social media

Trump social media lawsuit aligns with Iowa GOP’s stalled censorship bills

BY: - July 7, 2021

Former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, alleging censorship against conservative viewpoints. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and other sites permanently banned Trump in January after many of his followers stormed the U.S. Capitol. The companies said Trump’s statements would incite additional violence. Trump launched and then deleted his own blog […]

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 […]

Lawmakers wrestle with tech challenges in legislation and at their desks

BY: - April 6, 2021

When Rep. Steven Hansen, D-Sioux City, began his first term in 1987, two lawmakers would share each desk phone. It was a “big deal,” he said, when each legislator got their own phone. Hansen left the Legislature in 2002 and returned in 2021 to a surprise: There weren’t any desk phones at all. “Everybody is […]

COMMENTARY

Basic truths: Can you cite the rainbow of veracity?

BY: - April 4, 2021

With Americans spending on average almost 2 ½ hours a day on social media, small wonder that few of us can define the various categories of truth. Sure, we know all about falsehoods — fake news, hoaxes, half-truths, exaggerations and so-called “white lies” — and can identify each with little prompting.  Did you know that […]

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 […]

GOP advances anti-censorship bill

BY: - March 15, 2021

A key Senate committee on Monday advanced anti-censorship legislation that a Democratic lawmaker called “anti-business.”  Senate File 571 would ban state and local government contracts or aid for certain companies that censor viewpoints on social media.  “The bill itself protects Iowans’ access to the public square,” bill manager Sen. Jason Shultz of Schleswig told the […]

Iowa lawmakers focus on free speech on campuses, social media platforms

BY: - February 26, 2021

The Conservative Political Action Conference began Friday with a session called “Why the Left Hates the Bill of Rights … and We Love It.”  The four-day annual gathering of Republican politicians and activists started Thursday in Orlando, Florida. CPAC’s agenda included five events on free speech, including a Friday speech by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, […]

COMMENTARY

Let’s not get fooled again: Fight the lies by learning to recognize the truth

BY: - January 11, 2021

We have a crisis of credulity in this country. We’ve become a nation of dupes. The inability of far too many Americans to separate fact from fantasy, and the people who are eager to take advantage of that failure, are the root of the rot in our country. The consequences, long evident, should now be […]

COMMENTARY

Far-right activists on social media telegraphed violence weeks in advance of the attack on the U.S. Capitol

BY: - January 10, 2021

The attack on the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6 was shocking, but no one following right-wing activity on social media should have been surprised. The attempt by President Donald Trump’s far-right supporters to violently stop Congress from certifying the Electoral College vote and formalizing Joe Biden’s election victory was consistent with their openly expressed […]