“Russia’s manipulation of Twitter was far vaster than believed”

Politico: Russia’s infamous troll farm conducted a campaign on Twitter before the 2016 elections that was larger, more coordinated and more effective than previously known, research from cybersecurity firm Symantec out Wednesday concluded.The Internet Research Agency campaign may not only have had … Continue reading

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“The Technology 202: Republicans make alleged conservative bias top priority at election security hearing”

WaPo: Google, Facebook and Twitter executives came to Capitol Hill to testify about election security. Instead they faced a grilling about whether their platforms are biased against conservatives.A string of Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee skipped questions about how … Continue reading

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“Facebook Curbs Incentives to Sell Political Ads Ahead of 2020 Election Company; leaders considered dropping such ads, which are now viewed as a headache”

WSJ: Facebook said it stopped paying commissions to employees who sell political ads, as the tech giant overhauls how it engages with campaigns ahead of elections in 2020.Once seen as a growth area, political ads are now viewed within Facebook as … Continue reading

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In Important Step and In Rare Bipartisan Fashion, Federal Election Commission Unanimously Approves Measure to Provide Free or Reduced-Cost Cybersecurity Protection for American Campaigns [Subject to Disclosure of, and Limits on Sources of Funding for Effort (That Part’s Not Unanimous)]

This is very good news. You can find the advisory opinion here. It is unanimous, except the Republican commissioners would not have imposed the disclosure requirements or source limitations. From Chair Weintraub’s letter: Under the unusual and exigent circumstances presented … Continue reading

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“U.S. Cyber Command operation disrupted Internet access of Russian troll factory on day of 2018 midterms”

WaPo: The U.S. military blocked Internet access to an infamous Russian entity seeking to sow discord among Americans during the 2018 midterms, several U.S. officials said, a warning that the Kremlin’s operations against the United States are not cost-free.The strike … Continue reading

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Ringhand: British Parliamentary Committee, Citing “Insidious Ability” to Mislead Online, Calls for Election Law Changes

The following is a guest post from Lori Ringhand: A report issued by a British Parliamentary committee generated headlines this week for its scathing takedown of Facebook’s data management practices. The report, however, also made detailed suggestions about how to … 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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“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, Google and Twitter face proposed bill targeting shadowy political ads”

WaPo: Democratic lawmakers are pushing for new legislation that would require greater disclosure of political ads that run on Internet platforms, despite a pledge by Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg that the company will voluntarily pull back the curtain on political advertising … Continue reading

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“Exclusive: Russians Appear to Use Facebook to Push Trump Rallies in 17 U.S. Cities”

Daily Beast: Suspected Russia propagandists on Facebook tried to organize more than a dozen pro-Trump rallies in Florida during last year’s election, The Daily Beast has learned. The demonstrations—at least one of which was promoted online by local pro-Trump activists— brought dozens … Continue reading

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“Elite Political Ignorance: Law, Data, and the Representation of (Mis)Perceived Electorates”

Chris Elmendorf and Abby Wood have posted this draft on SSRN. Here is the abstract: It is common to think of political elites—candidates, legislators, party officials, and campaign advisers—as specialists in learning the preferences of voters. But recent studies find … Continue reading

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