Republicans Screwed Up on Biden’s Relief Bill

Numerous Republican politicians have been denouncing the relief bill recently passed by Democrats. It’s part of a planned, coordinated, strategy by Republicans to turn public opinion against the bill (75% of the public likes the bill).

“The [Republican National Committee] circulated rapid response emails and put together research documents on the legislation that they blasted out to reporters.”

“Republicans lost credibility on that issue during the Trump years, especially the first couple years when we had the power to do something about it,” said Brendan Steinhauser, a Republican consultant and former campaign manager to Texas Sen. John Cornyn. “There was no interest in doing anything about it. It was just, ‘let’s not even talk about spending or the debt or deficit or anything like that.’”

Politico

Facebook: Promoting Hate and Division

MIT Technology Review offers a look inside Facebook.

Facebook uses algorithms and machine learning programs to maximize user engagement (keep users hooked). It seems people are most interested in the divisive stuff and rumors. So Facebook promotes that sort of socially-damaging stuff.

In 2017, Chris Cox, Facebook’s longtime chief product officer, formed a new task force to understand whether maximizing user engagement on Facebook was contributing to political polarization. It found that there was indeed a correlation, and that reducing polarization would mean taking a hit on engagement. In a mid-2018 document reviewed by the Journal, the task force proposed several potential fixes, such as tweaking the recommendation algorithms to suggest a more diverse range of groups for people to join. But it acknowledged that some of the ideas were “antigrowth.” Most of the proposals didn’t move forward, and the task force disbanded.

[A] former employee…no longer lets his daughter use Facebook.

The Flood of Misinformation – Coming from Right-Wing Websites and Media

This country really needs a modern-day version of the Fairness Doctrine.

From NPR:

While delusional conspiracy theories go way back, experts say right-wing disinformation, in particular, is now spinning out on an unprecedented scale.

Experts see this spread of disinformation as a public health emergency that’s threatening democracy, increasing the risk of further violence, and straining family relationships. It’s also taxing a bevy of “deprogrammers” who are trying to help. More commonly referred to as “exit counselors” or “de-radicalizers,” they help people caught up in cultic ideologies to reconnect with reality.

…those buying into fallacies are far more likely to get most of their news from social media, friends and family, or conservative news outlets. Or they were likely to have recently used social media platforms like Parler and Telegram, which experts say have become disinformation super-spreaders.

Related:

Trump Is No Longer Tweeting, But Online Disinformation Isn’t Going Away

Documented: Republicans Stirring the Insurrection Pot. Social Media Comments Documented

Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren has quietly posted a nearly 2,000-page report documenting social media posts by her Republican colleagues who voted against certifying results of the presidential election on January 6.

The report chronicles the social media activity of members on public forums immediately before the November election and right after the January 6 riot.

View the report here, compiled with a state-by-state listing.