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Court upholds $11 million penalty for Iowan’s Facebook attacks on former boss

BY: - May 14, 2021

The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld an $11 million jury award in a libel case involving an Iowan who “doggedly and relentlessly” used Facebook and other social media tools to denigrate a former employer. The case involves an Iowa businessman, Scott Clark, who admitted in court he had a “compulsion” and had repeatedly used […]

Instagram for kids? Iowa attorney general urges Facebook to abandon app development

BY: - May 11, 2021

Attorneys general from 44 states, including Iowa, say an Instagram app for children could lead to cyberbullying, mental distress and body-image issues. The bipartisan group of attorneys general sent a letter Monday to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, urging him to abandon development of a kid-friendly Instagram platform. Zuckerberg announced in March that the company intended […]

Iowan fired for ‘Millions of Dead Cops’ Facebook post, while police officer is fired for the N-word

BY: - April 17, 2021

An Iowa man fired from his job after posting a “Millions of Dead Cops” logo to his Facebook page is entitled to unemployment benefits, while an Iowa police officer who used the N-word is not, according to two separate judges’ rulings. In May 2020, Logan Creach was hired by Linder Tire Service as a part-time […]

COMMENTARY

7 ways to avoid becoming a misinformation superspreader

BY: - March 20, 2021

The problem of misinformation isn’t going away. Internet platforms like Facebook and Twitter have taken some steps to curb its spread and say they are working on doing more. But no method yet introduced has been completely successful at removing all misleading content from social media. The best defense, then, is self-defense. Misleading or outright […]

Senate advances bill to fight online censorship

BY: - March 17, 2021

A bill that would ban state and local governments from having contracts with or offering aid to tech companies that censor certain online content passed the Iowa Senate on a party-line vote Wednesday. Senate File 580 would ban state or local governments from having contracts with or providing aid to tech companies that censor certain […]

Bill aimed at penalizing big-tech ‘censorship’ advances

BY: - March 4, 2021

A bill that would ban state or local government contracts or aid for large tech companies that censor online content advanced in the Iowa Legislature Thursday. Senate President Jake Chapman, R-Adel, managed Senate File 402. The bill would ban the state and local governments from having contracts with or offering aid to “certain companies that […]

Chapman: ‘Shameful’ censorship by tech giants should ban them from contracts, aid in Iowa

BY: - February 24, 2021

Legislation that would ban state and local government contracts or aid for tech companies that censor online content could endanger economic development and disrupt operations across universities and school districts, critics told lawmakers Wednesday.  The legislation, Senate File 402, was introduced by Senate President Jake Chapman, R-Adel, and 29 colleagues. It advanced to the full […]

COMMENTARY

Let’s clear up needless confusion about the First Amendment

BY: - January 23, 2021

Forty-five words that were first written with a quill pen 230 years ago form what may be the most consequential sentence in United States history. But that sentence also is one of the most misunderstood — as recent comments from some of our leaders illustrate. The sentence I refer to is the First Amendment. It […]

Iowa is one of the nation's top producers of wind energy. (Photo by Perry Beeman/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

MidAmerican plans new subscription service with 100% renewable energy

BY: - December 23, 2020

MidAmerican Energy plans to buy a Webster County solar energy development as part of a proposed subscription service that will allow companies such as Facebook to buy power generated entirely with renewable sources.  MidAmerican will purchase a utility-scale solar development under development by owned by San Diego-based EDF Renewables North America. Terms were not disclosed. […]

COMMENTARY

Why Facebook antitrust case relies so heavily on Mark Zuckerberg’s emails

BY: - December 20, 2020

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s own words play a starring role in the government’s case to break up his social network. “It is better to buy than compete,” he allegedly wrote in an email in 2008, according to the lawsuit. Four years later, after Facebook purchased what he had called a “very disruptive” photo-sharing app, he […]

Iowa attorney general urges online retailers to curb price-gouging

BY: - March 25, 2020

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is urging Amazon, Facebook, Ebay, Walmart and Craiglist to improve their monitoring of online sellers who may be gouging prices during the COVID-19 pandemic. As Iowans struggle to find household goods like toilet paper, cleaning products and hand sanitizer in stores, some online sellers are taking advantage of the scarcities […]