Friday, October 22News That Matters

Tag: Presidential Election of 2020

Whistle-Blower to Accuse Facebook of Contributing to Jan. 6 Riot, Memo Says

Technology
“We will continue to face scrutiny — some of it fair and some of it unfair,” he said in the memo. “But we should also continue to hold our heads up high.”Here is Mr. Clegg’s memo in full:OUR POSITION ON POLARIZATION AND ELECTIONSYou will have seen the series of articles about us published in the Wall Street Journal in recent days, and the public interest it has provoked. This Sunday night, the ex-employee who leaked internal company material to the Journal will appear in a segment on 60 Minutes on CBS. We understand the piece is likely to assert that we contribute to polarization in the United States, and suggest that the extraordinary steps we took for the 2020 elections were relaxed too soon and contributed to the horrific events of January 6th in the Capitol.I know some of you – especia...
The Trump Prophets Regroup

The Trump Prophets Regroup

Business
Beyond the spiritual test of unrealized prophecies, there are very earthly stakes here: Under Mr. Strang’s stewardship, Charisma had grown from a church magazine to a multipronged institution with a slew of New York Times best sellers, millions of podcast downloads and a remaining foothold in print media, with a circulation of 75,000 for its top magazine. It is widely regarded as the flagship publication of the fast-growing Pentecostal world, which numbers over 10 million in the United States. With its mash-up of political and prophetic themes, Charisma had tapped a sizable market and electoral force. In 2019, one poll found that more than half of white Pentecostals believed Mr. Trump to be divinely anointed, with additional research pointing to the importance of so-called prophecy voters ...
McCarthy Threatens Technology Firms That Comply With Riot Inquiry

McCarthy Threatens Technology Firms That Comply With Riot Inquiry

Technology
WASHINGTON — Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader, has threatened to retaliate against any company that complies with the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot, after the panel asked dozens of firms to preserve the phone and social media records of 11 far-right members of Congress who pushed to overturn the results of the 2020 election.Mr. McCarthy’s warning was an escalation of his efforts to thwart a full accounting of the deadly attack at the Capitol carried out by a pro-Trump mob, and his latest attempt to insulate the former president and Republican lawmakers from scrutiny of any ties to the violence. It came after he led the G.O.P. opposition to the creation of an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the riot, and then pulled five Rep...
Facebook Said to Consider Forming an Election Commission

Facebook Said to Consider Forming an Election Commission

Technology
Facebook has approached academics and policy experts about forming a commission to advise it on global election-related matters, said five people with knowledge of the discussions, a move that would allow the social network to shift some of its political decision-making to an advisory body.The proposed commission could decide on matters such as the viability of political ads and what to do about election-related misinformation, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the discussions were confidential. Facebook is expected to announce the commission this fall in preparation for the 2022 midterm elections, they said, though the effort is preliminary and could still fall apart.Outsourcing election matters to a panel of experts could help Facebook sidestep criticism of...
How Eric Coomer Became the ‘Perfect Villain’ for Voting Conspiracists

How Eric Coomer Became the ‘Perfect Villain’ for Voting Conspiracists

Technology
Coomer watched the video in shock. He is adamant that he never participated in any antifa phone call, and he felt disgusted by the accusation that he had done anything to change the results of the election. The Trump campaign and its allies have introduced more than 60 lawsuits claiming election fraud in this country, but no court has found persuasive evidence to support the idea that Coomer, Dominion or anyone else involved in vote-counting changed the election results. Bipartisan audits of paper ballots in closely contested states such as Georgia and Arizona confirmed Biden’s victory; and prominent Republicans, including Attorney General Bill Barr and Trump’s official in charge of election cybersecurity, have reaffirmed the basic facts of the election: Over all, the results were accurate...
Here’s a Look Inside Facebook’s Data Wars

