogue leader who’d been calling for Jewish-Muslim solidarity: “What mattered most about her was not really how she died but how she lived.”
 Former Chicago and network TV reporter Jim Avila: “Gazans deeply skeptical of Western media … yelled that CNN and others from the West were not giving equal weight to the civilian deaths happening among Palestinian people. It’s a complaint editors in the United States should hear.”
 At the Israeli military’s request, Google’s turned off live traffic data for Israel and Gaza.

‘No one who has an option wants to be left behind to face prison with Trump.’ Law professor Joyce Vance says Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis’ guilty plea in Georgia means “it’s going to be interesting to try to watch him distance himself from her.”
 Media Matters: “Fox gave … Ellis a platform to push election lies—then mostly ignored her guilty plea.”
 Rolling Stone: Team Trump is bracing for an avalanche of co-conspirators flipping for the prosecution.

Try, try, try, try again. Republicans had lined up another sacrificial lamb nominee for House speaker.
 USA Today’s Rex Huppke: “If any GOP lawmakers want to actually address the needs of, you know, Americans, they might want to consider striking a deal with non-Republicans, by which I mean Democrats.”
 Jimmy Kimmel: “There’s nothing in the Constitution that covers it, because the founding fathers, as forward-thinking as they were, never imagined such a large group of elected officials being so unbelievably dumb.”

Unlike Congress. The Chicago Reader’s scheduled just one round of nominations for its Best of Chicago awards. If Chicago Public Square makes the finals for Best Email Newsletter and Best Independent Website, it pledges to compete with honor in the finals.
Email a screenshot of your Square nominations to and see your name here.

Subscribe to Square.