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.
Elections and Media
Facebook took down campaign posts and ads for President Donald Trump, citing violations of the company’s policy against what it called “organized hate,” as the social-media company grapples with what content to allow on its platforms. The ads, featuring a downward-pointing triangle, targeted antifa, describing the movement as “Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups.” The ads asked Trump supporters to back President Trump’s calls to designate antifa as a terrorist organization.
Leading Scholars and Organizations Announce Support for Rep. Eshoo’s Bill to Ban Microtargeted Political Ads
Several leading experts and groups announced support for the Banning Microtargeted Political Ads Act (HR 7014), legislation introduced by Rep Anna Eshoo (D-CA) to strengthen our democracy by prohibiting microtargeted political ads. Leading privacy and campaign reform scholars Woodrow Hartzog, Shoshana Zuboff, Ashkan Soltani, and G.
Over the past year, the Biden for President campaign has called on Facebook to meet the commitment the company made after 2016 — to use its platform to improve American democracy rather than as a tool to spread disinformation that undermines our elections. The campaign has proposed meaningful ways to check disinformation on your platform and to limit the effect of false ads. But Facebook has taken no meaningful action.
Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr slammed social media and their Sec. 230 exemption from liability for how they handle third-party content--both taking it down and leaving it up. Tucker Carlson asked Commissioner Carr why the White House and Congress had not done anything about the exemption. Commissioner Carr cited the reports that the President's executive order would be "addressing some of these issues," then went off on social media himself.
Tensions between President Donald Trump and Twitter escalated as he threatened to "strongly regulate" or shut down social media platforms, which he accused of silencing conservative viewpoints. President Trump's threat came the day after Twitter added a fact-check warning to his tweets claiming that mail-in ballots are fraudulent. "Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices," President Trump tweeted the morning of May 27. "We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen.
The heavily regulated world of political advertising on broadcast TV stands in stark contrast to the wild west of political advertising online. Broadcast TV is subject to strict rules on recordkeeping and disclosure, as well as limits on who can buy such ads and how much they can be charged. In contrast, social media companies, like print publications, are free to adopt whatever standards they want for paid political messaging. But given the opaque sourcing of online political ads and their potential virality, should we apply broadcast rules to online ads?
President Donald Trump's reelection campaign is suing a Wisconsin TV station for running an anti-Trump commercial that pieces together audio clips of the president talking about the coronavirus outbreak in a way they argue is misleading and false. The ad by the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA features a series of soundbites in which Trump downplayed the threat posed by the virus, while a chart that is splashed across the screen gradually begins to shoot upward as cases of the virus skyrocketed across the US.
Joe Biden has remained relatively quiet on tech. But here's a look at where he stands. On net neutrality, Biden hasn't said much. A spokesman for Biden's campaign said the former vice president is a supporter of strong net neutrality protections. But Biden's track record tells a different story.
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s stance on network neutrality has remained somewhat of an open question for more than a year as he’s become the front runner to take on President Donald Trump later in 2020. Questions about why Biden did not bring up the issue have been raised as other candidates have forcefully pushed their views during the Democratic primary. Many have even detailed exactly how they would restore a policy achievement made by a White House Biden was a part of.
The Donald Trump re-election campaign told TV stations they could lose their operating licenses for airing an ad criticizing the president’s actions in the coronavirus crisis -- a challenge that may be more bluster than actual threat. President Donald Trump’s campaign, in a letter on March 25, told stations in five battleground states to stop showing the ad from Priorities USA, a political action committee that supports Democratic candidate Joe Biden. Failure to remove the ad “could put your station’s license in jeopardy” before the Federal Communications Commission, the campaign said.