Posts tagged with "Petitions"

2020 Democratic candidates comment on redaction and release of Mueller report

April 22, 2019

“To impeach or not to impeach: that is the question,” to paraphrase William Shakespeare—and on April 19, CBS News asked the top presidential hopefuls about their thoughts, following the release of the redacted Mueller report.

The following are their statements, tweets, and comments—sent from the campaign trail.

Senator Bernie Sanders (Vermont): In a statement directly to CBS News, Sanders said, “It is clear that Donald Trump wanted nothing more than to shut down the Mueller investigation. While we have more detail from today’s report than before, Congress must continue its investigation into Trump’s conduct and any foreign attempts to influence our election. We must also work to do everything we can to protect our future elections from the significant threat of foreign interference, and I call on President Trump and Republican leadership to stop obstructing the necessary work to protect our democracy.”

Senator Kamala Harris (California): On Twitter, Harris wrote, “Barr is acting more like Trump’s defense attorney than the nation’s Attorney General. His press conference was a stunt, filled with political spin and propaganda. Americans deserve the unvarnished truth. We need Special Counsel Mueller to testify publicly in Congress.”

Former Representative Beto O’Rourke (Texas): At a campaign stop in New Hampshire, O’Rourke told reporters, “I think the Attorney General, the Department of Justice, must maintain a significant level of independence; if they are going to be able to uphold the law in a country that defines itself as a nation of laws and says that no person, including those in the highest positions of power, [is] above the law.”

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Mayor Pete Buttigieg (Indiana): On Twitter on April 18, Buttigieg wrote, “The Mueller report is a disturbing, if not completely surprising, collection of evidence that shows a president putting his own interests ahead of the country’s. Today again demonstrates why we need to change the channel in 2020.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts):  On Twitter, Warren posted, “Congress needs to see the full, unredacted report. Special Counsel Robert Mueller should testify before Congress and the American people as soon as possible. Add your name if you agree, and together, we’ll fight to get to the bottom of this. https://my.elizabethwarren.com/page/s/ew-release-the-report?source=20190418tw

Senator Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota): On Twitter, Klobuchar wrote, “Attorney General Barr has made it clear he is not impartial when it comes to this investigation. Now that we have the report, we should hear from Robert Mueller himself in public hearings. Our democracy demands it.”

Senator Cory Booker (New Jersey): On Twitter, Booker posted, “The Trump administration posted an unsearchable pdf of the Mueller report so it would be harder for you to read.We made it easier. Here’s a searchable version: https://www.scribd.com/document/406729844/Mueller-Report …

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (New York):  On Twitter, Gillibrand wrote, “We can’t trust Trump’s handpicked AG to be transparent about the Mueller report. Congress needs to see it in full—and the public needs to know whether Trump obstructed justice.Sign our petition calling on Barr to release the full report: https://action.kirstengillibrand.com/kg2020-mueller-report?code=kg2020-mueller-report-social&redirect=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.actblue.com%2Fcontribute%2Fpage%2Fkg2020-mueller-report%3Frefcode%3Dkg2020-mueller-report-social …

Senator Jay Inslee (Washington): On Twitter, Inslee wrote, “Congress must get to the bottom of this and have Mr. Mueller testify to complete this investigation. There is no other option. America deserves this. Donald Trump can’t run from this anymore.”

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Representative Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii): On Twitter, Gabbard wrote, “#BarrCoverUp. The most dangerous coverup is that US voting machines are vulnerable to hackers. If we lose faith in election results, democracy crumbles. The Justice Dept should be focused on instituting paper ballot backups, per my Securing America’s Elections Act. #MuellerReport

Former Governor John Hickenlooper (Colorado): On Twitter, Hickenlooper wrote, “AG Barr should work to protect the interests of the people, not the President. It’s clear from this morning’s press conference where his allegiances lie. The American people deserve answers.”

Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro (Texas): On Twitter, Castro wrote, “Far from exonerating anyone, the Special Counsel report exposes disgraceful behavior by Donald Trump and his inner circle—both in seeking assistance from Russia & attempting to cover it up. Mueller should testify and Congress should investigate charges of obstruction of justice.”

Andrew Yang (New York): On Twitter, Yang wrote, “I am glad that the Mueller Report has been made public. It’s important to the American people. My focus is on beating Donald Trump at the ballot box and solving the problems that got him elected in the first place.”

Research contact: @CBSNews

Too much information (TMI) is now a worldwide problem

April 17, 2019

Are you media-bashed? Are there just too many tweets, hashtags, news reports, Facebook comments, curated photos, streaming videos, surveys, petitions, and emails for you to process in a day—and more coming all the time?

You have plenty of company—based on findings of a study conducted in Europe by the Technical University of Denmark, Technische Universität Berlin, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, and University College Cork; and published by the journal, Nature Communications.

Indeed, researchers have found that our collective attention span is narrowing due to the negative effects of an overabundance of social media, plus the hectic 24-hour news cycle to which we exposed.

What’s more, collectively, sociologists, psychologists, and teachers have warned of an emerging crisis stemming from a  fear of missing out (FOMO), the pressure to keep up-to-date on social media, and breaking news coming at us 24/7. So far, the evidence to support these claims has only been hinted at or has been largely anecdotal. There has been an obvious lack of a strong empirical foundation.

“It seems that the allocated attention in our collective minds has a certain size, but that the cultural items competing for that attention have become more densely packed. This would support the claim that it has indeed become more difficult to keep up to date on the news cycle, for example.” says Professor Sune Lehmann from DTU Compute.

The scientists have studied Twitter data from 2013 to 2016, books from Google Books going back 100 years, movie ticket sales going back 40 years, and citations of scientific publications from the last 25 years. In addition, they have gathered data from Google Trends (2010-2018), Reddit (2010-2015), and Wikipedia (2012-2017).

When looking into the global daily top 50 hashtags on Twitter, the scientists found that peaks became increasingly steep and frequent: In 2013 a hashtag stayed in the top 50 for an average of 17.5 hours. This gradually decreases to 11.9 hours in 2016.

This trend is mirrored when looking at other domains, online and offline–and covering different periods. Looking, for instance, at the occurrence of the same five-word phrases (n-grams) in Google Books for the past 100 years, and the success of top box office movies. The same goes for Google searches and the number of Reddit comments on individual submissions.

“We wanted to understand which mechanisms could drive this behavior. Picturing topics as species that feed on human attention, we designed a mathematical model with three basic ingredients: “hotness,” aging, and the thirst for something new.” says Dr. Philipp Hövel, lecturer for applied mathematics, University College Cork.

When more content is produced in less time, it exhausts the collective attention earlier. The shortened peak of public interest for one topic is directly followed by the next topic, because of the fierce competition for novelty.

“The one parameter in the model that was key in replicating the empirical findings was the input rate— the abundance of information. The world has become increasingly well connected in the past decades. This means that content is increasing in volume, which exhausts our attention and our urge for ‘newness’ causes us to collectively switch between topics more rapidly.” says postdoc Philipp Lorenz-Spreen, Max Planck Institute for Human Development.

Since the available amount of attention remains more or less the same, the result is that people are more rapidly made aware of something happening and lose interest more quickly. However, the study does not address attention span on the level of the individual person, says Sune Lehmann:

Our data only supports the claim that our collective attention span is narrowing. Therefore, as a next step, it would be interesting to look into how this affects individuals, since the observed developments may have negative implications for an individual’s ability to evaluate the information they consume. Acceleration increases, for example, the pressure on journalists to keep up with an ever-changing news landscape. We hope that more research in this direction will inform the way we design new communication systems, such that information quality does not suffer even when new topics appear at increasing rates.”

Research contact: @DTUtweet