Tag Archives: Ron DeSantis

Primary Season Is Here, But Still No FEC Action on Campaign Deepfakes

A consumer advocacy group warns that deceptive images generated by AI are “one of the biggest threats to our elections.”

By Julia Conley. Published 1-16-2024 by Common Dreams

Image: ApolitikNow/flickr/CC

As consumer advocacy group Public Citizen marked three months since the Federal Election Commission closed its public comment period on regulating artificial intelligence-generated “deepfake” images in election ads, the group on Tuesday questioned whether the FEC itself is “just a computer-generated illusion.”

“Do we have a real Federal Election Commission?” asked Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, eight months after the group submitted its first petition asking the FEC to establish new rules banning deepfakes in campaign materials.

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‘No, This Is Not a Parody’: Florida School District Bans Dictionaries Under DeSantis Law

Webster’s Dictionary & Thesaurus and The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank are among the books that the Escambia County School District has yanked from library shelves.

By Jake Johnson Published 1-10-2024 by Common Dreams

A photo of a Florida K-8 school’s dumpster, filled to the brim with history and civics textbooks. As part of a new policy, schools must destroy all material not allowed by the state government. Photo: Yamasztuka/Wikimedia Commons/CC

Dictionaries and encyclopedias are among the more than 2,800 books that a Florida school district has pulled from library shelves in an effort to comply with a law that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed last year.

Judd Legum, author of the Popular Information newsletter, reported Wednesday that the Escambia County School District said the books that have been banned pending further investigation “may violate H.B. 1069,” which “gives residents the right to demand the removal of any library book that ‘depicts or describes sexual conduct,’ as defined under Florida law, whether or not the book is pornographic.”

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Florida Abortion Rights Defenders Surpass Target for Ballot Measure

Supporters of the Florida measure—similar to other initiatives across the country—say they are “confident that voters will approve our amendment.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 1-5-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: CBS News

As of Friday, Florida residents and groups fighting for a state constitutional amendment to limit government interference with abortion care have collected enough signatures to get the measure on the ballot this November.

The proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution states that “no law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient’s health, as determined by the patient’s healthcare provider.”

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Experts ‘Terrified’ of AI-Driven Misinformation ‘Tsunami’ in 2024 Election

“If people don’t ultimately trust information related to an election, democracy just stops working,” said a senior fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 1226-2023 by Common Dreams

An ad for a deepfake video maker. Screenshot: OpenAISee

As 2024 approaches and with it the next U.S. presidential election, experts and advocates are warning about the impact that the spread of artificial intelligence technology will have on the amount and sophistication of misinformation directed at voters.

While falsehoods and conspiracy theories have circulated ahead of previous elections, 2024 marks the first time that it will be easy for anyone to access AI technology that could create a believable deepfake video, photo, or audio clip in seconds, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

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University of Florida Pro-Palestine Group Sues DeSantis Over Deactivation

“This attack on free speech is dangerous,” said the head of Florida’s ACLU. “Today it is pro-Palestinian students, tomorrow it could be any other group the governor dislikes.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 11-16-2023 by Common Dreams

DeSantis administration alleges Students for Justice in Palestine is aligned with terrorists; leaders of the group decry a “disgraceful” assault on free speech. Screenshot: ABC Action News

The University of Florida chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine on Thursday sued state education officials and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis over their move to deactivate the group for its support of Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation, apartheid, and other crimes.

The lawsuit—which was filed by the ACLU of Florida and Palestine Legal—seeks a preliminary injunction to block State University of Florida System Chancellor Ray Rodrigues’ deactivation order, issued last month after Students for Justice in Palestine’s (SJP) national body declared support for Palestinian “resistance” to Israel’s war on Gaza.

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US High Schoolers Launch Green New Deal for ‘Our Schools and Our Futures’

“Public schools belong to us, and we know we deserve better,” said a Sunrise Movement organizer and the youngest school board member in Idaho.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 9-25-2023 by Common Dreams

Young organizers hold up a banner celebrating the “Green New Deal for Schools Summer Camp 2023.” (Photo: Sunrise Movement)

In the face of right-wing attacks on public schools—including climate education—more than 50 high schools nationwide launched the Green New Deals for Schools campaign Monday.

The campaign, organized by the youth-led Sunrise Movement, is demanding that school boards and districts act to provide buildings powered with renewable energy; free, healthy, local, and sustainable meals; support for finding well-paying, unionized green careers; plans for extreme weather events; and instruction about the climate crisis.

