From Former Quigley Supporter:
14th Congressional District Update: Lauren Underwood and Social Media Content Monitoring
Lately, there has been discussion in Washington and elsewhere concerning social media and monitoring the content.
Last month at the House Homeland Security Committee meeting, a hearing was held with testimony from executives of Facebook, Twitter, and Google/YouTube concerning social media, in particular, efforts to counter online terror content, hate speech, and misinformation on their platforms.
At this hearing, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood asked various questions and included an example of misinformation through Facebook’s Instagram concerning vaccines.
Misinformation can take various forms, and a tweet Underwood’s political Twitter account should make us all say to Congresswoman Underwood that she should practice what she preaches.
Yesterday (7/7/19), this tweet was sent:
Please pay particular attention to the “…we’ve passed legislation…” reference.
Would that statement make the average reader think that the legislation was passed and actually is law?
Would the “…secured funding…” reference make one think that the funding is a done deal?
In a press release Underwood’s congressional staff issued on June 26, Underwood took credit for securing funding for district priorities through the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 appropriations legislation, per the introduction of her press release:
The three bills referenced in the press release, H.R. 2740, H.R. 3055 and H.R. 3351 were passed in the House, but they are awaiting Senate action.
There is no guarantee all of the House’s funding requests will pass in the Senate, nor survive a House-Senate Conference Committee, so for a reasonable person, would Underwood saying she “…secured funding…” at best be premature, and at worst, an example of social media misinformation?
And yes, if other members of Congress issue these kinds of premature press releases and social media postings, it’s equally misinformation from them, too, Democrats and Republicans alike.
None of Underwood’s legislation is law, nor has passed the Senate.
At her re-election announcement on June 29, she highlighted her veterans legislation, H.R. 2372, which did pass the House by unanimous voice vote.
That legislation has not yet been taken up in the Senate, either.
Again, premature for her to say she’s passed legislation in the House that may still not become law.
But that’s not stopping Underwood issuing misinformation for taking credit for doing something that has not been done, and may not be done.
On Saturday, Congresswoman Underwood is headlining a fundraiser in Bloomington:
Nikita Richards was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for McLean County Clerk last year, and this fundraiser benefits her, while honoring veterans.
Clearly, Underwood is being positioned to be a champion for veterans needs.
But to say she’s passed legislation that has yet to become law is thus far, makes her claim an example of misinformation, or at the very least, premature.
The only legislation Underwood has voted on recently that has become law is H.R. 3401, which is the emergency funding for the southern border bill that House passed, the amended Senate legislation by a 305 to 102 vote.
Underwood voted for the legislation, but 95 Democrats and 7 Republicans opposed the bipartisan emergency funding bill.
President Trump signed H.R. 3401 into law on July 1st.
The topic of misinformation, as well as social media content monitoring has emerged because there have been several concerns already voiced that social media companies have a bias against conservatives and Christians.
More will be posted on this in an upcoming article, but for now, the June 26 House Homeland Security Committee hearing with the social media executives is very interesting.
The C-SPAN link to the video of the full hearing is below, and the hearing is 2 1/2 hours long.
Suggested highlights would be the opening remarks by Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson and Ranking Member Mike Rogers, as well as the witness’ respective 5 minutes testimonies and questioning by the chairman and the ranking member. Additional highlights:
- Discussion of the deepfake of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi video during the chairman’s questioning
- 54:13 — Congresswoman Underwood’s questioning of the witnesses
- 1:11:02 — Congressman Clay Higgins (R, LA) questioning and statement of concern about conservatives being targeted for accounts deletions, including a video about the Ten Commandments being removed
An overriding topic of this committee’s hearings has to do with the 2020 elections, and while Russian interference is one of the topics, social media company executives being caught talking about preventing President Trump’s re-election is a topic that comes up frequently throughout the hearing.
More will be written on this topic, given recent issues Republican James Marter has raised on his Facebook campaign page concerning a conservative’s Twitter account being deleted, and additional account deletions in the past 2 weeks.
C-SPAN House Homeland Security Committee Hearing Video Link: https://www.c-span.org/video/?462052-1/social-media-content-monitoring
Congresswoman Lauren Underwood 6/26 Press Release: https://underwood.house.gov/media/press-releases/underwood-secures-federal-funding-local-prioritiesNikita Richards’ ad for Underwood-headlining event: https://www.facebook.com/RichardsMCClerk/photos/a.134974463734196/465093710722268/?type=3&theater