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First POST: Stardust

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, April 18 2014

Edward Snowden tries to turn the tables on Vladimir Putin; David Axelrod will be working against his former colleague Jim Messina in the upcoming British elections; how online activists have damaged Rush Limbaugh's business model; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Welcome to the NBA

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, January 16 2014

Reading the tea-leaves before President Obama's NSA reform speech Friday; Fred Wilson explains why the end of net neutrality spells bad news for tech start-ups; SayIt, a new tool for annotating public transcripts, launches; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Twitterization

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, September 3 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: The download on Peter Hamby's must-read report on Twitter's impact on 2012 campaign coverage; Jeff Bezos gives some clues to his plans for the Washington Post; Ethan Zuckerman thinks citizen science could help reduce NIMBYism; and much, much more. Read More

Beyond "Bitter Twitter": Crowd-Photography for the Cyber-Tahrir Square

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, July 10 2012

A close-up view of @davidaxelrod's Twitter footprint from July 6, 2012

If you're following the presidential campaign via Twitter, you know that each side is using the medium to strafe the other. But with the help of powerful network mapping tools, we discovered there's actually a lot more happening in the Twittersphere around those daily diversions. Thanks to connection technologies, people, events and ideas are coalescing in fascinating patterns online. There's a big "Tahrir Square" level of political demonstration underway, and with this post, we start mining the data to spot the communities among the crowds. Read More

Barak and Barack: Obama 2012 Narrowcasting to American Jews

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, August 5 2011

About an hour ago I got an email from David Axelrod, senior adviser to the Obama 2012 campaign. The title: "What Barak Said About Barack." The email is a great example of narrowcasting. If you're Jewish, you probably ... Read More

Axelrod Previews a Seriously Upgraded Obama '12 Digital Operation

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, April 15 2011

Team Obama has plans in the works to raise the bar it set online in '08, reports Politico's Mike Allen: President Barack Obama’s fledgling reelection campaign is building a volunteer network with the audacious ... Read More

Quote of the Day II: Axe on Pac

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, September 27 2010

It's really actually very useful... I Google things all the time. Read More

Quote of the Day: Axelrod on Speed

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, September 27 2010

You can start a race up much more quickly than you can in the past. Read More

Google, Politico, Axelrod Preview Mid-Terms

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, September 27 2010

Google gets deeper into the politics business today with an event, co-run with Politico, called "Innovation + Democracy" and starring folks like White House adviser David Axelrod, former Bush adviser Ed ... Read More

Hope vs Power: The PhRMA Deal That Was and the OFA Campaign That Wasn't

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, February 24 2010

"These dudes are old school communications people. They're playing the game the way they know how because it's been lucrative for them. And they're destroying the whole promise of the Obama Administration in the ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed wednesday >

Another Co-Opted Hashtag: #MustSeeIran

The Twitter hashtag #MustSeeIran was created to showcase Iran's architecture, landscapes, and would-be tourist destinations. It was then co-opted by activists to bring attention to human rights abuses and infringements. Now Twitter is home to two starkly different portraits of a country. GO

What Has the EU Ever Done For Us?: Countering Euroskepticism with Viral Videos and Monty Python

Ahead of the May 25 European Elections, the most intense campaigning may not be by the candidates or the political parties. Instead, some of the most passionate campaigns are more grassroots efforts focused on for a start stirring up the interest of the European electorate. GO

At NETmundial Brazil: Is "Multistakeholderism" Good for the Internet?

Today and tomorrow Brazil is hosting NETmundial, a global multi-stakeholder meeting on the future of Internet governance. GO

Brazilian President Signs Internet Bill of Rights Into Law at NetMundial

Earlier today Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff sanctioned Marco Civil, also called the Internet bill of rights, during the global Internet governance event, NetMundial, in Brazil.

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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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