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Category Archives: Legal Research

The State of Online Harassment

“Stories about online harassment have captured headlines for years. Beyond the more severe cases of sustained, aggressive abuse that make the news, name-calling and belittling, derisive comments have come to characterize how many view discourse online – especially in the political realm. A Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults in September finds that 41% of Americans have personally experienced some form of online harassment in at least one of the six key ways that were measured. And while the overall prevalence of this type of abuse is the same as it was in 2017, there is evidence that online harassment has intensified since then. To begin with, growing shares of Americans report experiencing more severe forms of harassment, which encompasses physical threats, stalking, sexual harassment and sustained harassment. Some 15% experienced such problems in 2014 and a slightly larger share (18%) said the same in 2017. That group has risen to 25% today. Additionally, those who have been the target of online abuse are more likely today than in 2017 to report that their most recent experience involved more varied types and more severe forms of online abuse. In a political environment where Americans are stressed and frustrated and antipathy has grown, online venues often serve as platforms for highly contentious or even extremely offensive political debate. And for those who have experienced online abuse, politics is cited as the top reason for why they think they were targeted…”

Self-pardon? It might not go how Trump thinks.

Politico: “An unprecedented move by President Donald Trump to grant himself a pardon during his remaining days in office could divide his handpicked Supreme Court majority. Court-watchers are bracing for an epic, intra-Federalist Society clash that could determine whether Trump — and future presidents — can declare themselves immune from criminal investigations even after leaving… Continue Reading

The Capitol attack set off a raging debate on Wikipedia: what to call it?

Fast Company – “‘Storming’? ‘Insurrection’? ‘Riot’? ‘Attempted coup’? On Wikipedia, where neutrality is prized above all, volunteers are still searching for the words….As facts came in, as editors double-checked and pruned according to Wikipedia standards, the text grew and shrank and grew again, so that only the most relevant verifiable and neutral language remained. “Once… Continue Reading

National Archives – Presidential Elections & Inaugurations

“Every four years, on the first Tuesday (after the first Monday) of November, we cast our votes for President of the United States. The National Archives and Records Administration has a unique role in the election process: NARA’s Office of the Federal Register administers the Electoral College. On the following January 20, the President of… Continue Reading

The Capitol Rioters Weren’t ‘Low Class’

The Atlantic – The business owners, real-estate brokers, and service members who rioted acted not out of economic desperation, but out of their belief in their inviolable right to rule: “They were business owners, CEOs, state legislators, police officers, active and retired service members, real-estate brokers [one of whom arrived in DC via private jet],… Continue Reading

When FOIA Goes to Court: 20 Years of Freedom of Information Act Litigation by News Organizations and Reporters

“In 2020, news organizations and individual reporters filed 122 different Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits to compel disclosure of federal government records—more than any year on record according to federal court data back to 2001 analyzed by the FOIA Project. In fact, the media alone have filed a total of 386 FOIA cases during… Continue Reading

The Capitol Riot: Documents You Should Read (Part 1)

“The Pentagon’s timeline of its response to the January 6, 2021 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol features multiple discrepancies with the public record, while the first federal indictment of mob participants details the specific legal charges that likely will be brought against others, according to the documents in the National Security Archive’s first “January… Continue Reading

How Amazon manipulates consumers to keep them subscribed to Amazon Prime

Report by Norway’s Consumer Council (NCC) / Forbrukerradet – YOU CAN LOG OUT, BUT YOU CAN NEVER LEAVE: “Executive summary In this report, we show how Amazon makes it unreasonably cumbersome to unsubscribe from the Amazon Prime service. The process of cancelling an Amazon Prime subscription is riddled with a combination of manipulative design techniques,… Continue Reading

How to Hold Social Media Accountable for Undermining Democracy

Harvard Business Review: “The problem with social media isn’t just what users post — it’s what the platforms decide to do with that content. Far from being neutral, social media companies are constantly making decisions about which content to amplify, elevate, and suggest to other users. Given their business model, which promotes scale above all,… Continue Reading

ABA Legal Fact Check updates prior posts on impeachment, perils of frivolous lawsuits

“The American Bar Association has updated ABA Legal Fact Checks on impeachment and the perils of filing frivolous lawsuits to assist reporters and editors working on these timely stories. With the U.S. House of Representatives voting to impeach President Donald J. Trump today for the second time in 13 months, the update on impeachment explores… Continue Reading

Domestic Terrorism and the Attack on the U.S. Capitol

CRS Insight via LC – Domestic Terrorism and the Attack on the U.S. Capitol, January 13, 2021: “On January 6, 2021, a large group of individuals breached the U.S. Capitol security while Congress was in session. Members were voting on whether or not to certify President-Elect Joe Biden’s election victory, and many participants in the… Continue Reading