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By Eric Johnson
Published Nov 06, 2023

Image credit: Giorgi Balakhadze   CC-BY-SA-4.0

Are Facebook and Instagram Hurting Children?

I love and hate Facebook. I love it because I have used it for years to keep in touch with my family and oldest friends—many of whom I hadn’t heard from much before we all became FB friends. By facilitating instant two-way communications, Facebook became and remains the Internet’s killer app. I hate Facebook because, having studied it closely for years, I do believe that it is literally deadly.

For this week’s newsletter, Jonathan Vankin looks at the lawsuit that California Attorney General Rob Bonta and AGs across the country have filed against Facebook’s and Instagram’s parent company, Meta. The lawsuits allege that Meta exhibited a pattern of behavior in which it purposely caused children to become addicted to its products. (Duh.) The lawsuits describe various profound harms being experienced by our kids, and alleges that Meta’s own documents show that its executives knew that children were getting hurt, and continued these practices anyway.

Scott Galloway, NYU business school professor, offers a succinct analysis of the situation:

I think when we look back on this era of big tech, we’re gonna feel bad about monopoly abuse … we’re going to feel bad about the weaponization of our elections, vaccine misinformation—we’re gonna regret all of it. And I think that’s all gonna be dwarfed by this one regret, and that’s “how the [expletive] did we let this happen to our children?”

Moral Panic or Justifiable Outrage?

We know that kids are spending massive amounts of their lives on social-media sites. We know that there is a full-blown mental-health crisis among today’s teenagers. Are those phenomena related? And is that a corporate crime?

California Sues Meta For Damaging Kids’ Mental Health

How does social media affect the minds and well-being of children? According to California and other states, not well.
California and 32 other states are suing Instagram’s parent company, Meta, saying that their apps are damaging to children. Is there evidence for those claims? Here’s why social media is under attack.

The Dark Mind Behind ‘Engagement’

Rene Girard taught Peter Thiel, the billionaire VC who bankrolled Facebook, that people are driven to imitate each other and move in packs. His mentor meant it as a deadly warning, but Thiel took it as an opportunity to hypnotize a generation.

Desire and Addiction on Facebook

Rene Girard, 'the godfather of the Like button.'
Harper’s magazine reviews a posthumous collection by Rene Girard, who was Peter Thiel’s professor at Stanford, and is called “the godfather of the Like button.”

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From Our Media Allies

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Sierra Sun logo New Feature Aims to Reduce Wait Time at Tahoe Forest Urgent Care

Patients requiring urgent care services can “get in line” prior to arriving at Tahoe Forest Urgent Care clinics in Truckee and Tahoe City using an online tool called On My Way.

The Loomis News logo Loomis Approves Needle Program Ban

The Loomis Planning Commission approved municipal code amendments to shore up a syringe prohibition law passed after a nonprofit proposed a needle program in West Placer.

Tahoe Daily Tribune logo Climate Change, Invasive Clams Are Fueling Algae Growth on Lake Tahoe

While out enjoying one of Lake Tahoe's beaches, you might have noticed large mats of decomposing algae. The lake's famed blue waters are facing another threat.

Sierra Sun logo Achievable Housing in Action Partnership Seeks Feedback on ADUs

The Sierra Sun, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, and the Mountain Housing Council are looking for feedback on several housing-related issues.

Sierra Sun logo Placer County Approves Amendments to the Tahoe Basin Area Plan

There was so much public comment that the Placer County Board of Supervisors had to cut the meeting off after postpone its decision to approve the plan until Oct. 31.

Tahoe Daily Tribune logo Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe Offers Guests a Way to Give Back

With the purchase of every lift ticket during the 2023-24 winter season, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe skiers and riders will be able to add a $1 donation to the Tahoe Fund.

Sierra Sun logo Tahoe Forest Health System Welcomes New Physician

Travis Hays, MD, has joined the Primary Care team at the Tahoe Forest Multi-Specialty Clinics in Tahoe City.

The Roseville Press Tribune logo Roseville Junction Project to Break Ground Before End of 2023

A portion of the Roseville Junction project is nearing completion with a groundbreaking planned before 2023 ends, according to LRE & Companies CEO Akki Patel.

Placer Herald logo Placer County Man a Business Prodigy From a Young Age

Caleb Landon, son of Placer County Supervisor Shanti Landon, is making a name for himself in passive mobile home park investing through his own business.

