Angelo Carusone Profile picture
President & CEO of @mmfa; #DumpTrump organizer. Formerly @StopBeck. Onward! (Tweets are mine alone)
eDo Profile picture Neal Rauhauser Profile picture Hal Marshall Profile picture Buck Borasky, Frontier Programmer Profile picture Howard Roll Profile picture 7 added to My Authors
22 Mar
1/ Facebook announced today they deleted 1.3 billion fake accounts between Oct - Dec 2020. They're highlighting this as an example of them fighting disinformation effectively.

Actually, it shows opposite and there's a big question about consumer fraud that needs to be asked.
2/ RE Fraud - 1.3 billion is *a lot* of accounts. Think of all the advertisers on the platform (political orgs, civic groups, corporations).

Facebook took money from advertisers, then FB showed those ads to fake accounts they let proliferate on the platform unchecked. It's fraud
3/ RE Fraud (cont...) - Every FB advertiser should demand a refund for any money FB charged them to serve ads to these fake accounts.

Only way Facebook will start addressing this on an ongoing basis and not once every few years is if it costs them money. A refund bare minimum.
Read 4 tweets
12 Mar
1/ RE Tucker Carlson. So, I went through every single one of his ads for 2021 so far. Here's the thing: He has lost so many advertisers already that he doesn't really have any left to target.

His top paid advertiser is MyPillow and his 2nd biggest "paid" sponsor is Fox News.
2/ Yes. Tucker Carlson has lost so many advertisers that in addition to reducing the number of paid ads on the show due to not enough advertisers, Fox News is now buying up ads on Tucker's show...so many...that they're his second largest advertiser.
3/ If you want to have an effect, then what really needs to happen at this point is advertisers need to drop Fox News entirely.

Here are the biggest companies sponsoring Fox News (and by extension, Tucker) right now: @GSKUS, General Motors (@GM), @ProcterGamble and @KraftBrand
Read 5 tweets
23 Feb
1/ Don't forget: CPAC has 3 major sponsors

1) American Conservative Union.

2) Fox News.

3) Liberty Health Share.
2/ American Conservative Union.

ACU is the organization hosting the event. So...I mean it's not all that surprising that they are one of the 3 main sponsors. One would expect that.
3/ Fox News. Well, Fox News is a supposed "news channel." Sponsoring such an explicitly partisan event is not a thing a news operation does. But Fox isn't a news operation, it's a political operation masquerading as news.
Read 6 tweets
17 Feb
1/ All I keep thinking about in this moment are all the horrible things that Rush Limbaugh did and said. Just flashes of them.

Like how following Trayvon Martin's death, he tried to convince people it was okay to say "n word" now as long as you ended with an "a" (and said it).
2/ Or how, one of his "undeniable truths" was that "Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of pop culture."
3/ Or how if a prominent woman would publicly defend another woman, he would refer to it as "solidarity of the vaginas."
Read 12 tweets
17 Feb
1/ Many years ago before my current role as president of Media Matters, I was @StopRush organizer. Getting sucked into that campaign was one of the things that kept me at @mmfa at the time. Here's my statement on Limbaugh's death....
2/ “Rush Limbaugh made his career lying to his audience, stoking misogyny, and fueling racism."
3/ "Limbaugh entertained listeners by mercilessly mocking and maligning anyone who didn’t resemble his typical listener — straight, white, conservative, and male — and that cruelty eventually became a central tenet of modern conservatism."
Read 6 tweets
21 Jan
1/ I'm seeing lots of discussion about/chronicling of implosion of QAnon. And, yea, I get it. Q people are bugging out.

But, much of analysis I'm seeing I think is missing something really significant and the most durable/lasting aspect of the Q conspiracy...
2/ The Q conspiracy had a few aspects: a) Q had secret info; b) that Trump has secret plan; c) that Democrats and media were pedophilic inter-dimensional demons and/or psychic vampires; d) that the global elite was conspiracy to run massive child sex rings for these dark forces.
3/ Yes, aspects of conspiracy that centered around Q or revolved around Trump's secret plan are unraveling for many -- and freak outs reflect that.

But keep in mind: the rest of the conspiracy has so deeply seeped in that it's almost taken as a given among this group, distinct.
Read 7 tweets
20 Jan
1/ So, I took a little respite tonight. Had some cookies, a couple glasses of prosecco. Gave some thought to this chapter of the Trump saga coming to close.

For me, this all started about 8 1/2 years ago...
2/ In 2012, I was wrapping up the project that originally brought me to Media Matters from law school - a campaign focused on Glenn Beck's advertisers and News Corp's phone hacking.