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Watchdog Argues Obama Admin’s Cave on White Supremacy Helped Pave Way for Jacksonville Shooting

“We must not be fooled into treating each massacre as its own tragedy,” said one civil rights advocate. “The tragedy first lies in the unchecked proliferation of the violent racist ideology coupled with the unchecked access to weapons of war.”

By Julia Conley. Published 8-30-2023 by Common Dreams

Neo-Nazis demonstrating outside a Turning Point USA conference in Tampa on July 23, 2022. Photo: @Freeyourmindkid/Twitter

As the community of Jacksonville, Florida reeled from the killing of three Black Americans by a white supremacist at a Dollar General store last Saturday, a government watchdog said that the “lion’s share” of blame for the proliferation of racist, white nationalist violence in the U.S. can be placed on Republican politicians including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump—but noted that the Obama administration helped allow white supremacy to fester by caving to the GOP at a crucial moment more than a decade ago.

Chris Lewis, a senior researcher at the Revolving Door Projectpointed to the Democratic administration’s response when Republican lawmakers complained about a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report in 2009 that warned of the growth of right-wing extremism, including the white supremacist movement, and the danger it posed to communities across the United States.

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‘Openly Murderous’: DeSantis Outlines Border Proposal Modeled on War Zones

By admitting border agents would have to make their own “judgements” to determine whether to shoot a migrant, said one critic, the Florida governor signaled he would embrace “the large-scale murder of innocent people.”

By Julia Conley. Published 8=8-2023 by Common Dreams

Florida governor and 2024 Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference near the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass, Texas on June 26, 2023.. Photo; Ron DeSantis/Twitter

Republican presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday night expanded on his proposed border policy, which he has said would include the use of “deadly force” against anyone suspected of drug trafficking—explaining to NBC News that border agents would use the same “rules of engagement” as U.S. forces in Iraq or police officers to determine when they should fire a weapon at someone.

DeSantis first proposed his border policy in June, saying he would “stop the invasion” by deputizing state and local police officers to arrest and deport migrants and detain unaccompanied children who cross the border, ending birthright citizenship, and empowering agents to use deadly force against people suspected of carrying drugs across the border—despite the fact that the vast majority of drug trafficking is carried out with commercial vehicles that travel through official ports of entry rather than people traveling on foot.

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AP Psychology Effectively Banned in Florida Over Lesson on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity

“Sadly, it’s all part of the DeSantis playbook of eroding rights, censoring those he disagrees with, and undermining access to knowledge,” said one critic.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 8-3-2023 by Common Dreams

Students and their supporters rallied at the Florida state Capitol in Tallahassee on March 7, 2022 as the state Senate began debating a so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill. (Photo: MoveOn/Twitter)

The Republican-controlled Florida Board of Education on Thursday effectively banned Advanced Placement Psychology by notifying school district superintendents that teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity—key subjects in college-level psychology curricula—is prohibited under the state’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” law.

That means class schedules for the fall semester—which begins next week in most Florida school districts—are in limbo for thousands of students. Last year, around 28,000 pupils in more than 500 Florida high schools took AP Psychology.

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Human Rights Defenders Appalled by DeSantis Call for ‘Deadly Force’ on U.S.-Mexico Border

The 2024 GOP presidential candidate’s proposals “wouldn’t advance any real solutions for our broken immigration system,” said one advocate. “Instead, they are all just ugly and unworkable anti-immigrant red meat to keep the MAGA base inflamed.”

By Kenny Stancil. Published 6-27-2023 by Common Dreams

Florida governor and 2024 Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference near the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass, Texas on June 26, 2023.. Photo; Ron DeSantis/Twitter

The xenophobic immigration plan that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled Monday as part of his campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination was quickly condemned as “dangerous” and “irresponsible” by human rights defenders.

Central to DeSantis’ plan, said America’s Voice, is “white nationalist messaging” that has already proven deadly. Last week, teasing the first formal policy rollout of DeSantis’ 2024 campaign, a spokesperson said, “He will stop the invasion and secure the border once and for all, and there will be no excuses.” Over the weekend, DeSantis’ campaign shared a fear-mongering video and stated that he will “secure the border,” “stop the cartels,” “build the wall,” and “stop the invasion.”

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