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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

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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