GOP is targeting researchers who study disinformation

The shameless ruthlessness of Republicans really is astounding. And people smirk when I point out they are literally in a war to reduce two-third of American people to enemies of the state to be stamped out.

So an out and out criminal lawbreaking sociopath is who they rally around exactly because of his utter ruthless desire to destroy all institutes of civility and governance - a man who’s imagination doesn’t extend beyond the Lord of the Flies and his own enrichment. How blind we are.

GOP is targeting researchers who study disinformation

G.O.P. Targets Researchers Who Study Disinformation Ahead of 2024 Election - The New York Times.

By Steven Lee Myers and Sheera Frenkel June 19, 2023

On Capitol Hill and in the courts, Republican lawmakers and activists are mounting a sweeping legal campaign against universities, think tanks and private companies that study the spread of disinformation, accusing them of colluding with the government to suppress conservative speech online.

The effort has encumbered its targets with expansive requests for information and, in some cases, subpoenas — demanding notes, emails and other information related to social media companies and the government dating back to 2015. Complying has consumed time and resources and already affected the groups’ ability to do research and raise money, according to several people involved. …

A conservative advocacy group led by Stephen Miller, the former adviser to Mr. Trump, filed a class-action lawsuit last month in U.S. District Court in Louisiana that echoes many of the committee’s accusations and focuses on some of the same defendants.

Targets include Stanford, Clemson and New York Universities and the University of Washington; the Atlantic Council, the German Marshall Fund and the National Conference on Citizenship, all nonpartisan, nongovernmental organizations in Washington; the Wikimedia Foundation in San Francisco; and Graphika, a company that researches disinformation online.

In a related line of inquiry, the committee has also issued a subpoena to the World Federation of Advertisers, a trade association, and the Global Alliance for Responsible Media it created. The committee’s Republican leaders have accused the groups of violating antitrust laws by conspiring to cut off advertising revenue for content researchers and tech companies found to be harmful. …

By Naomi Nix and Joseph Menn
Updated June 6, 2023

… Academic institutions and philanthropic organizations kick-started the disinformation research field six years ago after revelations that Russian operatives were covertly using social media to influence the 2016 presidential election, and it became a booming sector of scholarship dissecting the anatomy of viral conspiracies. Some findings drew wide attention, such as reports that Russians pushed anti-vaccine narratives abroad while promoting vaccines at home.

But the study of online disinformation turned into a political lightning rod, with partisan groups sparring over who determines what is true and what the consequences should be, if any, for those who persistently spread lies. …

Too many have tuned out. :pensive: