TechCrunch: Facebook’s new authorization process for political ads goes live in the US . “Earlier this month — and before Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress — the company announced a series of changes to how it would handle political advertisements running on its platform in the future. It had said that people who wanted to buy a political ad — including ads about political ‘issues’ — would have to reveal their identities and location and be verified before the ads could run. Information about the advertiser would also display to Facebook users. Today, Facebook is announcing the authorization process for U.S. political ads is live.”
Chicago Tribune: For elected officials in Northwest Indiana, social media serves as a help line and a sounding board. “When I contacted Porter County Auditor Vicki Urbanik at 9:49 p.m. on a Tuesday, she was responding to a taxpayer via Facebook. The taxpayer sent Urbanik a message about a tax bill through the auditor’s Facebook page earlier that day. ‘Though I can’t access her tax information right now, I believe the issue deals with her assessed value, so I am explaining the appeal process,’ Urbanik told me.”
CBC: Political campaigns are targeting you on Facebook. Help us find out how.. “Around 23 million Canadians use Facebook every month, and with elections looming in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick and a federal campaign next year, those users will no doubt be besieged by political ads on the social media platform. But unlike on TV and radio, political ads online are not strictly regulated.”
Campaign Finance Institute: Introducing CFI’s Groundbreaking Database Of State Campaign Finance Laws. “The Campaign Finance Institute is pleased to release a groundbreaking new tool, ‘CFI’s Historical Database of State Campaign Finance Laws’. The database covers all of the states’ campaign finance laws every two years since 1996. It is designed for everything from interactive and visualized lookups to downloadable datasets. “
Mapping Early American Elections: Mapping the Second Decade of Congressional Elections. “The Mapping Early American Elections team has released over eighty maps of elections for Congress’s second decade. This release adds county-level maps of election returns for the Sixth through Tenth Congresses, taking our coverage of Congressional elections up through the 1806–1807 elections. As before, these maps are accompanied by tables that succinctly summarize the results for each district or state-wide at-large election, and which link out to the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Besides examining our maps, you can use the data that underlies them by downloading it from our data repository.”
Wired: How Russian Facebook Ads Divided And Targeted US Voters Before The 2016 Election. “WHEN YOUNG MIE Kim began studying political ads on Facebook in August of 2016—while Hillary Clinton was still leading the polls— few people had ever heard of the Russian propaganda group, Internet Research Agency. Not even Facebook itself understood how the group was manipulating the platform’s users to influence the election. For Kim, a professor of journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the goal was to document the way the usual dark money groups target divisive election ads online, the kind that would be more strictly regulated if they appeared on TV. She never knew then she was walking into a crime scene.
The Daily Pennsylvanian: Two Penn alumni launch VOHTE — a ‘one-stop shop’ for voters to get info on all candidates. “2014 Wharton graduate Sean Danowski and 2014 Penn Law graduate Dafan Zhang recently launched VOHTE — a mobile-friendly website that will act as a resource for Pennsylvania voters looking to learn more about candidates in their district. Zhang said he came up with the idea for VOHTE after running for State House in 2014 while simultaneously studying at Penn Law. Zhang, who said he did not have a large campaign fund, ended up losing the election, and said in an interview with The Daily Pennsylvania that he saw his inability to reach voters as a systematic problem.”