July 12: UF in the News, 7/8/21-7/12/21

Trump can't beat Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in court – but the fight might be worth more than a win — The Conversation, 7/8/21
Frank LoMonte, the director of the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at UF, questions the logic behind the lawsuits former President Donald Trump has filed against big tech, adding that the “tycoon Trump” would have denounced his current efforts to not only overturn his social media bans but to invalidate a 1996 federal statute that entitles website operators to choose who and what appears on their pages without fear of liability. 

The article was also published in Yahoo! News, Chron.com, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, among other publications.

Florida had a shot at herd immunity. Now it’s slipping away. — Tampa Bay Times, 7/8/21
The possibility of reaching herd immunity in the Sunshine State may be slipping out of reach as delta variant, a more infectious and dangerous strain of COVID-19, is spreading quickly; large pockets of the population remain “stubbornly unvaccinated;” and mark and physical-distancing orders may have been lifted too soon. 

UF epidemiologists Thomas Hladish, Cindy Prins, and Derek Cummings weigh in on what that means for Floridians. 

Rubio hauls in $4M for 2022 Senate reelection in the past three months — FOX News, 7/8/21
A burgeoning Florida Senate battle – which could be one of the handful of crucial contests to decide which party controls the chamber – is taking place in a state with nearly 22 million people spread out over 10 media markets.

UF political science professor Michael McDonald shares what that means financially for the campaigns. 

Vowing loyalty to Trump, 'America First' groups try to bring nativism into the mainstream — USA Today, 7/821
Months after President Donald Trump left office, a cast of Republicans are pursuing an ambitious effort to sustain the former president's agenda: press the GOP further to the right and bring American politics with them.

Sharon Wright Austin, a UF political scientist, sheds some light on their possible reasoning.

Opinion: Justice Gorsuch is concerned about Internet disinformation. But his solution is backwards. — The Washington Post, 6/7/21
In an op-ed, a Washington Post media critic argues that Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch’s disdain for the level of disinformation being fed to Americans is making him target the wrong problem — the Supreme Court precedent that protects the country’s media outlets: 1964’s New York Times v. Sullivan. 

Clay Calvert, UF professor of law and mass communications, discusses the potential ramifications of reassessing the landmark ruling.