The Atlantic: The Peaceful Transition of Government Twitter Accounts. “The various committees of the House of Representatives are strange, human institutions. They are staffed by whoever holds the majority, which, since January of 2011, had been the Republicans, but is now the Democrats. And with that change, the committees must deal with important business, such as establishing new chairpeople, deciding on organizing principles, and … handling the committee Twitter account.”
Ars Technica: Newly elected Republican senator could be Google’s fiercest critic. “Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley’s defeat of Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in the 2018 midterm elections earlier this month was a big deal from almost any point of view. Missouri was a pivotal swing state in the battle for the Senate, and Hawley’s victory helped Republicans expand their slim Senate majority. But Hawley’s victory is an ominous sign for one company in particular: Google. Hawley campaigned as an antagonist to big technology companies in general and Google in particular.”
Nieman Lab: Republicans who follow liberal Twitter bots actually become more conservative. “Social media companies have been big on injecting “alternative views” into users’ feeds — the idea, seemingly, being that exposing people to values and beliefs that conflict with their own will expand their worldviews or making them more tolerant. (See also: a zillion different ‘burst your bubble’ efforts. In some ways, this makes all the sense in the world. On the other hand, changing people’s minds is hard.” There are limitations to this study and I’m not here to make RB political. However I have severe problems with those folks who say, “All you have to do is explain your side and people will understand.” Would that were true, but it’s not.
New York Times: Trump Accuses Social Media Firms of Discrimination Against Conservatives. “President Trump said on Saturday that conservative voices were being unfairly censored on social media, hinting that he might intervene if his allies’ accounts continued to be shut down. ‘Social Media is totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices,’ Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, saying that ‘censorship is a very dangerous thing.'”
BetaNews: Twitter responds to Donald Trump’s allegations that Republicans are being shadow banned. “Out of the blue today, Donald Trump took to his favorite medium of Twitter to complain that the company was ‘shadow banning’ prominent Republicans — and it wasn’t long before Donald Trump Jr sided with his father. The allegations stem from a Vice article that suggested Twitter was limiting the visibility of searches for key Republican figures — something Twitter denies. The company says that a bug is to blame and it is actively working on addressing it.”
Washington Post: Inside Facebook and Twitter’s secret meetings with Trump aides and conservative leaders who say tech is biased. “Twitter and Facebook are scrambling to assuage conservative leaders who have sounded alarms — and sought to rile voters — with accusations that the country’s tech giants are censoring right-leaning posts, tweets and news. From secret dinners with conservative media elite to private meetings with the Republican National Committee, the new outreach reflects tech giants’ delicate task: satisfying a party in power while defending online platforms against attacks that threaten to undermine the public’s trust in the Web.”
Fast Company: Find out if your coworkers or company gave money to Trump or Hillary. “Zippia just released a fun new tool that will help you while away the hours in your cubicle. They released a website that helps you figure out the favorite political parties of your favorite companies. For example, Apple and Walmart employees have both made big donations, but to opposing parties, proving that politics’ favorite color is not red or blue, but green.” It’s kind of weird; I put in some larger company names and this site had no data on political donations, but then I put in JBC Inc of Plano, Texas (which I’m sure is a lovely company but is small in comparison to, say, Monster Energy), and a ton of information pops up.