Tech Transparency Project: Instagram’s Hashtag Blocking Favors Trump, Hurts Biden

Tech Transparency Project: Instagram’s Hashtag Blocking Favors Trump, Hurts Biden. “When a person searches Instagram for a hashtag and clicks on it, the platform has automatically generated “related hashtags” pointing users to other relevant content. TTP examined related hashtags for 20 popular terms associated with the Trump and Biden campaigns and found starkly different treatment of the two candidates. Instagram blocked the display of related hashtags on all 10 of the Trump hashtags reviewed, including #donaldtrump, #trump and #trump2020. That means users were not directed to other content, including anything negative or critical about the president. But for all 10 similar Biden hashtags, Instagram did display related hashtags, which at times steered users to insults and disinformation about the former vice president, with phrases like #creepyjoebiden, #joebidenpedophile and #joebidenisaracist.”

CNN: Facebook bans ads from pro-Trump PAC

CNN: Facebook bans ads from pro-Trump PAC. “Facebook announced Thursday it was banning ads from The Committee to Defend the President, a pro-Trump super PAC. Facebook did not say how long the ban would last.”

Washington Post: Facebook’s fact-checkers have ruled claims in Trump ads are false — but no one is telling Facebook’s users

Washington Post: Facebook’s fact-checkers have ruled claims in Trump ads are false — but no one is telling Facebook’s users. “Fact-checkers were unanimous in their assessments when President Trump began claiming in June that Democrat Joe Biden wanted to ‘defund’ police forces. PolitiFact called the allegations ‘false,’ as did CheckYourFact. The Associated Press detailed ‘distortions’ in Trump’s claims. FactCheck.org called an ad airing them ‘deceptive.’ Another site, the Dispatch, said there is ‘nothing currently to support’ Trump’s claims. But these judgments, made by five fact-checking organizations that are part of Facebook’s independent network for policing falsehoods on the platform, were not shared with Facebook’s users. That is because the company specifically exempts politicians from its rules against deception. Ads containing the falsehoods continue to run freely on the platform, without any kind of warning or label.”

NPR: Twitter, Facebook Remove Trump Post Over False Claim About Children And COVID-19

NPR: Twitter, Facebook Remove Trump Post Over False Claim About Children And COVID-19 . “Twitter temporarily blocked the Trump election campaign account from tweeting until it removed a post with a video clip from a Fox News interview from Wednesday morning, in which the president urged schools to reopen, falsely claiming that children are ‘almost immune from this disease.’ Facebook also removed a post containing the same video from Trump’s personal page. Both Facebook and Twitter said the post violated their rules on COVID-19 misinformation.”

Knight First Amendment Institute: Knight Institute Sues President for Continuing to Block Twitter Critics

Knight First Amendment Institute: Knight Institute Sues President for Continuing to Block Twitter Critics. “The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University today filed a lawsuit against President Trump and his staff for continuing to block critics from the @realDonaldTrump Twitter account. The legal action was filed on behalf of five individuals who remain blocked two years after a federal court held—in an earlier case brought by the Knight Institute—that the president’s Twitter account is a public forum and the president violated the First Amendment by blocking people on the basis of viewpoint.”

TikTok: US general manager Pappas says app ‘here for the long run’ (BBC)

BBC: TikTok: US general manager Pappas says app ‘here for the long run’. “The US general manager of TikTok has said the Chinese-owned video-sharing app is ‘here for the long run’, after President Donald Trump said he would ban it in the US. Vanessa Pappas told TikTok users in a video statement that its staff were building ‘the safest app’.”

Coronavirus: Three Biden claims about Trump fact-checked (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus: Three Biden claims about Trump fact-checked. “Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has made several claims about President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. Mr Biden says the president has ordered a slowdown in coronavirus testing, is failing to provide enough protective equipment for healthcare workers, and has attempted to block public-health funding. We’ve taken a look at these claims.”

Politico: U.S. suffered worst quarterly contraction on record as virus ravages economy

Politico: U.S. suffered worst quarterly contraction on record as virus ravages economy. “The U.S. economy crashed in historic fashion this year — shrinking at a nearly 33 percent annualized pace in the second quarter — as the coronavirus pandemic ravaged businesses and sent joblessness soaring. The question now for President Donald Trump, trailing in the polls and facing a daunting reelection effort, is just how much conditions can snap back in the months leading up to Election Day.”

New York Times: ‘Mugged by Reality,’ Trump Finds Denial Won’t Stop the Pandemic

New York Times: ‘Mugged by Reality,’ Trump Finds Denial Won’t Stop the Pandemic. “The president who shunned masks and pressured states to reopen and promised a return to the campaign trail finds himself canceling rallies, scrapping his grand convention, urging Americans to stay away from crowded bars and at long last embracing, if only halfheartedly, wearing masks. It may not be the death of denial, but it is a moment when denial no longer appears to be a viable strategy for Mr. Trump.”

Associated Press: Trump seeks political shot in the arm in vaccine push

Associated Press: Trump seeks political shot in the arm in vaccine push. “President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic put his political fate in grave jeopardy. Now he’s hoping to get credit for his administration’s aggressive push for a vaccine -– and crossing his fingers that one gets approved before Election Day.”

AP: Twitter and Facebook become targets in Trump and Biden ads

AP: Twitter and Facebook become targets in Trump and Biden ads. “President Donald Trump has bought hundreds of messages on Facebook to accuse its competitor, Twitter, of trying to stifle his voice and influence the November election. Democratic challenger Joe Biden has spent thousands of dollars advertising on Facebook with a message of his own: In dozens of ads on the platform, he’s asked supporters to sign a petition calling on Facebook to remove inaccurate statements, specifically those from Trump.”

‘Make America Normal Again’: Trump backers plead for a virus plan (Politico)

Politico: ‘Make America Normal Again’: Trump backers plead for a virus plan. “Trump’s political allies, alarmed by his sinking poll numbers, are warning that the president’s best chance to get reelected is to outline more detailed plans to conquer the coronavirus he keeps trying to wish away. They are advising him to offer people something concrete they can look to as the pandemic surges in dozens of states, eroding months of progress.”

ABC News: Some guests, employees at Trump properties flout face-covering mandates

ABC News: Some guests, employees at Trump properties flout face-covering mandates. “As the coronavirus surges across the country, several properties owned by President Donald Trump have continued to host gatherings with guests and employees that skirt state and city-mandated face covering ordinances as well as the organization’s own public rules for resuming business during the pandemic.”

CNN: Trump undermines new virus strategy by hiding experts and facts

CNN: Trump undermines new virus strategy by hiding experts and facts. “President Donald Trump’s new political self-preservation effort to show he has a grip on a pandemic that is killing hundreds of Americans every day is being exposed by his refusal to share the stage with scientific experts — or the facts. On a day that laid bare his refashioned campaign strategy, Trump hammered out a tough law-and-order push, escalated a Cold War with China and tried to show he is managing the fight against Covid-19 after weeks of neglect.”