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Old 09-10-2017, 11:09 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I believe TV and Radio are required to give equal air time for both candidates in advertising. I have no idea how that extends to online ads, especially when anyone can buy these ads.
That's the fairness doctrine. It was killed a long time ago which is why we have the media landscape we have today.
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Old 09-10-2017, 11:35 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ramen Jedburgh View Post
I believe TV and Radio are required to give equal air time for both candidates in advertising. I have no idea how that extends to online ads, especially when anyone can buy these ads.
Newp. Over-the-air TV and radio are required to sell ads to all "on the ballot" candidates in a race if they sell to any candidate in the race. They are also required to sell at the "political rate", which is the very lowest rate they have sold any ad (of the same length) for in the past year. You have to sell them all the ads they want and can afford, too.

Campaigns can be, and, in practice, always are, required to pay cash in advance. Like, actual US currency. Which leads to some pretty amazing scenes in radio stations, where at any other time almost all business is conducted by check or electronic funds transfer.

None of the "must sell/lowest rate" stuff applies to cable stations nor to any other medium, including newspapers.

Incidentally, that "political rate" is costing you money. It serves as an artificial floor for broadcast advertising rates, and eventually those show up in the prices of goods and services. It's one card we'd play in rate negotiations -- "How much? No way can I do that. You kidding? You'd be setting my new political rate!"
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Old 09-11-2017, 07:48 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Facebook’s role in Trump’s win is clear. No matter what Mark Zuckerberg says. - The Washington Post

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It’s even more obvious now after Wednesday’s news that Facebook sold ads during the campaign to a Russian “troll farm,” targeting American voters with “divisive social and political messages” that fit right in with Donald Trump’s campaign strategy.

The news, reported Wednesday by The Washington Post, fits right in with the findings of a fascinating recent study by Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. Analyzing reams of data, it documented the huge role that propaganda, in various forms, played in the 2016 campaign.
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And Facebook was the indispensable messenger. As the Harvard study noted: “Disproportionate popularity on Facebook is a strong indicator of highly partisan and unreliable media.”

We don’t know everything about Facebook’s role in the campaign. What we do know — or certainly ought to know by now — is to not take Facebook at its word. It always plays down its influence, trying for a benign image of connecting us all in a warm bath of baby pictures, tropical vacations and games of Candy Crush.
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Facebook also has never acknowledged the glaringly obvious — that it is essentially a media company, where many of its 2 billion active monthly users get the majority of their news and information. As I’ve been pointing out here for more than a year, it constantly makes editorial decisions, but never owns them.

When its information is false, when it is purchased and manipulated to affect the outcome of an election, the effect is enormous. When the information purveyors are associated with a foreign adversary — with a clear interest in the outcome of the American election — we’re into a whole new realm of power.
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:33 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Why would they bother saying that? IT IS NOT ILLEGAL to influence elections IF YOU ARE A CITIZEN.

And why else would Russian companies be buying US political ads aimed at Americans, if not to illegally influence elections?
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Here are some examples of what Facebook let the Russians pass off as news:

30 Batsh*t Crazy, Mostly Racist Facebook Memes the Russians Used to Corrupt Your Mind







All perfectly legal. All completely inaccurate.
You have to draw a long (not impossible, just long) conclusion that posts like the above on Facebook are intentionally designed to influence elections and not to make money, because there are plenty of people who do this sort of thing to make money. There are plenty of worthless memes on all sides of the spectrum that people are asked to share, and it made money. Look at the troll in NH that used to work for a state senator. You don't have to be explicit about a candidate to raise paranoia. Unless you bar foreigners buying airtime or ads or anything, you're going to encounter this problem. And then you might be looking at First Amendment challenges to that action.
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:58 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I believe TV and Radio are required to give equal air time for both candidates in advertising. I have no idea how that extends to online ads, especially when anyone can buy these ads.

Those are FCC regulations. They only apply to broadcast tv, not even to cable much less the internet.

They've also been watered down -

FCC: No More Equal Time Requirements for Political Campaign Supporters Over Our Public Airwaves | HuffPost
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Old 09-12-2017, 01:38 AM   #31 (permalink)
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You have to draw a long (not impossible, just long) conclusion that posts like the above on Facebook are intentionally designed to influence elections and not to make money, because there are plenty of people who do this sort of thing to make money. There are plenty of worthless memes on all sides of the spectrum that people are asked to share, and it made money. Look at the troll in NH that used to work for a state senator. You don't have to be explicit about a candidate to raise paranoia. Unless you bar foreigners buying airtime or ads or anything, you're going to encounter this problem. And then you might be looking at First Amendment challenges to that action.
Did you read the article? Those"memes" were bought and paid for placement as news by "SecuredBorders", a group that has been discovered to be nothing but a Russian shell company. as if that is not enough, now it has been revealed that Secure Borders helped to organize alt-right rallies.

