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Media & Democracy 07.26.2021

Broadcasting & Cable: Trump Accused of Using PAC To Evade Facebook Ban

Common Cause, joined by almost two dozen more groups, have called on Facebook to prevent political action committees (PACS) affiliated with suspended accounts--the target is former President Trump--to violate the site's community standards. "If Facebook’s content moderation policies for public figures are to have any legitimacy, they must not be so easily circumvented. We urge Facebook to close this loophole and align its content moderation policies with campaign finance law to prevent politicians from using political committees under their control to evade enforcement actions," said Yosef Getachew, Common Cause media and democracy program director.

Media & Democracy 05.5.2021

The Verge: Facebook has no reason to ever resolve the Trump ban

In a statement after the decision, the progressive group Common Cause described it as “an endless cycle of uncertainty,” and it’s hard to disagree. The process could easily stretch through the 2024 election, and given the political interests involved, it’s not clear how it could ever fully resolve.

Media & Democracy 03.12.2021

Inside Sources/Star Tribune (Op-Ed): Big Tech won't protect democracy. So, the government must.

On Jan. 6, a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election. The attack was fueled by a constant stream of disinformation and hate speech President Donald Trump and other bad actors flooded across social media platforms before, during and after the election. Despite their civic integrity and content moderation policies, platforms have been slow to take action to limit the spread of content designed to disrupt our democracy.

Money & Influence 01.21.2021

Los Angeles Times: After Capitol assault, corporate America rethinks its role in politics

“These recent moves by corporate America to distance themselves from President Trump are a good thing, but also a predictable PR move,” said Paul S. Ryan, vice president of policy and litigation at Common Cause, a watchdog group focusing on money in politics. “Their commitment to this will really be shown in coming months and years,” he said, “whether or not they return to funding not only Donald Trump, but also those who enabled Donald Trump to do what he’s done.”

Media & Democracy 01.16.2021

Salon: Despite Parler backlash, Facebook played huge role in fueling Capitol riot, watchdogs say

Larger companies were eager to single out Parler to avoid the "potential legal implications" from "associating yourself with an app or platform that is encouraging and inviting actions that will lead to violence," said Yosef Getachew, director of the media and democracy program at the watchdog group Common Cause. Parler played a role in the "organizing" of the siege and amplified calls to violence but "it wasn't just Parler, it was social media platforms across the board," Getachew said. Facebook in particular has "done a poor job of consistently enforcing their content moderation policies," he added. This isn't just a case of "one platform is a bad actor," Getachew said. "All platforms have not done what they need to do to prohibit this type of disinformation and incitement of violence." ... These groups didn't just spread misinformation but actively "encouraged people to attend the riot last week and to potentially arm themselves and to potentially engage in other violent acts," Getachew said. "These are the types of things from a public interest side that make it harder to monitor because the groups are closed, right? You need permission to enter and Facebook isn't doing a good enough job of actually facilitating or moderating these groups to prohibit this type of content, or to ban these groups altogether."

Money & Influence 10.18.2020

HuffPost: How Trump Got Played By The Military-Industrial Complex

Watchdog groups argue Trump’s handling of the hiring process is more evidence that lawmakers and future presidents must institute rules to limit the reach of military contractors and other special interests. “Given the hundreds of conflicts of interest flouting the rule of law in the Trump administration, certainly these issues have gotten that much more attention and are that much more salient now than they were four years ago,” said Aaron Scherb, the director of legislative affairs at Common Cause, a nonpartisan good-government group.

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