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Photo: Schicke/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Political spam via calls, texts, emails and social media posts is rising, with more people looking to take advantage of minimal regulation and heightened interest around the midterms.

Why it matters: For years, people have complained about feeling inundated with political messaging during election seasons. But it's only getting worse now that new, unregulated technologies are being used more frequently by both campaigns and spam actors.

A barrage of news, campaign pitches and fundraising pushes around politics is coming from a multitude of sources, many of which are regulated in different ways.

  • Facebook said last week that it was purging over 800 political pages and accounts that have demonstrated dangerous spam-like behavior. Because there is no government regulation around social media, Facebook is now forced to manage the problem retroactively.
  • Calls with spam messages have also increased dramatically. Caller identification app Hiya says it measured a 3,250% increase in political spam calls between Q1 2017 and Q2 2018. In a blog post the company warned, "Callers that offer incentives to take campaign surveys should be seen as a red flag, especially when they request credit card information."
  • Email continues to be used liberally by campaigns that enjoy the luxury of minimal regulation. Most anti-spam laws only apply to commercial e-mail, not political e-mail. A recent report from The New York Times found that the Trump campaign is offering up millions of emails for rent to candidates, conservative groups and even businesses at a rate of $35 per 1,000 addresses."

Be smart: The biggest form of political spam this election cycle is text messaging — specifically peer-to-peer (P2P) texting. P2P texting has become the hottest way for political campaigners on both sides to increase voter engagement ahead of the midterms, mostly because P2P texting is not subject to the same regulations as automated texting.

  • In total, VICE reported this summer that four biggest peer-to-peer political texting firms (Hustle and Relay on the left, RumbleUp and Opn Sesame on the right) "have collectively sent 90 million texts for political groups since the 2016 election," according to the firms.

"With short code text messaging, there is no room for doubt. Users must opt-in and they can unsubscribe at any time, but P2P texting is different. There aren't as many rules and regulations governing PTP, a tactic that began in 2016 leading up to the general election, and it does seem like it's more prevalent this time around."

— Sean Carlson, Chief Strategy Officer, Revolution Messaging, a progressive digital agency in Washington DC

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White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients announced on Monday that the Biden administration will allow fully vaccinated travelers from around the world to enter the U.S. beginning in November.

Why it matters: The announcement comes as President Biden seeks commitments from countries to donate vaccines to the global COVAX initiative. He is expected to host a COVID summit on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week, and many of the countries attending have expressed frustration with the travel ban.

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When Meagan Loyst joined VC firm Lerer Hippeau, less than two years out of Boston College, she was still living with her parents. She had virtually no online brand presence, and the pandemic made it impossible to build a professional network via in-person meetings.

Why it matters: Loyst wasn't alone. Venture firms have accelerated hiring in line with record deal activity, often seeking younger investors who can spot trends that fly below the radar (or intrinsic understanding) of older partners.

White House aims to protect workers from extreme heat

Two pear pickers in Hood River, Ore. on Aug. 13. Photo: Michael Hanson/AFP via Getty Images

The White House announced a slew of actions Monday, including the start of a rule-making process at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to protect American workers from extreme heat.

Driving the news: The U.S. just had its hottest summer on record, with triple-digit-temperatures killing hundreds in the Pacific Northwest and exposing outdoor workers to dangerous conditions.