Exclusive: Russia Used Facebook Events to Organize Anti-Immigrant Rallies on U.S. Soil


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A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to the Daily Beast that the social-media giant “shut down several promoted events as part of the takedown we described last week.” The company declined to elaborate, except to confirm that the events were promoted with paid ads. (This is the first time the social media giant has publicly acknowledged the existence of such events.)

The Facebook events—one of which echoed Islamophobic conspiracy theories pushed by pro-Trump media outlets—are the first indication that the Kremlin’s attempts to shape America’s political discourse moved beyond fake news and led unwitting Americans into specific real-life action.
I am not even going to blame Russia on this. It is not illegal for a foreign entity to purchase advertising or to campaign for "issues" as long as they do not campaign for a particular candidate. That, of course, makes it easy to advertise for a particular candidate. I am putting the blame squarely on Facebook's lap. They wanted to get into the news business to make money, well then they need to have some integrity and learn how to do some sourcing and investigating and not waiting to do it after they have used as a pawnand complain that foreign entities used their system exactly how they set it up to be used.
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Old 09-12-2017, 03:28 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Soda, I used your post for the pictures to illustrate your second point. I will agree that it is Facebook's responsibility to police that stuff, but I was speaking solely about the legality of a foreign company buying ads to publish that kind of junk. I'm not going around in circles on this issue and repeating myself again and again because I don't know why it's not getting in that what the foreign company did was not explicitly illegal. Proving that what they did was intentionally messing with elections is not going to be easy, that is the only thing I've been saying from the beginning. You can't just make an assertion that it was an intentional effort to mess with elections, it will not fly in a Court, you need to have some stronger evidence of an intent to mess with elections.
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:44 AM   #33 (permalink)
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That Russia tried to mess with the election is not even a debate. That was a known fact before the results were even announced. That in itself is not illegal. The shoe that I guess everyone is waiting to see drop is if the Trump campaign knew about and endorsed the effort.

On the other hand, those ads had a direct link to Russia that was fairly easy for them (Facebook) to find, once they bothered to look. If Facebook wants to tout itself as a source of news, it has more than the responsibility to police the stuff it spits out. It has to to do its due diligence up front and do actual journalism and check information and verify sources. I don't see any possible way that an entity like Facebook could ever do that.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:17 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Not that the media has had to do the due diligence thing since Reagan...
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:54 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Not that the media has had to do the due diligence thing since Reagan...
I have the most respect for your opinion, but as someone who grew up under 2 generations of journalists, I am going to disagree on that comment.

If we are going to lump the entire "media" into one group, then yes, there is a lot of spin and garbage out there, largely from the main three cable networks whose commitment is to entertain first and inform second. I have three exceptions to that, Anderson Cooper, Chris Wallace and Rachal Maddow. The rest are just noise and I will agree with you in their lack of doing due diligence as they try to provide actual news in 30 second sound bites.

On the other hand, their are some amazing, young, trained journalists at places like The New York Times and even The Wallstreet journal who are doing some amazing, lengthy, accurate reporting... that most people do not bother to read. WHy, because they can get their news on Facebook or Huffpost and think they actually were told something of any kind of value.

One level below Facebook are "bloggers' who have no training and merely spout opinion as if it were fact, yet get carried on HP or FB as if they were legitimate journalism.

Hmm, in a way I think I am just proving your point, aren't I??? I guess I just want to piggy back on it and say there are some very good journalist doing great work, often at the risk of their careers and even their safety, it is just that most people are not going to bother to read their work and will wait for the cliff notes on the cable shows or HP. That is not their fault. That is our fault for wanting to be spoon fed only the stuff we want to hear.
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:56 AM   #36 (permalink)
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I have the most respect for your opinion, but as someone who grew up under 2 generations of journalists, I am going to disagree on that comment.

If we are going to lump the entire "media" into one group, then yes, there is a lot of spin and garbage out there, largely from the main three cable networks whose commitment is to entertain first and inform second. I have three exceptions to that, Anderson Cooper, Chris Wallace and Rachal Maddow. The rest are just noise and I will agree with you in their lack of doing due diligence as they try to provide actual news in 30 second sound bites.

On the other hand, their are some amazing, young, trained journalists at places like The New York Times and even The Wallstreet journal who are doing some amazing, lengthy, accurate reporting... that most people do not bother to read. WHy, because they can get their news on Facebook or Huffpost and think they actually were told something of any kind of value.

