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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 07.25.2021

Wall Street Journal: Broadband Internet Bill Too High? Here’s How You Can Fix That

“The ability for consumers to actually get lower prices or take action is somewhat limited at the moment,” said Yosef Getachew, media and democracy director at Common Cause, a government watchdog group. One effective solution, he says, is municipal networks—publicly owned fiber-optic networks deployed by local governments—such as the one Mx. Cadena is awaiting. “Service providers aren’t investing in areas that aren’t profitable to them. And there are cases where muni networks come in, and then the incumbent lowers their prices,” said Mr. Getachew. However, 20 states restrict or prohibit these networks, on the grounds that government-run broadband discourages private investment.

Media & Democracy 07.19.2021

VICE: Report Finds Big Telecom Spends $230,000 on Lobbying Every Day

“For years, Congressional efforts to pass legislation needed to address the nation’s long-standing disparities in connectivity have been stopped dead in their tracks in part because of aggressive industry lobbying and the oversized political influence of the largest ISPs,” Common Cause Media and Democracy Program Director Yosef Getachew said of the study. Getachew noted that efforts to improve broadband mapping, fund the deployment of competitive fiber, or even improve the standard definition of broadband have all repeatedly been scuttled by industry lobbying. At the same time, telecom lobbyists have worked tirelessly to undermine federal and state regulatory oversight of the heavy monopolized telecom industry.

Voting & Elections 07.2.2021

Bangor Daily News/Inside Sources (Op-Ed): Protecting our freedoms through the For the People Act

“Nobody’s free until everyone is free,” civil rights hero Fannie Lou Hamer said. She is right. That’s why on this Fourth of July, it’s time that we, as Americans, hold ourselves up to the values we claim in our founding documents: that all people are created equal and that “We the People” are responsible for building a more perfect union, based on justice, tranquility and liberty. It’s time we build an inclusive democracy, where everyone has a voice, can exercise their freedom to vote, and is able to participate in our democracy.

Media & Democracy 05.11.2021

Marketplace (AUDIO): Broadband, computer subsidies on the way for those who qualify

It looks like Ramsey would qualify for both benefits, according to Yosef Getachew, media and democracy program director with the consumer group Common Cause. “The eligibility criteria for this program is pretty broad,” he said. Getachew added that individuals automatically qualify if they’re in a government program like SNAP or Medicaid. Ramsey is enrolled in Medicaid, so she’s eligible. One can also qualify if their income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty line, or if their income took a substantial hit from a job loss.

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.

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