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Mike Gravel in Second Life

BY Ruby Sinreich | Thursday, June 7 2007

For this installment of my series of visits to each candidate's Second Life efforts, I was joined by PDF Associate Editor Josh Levy, also known as Spencer Mukherji. We had the good fortune of running into Astrophysicist ... Read More

Amigos de Obama

BY Ruby Sinreich | Monday, June 4 2007

Warning: visiting the front page of Amigos de Obama will cause an enthusiastic reggaeton paean in Spanglish to Barack Obama to start playing and offer you no way to stop it. Which is why I recommend you skip right to the ... Read More

John Edwards in Second Life

BY Ruby Sinreich | Tuesday, April 10 2007

Today's victim: John Edwards. I visited his new location on March 22nd, the day Elizabeth Edwards announced the recurrence of her cancer. There was a photo of her posted near the site entrance with a timely message. ... Read More

Hillary Clinton in Second Life

BY Ruby Sinreich | Wednesday, March 21 2007

A friend of mine has been keeping me up to date on the latest candidate presences in Second Life. We've started visiting them to check them out, and this is the first in a series of reviews I will do of each candidate's ... Read More

The dilemma of official campaign bloggers

BY Ruby Sinreich | Monday, February 26 2007

Salon has a very interesting article today by Lindsay Beyerstein of Majikthise on why she turned down the job that Amanda Marcotte briefly held with the Edwards campaign. She also addresses what she thinks is a major ... Read More

My candidate is Good!

BY Ruby Sinreich | Friday, February 23 2007

I tend to be more interested in "how the web is using them" than "how the candidates are using the web" in this site's mission. So of course I'm fascinated by the John Edwards Is Good website. I like the ambiguity of ... Read More

Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

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wednesday >

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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