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House Republicans' "Citizen Cosponsor" Lets Anyone Support Any Bill Before the House

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, June 4 2013

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced today a relaunch of the Citizen Cosponsor project, which allows members of the public to express support for House legislation online. The new version includes all legislation introduced in the House by both Republicans and Democrats and exists on its own domain. Read More

No "Big Yellow Ducks" on Chinese Microblogs for Tiananmen Square Anniversary

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, June 4 2013

Weibo via @RichardBuangan

Chinese microblogging platform Weibo has banned searches for "big yellow duck" after online activists posted doctored images of the famous Tiananmen Square "Tank Man" photo, replacing the tanks with a row of yellow ducks like the one currently in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor, the Wall Street Journal reported. Read More

WeGov

Protests in Turkey: Lies, Damn Lies, and Social Media

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, June 3 2013

Mapping tweets around Istanbul. Source: NYU SMaPP

If Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to be believed, ongoing protests in Istanbul are thanks in no small part to lies and exaggerations spreading online. "There is now a menace which is called Twitter," Erdogan said on TV, according to the Guardian. "The best examples of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society." While some have suggested that Erdogan has cracked down on Internet access in response, there's no evidence his government has limited connectivity. In fact, initial research suggests that the Turkish protests have spawned a record number of Tweets compared with other protests, spreading not just real-time information about protests, but encouraging others to participate. The uncomfortable truth is that while it's unsurprising to hear a government official denouncing his detractors as misinformed or dishonest, Erdogan isn't entirely wrong. Unverified and in some cases clearly inaccurate information about the protests is spreading fast, and in some cases too rapidly for reliable information to counteract. Read More

EU Needs One Telco Market to Rule Them All, Says EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, May 30 2013

EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes called on the European Parliament to pass legislation to guarantee net neutrality and end mobile roaming costs within the next year as part of an effort to achieve a true European single market and engage EU citizens politically. Read More

A Recent Internet History of Michele Bachmann

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, May 29 2013

Michele Bachmann on the campaign trail in Iowa. Photo: Gage Skidmore

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) announced her intention not to run for reelection Wednesday in a nearly nine-minute-long video linked to in an email to supporters — a fitting choice for a political figure with a long and complicated history of using, and being used by, the Internet. Read More

On Rob Ford's Facebook Page, Wisecracks Don't Last Long

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, May 28 2013

Even as Toronto Mayor Rob Ford faces increased pressure over his alleged crack use, his staff is trying to maintain order on his Facebook page, according to Vice. Closer to techPresident headquarters, a candidate for mayor of New York City is taking a more hands-off approach as Facebook visitors crack wise in comments on his posted photos. Read More

Code for America Launches International Partnerships in Mexico, Germany and the Caribbean

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, May 24 2013

Code for America today announced the launch of its first official international partnerships in Mexico, Germany and the Caribbean. After several years of recruiting technologists to spend a year in city halls across America, the organization will bring programmers and designers into close contact with governments in each of those three places to work on a specific problem area. Read More

Revamped Data.gov Includes API Catalog

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, May 23 2013

(Source: Data.gov)

Federal officials are now offering a list of all APIs that have been released across the federal government as part of the Digital Government Strategy and a new data catalog that allows users to more easily search, sort and tag datasets, according to a post by Hyon Kim, deputy program director at the U.S. General Services Administration. With the announcements, the team behind Data.gov, a central public repository of machine-readable federal government data, is marking its fourth anniversary and the one year anniversary of the release of the Digital Government Strategy. Read More

WeGov

Facebook Becomes Full Member of Global Network Initiative

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, May 22 2013

Facebook announced today that it has opted to become a full member of the Global Network Initiative, a group founded by Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to address the challenges technology companies face when dealing with governments about issues like freedom of expression and data privacy. Read More

Here Are The People President Obama Hopes Will Repair American Elections

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, May 21 2013

The Presidential Commission on Election Administration established by President Obama after problematic 2012 elections now has a web presence at SupporttheVoter.gov. Obama established the commission by executive order on March 28 "to identify best practices in election administration and to make recommendations to improve the voting experience." Read More

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NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

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