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Did That Really Happen? A 2012 Tech-Politics News Quiz

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, December 17 2012

It's Friday afternoon and some folks think the world is supposed to end today, so we thought, while we wait for the apocalypse, why not make it fun to relive the highlights of the last year? What really did or didn't happen in the world of tech-politics last year? This quiz covers the hard questions. So, for your pleasure and amusement, try to match your wits against ours. No cheating. Answers at the bottom of the post. Read More

[Editorial] Let's Change the Ratio Once and For All

BY Andrew Rasiej | Thursday, June 28 2012

Image from WIKIPEDIA: CHANGE THE RATIO (DESIGN BY JESS3 + 1X57)

In this editorial, PDM publisher Andrew Rasiej talks about the problem of gender discrimination in the digital industry. Citing his own inclusion in The Daily Beast/Newsweek's Digital Power Index--which only named nine women out of one hundred digerati--he calls on his peers to address the issue head on. Read More

#PDF12: The Radical Power of the Internet Public

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, June 13 2012

Chris Soghoian at Personal Democracy Forum 2012. Photo: Esty Stein / PDM

Tuesday morning at PDF12, there were five quick keynote talks in a row that could serve as a 50-minute primer on the radical power of the Internet public to change the world, why it's so important to nurture that public, where some of the threats to the Internet are coming from, and how people are routing around them to build a future "intranet" that might well stand free from governmental and corporate control. They were, in order, from Chris Soghoian, Dave Parry, Peter Fein, Sascha Meinrath and Deanna Zandt. You can watch them in order below. Read More

How Planned Parenthood Supporters Took Charge in Advocating for Womens Health

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, April 3 2012

On a March 29 Personal Democracy Plus call, Heather Holdridge, digital director of Planned Parenthood, and social media expert Deanna Zandt discussed how advocacy for womens' health is now no longer just defined by large advocacy organizations, but also the social-media fueled networked communities that influence them.

Micah Sifry moderated the call. Personal Democracy Plus subscribers can access the audio archive here.

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Upcoming: PD+ Call on Women's Online Health Activism and Planned Parenthood

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, March 27 2012

I'm looking forward to this Thursday's Personal Democracy Plus call with Heather Holdridge and Deanna Zandt for a bunch of reasons. Obviously, the "internet wave" that is lifting all kinds of social activism boats is ... Read More

With Pinterest and Twitter, Activists are Out to Punish Komen

BY Nick Judd | Friday, February 3 2012

Susan G. Komen for the Cure's decision Friday to reverse a rules change that would have cut off further funding to Planned Parenthood may not be enough to stem the outpouring of anger against the breast cancer research charity. Komen's grantmaking rules no longer oblige it to issue no new grants to Planned Parenthood, but online activists are hoping to channel continued anger at what they say is the politicization of women's health issues into a sustained campaign. Read More

Notes From a Father of the Open Internet, 15 Years On

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, February 10 2011

Part 1 of Personal Democracy Forum's Social Media Week event, "Wikileaks and Civil Disobedience." Watch Part 2 here. John Perry Barlow. Photo: Esty Stein / Personal Democracy Forum As a revolution that was in many ways ... Read More

Watch Live: WikiLeaks and Online Civil Disobedience

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, February 9 2011

Watch live streaming video from smw_newyork_hearst at livestream.com Check out our Social Media Week event, "Wikileaks and Online Civil Disobedience," streaming live now. This conversation features Deanna Zandt, John ... Read More

Upcoming PdF Events in NYC

BY Daniel Teweles | Wednesday, January 12 2011

PdF is pleased to announce three upcoming events in New York City that we think you'll find continue to tap into the zeitgeist in an engaging and intellectually provocative way. PdF Presents: A Symposium on WikiLeaks and ... 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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