Then I started a petition to get Macy's to fire Trump. It took off.
3/ As we approached nearly a million signatures, Trump started to attack me. He attacked me on Twitter, tried to sue me for $35 million, sent his bodyguard to threaten me in person at a petition delivery (yes. that really happened), he went after my dad's business, etc...
Read 18 tweets
11 Jan
1/ So here's what I'm struggling with. I think reasonable for Apple/Google to send letter and ultimately remove Parler from App Store due to lax enforcement and also potential risks.

But why didn't Facebook also get a letter demanding they address issues or risk removal?
2/ Facebook had much bigger role in creating conditions that led to as well as organizing for January 6 event.

We tracked people using FB to organize attendees to bring guns to the Jan 6 event. FB did nothing. mediamatters.org/facebook/users…
3/ So if it's about accountability for past violations as well as preventing future threats, while Parler is certainly a concern...the big problem is actually Facebook and Facebook's either unwillingness or inability to address disinfo and violence their platform facilitates.
Read 5 tweets
6 Jan
1/ If you're not steeped in right-wing media/online fever swamps, it's hard to convey how intense past 2 months have been.

But everyone from Fox News down to smallest conspiracy site has flooded zone with lies about election being stolen and promises Trump can retain power
2/ Trump was right at the center of that feedback loop. Amplifying the lies/assurances/calls to action, which in turns fueled them. Republican politicians picked up on this over recent weeks, giving the efforts further legitimacy and a chance of success.
3/ Trump aided by Fox, extremists and right-wing media further promoted and sowed the seeds of confusion and chaos.

I can't emphasize just how significant a role Fox News played in laying the foundation for this moment over the past couple months.
Read 4 tweets
8 Oct 20
1/ Facebook is being deceitful and negligent on this issue more broadly. Maybe criminally so, to be frank.

For the better part of a year, they have been advised about how extremists were exploiting their lax enforcement on closed groups.

They rebuffed and dismissed.
2/ Worse. Back in April, they assured many governors they had removed reopen groups. They lied. They only removed public ones, left private ones and told the governors they complied with request and law.

We had to literally expose the private groups and call them out for it.
3/ What I’m getting to is this: there are a range of very simple things that could have done to prevent extremists not only from exploiting facebook’s lax framework but from benefitting from Facebook recruitment.
Read 5 tweets
7 Oct 20
1/ The way Facebook is handling this QAnon ban is alarming and deceitful.

So, FB announced a ban on QAnon yesterday. *After* announcement, they began telling reporters that it would take a few weeks to implement.

Yikes. Don't get fooled. Here's why that is deceptive and bad...
2/ By announcing the ban, but not being able to fully enforce it nearly immediately, what Facebook is doing is giving the QAnon community an opportunity to do two things: a) adapt/modify their pages to avoid ban; and, b) transition to other platforms w/out.
3/ But it gets worse. There is actually no reason at all for the lagging enforcement.

Back in August, Facebook banned *violent* QAnon communities - a subset of QAnon. During that action, they already largely compiled and identified the Q communities to assess for violence.
Read 9 tweets
4 Oct 20
1/ Sorry. Nice words here. But Zeke's predecessors and the WHCA as an institution, from Trump's firsts day in office failed to fight to preserve this access - and worse often actively enabled Trump undermining it.
2/ When Trump started to boot some outlets from briefings, instead of emphasizing solidarity and nipping it in the bud; they basically ignored it.
3/ The WHCA literally put out statements at one point heralding Trump as the "most accessible" president ever. Not only was the statement absurd, but also false.
Read 4 tweets
2 Oct 20
1/ Fox News and masks, a thread:

Laura Ingraham: "They'll say this whole mask thing is 'settled science' just like they do with climate change, of course it is not and they know it."
2/ Laura Ingraham: "The science behind the mask mandates is shaky and that is putting it charitably”"
3/ Tucker Carlson: "This is what happens when science intersects with politics. Both lose, and the country loses most of all. [...] forcing everyone to wear a mask when there is no evidence that helps"
Read 7 tweets
1 Oct 20
1/ Okay. So, I'm seeing some media outlets/reporters using the term "fraternity" to describe the Proud Boys. You definitely should not do this. Not only because it's wrong and doesn't accurately reflect the awfulness of them, but also cuz that term has a specific meaning among PB
2/ The Proud Boys have subgroup called "Fraternal Order of the Alt Knights." The FOAK describe themselves as the "tactical defense" operation of the PBs. But, what they really do is explicitly use violence and antagonizing others so they have to "defend" themselves as a tactic
3/ So for example, at Charlottesville's Unite The Right event, the Fraternal Order of the Alt Knights were very active. This is not the only thing they've engaged in where they have helped stoke chaos.
Read 4 tweets
30 Sep 20
1/ 5 years ago, I used to go on and on about how Trump subscribed to the 10% theory.

