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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

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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