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First POST: Slippery Slopes

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, April 1 2014

Why the CIA is fighting so hard to keep that Senate report on torture secret; OkCupid tells visitors using Firefox to use a different browser; why decentralized mesh networks should matter to dissident political movements; and much, much more. Read More

Coworker.org Updates Digital Labor Organizing

BY Sam Roudman | Tuesday, November 26 2013

Coworker.org is improving workplace organizing online

With labor union membership numbers on the decline, organizers are developing innovative new tools to help workers network and rally on behalf of better pay and working conditions. Read More

How "Big Data" And Behavioral Science Powered Progressive Groups in 2012

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Saturday, November 10 2012

An October canvas in Richmond, ViA. Photo: Flickr/AFL-CIO

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: The Obama campaign wasn't the only center of data-driven, technology-enabled field work on the left. Groups like MoveOn and the AFL-CIO's super PAC, Worker's Voice, also used the Internet to leverage their understanding of behavioral psychology and user-generated content into a massively scaled persuasion and get-out-the-vote effort. Read More

With "RePurpose," AFL-CIO Invites Supporters to Join in Playing Politics

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, September 18 2012

Political organizing may soon start looking like a frequent flyer redemption program.

Workers' Voice, the Super PAC of the AFL-CIO, pulled the wraps off of its high-tech organizing model on Tuesday, which it has named rePurpose. The idea is to use points to better reward campaign volunteers — but rather than those points earning t-shirts or buttons, organizers say, they go towards a stake in how the PAC actually spends its resources.

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Workers' Voice Asks the Crowd for Campaigns to Care About

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, June 18 2012

Workers' Voice, the super PAC of the AFL-CIO, is close to finishing its "platform to encourage volunteer action," and expects to launch it next month, Eddie Vale, communications director for Workers' Voice, writes in an e-mail. Using that platform, supporters will be earn the right to direct some of the organization's spending by participating in Workers' Voice field and online program and completing certain actions. To complement that effort, similar to a survey that MoveOn recently sent to its supporters, it has sent a message to its supporters asking them which election races are important to them. Read More

Grassroots Politics Makes Wisconsin's Recall Elections Local, and Personal

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, May 18 2012

Photo: Overpass Light Brigade

It's true that both Scott Walker and his opponent, Democrat Tom Barrett, will be a ubiquitous presence not just in emails sent around the country but also on television ads and radio spots inside Wisconsin. As their June 5 recall election gets closer, though, operatives supporting both Walker and Barrett say this election will be a far more visceral experience for voters: Campaigns over the past few years have become better and better at leaning on supporters to fire up their friends on Facebook and use the Internet to organize themselves to go door to door. The recall will be another opportunity to see how much traditional campaigns at all levels have come to rely on the grassroots — and what that means for voters caught in the crossfire of a highly charged election fueled by millions in political spending. Read More

AFL-CIO Hopes To Reassert Unions' Relevance With New Web Site Launch

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, March 1 2012

America's largest federation of unions pulled the wraps off of a year-long effort to revamp its online presence Thursday in an effort to broaden the movement's appeal. Read More

The Technology Firsts in Ohio's Issue 2 Campaign

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, November 9 2011

Yesterday's Ohio elections culminated an unprecedented online-driven issue campaign in which both sides honed online tools and tactics that in some cases they were using for the first time. The labor-backed We Are Ohio ... Read More

In a Year of Local Labor Battles Nationwide, A Major Union Doubles Down Online

BY Nick Judd | Friday, July 15 2011

Union protesters rally against Ohio Senate Bill 5 in March. Union staffers nationwide say their members have moved increasingly online throughout this year's fights over state budgets and collective bargaining rights. ... Read More

"This is Jerry McEntee"

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, June 29 2010

Here's an update to how mobile is being harnessed in the election of a new Secretary-Treasurer at the AFSCME convention taking place this week in Boston. Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed wednesday >

Another Co-Opted Hashtag: #MustSeeIran

The Twitter hashtag #MustSeeIran was created to showcase Iran's architecture, landscapes, and would-be tourist destinations. It was then co-opted by activists to bring attention to human rights abuses and infringements. Now Twitter is home to two starkly different portraits of a country. GO

What Has the EU Ever Done For Us?: Countering Euroskepticism with Viral Videos and Monty Python

Ahead of the May 25 European Elections, the most intense campaigning may not be by the candidates or the political parties. Instead, some of the most passionate campaigns are more grassroots efforts focused on for a start stirring up the interest of the European electorate. GO

At NETmundial Brazil: Is "Multistakeholderism" Good for the Internet?

Today and tomorrow Brazil is hosting NETmundial, a global multi-stakeholder meeting on the future of Internet governance. GO

Brazilian President Signs Internet Bill of Rights Into Law at NetMundial

Earlier today Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff sanctioned Marco Civil, also called the Internet bill of rights, during the global Internet governance event, NetMundial, in Brazil.

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tuesday >

Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us launched with big ambitions and star appeal, hoping to crack the code on how to get millions of people to pool their political passions through their platform. When that ambition stalled, its founder Nathan Daschle--son of the former Senator--decided to pivot to offering political candidates an easy-to-use free web platform for organizing and fundraising. Now the new Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com for help. GO

Armenian Legislators: You Can Be As Anonymous on the 'Net As You Like—Until You Can't

A proposed bill in Armenia would make it illegal for media outlets to include defamatory remarks by anonymous or fake sources, and require sites to remove libelous comments within 12 hours unless they identify the author.

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The Good Wife Looks for the Next Snowden and Outwits the NSA

Even as the real Edward Snowden faces questions over his motives in Russia, another side of his legacy played out for the over nine million viewers of last night's The Good Wife, which concluded its season long storyline exploring NSA surveillance. In the episode titled All Tapped Out, one young NSA worker's legal concerns lead him to becoming a whistle-blower, setting off a chain of events that allows the main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), and her husband, Illinois Governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), to turn the tables on the NSA using its own methods. GO

The Expanding Reach of China's Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring Site, Danger Maps

Last week billionaire businessman Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, appealed to his “500 million-strong army” of consumers to help monitor water quality in China. Inexpensive testing kits sold through his company can be used to measure pH, phosphates, ammonia, and heavy metal levels, and then the data can be uploaded via smartphone to the environmental monitoring site Danger Maps. Although the initiative will push the Chinese authorities' tolerance for civic engagement and activism, Ethan Zuckerman has high hopes for “monitorial citizenship” in China.

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The 13 Worst Bits of Russia's Current and Maybe Future Internet Legislation

It appears that Russia is on the brink of passing still more repressive Internet regulations. A new telecommunications bill that would require popular blogs—those with 3,000 or more visits a day—to join a government registry and conform to government-mandated standards is expected to pass this week. What follows is a list of the worst bits of both proposed and existing Russian Internet law. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed anything.

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