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Starbucks Upstanders

​Is it possible to get to a place where police officers serve as guardians rather than warriors? Sue Rahr thinks so.

If we believe 1950s TV and Norman Rockwell, the local police department in America used to be a friendly part of the neighborhood.

Over the last few decades, that's changed dramatically. Crime rates are at their lowest in decades, but citizen distrust of the police has never been higher. Police departments are increasingly militarized, with weapons that wouldn't be out of place on a battlefield. While many police officers are just and fair protectors, some officers are guilty of racial profiling that unfairly targets young black men. Many citizens feel as if they're more likely to see police departments protect their own officers instead of real justice being served.

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Mozilla
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Firefox

When I found out I was pregnant in October 2018, I had planned to keep the news a secret from family for a little while — but my phone seemed to have other ideas.

Within just a few hours of finding out the news, I was being bombarded with ads for baby gear, baby clothes and diapers on Facebook, Instagram and pretty much any other site I visited — be it my phone or on my computer.

Good thing my family wasn't looking over my shoulder while I was on my phone or my secret would have been ruined.

I'm certainly not alone in feeling like online ads can read your mind.

When I started asking around, it seemed like everyone had their own similar story: Brian Kelleher told me that when he and his wife met, they started getting ads for wedding rings and bridal shops within just a few weeks. Tech blogger Snezhina Piskov told me that she started getting ads for pocket projectors after discussing them in Messenger with her colleagues. Meanwhile Lauren Foley, a writer, told me she started getting ads for Happy Socks after seeing one of their shops when she got off the bus one day.

When online advertising seems to know us this well, it begs the question: are our phones listening to us?

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