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Election Roundup

BY Joshua Levy | Wednesday, November 8 2006

The election fallout pieces are popping up now and some of them bring encouraging news about the effect of the blogosphere and technology on the midterms. Here's a running list of important pieces and sites that suggest ... Read More

State Laws on Polling Place Photography

BY Joshua Levy | Tuesday, November 7 2006

This year voters and activists have been intensely interested in videotaping and photographing polling places to ensure fairness and expose violations, but the legality of these actions has been unclear. Thankfully, the ... Read More

Video Voter and The Hot Seat 2006: Learn About Your Candidates, Quickly

BY Joshua Levy | Friday, November 3 2006

If you live and California or New York and still need help deciding who to vote for next Tuesday, two web sites have come to the rescue. For New York, The Hot Seat 2006 is a Flash-based site that showcases audio clips ... Read More

Update on Campaigning with Facebook

BY Joshua Levy | Tuesday, October 31 2006

Christine Williams and Jeff Gulatir, the two political scientists at Bentley College who have been studying Facebook as a campaign tool, have released an update to their study just in time for the mid-terms. Since the ... Read More

The Blogs of War

BY Joshua Levy | Sunday, October 29 2006

Social networking, and blogging in particular, has had a profound impact on how members of the military articulate their experiences, and they've developed large, influential social networks that function as support ... Read More

The Rise of the Bloggyists

BY Joshua Levy | Thursday, October 26 2006

Most of us know that "early adopters" experiment with new technologies before they reach the mass market, and this stable of enthusiastic techno-geeks can be relied upon to forecast future hits. Today Gary J. Andres ... Read More

Google Earth Maps the Election

BY Joshua Levy | Monday, October 23 2006

A very cool feature has popped up on Google Earth that overlays all 436 congressional districts over a map of the United States and highlights the races occurring in each of those districts. Each race is represented by ... Read More

Predict06: Testing the Wisdom of Crowds

BY Joshua Levy | Thursday, October 19 2006

In his book The Wisdom of Crowds, James Surowiecki looks at the ability of large, disconnected groups to make accurate decisions and predictions. Group intelligence may be good at telling how many jelly beans are in a ... Read More

Call for Change Gets the Calls Out

BY Joshua Levy | Thursday, October 19 2006

Dailykos posted yesterday about Moveon's new GOTV effort Call for Change. As Eli Pariser describes it, the goal of the campaign is to allow people to log onto www.callforchange.org from their home computers and then ... Read More

Facebook as a Campaign Tool

BY Joshua Levy | Wednesday, October 18 2006

Two political science professors at Bentley College, a business college in Waltham, Massachusetts, have examined Facebook as a campaign tool and come up with fascinating results. Christine Williams and Jeff Gulati ... 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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