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Author Archive | donal brown

U.S. senate bill bids for transparency in election social media ads

The U.S. senate will consider a bill requiring companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to deliver more information about political advertising on their networks. The Honest Ads Act will require the companies to create a public registry with the names and contact information of any person or group that spends over $500 a year on […]

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Fighting fake news while upholding free speech

With fake news threatening the basis of free expression, free speech defenders must fight against censorship of deceptive and disreputable ideas as they work tirelessly to help the public recognize the truth. We need a new movement that provides information to help consumers determine the reliability of news sources. (Foreign Policy, October 12, 2017, by […]

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Transparency: Whistleblower exposes drug company complicity in opioid epidemic

Joe Rannazzisi formerly of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration told 60 Minutes that a coalition of insiders allowed the drug distribution industry to market pills to unscrupulous pharmacies and pain clinics that ignited the opiate crisis. (CBS News 60 Minutes, October 17, 2017, by Bill Whitaker) Forty-one attorneys and the Pennsylvania attorney general are demanding […]

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Giants of social media facing challenges over free speech and transparency

Jim Rutenberg of The New York Times, October 15, 2017, writes that after the revelation that Facebook was running Russia ads designed to tilt the 2016 election in favor of Donald Trump, the social media giants Twitter, Facebook and Google have pledged allegiance to transparency but have often failed to live up to their pledge. […]

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Threat against NBC: Are Trump’s attacks on media merely an annoyance or harbinger of loss of responsible journalism?

In his latest attack on the press, President Donald Trump threatened to cancel NBC’s broadcasting license after a NBC report about a national security meeting in July during which Trump called for an almost tenfold increase in the nuclear arsenal. While his dig at NBC is hardly a creditable threat, it marked an uptick in […]

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University of Wisconsin to punish disruption of conservative speeches

University of Wisconsin regents passed new guidelines that would suspend students for a second instant of  “violent or other disorderly misconduct that materially and substantially disrupted the free expression of others.” Critics of the policy think that some students may view the policy as prohibiting protests. Wisconsin president Ray cross said that while violent protests have […]

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