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.

Tech's biggest upcoming battles in 2020

The most consequential stories for tech in 2020 pit the industry's corporate colossi against the US government, foreign nations, and the human needs of their own customers. The big battles ahead include: Securing the 2020 U.S. election; Defining the limits of privacy; Coping with the antitrust onslaught; Defending a global industry in an age of "decoupling;" and Flipping tech from harm to "wellness."

The biggest tech issues in the 2020 presidential election

As the 2020 presidential election heats up next year, big tech will be front and center as candidates and members of Congress grapple with questions touching online privacy, antitrust, access to broadband and more. While impeachment hearings have divided the country, when it comes to the big tech issues of the day, Republicans and

FTC Grants Final Approval to Settlement with Former Cambridge Analytica CEO, App Developer over Allegations they Deceived Consumers over Collection of Facebook Data

The Federal Trade Commission has granted final approval to a settlement with the former CEO of Cambridge Analytica, LLC and an app developer who worked with the company to resolve allegations they used deceptive tactics to collect personal information from tens of millions of Facebook users for voter profiling and targeting. As part of the settlement, app developer Aleksandr Kogan and Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix are prohibited from making false or deceptive statements regarding the extent to which they collect, use, share, or sell personal information, as well as the purposes for

Chairman Doyle: A President Biden Would Likely Back Return of Net Rules

House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) is confident that if Vice President Joe Biden were to be elected president, he would work with the Democrats to restore net neutrality rules. Net neutrality tends to be an important issue with a lot of people in the tech community and younger voters that want to see a level playing field and make sure ISPs don't block content, he said, but that while it is an important issue, he doesn't see it as a "primary" issue (no pun intended).

Broadcasters Fight Political Ad Disclosure Changes

With billions of political ad dollars on the line, broadcasters are working hard to make sure a new Federal Communications Commission ruling does not take even a little bite out of their share of that likely record political pie. Broadcasters want the FCC to loosen up when it comes to the reporting requirements for political ads — rules they say could lead to them having to turn down political ad dollars. The reporting obligation stems from the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, but the FCC has discretion in how it interprets the requirements in its rules implementing that law.

How Facebook’s new ad policy helps politicians who lie

Mark Zuckerberg has rigged the rules of Facebook political advertising, making him complicit in lies and voter manipulation. The result is the most powerful propaganda amplifier in history, boosting campaigns that traffic in falsehoods. Zuckerberg’s company screens some paid political advertising for lies. But since early October, it makes an exception: When candidates pay for the ads, it will run any ad — even those with blatant lies.

We asked 2020 Democratic candidates 7 key questions on technology

Tech has been given surprisingly little airtime during the 2020 Democratic primaries. It has rarely come up on the debate stage. While candidates such as Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Andrew Yang, and Sen Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) have made tech-related issues part of their platforms, the matter is often eclipsed by other political hot topics, including health care and taxes.

How a Facebook Employee Helped Trump Win—But Switched Sides for 2020

After the 2016 presidential election, Republican Party officials credited Facebook with helping Donald Trump win the White House. One senior official singled out a then-28-year-old Facebook employee embedded with the Trump campaign, calling him an “MVP.” Now that key player is working for the other side—as national debate intensifies over Facebook’s role in politics.

Trump campaign, spending furiously to counter impeachment inquiry, assails Facebook over potential changes to political ad rules

The Trump campaign lashed out at Facebook after company executives said they were considering changes to rules around political ads that could affect the campaign’s ability to target its supporters on the platform. The outcry came as Trump’s reelection team has undertaken a massive spending blitz on Facebook aimed at countering the House’s impeachment inquiry. Trump’s page alone promoted more than $830,000 worth of ads in the seven days ending on Nov 17, according to Facebook’s ad archive.

Can social media “targetcasting” and democracy coexist?

Since the time of the early advertising-supported newspapers, economic incentive has worked to bring people together around a common set of shared information. Maximizing ad revenue meant offending as few readers as possible by at least attempting a balanced presentation of the facts. The search for balance began to retreat with the arrival of cable television, but the economic model of maximizing revenue by maximizing reach still governed. The targeting capability of social media algorithms, however, has extinguished the traditional economic model.