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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

Trump signs order that may impact how social media manage content

Washington Post – “President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order that could open the door for the U.S. government to assume oversight of political speech on the Internet, a broadside against Silicon Valley that a wide array of critics derided as a threat to free speech. The new directive seeks to change a federal law that has spared tech companies from being sued or held liable for most posts, photos and videos shared by users on their sites. Tech giants herald these protections, known as Section 230, as the bedrock of the Internet. But Trump repeatedly has argued they allow Facebook, Google and Twitter to censor conservatives with impunity — charges these companies deny….The order signed Thursday encourages the Federal Communications Commission to rethink the scope of Section 230 and when its liability protections apply. The order also seeks to channel complaints about political bias to the Federal Trade Commission, an agency that the White House has asked to probe whether tech companies’ content-moderation policies are in keeping with their pledges of neutrality. The order additionally created a council in cooperation with state attorneys general to probe allegations of censorship based on political views. And it tasked federal agencies with reviewing their spending on social media advertising. While Trump has threatened to penalize tech companies for years, his signing of the order Thursday came in response to a decision by Twitter earlier in the week to mark two of his erroneous tweets with fact-checking labels. The small move set off a firestorm of tweets by the president threatening social media companies with regulations and other punishments…”

Trump escalates war on Twitter, social media protections

AP: “President Donald Trump escalated his war on social media companies Thursday, signing an executive order challenging the liability protections that have served as a bedrock for unfettered speech on the internet. Still, the move appears to be more about politics than substance, as the president aims to rally supporters after he lashed out at… Continue Reading

Trump’s executive order targets political bias at Twitter and Facebook: draft

Reuters: “U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to order a review of a law that has long protected Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet’s Google from being responsible for the material posted by their users, according to a draft executive order and a source familiar with the situation. News of the order comes after Trump threatened to… Continue Reading

Violation Tacker

Discover Which Corporations are the Biggest Regulatory Violators and Lawbreakers Throughout the United States – “Violation Tracker is the first wide-ranging database on corporate misconduct. It covers banking, consumer protection, false claims, environmental, wage & hour, health, safety, employment discrimination, price-fixing, bribery and other cases resolved by more than 50 federal regulatory agencies and all… Continue Reading

Twitter fact-checks Trump’s tweets for first time

Washington Post – Twitter labels Trump’s tweets with a fact check for the first time – The action comes after years of criticism that social media companies have allowed the president to push misinformation unchecked… But Trump has made dozens of false claims on social media, particularly on his preferred medium of Twitter, and has… Continue Reading

Protecting Privacy In A Pandemic: A Resource Guide

American Library Association: “This resource guide supplements “Protecting Privacy During a Pandemic,” a town hall hosted by the ALA’s IFC Privacy Subcommittee on May 8, 2020. The recorded session can be viewed online on OIF’s YouTube channel. Privacy Fundamentals – Even during a public health emergency, libraries should continue to adhere to their mission and… Continue Reading

Your ZIP Code and Your Life Expectancy

The New York Times: “For many, the past few weeks have been tough, but at least we’ve had a respite from pollution: With Americans staying home, emptying the roads and highways of traffic, skies have cleared across the country. That, at least, feels good. But for neighborhoods with historically high levels of air pollution, a… Continue Reading

Trump Is Treating Michigan the Way He Treated Ukraine

Rolling Stone: “A few weeks before President Trump was impeached last December for attempting to blackmail Ukraine into investigating Joe Biden, Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan warned the House Judiciary Committee of a future in which the president used similar tactics on his own country: “Imagine living in a part of Louisiana or Texas that’s… Continue Reading

Inspectors general, explained by a former inspector general

Vox – A former State Department watchdog on what they do — and why they matter. “Late Friday night [May 16, 2020], President Donald Trump fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick. It was the fourth abrupt dismissal of an inspector general in about as many weeks, and the latest case in which Trump claimed… Continue Reading

CDC guidance on reopening America from coronavirus stay-at-home orders

Washington Post – “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week laid out its detailed, delayed road map for reopening schools, child-care facilities, restaurants and mass transit, weeks after covid-weary states began opening on their own terms. The CDC cautioned that some institutions should stay closed for now and said reopening should be guided… Continue Reading

Inside Trump’s coronavirus meltdown

The Financial Times – Free to Read – What went wrong in the president’s first real crisis — and what does it mean for the US?: “When the history is written of how America handled the global era’s first real pandemic, March 6 will leap out of the timeline. That was the day Donald Trump… Continue Reading

Congressionally Mandated Reports: Overview and Considerations for Congress

LC CRS Reports – Congressionally Mandated Reports: Overview and Considerations for Congress, May 14, 2020: “Congress frequently requires the President, departments, agencies, and other entities of the federal government to transmit reports, notifications, studies, and other information on a specified timeline. Reporting requirements may direct agency officials to notify Congress or its committees of forthcoming… Continue Reading