Much Russian Activity Meddling in 2016 Elections Likely Didn’t Violate Federal Law, Wouldn’t Be Covered by Proposed “Honest Ads Act,” and May Be Beyond (Conservative Justices’ Views of) Constitution to Limit

I’ve already hinted at some of these things in this Politico piece, but I’ve now fleshed it out in the latest draft of my forthcoming First Amendment Law Review article, Cheap Speech and What It Has Done (to American Democracy). … Continue reading

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“Trump, Twitter, and the Russians: The Growing Obsolescence of Federal Campaign Finance Law”

Tony Gaughan has posted this draft on SSRN (forthcoming, Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal).  Here is the abstract: Since the 1970s, federal campaign finance law has been built on four pillars. The first is contribution limits on donations to candidate … Continue reading

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“Facebook, Twitter: Russian actors sought to undermine Trump after election”

Politico: Top lawyers from Facebook and Twitter said Tuesday that Russian-linked posts and advertisements placed on the social networks after Election Day sought to sow doubt about President Donald Trump’s victory. Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch told a Senate Judiciary … Continue reading

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“How corporations are still playing politics more than a century after President Theodore Roosevelt and the Tillman Act”

Michael Beckel for Issue One: For instance, last year in Nevada, the app-based ride-sharing company Uber sponsored campaign mailers and e-mail messages to its riders and drivers urging the reelection of Republican Assemblyman Derek Armstrong, as veteran journalist Jon Ralston … Continue reading

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“Hillary for America, DNC Failed to Disclose Legally Required Information about Funding of Trump-Russia Dossier”

Release: Today, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign committee violated campaign finance law. They failed to accurately disclose the purpose and recipient of payments … Continue reading

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“Homegrown ‘fake news’ is a bigger problem than Russian propaganda. Here’s a way to make falsehoods more costly for politicians.”

Brendan Nyhan and Yusaku Horiuchi for the Monkey Cage: One promising approach is summary fact-checking — an increasingly popular format that presents an overview of fact-checking ratings for a politician. This is distinct from focusing on whether a single statement is true or false; rather, … Continue reading

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“Senators Demand Online Ad Disclosures as Tech Lobby Mobilizes”

NYT: Senator John McCain and two Democratic senators moved on Thursday to force Facebook, Google and other internet companies to disclose who is purchasing online political advertising, after revelations that Russian-linked operatives bought deceptive ads in the run-up to the … Continue reading

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“How Gridlock, Social Media Giants and the Clintons Made the Internet Ripe for Russian Meddling”

Daily Beast: The co-authors of McCain-Feingold’s House companion bill, Reps. Christopher Shays (R-CT) and Marty Meehan (D-MA), were not pleased. They sued the FEC in part due to that omission, and successfully invalidated 15 FEC regulations. In response, the commission … Continue reading

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“Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg just hinted that Russian-bought ads could be fair game”

Business Insider: Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told Axios’ Mike Allen on Thursday that the company would not have removed the political ads purchased by accounts operating out of Russia if they had been posted by real people rather than fake accounts…. Laura Rosenberger, director of the Alliance … Continue reading

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