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France's Techies Flap their Wings at Tax Increases With Online "Pigeons" Protest

BY Karim Lebhour | Friday, October 26 2012

The avatar of "Les Pigeons," with Twitter hashtag #GEONPi

They call themselves “Les Pigeons” — in French, “pigeon” is slang for “suckers,” easily fooled and easily abused. The name was adopted by a group of young Internet entrepreneurs who at the beginning of October launched an online campaign in protest of the government's planned tax hike, which they said would hurt small companies like startups. Read More

WeGov

Shot by Taliban, Pakistani Teen Activist Malala Continues To Be Target of Online Threats and Conspiracy Theories

BY Ameena Salaam | Tuesday, October 16 2012

Photo of Malala by the writer.

Malala Yousafzai, a 14 year-old Pakistani girl, was shot in the head last week by Taliban. Her crime was spreading western values — i.e., insisting on the right of girls to attend school. Malala had been the target of online threats for several years; and now, even as she lies unconscious in a U.K. hospital, the Taliban continues to threaten her life if she recovers, while prominent nationalists tweet conspiracy theories accusing the CIA of being involved in the shooting. For Malala, the Internet has been a mixed blessing. Read More

Mapping the French Political Blogosphere

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, December 5 2011

Map of the French political blogosphere in 2011. Source: Linkfluence - Le Monde The Internet is a political battleground for this election, both in social network conversations and in the political blogosphere, which is ... Read More

The American Blogosphere: News and Politics, Technology, and the 'Love Cluster'

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, November 8 2011

In a blog post summarizing a presentation by Berkman Center for Internet and Society fellow Hal Roberts, Ethan Zuckerman describes how a new understanding of the blogosphere includes space for something Roberts calls the ... Read More

Russian Writer's 'Bloggers Against Garbage' Initiative Picks Up Steam

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, July 12 2011

France 24 International News carries this item from late last week about "Bloggers Against Garbage," an initiative founded by Sergey Dolya that seeks to use the power of social networks to mobilize clean-ups in parks and ... Read More

Georgia Senator Digging Into Anti-Gay Blog Comment

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, September 23 2010

Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss' home office is investigating whether a crudely anti-gay comment left on a blog discussion of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" originated from inside their shop. CNN.com has the story. Read More

Are Blogs Done For?

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, July 7 2010

Via Jason Kottke, what we once might have blogged, now we tweet or status update: Read More

Blogging Afghanistan

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, July 2 2010

Add this to the list of outcomes from General Stanley McChrystal's impolitic remarks in the pages of Rolling Stone: a refocusing of online commentary on U.S. conduct of the war in Afghanistan. Pew Research Center's ... Read More

Who Sent the "Yes We Can" Video Viral?

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, June 30 2010

A study by a Cal State-Long Beach political scientist finds that bloggers and the Obama campaign drove the remarkable spread of will.i.am's "Yes We Can" video, media coverage less so. Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed tuesday >

Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us launched with big ambitions and star appeal, hoping to crack the code on how to get millions of people to pool their political passions through their platform. When that ambition stalled, its founder Nathan Daschle--son of the former Senator--decided to pivot to offering political candidates an easy-to-use free web platform for organizing and fundraising. Now the new Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com for help. GO

Armenian Legislators: You Can Be As Anonymous on the 'Net As You Like—Until You Can't

A proposed bill in Armenia would make it illegal for media outlets to include defamatory remarks by anonymous or fake sources, and require sites to remove libelous comments within 12 hours unless they identify the author.

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monday >

The Good Wife Looks for the Next Snowden and Outwits the NSA

Even as the real Edward Snowden faces questions over his motives in Russia, another side of his legacy played out for the over nine million viewers of last night's The Good Wife, which concluded its season long storyline exploring NSA surveillance. In the episode titled All Tapped Out, one young NSA worker's legal concerns lead him to becoming a whistle-blower, setting off a chain of events that allows the main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), and her husband, Illinois Governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), to turn the tables on the NSA using its own methods. GO

The Expanding Reach of China's Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring Site, Danger Maps

Last week billionaire businessman Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, appealed to his “500 million-strong army” of consumers to help monitor water quality in China. Inexpensive testing kits sold through his company can be used to measure pH, phosphates, ammonia, and heavy metal levels, and then the data can be uploaded via smartphone to the environmental monitoring site Danger Maps. Although the initiative will push the Chinese authorities' tolerance for civic engagement and activism, Ethan Zuckerman has high hopes for “monitorial citizenship” in China.

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The 13 Worst Bits of Russia's Current and Maybe Future Internet Legislation

It appears that Russia is on the brink of passing still more repressive Internet regulations. A new telecommunications bill that would require popular blogs—those with 3,000 or more visits a day—to join a government registry and conform to government-mandated standards is expected to pass this week. What follows is a list of the worst bits of both proposed and existing Russian Internet law. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed anything.

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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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