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Wednesday, 22nd October 2008

This Election: Deceptive Practices 2.0?

This Election: Deceptive Practices 2.0?
Source: The Century Foundation

Amid daily reports of voter suppression and dirty tricks in the 2008 Presidential election, major civil rights organizations today released a report exposing a worrying new generation of online deceptive practices designed to mislead and intimidate voters. The report, released by Common Cause, The Century Foundation and The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is entitled Deceptive Practices 2.0: Legal And Policy Responses and describes potential online dirty tricks to disseminate false or misleading information over the Internet.

Its release follows recent media accounts of deceptive emails targeting Texas voters with misinformation about the functionality of voting machines in that state. In the last several election cycles, deceptive practices have been common: often targeted at minorities, these dirty tricks have taken many forms, from false flyers to misleading “robocalls.” Now, experts fear the widespread circulation of false information disseminated via the Internet, email and other new media. The report also examines existing state and federal laws that might be used to stop these troubling scams, finding that while many laws are not adequate, some laws currently on the books in many states can be used to address online voter suppression.

+ Full Report (PDF; 736 KB)


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