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Media & Democracy 02.8.2024

PolitiFact/Austin American-Statesman: Elon Musk wrong to say Joe Biden is recruiting immigrants to create a Democratic majority

It’s easy to discount such "conspiracy theory nonsense" from random trolls on X, but it’s powerful when it comes from Musk, who owns the platform, said Anthony Gutierrez, executive director of Common Cause Texas, a group that advocates for voting rights. Democracies require participation, and falsehoods "only increase the likelihood that people will lose faith in our elections and simply opt out," Gutierrez said.

Media & Democracy 10.10.2023

Briefing Room with Ian Masters (AUDIO): Elon Musk’s X Now Monetizes Disinformation by Fake Journalists With Blue- Check Accounts Who Get Paid to Spread Lies

We examine the flood of disinformation about the war in Israel on Twitter or X since Elon Musk allows anyone to buy Blue-Check accounts previously restricted to journalists, politicians and business and world leaders which fake journalists can now use to spread outrageous lies that can be monetized depending on the millions they deceive. Joining us is Emma Steiner, the Information Accountability Project Manager at Common Cause where she leads efforts to protect voters from disinformation related to voting rights and democracy, and to help defend against lies that undermine the integrity of our elections.

Media & Democracy 10.10.2023

HuffPost: Twitter’s Monetization For Blue-Check Accounts May Be Fueling Fake News On Israel-Palestine

Emma Steiner, the information accountability project manager at Common Cause, told HuffPost that Musk’s monetization program, combined with his new system for receiving “verified” badges, had encouraged misleading information. “The new verification system means that it’s almost impossible to discern real news from fake news on the platform now, especially since people are posting specifically to gain revenue for engagement,” Steiner said. “That creates some really perverse incentives for breaking news events.”

The Guardian: Rightwing group behind regressive US state laws to face protest at DC gala

“The model bills sound like they are protecting our country but are actually designed to protect corporate interests. We have to shine a light on this,” said Viki Harrison from Common Cause, a group which for years has pushed corporations to break ties with Alec over the racist impact of its legislation.

Media & Democracy 09.27.2023

The Messenger: Elon Musk’s X Cuts Half of Election Integrity Team

Ishan Mehta, director for media and democracy at Common Cause, another watchdog organization, said X has largely severed communications with groups like his and that the layoffs were "dangerous and irresponsible for a platform that has many millions of users."

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