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Bad News Bots: How Civil Society Can Combat Automated Online Propaganda

BY Sam Woolley and Phil Howard | Wednesday, December 10 2014

Clever Script Kiddies (by DeNovo Broome, CC BY 2.0)

t’s no secret that governments and political actors now make use of social robots or bots—automated scripts that produce content and mimic real users. Faux social media accounts now spread pro-governmental messages, beef up web site follower numbers, and causeartificial trends. Bot-generated propaganda and misdirection has become a worldwide political strategy. In this guest post, Sam Woolley and Phil Howard suggest some ways to fight back. Read More

First POST: Responding

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, November 26 2014

The aftermath of Ferguson continues to reverberate; how one Senate campaign took advantage of Facebook's micro-targeting tools; the new Congress' tech agenda; and much, much more Read More

First POST: In Transit

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, April 11 2014

Today's Polk Awards ceremony in NYC marks Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras's first visit back to the US since Snowden; Healthcare.gov's chief resigns; the DATA Act heads towards Obama's desk; and much, much more. Read More

Fake David Koch, #PDF12 and the New Gullibility

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 14 2012

Buffalo-based writer Ian Murphy's add-on to the post-PDF conversation is a saucy blind item or two — which "Democratic apparatchik" was peeking "artlessly" at a female speaker's chest during a pre-conference cocktail? — and a poke at what he called the "'internet is good, and aren't we all so important'" feel that crept into the conference at times. Eventually, this evolves into a cogent critique of the Internet's role in a healthy democracy as it was presented at the conference. Read More

From Detroit, a Dispatch on Bridging the Digital Divide

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, April 11 2012

Detroit at night, 2008. Photo: Ed Schipul

As more and more people become a part of what a 2011 McKinsey report called "the $8 trillion global economy," broadband access and digital literacy in many areas of the United States remain low. In search of ways to avoid leaving Americans behind as the economy moves online, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation awarded an $810,000 grant in September 2009 to Community Telecommunications Network, a Detroit, Mich. nonprofit. After three years of work, a new report shows how hard that can be. Read More

Toward a Digitally Literate America, Whatever That Might Mean

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, May 16 2011

New in the federal website family: DigitalLiteracy.gov, a place for people to "share and enhance the tools necessary to learn computer and Internet skills needed in today’s global work environment." (via ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed wednesday >

First POST: Transparency Matters

A return to pre-Watergate days?; Jeb Bush has already, apparently, forgotten about "transparency matters"; ghostwriting for government agencies; X-Lab going independent; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Waking Up

Hillary Clinton's deleted emails might not be as gone as she thinks; people making decisions about encryption know nothing about encryption; Meerkat is dead (already); finding out that Facebook filters the newsfeed is, to some like waking up in the Matrix; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Clueless

Why boycotting Indiana isn't the greatest idea; but people and companies are still doing it anyway; "Flak for Slack chaps in yak app hack flap"; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Net Effects

Ballooning digital campaign teams; early registration deadlines kept millions of people from voting in 2012; love letters to Obamacare; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Data-Driven

Get to know Clinton's digital team even better; Ted Cruz election announcement-related fundraising offers peak into the coming data-driven campaign arms race; New York City launches online community engagement pilot program called IdeaScale; and much, much more. GO

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