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NASCAR driver Noah Gragson suspended from racing due to social media conduct – CNN

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CNN
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Driver Noah Gragson has been suspended indefinitely and will not participate in NASCAR’s Cup Series race on Sunday due to his “actions” on social media, according to NASCAR and his team, Legacy Motor Club.

A screenshot circulating on social media purports to show Gragson’s Instagram account had liked a meme mocking George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by a White police officer in Minneapolis in 2020. Neither NASCAR nor Legacy Motor Club specified the reason for the suspension and CNN has not independently verified the post.

Gragson apologized in a post on Twitter on Saturday.

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“I am disappointed in myself for my lack of attention and actions on social media,” Gragson said. “I understand the severity of this situation. I love and appreciate everyone. I try to treat everyone equally no matter who they are. I messed up plain and simple.”

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Legacy Motor Club suspended Gragson indefinitely and said in a statement Saturday that his actions “do not represent the values of our team.” Gragson will be replaced by driver Josh Berry for this weekend’s Cup Series race at Michigan.

NASCAR “fully supports” the suspension of Gragson, it said in a statement, and added his actions on social media violated “the Member Conduct section of the 2023 NASCAR Rule Book” when issuing the suspension.

CNN has reached out to NASCAR for more information.

The 25-year-old Gragson, who is in his first year in the Cup Series, is ranked 33rd in points and has no top-10 finishes this season.

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US says China’s ‘global information manipulation’ threatens freedoms – Al Jazeera English

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US accuses China of global media manipulation

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WASHINGTON: China is manipulating global media through censorship, data harvesting and covert purchases of foreign news outlets, the United States said on Thursday (Sep 28), warning the trend could lead to a “sharp contraction” of global freedom of expression.

The US State Department said in a report that Beijing has spent billions of dollars annually on information manipulation efforts, including by acquiring stakes in foreign media through “public and non-public means”, sponsoring online influencers and securing distribution agreements that promote unlabelled Chinese government content.

The Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In July, Beijing responded to a NATO communique accusing it of coercive policies and spreading disinformation by saying the statement disregarded basic facts, deliberately discredited China and distorted its policies.

The US report comes amid controversy over China’s efforts in recent years to expand the global footprint of its government-controlled media, especially as geopolitical competition between Beijing and Washington has intensified. Chinese leaders have sought to combat the negative images of China they feel are spread by world media.

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Citing public reports and “newly acquired government information”, the State Department’s Global Engagement Center said that Beijing had created its own information ecosystem by co-opting foreign political elites and journalists. It had also invested in satellite networks and digital television services in developing regions that prioritise Chinese state-backed media content.

Chinese data harvesting overseas “has enabled Beijing to fine-tune global censorship by targeting specific individuals and organisations”, it said.

“Unchecked, Beijing’s efforts could result in …. a sharp contraction of global freedom of expression,” the report said.

Despite unprecedented resources devoted to the campaign, Beijing had encountered “major setbacks” when targeting democratic countries due to local media and civil society push back, according to the report, which was produced under a congressional mandate to detail state information manipulation.

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China’s manipulation of media threatens global freedoms, says US report

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China is manipulating global media through censorship, data harvesting and covert purchases of foreign news outlets, according to a new report from the US state department, which warned the trend could lead to a “sharp contraction” of global freedom of expression.

The report released on Thursday found that Beijing had spent billions of dollars annually on information manipulation efforts, including by acquiring stakes in foreign media through “public and non-public means”, sponsoring online influencers and securing distribution agreements that promote unlabelled Chinese government content.

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The Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In July, Beijing responded to a Nato communique accusing it of coercive policies and spreading disinformation by saying the statement disregarded basic facts, deliberately discredited China and distorted its policies.

The US report comes amid controversy over China’s efforts in recent years to expand the global footprint of its government-controlled media, especially as geopolitical competition between Beijing and Washington has intensified. Chinese leaders have sought to combat the negative images of China they feel are spread by world media.

300x250x1

Citing public reports and “newly acquired government information”, the state department’s global engagement center said that Beijing had created its own information ecosystem by co-opting foreign political elites and journalists. It had also invested in satellite networks and digital television services in developing regions that prioritise Chinese state-backed media content.

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Chinese data harvesting overseas “has enabled Beijing to fine-tune global censorship by targeting specific individuals and organisations”, it said.

“Unchecked, Beijing’s efforts could result in … a sharp contraction of global freedom of expression,” the report said.

Despite unprecedented resources devoted to the campaign, Beijing had encountered “major setbacks” when targeting democratic countries due to local media and civil society pushback, according to the report, which was produced under a congressional mandate to detail state information manipulation.

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