Vivek Wins Debate Online Attention Battle

Algorithms' liberal bias, X blocks NGP-VAN


Agencies weigh the pros and cons of generative AI as political advertising grows
“Stagwell and the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard’s monthly Harris Poll in July showed that 69% of voters believe presidential campaigns are already using AI in their advertising — and 81% think presidential campaigns should disclose their use of AI.”


Vivek Ramaswamy won the online attention contest in the GOP debate
Washington Post
“Ramaswamy’s ploy worked. Analysis of Google search interest — a good proxy for evaluating which debate participants triggered the most curiosity of viewers — indicates that no one saw a consistent level of interest equivalent to Ramaswamy during the debate’s two hours.”

Inside the text-for-pay campaign that got Asa Hutchinson on the debate stage
“It involved hundreds of college students who were paid $20 a pop for every family member, friend or acquaintance they could persuade to donate $1 to Hutchinson this summer.”


Ad firm plans to use people’s data in a maneuver to sink data privacy bill
“‘We would like to mount an ‘opposition campaign’ using in-house digital advertising capabilities, targeting California,’ Colclasure wrote in an Aug.14 email sent to others at IPG and reviewed by POLITICO.”


How small donors have become a destructive, dividing force in American politics
LA Times
“A common refrain among my dyspeptic critics is that small donors are enriching democracy by participating. Obviously, this is true for plenty of individual small donors. But it leaves out the fact that, at scale, they cut out the parties and disproportionately reward performative rabble-rousers on the left and right.”

Social Media

Will Politicians Ban Their Best Way of Reaching Young Voters?
“According to previously unpublished BlueLabs data shared with POLITICO Magazine for this story, TikTok users are, it turns out, less politically engaged than users of other social media platforms, even controlling for age. For example, while some 65 percent of the control group knew that Republicans now hold a majority in the House of Representatives, only 51 percent of frequent TikTok users did. What’s more, while 32 percent of the control group under the age of 30 voted in the 2022 midterm election, only 26 percent of frequent TikTok users did.”

X (Twitter) blocked links to a Democratic political tool for a week
Tech Crunch
“For a week, links to volunteer event signups, donation portals and other resources for left-leaning political causes were unable to be shared on the platform, limiting their reach. When trying to post a link, users would be met with an error message, stating that the link ‘has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially harmful.’”


YouTube’s recommendation algorithm is left-leaning in the United States
Oxford University Press
“Furthermore, we show that the recommendations made by the algorithm skew left even when the user does not have a watch history.“

ChatGPT leans liberal, research shows
Washington Post
“The paper adds to a growing body of research on chatbots showing that despite their designers trying to control potential biases, the bots are infused with assumptions, beliefs and stereotypes found in the reams of data scraped from the open internet that they are trained on.”