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Distributing Transparency, the White House Way

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, February 22 2010

One of the most interesting elements in this Thursday's "summit" at the White House on health care reform is the Administration's commitment to broadcast the proceedings live. But it's not just inviting C-SPAN into the room (finally), or posting the video on the "/live" section of WhiteHouse.gov. The White House new media operation is giving the embed code to anyone who wants to host the video on their own website. I'm pasting the code in below so you can see what you get, for now...

There's a sweet deal in here for Facebook (the embed runs a Facebook chat alongside the video stream), which raises some side-questions about whether it is proper for the White House to implicitly favor one private social network platform over all the others. (And I bet you can easily disable that chat stream if you want to fiddle with the code.)

But I'm more interested in seeing how the networked public sphere swarms over this content in real-time. Whatever else happens on Thursday--whether the TV networks roadblock the summit or cover it live and in full--you can be assured that there will be many places on the web where people are gathered to watch and discuss the encounter. Kudos to the White House for making that possible by making the video freely available.

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