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Saturday's Axios Twin Cities stories

Updated Apr 10, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

Minnesota GOP gubernatorial candidate removed from TikTok

Scott Jensen. Photo: Minnesota Legislature

A Republican running for Minnesota governor was removed from TikTok following complaints that he violated the platform’s misinformation policies in his viral posts about the pandemic.

The backdrop: Scott Jensen, a former state senator whose criticisms of the government's COVID-19 response attracted national attention, had amassed more than 280,000 followers since joining the platform last month. He said his posts were viewed hundreds of thousands of times a day.

  • Of note: Jensen, who appeared to be one of the nation's most-followed politicians on TikTok, told Axios that he hoped the platform would help him connect with millennials.

What he's saying: In a video posted to Twitter late Thursday, Jensen said posts criticizing a controversial "60 minutes" story about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' vaccine rollout were taken down before he was "permanently banned without explanation."

  • He told Axios several earlier posts had been flagged, but that he had appealed those decisions.
  • "It's really pretty confounding, but it sure feels like being canceled," he said in his video.

The other side: A TikTok spokesperson confirmed the account was removed and said Jensen's posts violated community guidelines on misinformation related to COVID-19.

  • She didn't specify which posts triggered the removal.

Between the lines: The family doctor garnered large online followings — and backlash — for his past statements on COVID-19, including comments suggesting the possibility of inflated death tolls.

  • A complaint challenging his medical license based on those comments was investigated and dismissed by state regulators last year.
  • Jensen said he hadn't posted about COVID-19 or vaccines in the last 24 hours and couldn't recall if posts related to the pandemic were among those that triggered violation allegations in the past.
  • "A complaint regarding [misinformation] regarding COVID-19 is so broad I don't know how to respond," he told Axios in a text. "It seems like anything that goes against the conventional mainstream might be construed as misinformation."

This coverage is part of Axios Twin Cities, a newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

This post has been updated with additional comments.

Apr 9, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

How making a Twin Cities strip mall cool staved off a pandemic retail slump

The new Texa-Tonka Mall has a plaza for outdoor seating at Revival and Angle Food Bakery. Photo: Paster Properties

When you think of 1950s strip malls, cool isn't the first word to pop into your head.

But at Texa-Tonka in St. Louis Park, developer Paster Properties completely redesigned the aging mall and filled vacant spaces with hip tenants.

Apr 9, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

The Twin Cities' coming wedding boom

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

It's spring in Minnesota, and if you've got a lot of weddings on the books over the next six months, you're not alone.

The state of play: The 2021 wedding season will be the busiest in decades, according to The Knot, which found that 47% of couples who had planned to get married in 2020 are now getting married in 2021 or later.

Minnesota GOP to pick chair after drama-filled fight

It's Mark Koran vs. Jennifer Carnahan this weekend. Photos: Minnesota Legislature/Courtesy of Jennifer Carnahan

A bitter leadership fight comes to a head this weekend, as Minnesota Republican Party delegates pick their next chair.

Why it matters: The chair will lead fundraising and strategy heading into 2022, when the governorship, newly drawn congressional districts and all 201 state legislative seats will be on the ballot.