Common Sense Launches ‘Which Side of History?’ Campaign to Challenge Leaders to Reverse the Harm Tech Is Having on Democracy and Our Lives

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today Common Sense, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families in the digital world, launched Which Side of History?, a campaign to hold Big Tech accountable for sowing mistrust and spreading misinformation, threatening free and open societies, exacerbating the gap between rich and poor, creating an unequal society, and leaving an entire segment of the population behind.

Anchored by Common Sense founder and CEO James P. Steyer’s newest book, Which Side of History?: How Technology Is Reshaping Democracy and Our Lives (available October 13, 2020), the campaign convenes leading experts and Big Tech antagonists, such as Franklin Foer,Thomas Friedman, Shaun Harper, Julie Lythcott-Haims,Roger McNamee,Shoshana Zuboff, and others for a series of live virtual events to examine the impact of the tech sector on

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Trump targeting Black voters in 2016 shows Facebook’s microtargeting is a danger to democracy, experts say

Mark Zuckerberg, Donald Trump are posing for a picture: Reuters/Drew Angerer/Getty Images

© Reuters/Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Reuters/Drew Angerer/Getty Images

  • Channel 4 on Monday revealed a leaked cache of data from the Trump 2016 presidential campaign.
  • The data showed how the campaign microtargeted people on Facebook, and labelled a particular group of users as targets for “deterrence” from voting. This group was disproportionately made up of Black users.
  • Experts told Business Insider the report highlights the threat that microtargeting on a vast platform like Facebook’s poses towards democratic elections.
  • “Facebook talks a lot about bad actors misusing its platform, but the truth is that the biggest bad actor on Facebook is Facebook,” one said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The now-defunct Cambridge Analytica entered the news cycle once again on Monday, four years after its name became synonymous with the huge data scandal that changed the tech landscape forever.


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UK broadcaster Channel 4 obtained a leaked data cache from

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If Trump refuses to concede, American democracy is in deep trouble.

HF: You define democracy as a “system in which parties lose elections.” Why is this such a crucial defining feature?

AP: Democracy has many merits (and demerits), about which see my book, “Why Bother with Elections?” But they all pale in importance in comparison to the role of elections in processing whatever conflicts may arise in a society without violence. As an Italian political philosopher, Norberto Bobbio put it, “What is democracy other than a set of rules … for the solution of conflicts without bloodshed?”

The value of democracy lies in the ability of the citizens to choose by whom and how they would be governed, and this implies being able to throw the incumbents out whenever a qualified majority so wishes.

HF: Trump has just suggested that he may not go along with a transfer of power if he loses. Your work asks why the losers of elections

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