Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced that Twitter violated the state’s campaign finance laws and will have to fork over $100,000.
The complaint filed by the state of Washington states that Twitter failed to keep records for various candidates and political committees operating within their state.
“Twitter did not maintain and have available for public inspection all information required under RCW 42.17A.345 and WAC 390-18-050 of commercial advertisers for political advertising that ran on its platform and for which it accepted payment for Washington State campaigns from 2012 through 2019,” said the complaint.
These candidates and committees reported paying Twitter approximately $200,000 for campaign advertising over the course of seven years, from 2012 to 2019. Nearly $33,000 was paid to Twitter directly while the rest went to Twitter through intermediaries such as political consultants.
Twitter no longer allows political advertising as of November 2019.
This is hardly the first time Big Tech giants have had run-ins with Attorney General Ferguson. A press release dated December of 2018 announced that Google and Facebook would need to pay a combined $455,000 for their own failure to keep proper records of political advertising for Washington candidates and committees.
There seems to be a pattern here. Bob Ferguson may be a Democrat, but we commend him for doing his duty and ensuring that Big Tech follows his state’s campaign finance laws. Lawsuits like these will hopefully keep these behemoths from continuing to try to flout the law. They rake in absurd amounts of money and are already too powerful as it is.
PewDiePie Supposedly Shadowbanned by YouTube, Fans Say Hundreds of Videos Didn’t Appear in Search Results
YouTube issued a denial, but not many are buying it.
Google-owned YouTube recently shadowbanned PewDiePie, according to his fans. If true, it would represent the latest act of censorship by a Big Tech company.
PewDiePie, for those who are unfamiliar, hosts YouTube’s second-largest channel. He has accumulated over 107 million subscribers in his ten years on the platform. He is extraordinarily popular but also receives flak from some quarters because he can be politically incorrect at times.
YouTube addressed the allegation that they shadowbanned PewDiePie in a tweet today:
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) October 22, 2020
The denial naturally did not convince PewDiePie’s fans, many of whom said that they weren’t receiving notifications of his new videos and couldn’t find hundreds of previous videos after using the search function:
— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) October 22, 2020
The issue seemed to be resolved as of Friday. Still, how many times do we have to go through this with Big Tech platforms like YouTube and Twitter and Facebook? The cycle is utterly predictable: massive account shadowbanned or suspended, platform denies any blatant censorship, account privileges restored.
PewDiePie’s real name is Felix Kjellberg. Big League Politics last posted about him when he announced a $50,000 donation to the anti-free speech Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and then again when he rescinded it:
“Usually when I pick a charity, I take my time, I find a charity that I’m really excited about and actually passionate to donate to, so when I uploaded the video talking about the charity, it was very brief, and people could tell something was off,” PewDiePie explained while laughing.
“To be fair, I saw it as an opportunity to put an end to these alt-right claims that have been thrown against me. It wasn’t to try and clear my name or save grace. If it was, I would have done it years ago, but after the Christchurch tragedy, I felt a responsibility to do something about it because it’s no longer just about me. It affected other people in a way, and I’m not okay with that,” PewDiePie said explaining his motives.
PewDiePie said that he announced the ADL donation with noble intentions, but the backlash from his fans helped him to see the error of his ways.
“I’ve struggled to figure out how to do that, but this was not the right way to go about it,” PewDiePie said. “I knew it wasn’t perfect, but I also didn’t know a lot of things that surfaced throughout this whole thing about the charity that doesn’t fit at all, so I understand why people had concerns about it, and these are things that I would have known myself if I had just taken my time.”
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