Elections and Media

A look at the various media used to reach and inform voters during elections -- as well as the impact of new media and media ownership on elections.

Mark Zuckerberg built Facebook into a behemoth whose power he underestimates

Location:
Facebook (new HQ), 1601 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA, United States

A company optimized for digital engagement, it turns out, may not have been primed to deal with the darkest aspects of humanity and society.

Russian operatives used Facebook ads to exploit divisions over black political activism and Muslims

Location:
Russian Federation, Russia

The batch of more than 3,000 Russian-bought ads that Facebook is preparing to turn over to Congress shows a deep understanding of social divides in American society, with some ads promoting African-American rights groups including Black Lives Matter and others suggesting that these same groups pose a rising political threat, apparently.

On Jared Kushner’s emails, the real problem is the media’s hypocrisy

Location:
USA, United States

The real lesson that the story of Kushner’s e-mails carries is about the media’s mistakes in 2016. We live with the consequences of those mistakes every day.

How Facebook fought to keep political ads in the shadows

Location:
Facebook (new HQ), 1601 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA, United States

It’s easy to see Facebook’s changes to political ads as an attempt to self-impose regulations before the government can force its hand. The change may be a belated one, considering how Facebook has argued for so long that restrictions like disclaimers are impractical.

Steve Bannon Sought To Infiltrate Facebook Hiring

Location:
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20500, United States

Steve Bannon plotted to plant a mole inside Facebook, according to e-mails sent days before the Breitbart boss took over Donald Trump’s campaign. The e-mail exchange with a conservative Washington operative reveals the importance that the giant tech platform — now reeling from its role in the 2016 election — held for one of the campaign’s central figures.

President Obama tried to give Zuckerberg a wake-up call over fake news on Facebook

Location:
Facebook (new HQ), 1601 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA, United States

Nine days after Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg dismissed as “crazy” the idea that fake news on his company’s social network played a key role in the US election, President Barack Obama pulled the youthful tech billionaire aside and delivered what he hoped would be a wake-up call.

5 issues driving the push to crack down on tech giants

Location:
Wahington, DC, United States

Here are the five biggest issues causing lawmakers to look at the technology industry in a new, harsher light: The Russia investigation, A new antitrust movement, Culture wars, Sex trafficking, and Advertising algorithms.

Department of Homeland Security tells 21 states about Russian hacking during 2016 election

Location:
Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC, 20528, United States

The Department of Homeland Security contacted election officials in 21 states to notify them that they had been targeted by Russian government hackers during the 2016 election campaign.

Russia denies use of Facebook ads in 2016 election

Location:
Russian Federation, Russia

Russia's government denied using Facebook ads to influence the 2016 US presidential election, saying in a statement it didn't even know "how to place an advert" on the social media giant.

How a Russian Outlet Sought to Reach American Voters on Twitter

Location:
Russian Federation, Russia

Before Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had even wrapped up their respective bids to secure the nomination for president, Kremlin-funded media outlet RT was plotting to promote its election coverage in the United States. RT hoped to take over at least two Twitter accounts or handles for its media coverage: @NotHillary and @NotTrump.

President Trump says it’s a ‘hoax’ that Russian sources purchased ads on Facebook

Location:
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20500, United States

Federal officials across the US government are investigating whether Russia sought to influence the 2016 presidential election by purchasing ads on social networks like Facebook. But President Donald Trump on Sept 22 dismissed the matter as a “hoax.”

Internet Giants Face New Political Resistance in Washington

Location:
Washington, DC, United States

After years of largely avoiding regulation, businesses like Facebook, Google and Amazon are a focus of lawmakers, some of whom are criticizing the expanding power of big tech companies and their role in the 2016 election.

Democrats are trying to limit foreign influence on US elections — beginning with Google and Facebook ads

Location:
US Capitol, East Capitol Street, NE and 1st Street, NE, DC, 20515, United States

A group of House and Senate Democrats are calling on the US government to issue new “guidance” to stop foreign advertisers from spending money on Facebook, Google and other web platforms in a bid to influence American elections.

GOP governors launch ‘news’ site critics call propaganda

Location:
USA, United States

The Republican Governors Association has quietly launched an online publication that looks like a media outlet and is branded as such on social media.

