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Issue #244 | April 9, 2021 


Inside a stealth ‘persuasion machine’ promising Republican victories in 2022
"That goal, laid out in a private fundraising appeal sent last month to a Republican donor and reviewed by The Washington Post, relies on building new online communities that can be tapped at election time, with a focus on winning back Congress in 2022."


How Trump Steered Supporters Into Unwitting Donation
"The sheer magnitude of the money involved is staggering for politics. In the final two and a half months of 2020, the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and their shared accounts issued more than 530,000 refunds worth $64.3 million to online donors. All campaigns make refunds for various reasons, including to people who give more than the legal limit. But the sum the Trump operation refunded dwarfed that of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s campaign and his equivalent Democratic committees, which made 37,000 online refunds totaling $5.6 million in that time." Trump relaunches his fundraising machine after months of quiet
"Trump on Wednesday reopened his online merchandise store, which was shuttered following the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, when Shopify, the e-commerce company that had been hosting the site, closed it down. The former president’s political operation also sent out text messages to supporters directing them to the store, which is promoting new items like “Don’t Blame Me I Voted for Trump” emblazoned bumper stickers, doormats and yard signs."

Social Media

National Archives can’t resurrect Trump’s tweets, Twitter says
“Given that we permanently suspended @realDonaldTrump, the content from the account will not appear on Twitter as it did previously or as archived administration accounts do currently, regardless of how NARA decides to display the data it has preserved,” Twitter spokesperson Trenton Kennedy said in an email. “Administration accounts that are archived on the service are accounts that were not in violation of the Twitter Rules.”

Social Media Use in 2021
"Even as other platforms do not nearly match the overall reach of YouTube or Facebook, there are certain sites or apps, most notably Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok, that have an especially strong following among young adults. In fact, a majority of 18- to 29-year-olds say they use Instagram (71%) or Snapchat (65%), while roughly half say the same for TikTok."


Supreme Court Decides In Favor of Callers In Facebook Ruling, But Practitioners Remain Wary of Carriers
“The Supreme Court decided 9-0 ... that the TCPA means what it says. Only devices that have the capacity to store or dial actually using a random or sequential number generator are covered by the statute. Period,” Troutman wrote on his blog. “This means you can (probably) now use automated technology to call cell phones without consent.”
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