The Roseville Press Tribune logo Roseville Introduces ‘myRSVL’ App to Report Concerns

Roseville residents are gaining a new way to report concerns with the city’s new myRSVL mobile app and chatbot, Rosie.

Tahoe Daily Tribune logo How to Ski or Ride Free at Tahoe Resorts

Plates for Powder, the program that offers free skiing and riding opportunities to those who purchase a Lake Tahoe license plate, is back again for the 2023-24 winter season.

Sierra Sun logo Tahoe City’s Bahrke to be Inducted Into Ski Hall of Fame

Shannon Bahrke still remembers riding a double chair to the top of KT-22 as a kid.

The Loomis News logo Placer County Accepts $2 Million Grant for Retail Theft Program

The grant funding, administered by the California Board of State and Community Corrections, will be used for the new Retail Theft Vertical Prosecution Program.

Auburn Journal logo Placer County Supervisor Requests Scrutiny of Fairgrounds Leadership

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson sent a letter to the California Office of Civil Rights asking for an investigation into the actions of Gold Country Fairgrounds CEO Don Ales.

Sierra Sun logo Placer County Elections Office Adds Two Offices to 2024 Primary

If you're planning to run for office in the March 5, 2024, Presidential Primary Election, the Placer County Elections Office has a few things you should know.

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Recent Local News

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• Placer SPCA in Roseville Hosts 50th Anniversary Open House

On Dec. 11, Placer SPCA will open its doors for a festive Holiday Open House at the Placer SPCA Adoption and Education Center in Roseville.

(11/06/2023) → Roseville Today

• Tommy Apostolos Fund Shopping Spree in Roseville Set for Dec. 2

Every Christmas for the past 30 plus years, the Tommy Apostolos shopping spree has purchased new clothes and shoes for children in need.

(11/05/2023) → Roseville Today

• Summit Tackles Water Challenges Facing California

At the Water Education Foundation annual water summit in Sacramento, Eric Oppenheimer, chief deputy director of the California State Water Resources Control Board, discussed what he described as the state’s “antiquated” water rights system.

(11/02/2023) → Daily Democrat
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Recent Statewide News

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• UC Irvine-Led Science Team Shows How to Eat Our Way Out of the Climate Crisis

In a study published in Nature Sustainability, scientists assessed the potential for wide-scale synthetic production of dietary fats. The raw materials are the same as those used by plants: hydrogen in water and carbon dioxide in the air.

(11/06/2023) → YubaNet

• A Proposed Development Might Threaten California’s Oldest Tree

A shrubby Palmer oak tree in Riverside County is around 13,000 years old, making it California’s oldest tree and one of the longest-lived organisms on earth. Some people are concerned that a proposed development could threaten the tree.

(11/06/2023) → Los Angeles Times

• Newsom Taking New Approach to California’s 10,000 Homeless Veterans

California’s population of homeless veterans has plateaued despite billions of dollars in state spending to create housing for former service members. Now, Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to shift resources to focus on veterans with serious mental health conditions.

(11/05/2023) → CalMatters

• What a Theme Park Giant Merger Means for California

Two theme park giants, Six Flags and Cedar Fair, announced they are merging. It could have potential impacts on California theme parks like Six Flags Magic Mountain, Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.

(11/05/2023) → SFGate

• UC Berkeley to Relinquish More Than 4,000 Ancestral Remains

Tribes like the Muwekma Ohlone have been asking UC Berkeley for decades to give back ancestral remains from burial sites around the Bay Area. The school is in the process of repatriating 4,400 remains and 25,000 tribal items.

(11/03/2023) → ProPublica

• Lakes Are Reappearing in Death Valley

California's Death Valley is Earth’s hottest place and North America’s driest place. Intense rains, though, are causing lakes to briefly reappear.

(11/03/2023) → Newsweek

• Open Enrollment for Covered California Runs Nov. 1 to Jan. 31

It’s that time of the year again when people can get health insurance through Covered California. Here’s more information on how to apply.

(11/03/2023) → Sacramento Bee

• America’s Low-Carbon Transition Could Improve Employment Opportunities for All

The USA is likely to see consistent job growth from the transition to net zero, but the gains will be unevenly distributed, shows a new analysis conducted by Imperial College London researchers and published in Nature Climate Change.

(11/03/2023) → YubaNet

• Tech Layoffs Continuing in California

Four technology companies, including Google, have announced they're laying off close to 1,700 workers in California. This follows tech layoffs that have been underway since last year.

