Tech Transparency Project

TTP Investigation: Facebook, Google Still Offering ‘Embed’-Like Consulting to Campaigns

After facing heavy criticism for “embedding” staff with the Trump campaign in 2016, Facebook promised to scale back its on-site help for candidates and focus instead on a website that provides basic training on how to use its tools. But a review of LinkedIn profiles and other research by TTP suggests that Facebook and Google staffers continue to offer strategic advice to political campaigns that goes far beyond technical guidance.

TTP + Common Cause Investigation: Google’s Continued Failure to Stop Exploitative Ads Targeting American Voters

Google publicly stated that it would remove some of ads identified by TTP’s June report, but a review conducted in September found that searching Google for terms like “absentee ballot,” “early voting,” and “vote by mail” in a selection of battleground states generated more than 70 ads for sites that try to plant unwanted software on people’s browsers or direct them to low-quality search sites that serve up questionable results.

TTP Investigation: Facebook Leans on States to Monitor Election Disinformation, but Provides Insufficient Tools

According to emails obtained by TTP through open records requests, Facebook representatives offered various state officials customized dashboards on CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned social media metrics tool, to track instances of voter interference and report their findings to Facebook.

TTP Report Details Google’s Exclusive Access to Government Airfield Within Minutes of Company Headquarters

The sweetheart deal between a Google-affiliated company, H211, and the government dates back to 2007, when Google promised to pay a lease, and help NASA collect atmospheric data in exchange for landing rights at the field. However, flight data reviewed by TTP shows far more flight activity from private planes used by Google executives than from the single fighter jet used to by Google to satisfy the minimum requirements laid out in the scientific portion of the lease agreement.

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