One level below Facebook are "bloggers' who have no training and merely spout opinion as if it were fact, yet get carried on HP or FB as if they were legitimate journalism.

Hmm, in a way I think I am just proving your point, aren't I??? I guess I just want to piggy back on it and say there are some very good journalist doing great work, often at the risk of their careers and even their safety, it is just that most people are not going to bother to read their work and will wait for the cliff notes on the cable shows or HP. That is not their fault. That is our fault for wanting to be spoon fed only the stuff we want to hear.
I didn't say that no journalists DID due diligence, only that no one has HAD to do it. But yeah, there are some great journalists out there still, and then there are those who bring shame onto their fathers, by working for Faux 'news' entertainment.

And its as much a fault in education, I think. Consider that for us older folks, we were taught to ask questions and -think-, whether we do or not. Now? We're not even properly taught our Constitution.
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:59 AM   #37 (permalink)
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I have the most respect for your opinion, but as someone who grew up under 2 generations of journalists, I am going to disagree on that comment.
Sorry, but I don't see that as entirely relevant. The problem here is, as I understand it, with paid advertisements placed with Facebook. At least some of these apparently purported to be from US organisations (or, at least, campaigns with English names) but, on further investigation, turned out probably to have been placed by organisations or individuals located outside the USA -- possibly Russia or possibly Bulgaria or the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

How much due diligence are journalists normally expected to do on somebody before the advertising sales department of the media organisation for which they work is able to accept an advert from that person or organisation?

Furthermore, I have difficulty envisaging quite what rules should be applied here. For example, come the 2012 US presidential elections, newspapers and websites all over the world are going to cover the campaign, often from a highly partisan viewpoint. Presumably no one wants to prevent a British or German newspaper from advertising on Facebook, despite the fact its front page (featured in the advert) contains a news story or cartoon highly critical of one of the candidates.

How do you draw up rules that allow Facebook to accept adverts from The Guardian or Der Spiegel but keep out undesirable material?

And is Facebook to attempt to comply with local election laws in all countries, or is only US elections that Facebook should do due diligence on?
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:50 AM   #38 (permalink)
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And is Facebook to attempt to comply with local election laws in all countries, or is only US elections that Facebook should do due diligence on?
That one is easy. Companies follow the laws wherever they exist. If they exist in multiple countries (which is the case with large internet companies) then usually the one where they are incorporated 'wins' in a dispute. If the other country does not like it, and it can not be resolved, what usually happens is the company just picks up their toys and does business from their home office.

For example, some countries have news blackouts before an election (or during it) but that is not the case for the US. Nobody expects news sources in other countries will not cover those elections even if you can not read about it in local ones.
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Old 09-14-2017, 01:52 PM   #39 (permalink)
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That one is easy. Companies follow the laws wherever they exist. If they exist in multiple countries (which is the case with large internet companies) then usually the one where they are incorporated 'wins' in a dispute. If the other country does not like it, and it can not be resolved, what usually happens is the company just picks up their toys and does business from their home office.

For example, some countries have news blackouts before an election (or during it) but that is not the case for the US. Nobody expects news sources in other countries will not cover those elections even if you can not read about it in local ones.
So does that mean Facebook should familiarize itself with the election law of every country in which it does business and refuse to accept paid advertising that appears to Facebook, after doing "due diligence" to whatever extent, and refuse to accept adverts that appear to it to break those laws?

That could get very complicated, and I know from experience it can be very difficult indeed (if not impossible) to get social media companies outside the UK to remove material even when a court orders them to. How likely they are, on their own initiative and without being told to, to refuse paid advertising they think might possibly break another country's laws is open to question.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:39 PM   #40 (permalink)
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It is indeed complicated. Which is why Facebook should stick to foodies takings pictures of their dinner and cute kitten pictures and stop trying to be everything to every person in the world.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:33 PM   #41 (permalink)
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So does that mean Facebook should familiarize itself with the election law of every country in which it does business and refuse to accept paid advertising that appears to Facebook, after doing "due diligence" to whatever extent, and refuse to accept adverts that appear to it to break those laws?

That could get very complicated, and I know from experience it can be very difficult indeed (if not impossible) to get social media companies outside the UK to remove material even when a court orders them to. How likely they are, on their own initiative and without being told to, to refuse paid advertising they think might possibly break another country's laws is open to question.
Facebook is a US company. I would guess they would follow US law until someone screams. When and if that happens FB would decide if they will comply or just not do business with that country.
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