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WeGov

Vietnam's Government-Hired Propaganda Bloggers

BY Julia Wetherell | Wednesday, January 16 2013

The Vietnamese government acknowledged last week that up to 1,000 bloggers and online tastemakers in the country are hired propaganda agents, enlisted to steer Internet discourse towards support of Communist policies. These mercenary netizens have been a vocal presence in the Vietnamese blogosphere and on social media over the past few years, espousing pro-governmental opinions and attacking dissidents. Read More

WeGov

Slovenian Pirates Might Be Tested Sooner Than Expected

BY Antonella Napolitano | Wednesday, January 16 2013

Photo of Slovenian Pirates from the Pirate Times

The Pirate Party of Slovenia (Piratska stranka Slovenije) started, as in most countries, as a movement focused on digital issues and it has been around for three years now. But countrywide protests against austerity and political corruption — and, possibly, upcoming elections — might force them to test their strength sooner than planned. Read More

WeGov

Twitter Users Call Out Fraudulent Voter Registration in Kenya

BY Julia Wetherell | Tuesday, January 8 2013

Screengrab from the Kenya Independent Electoral Boundaries Committee's website

Voter registration fraud in Kenya has been brought to the fore by Twitter users in the country, who are taking issue with political parties illegally inflating the number of their supporters. Read More

WeGov

Israeli Transparency NGO Shows Voters How to Cast Informed Ballots

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, January 3 2013

Screengrab from Open Knesset website

As Israelis prepare to cast their ballots in national elections on January 22, the country's only transparency NGO has launched a campaign to encourage voters to educate themselves by consulting their Open Knesset website, where they can find previously unavailable information about how their legislators are doing their jobs and whether they are representing their constituents as they would wish to be represented. Read More

WeGov

The Ayatollah Is On Facebook, Even If Iran Isn’t Supposed to Be

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, December 20 2012

Screengrab of The Ayatollah Khamenei's new Facebook page

A Facebook page for Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini,appeared online last week. The apparently state-sanctioned page has garnered over 18,000 likes, though the popular social network has effectively been banned in the country since dissidents gathered online to power protests after the 2009 reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Read More

WeGov

No Capslock Allowed: Ecuador Has Online Conduct Code for Election Banter

BY Julia Wetherell | Tuesday, December 18 2012

Screengrab of the National Electoral Council's election portal, Voto transparente, Conoce a Tu Candidato

Ecuador is gearing up for national elections in February with an online portal aimed at giving voters transparency in their process of choosing a candidate, and 14 guidelines for good behavior online. Read More

In Japanese Social Media, No Political Opinions During Election Cycle

BY Julia Wetherell | Monday, December 17 2012

Candidates at a live-streamed debate in November (screengrab from Global Voices)

As the Japanese general election came to a close yesterday, with the Liberal Democratic Party returning to control of the Diet in a landslide victory against the Democratic Party of Japan, it’s worth noting that the nation’s electorate made their choice without being allowed to express political opinions on social media. Read More

WeGov

With "Betatext," German Green Party Tries Out Open-Source Politics

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, November 27 2012

(wegewerk)

As Germany gears up for its parliamentary elections in fall 2013, the parliamentary group of the German Green Party has released a tool called betatext to allow supporters to comment on position papers, motions or legislative drafts. "While others only talk about more participation and transparency in the political process -- we implement it," the parliamentary group states. Users of the tool can also see other people's comments and rate them. Read More

WeGov

Following Government Orders, Tajikistan's Telecoms Have Blocked Facebook

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, November 27 2012

Facebook is now totally blocked in Tajikistan. Starting from last week, the Ministry of Communications ordered the country's six mobile service providers and six Internet service providers to block access to the popular social media platform. Read More

WeGov

Egyptian Belly Dancer's Salacious Video Mocking Muslim Brotherhood Goes Viral

BY Mahmoud Salem | Monday, November 19 2012

Sama El Masry (publicity shot)

Last week Sama El Masry, a famous Egyptian belly dancer, uploaded a home-made video to YouTube; it shows her in a skin tight outfit, swinging her hips seductively to a song rife with anti-Muslim Brotherhood political innuendo. The sexy little number set the Egyptian social media and political worlds ablaze — but not only because it mocked the prudish Islamists with the double whammy of gyrating hips and lyrics that were a blatant political satire that pulled no punches. In a bizarre twist that could only happen in post-revolutionary Egypt, the dancer was also famous for claiming to be the ex-wife of a Salafi member of parliament. Read More