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Despite Some Glitches, Ghana's New Biometric Voting System Widely Viewed as a Success

BY Gabriela Barnuevo | Thursday, December 13 2012

Biometric voting machine at a Ghanaian polling station (credit: Gabriela Barnuevo)

Technology dominated Ghana's recent presidential elections, with candidates using popular social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to spread their messages. But it was the introduction of a biometric voter identification system that captured the most attention. Read More

WeGov

Chinese Social Media App Poses a Threat to Activists and Authorities Alike

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, December 13 2012

The most popular new social media app in China is raising suspicions over its geolocational abilities. WeChat, a phone app that combines the functions of Skype, Twitter, and Facebook with the power to locate nearby users, has ousted traditional texting as a contact method for many young people in China. But as the Guardian reported last week, a technology that tracks its users’ movements can be dangerous: Read More

Award Project Hopes To Enable Facebook Users To Become Online Freedom Fighters

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, December 11 2012

Brian Duggan, a technologist at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C., wants to use Facebook, the network under fire in some quarters for its refusal to allow anonymous users or even to permit people to use a pseudonym, to enable anonymous speech for anyone in the world. Read More

WeGov

With YouTube Blocked, Iran Offers State Sanctioned Online Video Alternative

BY Julia Wetherell | Monday, December 10 2012

Logo for Mehr.Ir

After restricting nationwide access to Gmail and Google Search earlier this fall, Iran has put forward a new effort against the Internet conglomerate’s YouTube arm, in the form of a state-sanctioned online video provider operated by the IRIB(Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Service). Read More

'Facebookistan''s Experiment With 'Democracy' Ends With A Whimper

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, December 10 2012

Facebook's brief dalliance with the idea of a user-driven community establishing its own rules of self-governance ended Monday when voting over a proposed set of changes to the service's terms of service ended without ... Read More

WeGov

D.C.-based NGO Asks the Crowd to Map an Israel-Palestine Border

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, December 10 2012

Screenshot from Is Peace Possible.

A Washington, D.C.-based NGO has launched a interactive map called Is Peace Possible that seeks suggestions for a border between Israel and the West Bank via crowdsourcing. Read More

He's Back! Alan Grayson Shares His Thanksgiving Wal-Mart Escapade on Facebook and YouTube

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, November 27 2012

Congressman-elect Alan Grayson hasn't even been sworn in yet, but he's already engaging the public and putting issues on the radar with his signature use of social media. Read More

WeGov

Following Government Orders, Tajikistan's Telecoms Have Blocked Facebook

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, November 27 2012

Facebook is now totally blocked in Tajikistan. Starting from last week, the Ministry of Communications ordered the country's six mobile service providers and six Internet service providers to block access to the popular social media platform. Read More

Presidential Campaign 2012, By the Numbers

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, November 26 2012

While not all of the numbers are in yet, we thought it would be useful to put in one place all the relevant data currently available about online and offline engagement by the Barack Obama and Mitt Romney campaigns. Some of these factoids are essentially unverifiable, but represent the claims being made by the campaigns in press reports. Others are drawn from available social network profiles and/or contemporaneous Google searches. Read More

Black Friday Protests Against Wal-Mart Will Test A New Kind of Networked Organizing For Labor

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, November 21 2012

Labor organizers are trying to encourage widespread protests against Walmart by providing workers and the public with new tools

Wal-Mart workers with the help of the labor movement are planning 1,000 protest events at stores in 43 states on Friday as part of a new strategy to advocate for better hours, wages, and working conditions at the nation's largest employer. Using decentralized, Internet-organized events, these workers hope to outpace the anti-organizing tactics of a company that has gone so far as to shut down a department that moved to unionize and even closed an entire store in Canada when employees there voted to join a union. Read More

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New Media Sites in Iran Blur Lines Between Citizen Journo, Professional Journo, & Activist

In 2010, Newsweek declared Iran the “birthplace of citizen journalism.” Iranian bloggers were hailed by Westerners as “brave” for their coverage of the aftermath of the disputed 2009 election. A 40-second video of the death of Neda Agha-Soltan during an anti-government protest won a prestigious George Polk Award, the first anonymously-produced work to be so honored. And then came the 2013 study “Whither Blogestan,” which sought to explain Iran's shrinking blogosphere. Of nearly 25,000 highly active and connected blogs in 2008 and 2009, only 20 percent were still online in September 2013.

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