Group launches Snapchat filter to protest Sen. Jeff Flake’s Mesa town hall
PHOENIX — A group said it plans to protest U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake’s (R-Ariz.) town hall on Thursday by launching a specialized Snapchat filter.
The filter, paid for by a political action committee called American Bridge 21st Century, will superimpose a laptop with the caption “Jeff Flake voted to sell your internet privacy to the highest bidder” over any image.
The filter will only be available to those in the immediate vicinity of the town hall, which is being held at the Mesa Convention Center at 7 p.m.
Flake has laid out a “code of conduct” for people attending the town hall. Attendees with signs, banners or “objects that create a disturbance” will not be admitted. It also stated people will be immediately removed if they do not comply with the posted and audible instructions.
The filter is in protest of a bill introduced by Flake that allows internet service providers to track their customers’ browsing data and app activity without permission.
“Flake has to come out of hiding and explain to his constituents why he voted to sell them out and why he continues to blindly support (President) Donald Trump’s disastrous agenda,” American Bridge President Jessica Mackler said in a release.
Proponents of the bill said it removed regulations brought about by former President Barack Obama that unfairly affected telecommunications companies and left out social media giants such as Facebook.
“It is unnecessary, confusing and adds another innovation-stifling regulation,” Flake said when introducing the bill.
Opponents argued the bill makes it easier for companies to obtain and sell sensitive information.
“Advertisers and marketers are lining up to get access to all the information that’s now available about us,” said Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy, which advocates for tougher internet privacy measures.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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