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Media Contact: David Vance, National Media Strategist, 240-605-8600 or dvance@commoncause.org

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Media & Democracy 08.6.2020

Facebook & Twitter Remove Trump’s Misinformation on COVID-19 but Must Do More to Combat Election Disinformation and Voter Suppression 

Recent actions from Facebook and Twitter to remove posts from President Trump containing COVID-19 misinformation show that the platforms have much more work to do to combat attacks on our democracy including the spread of election disinformation and voter suppression. Facebook works with fact-checking organizations to review and rate COVID-19 related content, uses tools to downrank COVID-19 misinformation, and directs users to authoritative sources on COVID-19 information. At the same time, Facebook refuses to fact-check political ads despite containing deceptive information that could suppress votes. Twitter has responded to the spread of COVID-19 misinformation by revising its policy on what is considered harmful content and adding labels to tweets with misinformation about the virus. Yet, Twitter has not taken adequate action to consistently enforce and expand its election integrity policies when it comes to tweets from the President that contain election disinformation.  

Media & Democracy 07.16.2020

Twitter Hack Reveals Again Social Media Vulnerabilities and Dire Need for Oversight

‘Just trust us’ is no longer a viable or safe option for Twitter and other social media companies. Americans expect and deserve safeguards that protect their personal data and ensure companies take meaningful steps to mitigate harms when experiencing data breaches, particularly ones that pose a serious threat to public safety and the integrity of our elections.  The large-scale hack of high profile Twitter accounts reveals how security vulnerabilities on social media platforms can have serious threats  to our society. Yesterday’s Bitcoin scam had many victims, but it also raised the terrifying specter of the damage that might be done by a similar hack aimed at stirring social upheaval, insurrection, or upending the 2020 election. The episode again laid bare the insufficient defenses and oversight of the social media companies that can hold such sway in the public square. It also revealed the startling lack of transparency from the social media giants. No clear explanation of the hack or even its scope has been offered. And many of us who have been hacked have yet to be notified by Twitter.

Media & Democracy 06.11.2019

Common Cause Applauds State Attorneys General For Moving to Block Anticompetitive T-Mobile/Sprint Merger

Today, ten states attorneys general led by New York Attorney General Letitia James and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit to block the proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger. The lawsuit argues that if approved, the merger would lead to higher prices, fewer choices, and less innovation for consumers. New York and California were joined in the lawsuit by Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, Virginia, and Wisconsin

Media & Democracy 06.11.2019

On Anniversary of Net Neutrality Repeal, Common Cause Demands Senator McConnell Allow Vote On Save the Internet Act

Today marks the one year anniversary of the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality. Since the repeal, broadband service providers have been free to block, throttle, or create fast lanes and slow lanes by charging websites extra fees to prioritize their content. Since the repeal, there’s been evidence of broadband service providers throttling speeds, degrading video quality, and creating service plans that favor their own services over competitors.

Media & Democracy 09.28.2018

Common Cause Applauds Congresswoman Eshoo for TRUE Fees Act

Today Congresswoman Anna Eshoo introduced the TRUE Fees Act. The bill requires that below-the-line fees from communications providers be included in the advertised price. Below-the-line fees are hidden fees companies add on to their users’ monthly bill but do not disclose in their advertised prices. The bill also prohibits forced arbitration agreements for wrongful billing and requires transparency in equipment fee increases.  

Media & Democracy 04.10.2018

Facebook Can't Police Itself; Congress Must Enact Comprehensive Safeguards & Disclosure

The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal is another example in a long list where companies have failed to protect the online privacy of their users. Americans have a fundamental right to privacy, and our democracy functions best when we have control over our personal information online. But the existing legal framework we have is inadequate to properly protect online privacy. Now is the time for Congress to pass comprehensive privacy legislation that gives consumers opt-in choice, not just for Facebook, but across-the-board, for those who hold our personal data.

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