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[Editorial] Presidential Debates Commission Keeps the Internet Bottled Up

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, October 1 2012

Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard M. Nixon during the first televised U.S. presidential debate in 1960.

The American presidential debates are one of the last great institutions of the era of broadcast politics, and arguably the one that has changed the least since the rise of the Internet, despite public demands for greater participation and transparency. With the first head-to-head appearance of President Obama and Governor Romney coming this Wednesday night in Denver, the web is gearing up to join in the conversation. Unfortunately, despite some nice words come out of the Commission on Presidential Debates and the announcement of a "new digital coalition" with AOL, Google and Yahoo! participating, there's no sign that the debates are going to change one iota from their traditional form. Read More

Through Texts and Online Video, Presidential Campaigns Want You To Know -- They're the Job Creators

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, September 17 2012

As Barack Obama and Mitt Romney continued to criticize each other on Monday regarding their respective relationships with China either on the policy or business fronts, both campaigns kept reaching out to voters and ... Read More

Mitt Romney's Campaign Takes Tech "Parity" With OfA to a Whole New Level

BY Nick Judd | Monday, September 10 2012

On Aug. 25, Mitt Romney's campaign announced "Victory Wallet," which allows users who opt in to authorize one-click donations to the campaign going forward. As BuzzFeed and Salon also noted, following the klaxon call of progressive digital activists Jessica Morales and Matt Ortega, the Romney campaign was using copy on that page that is identical to the text used by Obama for America for its very same feature. Read More

Obama for America Offers Volunteers "Trip Planner," A Craigslist for the Campaign

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, September 10 2012

With Election Day less than two months away, the presidential campaigns are focused on their ground games. To help volunteers get to battleground states, the Obama campaign has created Trip Planner. Read More

Answers from Barack Obama's "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit [UPDATED]

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, August 29 2012

So far, President Obama has answered several user-submitted questions posed to him in the last 45 minutes on Reddit. Supporters of Internet Freedom, the space program and campaign finance reform should like what he's said. English grammar teachers, not so much. Apparently he doesn't like capitalization. Here's some of what he's said so far. Read More

The Ultimate AMA: Barack Obama To Do Q&A With Reddit Today

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, August 29 2012

Barack Obama's verification photo, proving that he's involved in an "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit Wednesday.

Reddit users will get to "ask anything" of the leader of the free world this afternoon, according to an announcement on the site. Read More

'Internet Freedom' Is a Republican Platform Plank; Democrats To Have a Policy, Too

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, August 28 2012

The concept of "Internet freedom" is expected to become part of the Republican party platform for the first time on Tuesday when the party's platform committee votes to ratify language that it had drafted earlier last week. The move addresses the recent demands of dozens of Internet activists and groups for both parties to adopt language addressing the issue, and illustrates the enduring impact of the movement created by the broad protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act in January. Read More

User-Generated Online Video Swamping Official Obama, Romney Content on YouTube

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, August 27 2012

From the beginning of the 2011-2012 U.S. Presidential election campaign in April 2011, there have nearly 2 billion views of videos tagged about Barack Obama or Mitt Romney on YouTube, Ramya Raghavan of YouTube Politics blogged today. The political campaigns are swimming in a sea of user-generated content, even moreso than in 2008. Read More

Is Barack Obama Getting His Online Mojo Back? This Video May Be the Key

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, August 23 2012

Is Barack Obama getting his online mojo back? Maybe. On Saturday, August 18th, his campaign uploaded a new video to his YouTube channel titled, "We've Come Too Far to Turn Back Now," and began promoting it with a series of emails whose subject lines were far different from the plaintive appeals for donations that have become all too familiar to anyone on his giant list. This new one is different, and not just because it's not a TV ad attacking his Republican opponents. "We've Come Too Far" is a direct play at reviving the "movement" tone of 2008. Read More

Quantifying this Year's "Lame" Presidential Campaign

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, August 16 2012

Illustration: David Colarusso

According to data from The 4th Estate Project, produced by former Neiman Fellow Bryan Rich and software developer Michael Howe, seventeen percent of statements attributed to the Obama campaign or the White House in a campaign story come without a person's name attached. Likewise, nobody is named as responsible for twenty-one percent of Romney campaign statements. These exclude statements from the candidates themselves. These figures are released exclusively to techPresident as disappointment mounts among political observers at the focus in this presidential campaign on personal attacks and relatively narrow issues. Read More

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Mark Pesce on "Hypercivility" at @CivicHall

A week ago, digital ethnologist Mark Pesce gave a talk here at Civic Hall on the topic of "Hypercivility." As you will see from watching the video, it's an extension of years of research and thinking he has done on the effects of hyperconnectivity on our world. Be forewarned, this is not an "easy" talk to watch or digest. While Pesce definitely has our social-media-powered "Age of Outrage" on his mind, he grounds his talk in a much more serious place: post-genocide Rwanda, which he recently visited. GO

First POST: Impossibles

The FCC vote; a proxy Democratic primary battle in Chicago; Gov Andrew Cuomo begins deleting all state employee emails more than 90 days old; men talking about women in tech; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Off the Books

Chicago's "black site"; The New York Times reports "little guys" like Tumblr and Reddit have won the fight for net neutrality but fails to mention Free Press or Demand Progress; Hillary Clinton fan products on Etsy to inspire campaign slogans?; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Challenges

How Silicon Valley donors are thinking about Hillary Clinton 2016; Yahoo's security chief locks horns with the head of the NSA; Instagram location data catches a Congressman with his hand in the till; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Bows

CitizenFour wins best doc; Ken Silverstein resigned from First Look Media and took to Facebook to vent; why we need more Congressional staffers; who profits from the net neutrality debate; banning PowerPoint presentations; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Sim Pickings

Using stolen encryption keys, the NSA and GCHQ can intercept and decrypt communications between billions of phones without notifying the service provider, foreign governments or users; get to know Sarah Harrison, the WikiLeaks editor who helped Snowden gain asylum in Russia; a profile of the Fight for the Future leaders; how the new wave of black community organizing is not hashtag activism; and much, much more. GO

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