How to Fight ‘Fake News’ (Warning: It Isn’t Easy)

Location:
USA, United States

In a report published recently in Psychological Science, a team of academics reviewed two decades of research to better understand how to effectively debunk misinformation.

Democratic Reps Want FCC To Investigate Sputnik Radio Service

Location:
House Commerce Committee, Independence Avenue and South Capitol Street 2123 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, United States

House Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Communications Subcommittee Ranking Member Mike Doyle (D-PA), and former Subcommittee Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA) want Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election via U.S. broadcasting.

US government wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort

Location:
Washington, DC, United States

US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election, apparently, an extraordinary step involving a high-ranking campaign official now at the center of the Russia meddling probe.

Big Tech’s Half-Hearted Response To Fake News And Election Hacking

Location:
Silicon Valley, Palo Alto, CA, United States

RT, Sputnik and Russia’s New Theory of War

Location:
Russian Federation, Russia

How the Kremlin built one of the most powerful information weapons of the 21st century — and why it may be impossible to stop.

Mueller Probe Has ‘Red-Hot’ Focus on Social Media, Officials Say

Location:
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20500, United States

Apparently, Russia’s effort to influence US voters through Facebook and other social media is a “red-hot” focus of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 election and possible links to President Donald Trump’s associates.

The real IRS scandal isn’t Lois Lerner — or her critics, its Dark Money

Location:
USA, United States

The Sept. 9 Digest item “Ex-IRS official won’t be charged in scandal” noted that the ex-Internal Revenue Service official will not be charged in the “mistreatment of conservative groups during the 2010 and 2012 elections.” However, the real big scandal here is the undermining of our democratic process by the IRS fostering a tsunami of “dark money” in our elections.

There's Blood In The Water In Silicon Valley

Location:
Buzzfeed, New York, NY, United States

The blinding rise of Donald Trump over the past year has masked another major trend in American politics: the palpable, and perhaps permanent, turn against the tech industry.

Twitter founder: Trump presidency is product of short attention spans

Location:
Twitter (new home), 1355 Market Street, San Francisco, CA, 94103, United States

President Donald Trump is a symptom of a media environment based on short attention spans that is making the world stupider, one of the founders of Twitter has said.

Assessing a Clinton argument that the media helped to elect Trump

Location:
USA, United States

Many of Hillary Clinton's supporters identify one culprit more than others in the 2016 outcome: the media.

Facebook needs to answer these questions about the Russian campaign to influence American voters

Location:
Facebook (new HQ), 1601 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA, United States

We now know that a Russian organization spent two years trying to influence American voters using Facebook. Here are the questions Facebook has yet to answer and why it matters.

Russia Used Facebook Events to Organize Anti-Immigrant Rallies on US Soil

Location:
Facebook (new HQ), 1601 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA, United States

Russian operatives hiding behind false identities used Facebook’s event management tool to remotely organize and promote political protests in the US, including an August 2016 anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rally in Idaho.

Sputnik, the Russian news agency, is under investigation by the FBI

Location:
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW J. Edgar Hoover Building, Washington, DC, 20535-0001, United States

The FBI recently questioned a former White House correspondent for Sputnik, the Russian-government-funded news agency, as part of an investigation into whether it is acting as an undeclared propaganda arm of the Kremlin in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

DreamHost considers fighting order to cough up info on visitors of anti-Tump website

Location:
DreamHost, Los Angeles, CA, United States

Executives from a Los Angeles-based tech company said they are weighing whether to fight a judge's order to provide prosecutors with e-mail addresses and other information from people who visited an anti-Trump website in the months leading to Inauguration Day.

Make Mark Zuckerberg Testify

Location:
USA, United States

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg should publicly testify under oath before Congress on his company’s capabilities to influence the political process, be it Russian meddling or anything else.

When it comes to Facebook, Russia’s $100,000 is worth more than you think

Location:
USA, United States

Russia spent at least $100,000 on Facebook ads because of Americans’ known susceptibility to partisan division, our willingness to outsource the work of analysis to social-media algorithms and our tendency to not think too hard about what we see. No, the money isn’t minor. But the real problem is us.

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