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Media & Democracy 11.30.2023

CalMatters (Op-Ed): Californians want lawmakers to safeguard elections from artificial intelligence

Since 2020, voters in California and beyond have seen disinformation proliferate and poison our politics more than ever before. Generative artificial intelligence has the power to rapidly intensify this trend for the worse.

Media & Democracy 11.19.2023

Seattle Times (Op-Ed): Restore net neutrality, crucial to democracy

The battle for network neutrality (aka the open internet) is back. The chair of the Federal Communications Commission, with a new majority finally in place after almost three years of a deadlocked 2-2 commission caused by a dawdling Senate, has started the ball rolling toward a vote, which hopefully will happen early in the new year. It’s something that should have been instituted years ago.

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.”

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."

Voting & Elections 09.20.2023

Patriot News/PennLive: Effective, useful, and secure: Why Dush is wrong about ERIC

There is no viable alternative to ERIC. Other states have tried, but to no avail; for example, the Interstate Crosscheck System, a program started in Kansas, had a 99% error rate. It was found to eliminate about 200 registrations used to cast legitimate votes for every one duplicate voter registration. As explained by the Louisiana Illuminator, “Replicating what ERIC built would be a major technical, scientific, administrative and political challenge, even for a state committed to making it work.”

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