Here’s a Look Inside Facebook’s Data Wars

Business
“Reach leaderboard isn’t a total win from a comms point of view,” Mr. Silverman wrote.Mr. Schultz, Facebook’s chief marketing officer, had the dimmest view of CrowdTangle. He wrote that he thought “the only way to avoid stories like this” would be for Facebook to publish its own reports about the most popular content on its platform, rather than releasing data through CrowdTangle.“If we go down the route of just offering more self-service data you will get different, exciting, negative stories in my opinion,” he wrote.Mr. Osborne, the Facebook spokesman, said Mr. Schultz and the other executives were discussing how to correct misrepresentations of CrowdTangle data, not strategizing about killing off the tool.A few days after the election in November, Mr. Schultz wrote a post for the compan...
Inside Facebook’s Data Wars

Inside Facebook’s Data Wars

Technology
“Reach leaderboard isn’t a total win from a comms point of view,” Mr. Silverman wrote.Mr. Schultz, Facebook’s chief marketing officer, had the dimmest view of CrowdTangle. He wrote that he thought “the only way to avoid stories like this” would be for Facebook to publish its own reports about the most popular content on its platform, rather than releasing data through CrowdTangle.“If we go down the route of just offering more self-service data you will get different, exciting, negative stories in my opinion,” he wrote.Mr. Osborne, the Facebook spokesman, said Mr. Schultz and the other executives were discussing how to correct misrepresentations of CrowdTangle data, not strategizing about killing off the tool.A few days after the election in November, Mr. Schultz wrote a post for the compan...
Fox News Intensifies Its Pro-Trump Politics as Dissenters Depart

Fox News Intensifies Its Pro-Trump Politics as Dissenters Depart

Business
Fox News once devoted its 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. time slots to relatively straightforward newscasts. Now those hours are filled by opinion shows led by hosts who denounce Democrats and defend the worldview of former President Donald J. Trump.For seven years, Juan Williams was the lone liberal voice on “The Five,” the network’s popular afternoon chat show. On Wednesday, he announced that he was leaving the program, after months of harsh on-air blowback from his conservative co-hosts. Many Fox News viewers cheered his exit on social media.Donna Brazile, the former Democratic Party chairwoman, was hired by Fox News with great fanfare in 2019 as a dissenting voice for its political coverage. She criticized Mr. Trump and spoke passionately about the Black Lives Matter movement, which other hosts on...
The Stock Market Loves Biden More Than Trump. So Far, at Least.

The Stock Market Loves Biden More Than Trump. So Far, at Least.

Business
From the moment he was elected president in 2016 through his failed campaign for re-election, Donald J. Trump invoked the stock market as a report card on the presidency.The market loved him, Mr. Trump said, and it hated Democrats, particularly his opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr. During the presidential debate in October, Mr. Trump warned of Mr. Biden: “If he’s elected, the market will crash.” In a variety of settings, he said that Democrats would be a disaster and that a victory for them would set off “a depression,” which would make the stock market “disintegrate.”So far, it hasn’t turned out that way.To the extent that the Dow Jones industrial average measures the stock market’s affection for a president, its early report card says the market loves President Biden’s first days in office c...
Facebook’s Ban of Trump Upheld by Oversight Board

Facebook’s Ban of Trump Upheld by Oversight Board

Business
SAN FRANCISCO — A Facebook-appointed panel of journalists, activists and lawyers ruled on Wednesday to uphold the social network’s ban of former President Donald J. Trump, ending any immediate return by Mr. Trump to mainstream social media and renewing a debate about tech power over online speech.Facebook’s Oversight Board, which acts as a quasi-court to deliberate the company’s content decisions, said the social network was right to bar Mr. Trump after he used the site to foment an insurrection in Washington in January. The panel said the ongoing risk of violence “justified” the suspension.But the board also said that Facebook’s penalty of an indefinite suspension was “not appropriate,” and that the company should apply a “defined penalty.” The board gave Facebook six months to make its f...