(11/02/2023) → San Francisco Chronicle

• Schiff Gets Endorsement From CA Assembly Speaker in U.S. Senate Race

California Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas has endorsed Rep. Adam Schiff in a crowded U.S. Senate race. Other candidates include representatives Barbara Lee and Katie Porter.

(11/02/2023) → Los Angeles Times

• Australian Wine Conglomerate Spends $900 Million for Daou Vineyards

The acquisition includes the Daou brand, Daou Mountain Estate, four luxury wineries, and around 400 acres of vineyards in Adelaida District of Paso Robles in San Luis Obispo County.

(11/01/2023) → San Joaquin Valley Sun

• A Big Year of Snow in California Was Horrific for Endangered Sheep

Researchers tell LAist that half of California’s population of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, which are endangered, died last winter due to record weather. Causes of death include avalanches, starvation and getting eaten by mountain lions after moving to lower elevations for food.

(10/31/2023) → LAist

• UCLA Scientist: California’s Redwoods Might Not Last Another Century

A UCLA climate scientist says California’s redwoods might not last in their current groves for another 100 years. An effort is afoot to plant redwoods elsewhere in more potentially hospitable climates, such as the Pacific Northwest.

(10/31/2023) → New York Times
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Government Announcements

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Image of County of Placer seal. County of Placer   (11/02/2023)
Board approves county parking ordinance amendment and updates fine amounts
The Placer County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday amended the county’s parking ordinance to strengthen existing parking enforcement and increase countywide parking fine amounts. The changes go into effect Nov. 30.
Image of County of Placer seal. County of Placer   (11/02/2023)
Board of Supervisors approve Tahoe Basin Area Plan amendments
Seeking to generate economic investment and spur environmentally-beneficial redevelopment in North Lake Tahoe, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved a set of amendments that would allow revisions to the 2017 Tahoe Basin Area Plan.
Image of County of Placer seal. County of Placer   (11/02/2023)
Holiday donation opportunities offer opportunity to support foster children, families and animals in
As the season of giving begins, Placer County Health and Human Services is highlighting a few opportunities to support local children and others in need.
Image of City of Colfax seal. City of Colfax   (11/02/2023)
Colfax Connections is a newsletter with community news and event information from around Colfax. The post COLFAX CONNECTIONS, NOVEMBER 2023 appeared first on City of Colfax.
Image of County of Placer seal. County of Placer   (10/30/2023)
Placer County confirms West Nile virus death, first since 2018
Placer County public health officials confirmed the first West Nile virus death this season, a Lincoln man over age 65. This is the first West Nile virus-related death in the county since 2018.
Image of City of Auburn seal. City of Auburn   (10/27/2023)
Phase 2 Begins on American Canyon Roundabout in Auburn
news from Caltrans...
Image of Town of Loomis seal. Town of Loomis   (10/27/2023)
Resurfacing Work Complete
Resurfacing Work Complete! Hats off to the community for their patience and understanding as the last of the streets scheduled for slurry seal resurfacing were completed today. The seal coat placed will now work to preserve and extend the life of the underlying pavement for years to come by protecting the roadway from the effects ... Continued The post Resurfacing Work Complete appeared first on Loomis, CA.
Image of County of Placer seal. County of Placer   (10/27/2023)
Placer wins big in PRSA California Capital Chapter 2023 Influence Awards
Placer County agencies won six awards in the Public Relations Society of America California Capital Chapter’s 2023 Influence Awards, presented yesterday in Sacramento.
Image of County of Placer seal. County of Placer   (10/27/2023)
Save the Date & Donate Now: Placer County Resource Express Dec. 1
Get 'on track' with community resources! Family friendly fun, local services and more this Dec. 1 at the Auburn Boys and Girls Club (679 Lincoln Way).
Image of County of Placer seal. County of Placer   (10/26/2023)
Free bulky item drop-off event set for Nov. 4 in Tahoe Vista
Placer County will be hosting a free “bulky item” drop-off event, allowing residents to dispose of large unwanted items.
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Upcoming Government Meetings

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Event sponsor logo City of Auburn / Arts Commission
Monday November 6 2023   5:30 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Roseville / Parks and Recreation Commission
Monday November 6 2023   6:00 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Rocklin / Parks, Recreation and Arts Commission
Wednesday November 8 2023   6:00 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Rocklin / Rocklin City Council Meeting
Tuesday November 14 2023   6:00 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Rocklin / Community Recognition Commission
Wednesday November 15 2023   4:00 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Roseville / Roseville City Council Meetings
Wednesday November 15 2023   6:00 PM