The Media Incentives For Negative Politicians

VANxiety attacks, Dems outspend GOP online


Down-ballot Democrats dramatically outspend Republicans online
"Among this group, Democratic down-ballot candidates accounted for 86.2% of all Facebook and Instagram political spending, while Republican candidates only made up 13.8% of spending on those platforms. On Google and YouTube, the picture was similar: down-ballot Democratic campaigns spent 80.6% of digital ad dollars to 19.4% for Republicans. "

Snap Leans Into Election Coverage in Bid for Political Ads
"More than 80 million Americans of voting age use Snapchat every month, according to the company. In 2020, the app registered 1.2 million people to vote, making it a prime platform for advertisers to reach voters."

Issues With Streaming Ad Approval? Sometimes You May Need to Walk Away
Campaigns & Elections
"Going back a couple cycles now, media buyers have been wringing their hands about everything from inconsistent file requirements to how different publishers defined contrast advertising."


How Trump has become angrier and more isolated on Truth Social
Washington Post
"And when he’s not self-promoting, he’s often on the warpath, lashing out at his perceived enemies in hundreds of aggressive, insult-filled screeds. At least 570 posts since he announced his presidential bid in November 2022 have contained insulting language directed at someone."


Why are politicians so negative? (Hint: It’s a media problem)
Nieman Lab
“Politicians who were negative during question time were about 60% more likely to be featured on the evening news versus their colleagues who were not negative. And among those who were negative, they had a roughly 53% greater chance of getting media coverage if they used incivility.”


How pollsters are (and aren't) fighting fraud
ABC News
“In one study, 12 percent of adults under 30 answered ‘yes’ when asked if they were licensed to operate a nuclear submarine, and 24 percent of respondents who said they were Hispanic said they had such a license. In reality, fewer than 1 percent of Americans are licensed to operate a nuclear sub.”


How online donations are fueling the election
"Roughly two-thirds of donations to congressional campaigns on ActBlue and WinRed are $20 or less, 38 percent of donations are $5 or less. But the frequency of these donations means that candidates who figure out how to tap into an online donor base can raise hundreds of thousands — or in some cases, millions — of dollars online each quarter."


AI companies are making millions producing election content in India
Rest Of World
"Some of the most popular AI content during election campaigning this year includes personalized videos that can be circulated on WhatsApp, 3D holograms that can be viewed by scanning a QR code, and deepfake videos of politicians that are posted on social media platforms."

AI deepfakes threaten to upend global elections. No one can stop them.
Washington Post
"Some campaigns have requested low-quality fake videos of their own candidate, which could be released to cast doubt on any damning real videos that emerge during the election."

EU to investigate Meta over election misinformation before June polls
The Guardian
"Reports suggest that the commission is particularly concerned over Meta’s plan to discontinue CrowdTangle, a public insights tool that allows real-time disinformation researchers, journalists and others across the EU to monitor the spread of fake news and attempts to suppress voting."

Social Media

As Meta flees politics, campaigns rely on new tricks to reach voters
Washington Post
"Meta’s shift away from current events is forcing campaigns to upend their digital outreach in a move that could transform the 2024 election. Comparing March 2020 to March 2024, both the Biden and Trump campaigns saw 60 percent declines in their average engagement per Facebook post, a Washington Post review found, with double-digit declines on Instagram."

Gen Z is losing its political voice on social media
"Instagram Reels is a clear alternative to TikTok, but for political creators, it’s not a real option. As of March, Instagram is filtering out political content from users that you don’t already follow. That means that it’s basically impossible for political creators and activists to reach a wider audience."


Living with VANxiety: The Present and Future of Progressive Movement Tech
The Connector
"Some organizations that have built their programs around these tools are already in a panic about the changes underway, and there’s a general expectation that support for key tools like NGP VAN and ActionKit is going to inevitably decline as usage rises with the 2024 political calendar. Most Democratic and progressive technology experts believe Bonterra will do its best to keep these tools afloat and functioning through the end of the election. But after that, all bets are off."

Senate pursues action against AI deepfakes in election campaigns
Washington Post
"Two Democrats, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Chris Coons (Del.), and two Republicans, Sens. Josh Hawley (Mo.) and Susan Collins (Maine), are pushing legislation that would ban deceptive AI materials in political ads. The bill, introduced in September, also would allow federal office seekers to ask U.S. courts to order removal of bogus information and to award compensation to the candidates."


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