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Suit: Strib Handing off Your Info to Facebook

Plus abortion doulas, Dean Phillips hangs with Blackpink, and Cheeseball Chick's MN ties in today's Flyover.

3:37 PM CDT on March 24, 2023

Kenny Eliason via Unsplash

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Lawsuit: Strib Violated Subscribers’ Privacy Via Facebook

Well, here’s a story we didn’t see in the local paper of record. A federal judge has refused to dismiss a class action lawsuit filed against the Star Tribune alleging that the paper illegally shared subscriber information with Facebook, the rival Pioneer Pres reports. Speaking for the class, Kyle Feldman says he subscribed to the Strib in 2011 using his Facebook account, and now, whenever he watches a video on the Strib website (people actually do that?) that fact is shared with Facebook through Pixel, a bit of code used to target ads to consumers.

The suit is being brought under the Video Privacy Protection Act, which makes it illegal for a “video tape service provider” to share “personally identifiable information about a consumer’s viewing behavior” with a third party. “The privacy law requires damages of at least $2,500 per violation,” the PiPress writes, “which suggests that given the newspaper’s more than 100,000 subscribers, the Star Tribune could be ordered to pay hundreds of millions of dollars.” (Good thing the Strib knows a guy with that kind of money.) Fun fact: Congress passed the law in 1988 after a Washington, D.C., paper published a list of videos rented by U.S. Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork. So you could say the Strib is in danger of being Borked.

Meet the Midwest's 'Abortion Doulas'

Sahan Journal has a wonderful story this week on abortion doulas—wonderful in that the story is great, not wonderful in that it's gotten harder to end an unwanted or unsafe pregnancy, making their work more important than ever. The doulas are women like Kathy Chinn, a retired Minnesota Department of Health sexual health specialist whose seven-and-a-half hour shifts involve seeing up to 15 patients who are undergoing surgical abortions in a day. Sahan reports that she's "one of a growing number" of these volunteers, though there's no one tracking them and no "official" way to become one. And now that Minnesota is a refuge state for people seeking abortions, adding new logistical and financial hurdles for patients, there are more and more people requesting their help.

That Viral Dean Phillips Photo, Explained

It all started with an Instagram post from Woody Harrelson. “I had the most incredible time with these young talented folks in Seoul a couple of nights ago!” the actor wrote. “They were so warm and friendly I didn’t want to leave.” The “young talented folks” he was hanging with? Jennie Kim and Lalisa Manobal of K-pop supergroup Blackpink, Dong Young-bae aka Taeyang from boyband Big Bang, and award-winning actor Park Bo-gum. Oh yeah, and U.S. House Rep. Dean Phillips is in there too. That’s a random combo!

So, how TF did this happen? Per MinnPost, the Minnesota Democrat has been traveling through Vietnam in honor of his Army father, Artie Pfefer, who died in a plane crash there when the future congressman was six months old. Harrelson, who is a buddy of Phillips, came along for support. Meanwhile, as many a Blink knows, the group is currently on the Asian leg of their tour, after finishing up in Europe. All of this adds up to the perfect storm for a very unlikely, but presumably memorable, travel moment.

@woodyharrelson

The Cheeseball Chick Is From Here

Perhaps you've known about The Cheeseball Chick for over a decade. She appeared, long ago, on the Twin Cities Live segment below, which you're encouraged to view. ("K, that's different," the TCL host deadpans, accurately, at its conclusion.) In any case, TikTok is just now discovering Molly "Cheeseball Chick" Sanborn, whose lowkey Jesus-y mission—"bring joy to the world one cheese ball at a time"—has has taken the Twin Cities chick from Guatemala to Israel. A clip from that latter location blew up on TikTok this month, attracting 100K+ views.

"We are at the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus walked on water! I think I need to commemorate this with a cheese ball," Sanborn says, clumsily deploying said snack from her custom cheeseball jug backpack. "She just dropped a cheese ball into the Sea of Galilee," responds the top commentor, accurately, to the approval of 19,000 upvotes. What makes Cheeseball Chick tick, aside from a love of joy, junk food, and Jesus Christ? Perhaps we'll write a profile of our own. In the meantime: TGIF, have a snack-tastic weekend.

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