Tech Transparency Project (TTP) Report Clear and Present Danger Documents Facebook’s Continued Negligence on Threats to Elections, Incitement of Violence, Public Health Disinformation.
Local elected and appointed officials, especially county clerks, play a vital role in federal, state, and local elections. They coordinate poll workers, oversee polling places, and assist in coordinating and administering voter registration and related issues. In fact, during the 2016 general election, counties coordinated over 700,00 poll workers and over 100,000 polling places. Looking to the 2020 general election, these duties could include executing on directives from judges and officials on pertinent issues, including the administration of absentee ballots.
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.
Watchdog Files Complaint with Federal Authorities Calling for Investigation of HUD Official for Potential Hatch Act Violations
This year, Patton solicited the participation of four tenants of the New York City Housing Authority to participate in a video praising the President which aired at the 2020 Republican National Convention. If this video, made solely for the purpose of advocating for the election of a political candidate, is found to have been created using resources obtained through Ms. Patton’s public office, it would be a clear violation of the Hatch Act.
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.
Watchdog Files IRS Complaint Against Wisconsin Nonprofit for Omitting Political Spending on Tax Filings
Today, Campaign for Accountability requested that the IRS investigate Jobs First Coalition, Inc. (JFC), a Wisconsin-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit, for failing to disclose nearly $1 million in political spending on its annual tax forms.