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Obama "New Hampshire at War" Video

BY Spencer Overton | Wednesday, October 3 2007

Increasingly, new tools are empowering local "amateur" campaign staffers to produce quality content centered around local people. Read More

YearlyKos and Voting Rights

BY Spencer Overton | Friday, August 3 2007

I'm happy that the YearlyKos folks have made a place at the table for voting rights. Donna Brazile, the NAACP LDF's Debo Adegbile, the Brennan Center's Justin Levitt, TalkLeft's Jeralyn Merritt, and I will be on the ... Read More

YouTube VIII: Race

BY Spencer Overton | Monday, July 23 2007

A significant number of questioners were people of color and/or addressed issues of race and class, and I was pleasantly surprised. Perhaps because of the digital divide, one might have assumed that this debate would ... Read More

YouTube VII: Powerful Health Care Questions

BY Spencer Overton | Monday, July 23 2007

The health care videos were an outstanding and meaningful use of the YouTube debate medium. The health care videos showed that this medium is not just a gimmick--but can add nuance and substance to dry policy debates. ... Read More

YouTube VI: Talking to the questioner

BY Spencer Overton | Monday, July 23 2007

When Hillary Clinton and other candidates look at the screen and say "Thank You XXXX, for the question," I'm split. On one hand, these are not live feeds, and it seems a bit artificial to talk back to the screen. Would ... Read More

YouTube V: May Allow for "Cleaner" Citizen Participation

BY Spencer Overton | Monday, July 23 2007

The gentleman with military flags from funerals of relatives used the medium in a powerful way. On another note, a YouTube debate may be "cleaner" than a townhall debate with audience questions. Citizens who submit ... Read More

YouTube IV: Network Control, Candidate Unease

BY Spencer Overton | Monday, July 23 2007

Two quick observations: 1) More control by networks: Open Source politics is about more control for average people, and less control for traditional "gatekeepers." I wonder, however, if this format actually gives ... Read More

YouTube III: Taking Advantage of the Medium

BY Spencer Overton | Monday, July 23 2007

A question about Africa featuring African children is perhaps the first question that takes advantage of the medium--when you have to face an image of a person whose life is directly shaped by the policy. On another ... Read More

Live Blogging II: Failed In-Person Follow Up

BY Spencer Overton | Monday, July 23 2007

The pastor shows up! The pastor featured in one of the questions was actually in the audience, and was asked whether John Edwards answered his question. Unfortunately, the pastor didn't do the best follow up (he said he ... Read More

YouTube Debate: Live Blogging Entry 1

BY Spencer Overton | Monday, July 23 2007

I'm not in SC--but in front of my TV. I'm surprised that CNN/YouTube chose videos that seem rather typical--they don't seem to take full advantage of the medium (e.g., people asking questions about Katrina from NOLA). ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

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The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

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tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

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Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

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monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

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friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

thursday >

In Pakistan, A Hypocritical Gov't Ignores Calls To End YouTube Ban

YouTube has been blocked in Pakistan by executive order since September 2012, after the “blasphemous” video Innocence of Muslims started riots in the Middle East. Since then, civil society organizations and Internet rights advocacy groups like Bolo Bhi and Bytes for All have been working to lift the ban. Last August the return of YouTube seemed imminent—the then-new IT Minister Anusha Rehman spoke optimistically and her party, which had won the majority a few months before, was said to be “seriously contemplating” ending the ban. And yet since then, Rehman and her party, the conservative Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), have done everything in their power to maintain the status quo.

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The #NotABugSplat Campaign Aims to Give Drone Operators Pause Before They Strike

In the #NotABugSplat campaign that launched this week, a group of American, French and Pakistani artists sought to raise awareness of the effects of drone strikes by placing a field-sized image of a young girl, orphaned when a drone strike killed her family, in a heavily targeted region of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Its giant size is visible to those who operate drone strikes as well as in satellite imagery. GO

Boston and Cambridge Move Towards More Open Data

The Boston City Council is now considering an ordinance which would require Boston city agencies and departments to make government data available online using open standards. Boston City Councilor At Large Michelle Wu, who introduced the legislation Wednesday, officially announced her proposal Monday, the same day Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued an executive order establishing an open data policy under which all city departments are directed to publish appropriate data sets under established accessibility, API and format standards. GO

YouTube Still Blocked In Turkey, Even After Courts Rule It Violates Human Rights, Infringes on Free Speech

Reuters reports that even after a Turkish court ruled to lift the ban on YouTube, Turkey's telecommunications companies continue to block the video sharing site.

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