These may be the first elections in which class will carry more weight than race; the “right to be forgotten” threatens freedom of speech on the Internet; meanwhile, some smartphone voice recognition software is racist and sexist. These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top.

Will This Be the First Election Where Class Trumps Race? As stirring as Occupy Wall Street’s exhortations about the 99 percent were, it’s important to realize that they were the symptom, not the cause, of a wider trend.

Apple Asks Outside Group to Inspect Factories Responding to a growing outcry over conditions at its overseas factories, Apple said Monday that an outside organization had begun to audit working conditions at the plants where the bulk of iPhones, iPads and other Apple products are built, and that the group would make its finding public.

Is gay literature over? Gay life in America has utterly transformed itself since World War II.

A Eulogy for Kodak In January, Eastman Kodak filed Chapter 11 documents in U.S. bankruptcy court.

A New Obama Cinema? A lone lean figure strides purposefully through a dark tunnel, maybe a highway underpass.

Islamists bring shooting of Egyptian TV series to halt Islamist students halted the filming of an Egyptian television series at Cairo’s Ain Shams University protesting against the “indecent” clothing of the actresses.

A Grave New Threat to Free Speech From Europe At the end of January, Viviane Reding, the European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights, and Citizenship, announced a sweeping new privacy right: the “right to be forgotten.”

Dogs Against Romney A protest planned for the Westminster dog show is the latest sign the scandal Mitt Romney’s treatment of his dog, Seamus, during a 1983 road trip, just won’t die.

Does Your Smartphone Think Rape And Anti-Semitism Are OK? We already knew that Siri, the voice-activated personal assistant on Apple iPhones, is sexist–she can locate where to get viagra and blowjobs, but not where to get an abortion, birth control or cunnilingus.


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