What you are seeing and what you saw last night is a perfect illustration of that.

He's not trying to win the election. He's trying to win the fight *after* the election.
2/ The 10% theory was this super revisionist history that started percolating in right-wing media right after Obama came into office. It basically says that all you need is a fervent 10% of population and with that you can either bully others into support or silence.
3/ Right-wing media fed this notion to themselves for years. And, they attributed most major historical events to the the 10% theory - American revolution, Civil War, etc..etc..
Read 7 tweets
3 Sep 20
1/ Apropos Facebook banning new political ads 1 week before election:

This is a window-dressing that is designed to fool media and the public into thinking Facebook is taking disinfo seriously. It is a genuinely pointless policy - and if anything will be do more harm than good.
2/ For starters, of all the disinformation and extremism problems on Facebook, political ads are bottom of list. Facebook’s signal boosting right-wingers and lax policy enforcement much bigger issue.

It was’t FB ads that brought the Kenosha killer to Wisconsin.
3/ The loopholes are just nuts. Zuckerberg warns of unrest. And so, he bans new political ads...but only 1 week before election? What about all the other weeks before when voting till place remotely or what about the week after election?

The time period is laughably short.
Read 5 tweets
19 Aug 20
1/ Yes, it is good for FB to take the action against QAnon groups. But a few things:

1) It has already metastized. Too late to contain now.

2) FB let this thing grow unchecked.

3) Remember: Other tech companies cracked down way months ago - Roku, Apple, Eventbrite.
2/ Oh and don’t get me started on pandering to right-wing.

They can’t crack down against QAnon alone. Facebook has to pair it with a crackdown on anti-fascist pages. So FB is pro-fascism?

What they shoulda done was crack down on the really far out there anti-vax communities.
3/ This is important too: In the past when Facebook has done this, they put out these numbers of pages affected.

The last time they did a big fake news crack down, they also lumped in police accountability pages. Disproportionately hit those pages.

I fear you’ll see that here.
Read 5 tweets
3 Aug 20
Fox News’ Pirro comes out firmly against masks: “What is the point of the mask? The point of the mask is to basically kinda dehumanize. It’s to frighten people...It’s exactly what the anarchists and the protesters need...There are all kinds of subliminal messages to that mask.”
(btw. the video issues were with the show she was on. that's how it streamed. not with my clip of it)
Fox News’ Pirro on vaccine: “And by the way, I’m older and I probably should be one of the people to be vaccinated. But I won’t. I’m not going to allow them to do that to me. And then the question is, will you be forced to do it?”
Read 4 tweets
27 Jul 20
A thread.

So, this statement doesn't really stand up to even scrutiny, especially since Watters already did a segment about QAnon last December.

Let's examine...
#1) This wasn't the first time that @JesseBWatters did anything related to QAnon. In December 2019, he did an entire segment devoted to QAnon. It was entirely uncritical.

The Q crowd loved the segment. Prominent Q advocates viewed it as a significant moment of exposure. Image
#2) Jesse said he did the segment because a friend of his is a big QAnon advocate, so the reason he did the segment was because of him.

Did he do the segment to debunk or undermine the theory? Nope. He did it to give it exposure. Plain and simple.
Read 5 tweets
20 Jul 20
Some News: Walmart, GEICO, Allstate, Kellogg’s, Kohl’s, Dell, McDonald’s, Peloton, and Ikea all quietly paused Facebook advertising in early July
mediamatters.org/facebook/walma…
Combined, these nine companies had spent over $335 million on Facebook ads in 2019 according to Pathmatics, a firm that tracks digital spending.
Walmart cutting its spending on Facebook is right on par with Disney slashing its Facebook spending. In 2019, Walmart was Facebook’s second-biggest advertiser, spending well over $145 million on ads Image
Read 4 tweets
21 Jun 20
1/ So, I did a quick analysis of cable news pre-rally coverage. Looked at the period between 12-5PM. Here's how much time CNN and MSNBC spent discussing Trump's rally today during that period. (Note: There's context to consider here, hence the thread). Image
2/ Much of the coverage centered around the risk, harms and damage associated with the rally as well as coverage of the 6 Trump staffers that tested positive for Covid. So, it wasn't a pass or raw Trump boosting by any means.
3/ Both hyped crowdsizes a bit. MSNBC hyped it the most though and repeatedly claimed throughout the day that there were 100,000 people expected for the rally.

CNN pointed to expected crowds as evidence of enthusiasm for Trump.
Read 4 tweets