Election 2016

Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis

In just over a decade, Facebook has connected more than 2.2 billion people, a global nation unto itself that reshaped political campaigns, the advertising business and daily life around the world. Along the way, Facebook accumulated one of the largest-ever repositories of personal data, a treasure trove of photos, messages and likes that propelled the company into the Fortune 500.

Russia wants DNC’s election-hacking lawsuit thrown out

The Russian government is arguing that a federal court should dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Democratic National Committee alleging that Moscow’s military spies, the Trump campaign, and the WikiLeaks organization conspired to disrupt the 2016 campaign and tilt the election to Donald Trump. In a letter and statement to the State Department and a judge in the Southern District of New York, Russia’s Ministry of Justice argued that the United States’ Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act protects the Russian government from such lawsuits.

Donald Trump Played Central Role in Hush Payoffs, Violating Campaign Finance Laws

As a presidential candidate in August 2015, Donald Trump huddled with a longtime friend, media executive David Pecker, in his cluttered 26th floor Trump Tower office and made a request. 'What can you do to help my campaign?' he asked, apparently. Pecker, chief executive of American Media Inc., offered to use his National Enquirer tabloid to buy the silence of women if they tried to publicize alleged sexual encounters with Trump. Less than a year later, Trump asked Pecker to quash the story of a former Playboy model who said they’d had an affair.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigns at President Trump’s request

Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned at President Donald Trump’s request, ending the tenure of a loyalist President Trump had soured on shortly after Sessions took office in 2017 because the former senator from Alabama had recused himself from oversight of the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

UK's Information Commissioner’s Office Finds Cambridge Analytica and Brexit Financier Misused Private Data

Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office, which has been investigating the misuse of personal data by political campaigns, found that defunct political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica violated British law when it used improperly harvested Facebook data to aid Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and would face a significant fine if it were not already in bankruptcy.

Special Counsel probes Roger Stone’s interactions with Trump campaign and timing of WikiLeaks release of Podesta emails

The special counsel investigation is pressing witnesses about longtime Trump ally Roger Stone’s private interactions with senior campaign officials and whether he had knowledge of politically explosive Democratic emails that were released in October 2016. As part of his investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III appears to be focused on the question of whether WikiLeaks coordinated its activities with Stone and the campaign.

Britain's Information Commissioner fines Facebook $644,000 over users' data breach

Britain's Information Commissioner has slapped Facebook with a fine of $644,000 — the maximum possible — for its behavior in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The ICO's investigation found that between 2007 and 2014, Facebook processed the personal information of users unfairly by giving app developers access to their information without informed consent. The fine was the maximum allowed under the law at the time the breach occurred.

The Russians didn’t swing the 2016 election to Trump. But Fox News might have.

Research I helped conduct has found that the fundamental driver of disinformation in American politics from 2015-2018 has not been Russia, but Fox News and the insular right-wing media ecosystem it anchors. All the Russians did was jump on the right-wing propaganda bandwagon: Their efforts were small in scope, relative to homegrown media efforts. And what propaganda victories the Russians achieved occurred only when the right-wing media machine picked up stories and, often, embellished them.

Justice Department Accuses Russians of Interfering in Midterm Elections

Russians working for a close ally of President Vladimir Putin engaged in an elaborate campaign of “information warfare” to interfere with the midterm elections, federal prosecutors said in unsealing a criminal complaint against one of them. The woman, Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova, of St. Petersburg, was involved in an effort “to spread distrust toward candidates for US political office and the US political system,” prosecutors said.

Takeaways from Twitter's data trove

Twitter’s release of millions of tweets relating to foreign influence campaigns on the platform created a treasure trove of data for journalists and researchers to mine through. The information sheds light on the vast, yearslong campaign to sow discord and influence US politics, not only by Russia’s infamous Internet Research Agency but by accounts tied to Iran as well.