BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, September 4 2012
There's a joke quote circulating on Facebook that goes like this: "'Your relentless political Facebook posts finally turned me around to your way of thinking,' said nobody, ever."
The funny thing is, that might not actually be true.
"People whose friends post some (or a lot of) political content on social networking sites are much more likely to say that they have changed their mind about a political issue or become more involved with a political issue after reading/discussing them on a social network (compared with people whose friends don’t post much political content)," Aaron Smith, a senior researcher at the Pew Internet & American Life Project, told me Tuesday via email.Read More
BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, August 27 2012
In two detailed and important blog posts, Patrick Meier explains how grassroots activists are using social media platforms and mobile phones to coordinate disaster relief, often when the government's response is inadequate. In many cases, Meier points out, the grassroots networks existed already, having been created as a means of coordinating political protest. Read More
BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, August 21 2012
All hell might be breaking loose within the Republican party in the wake of Missouri House Republican Todd Akin's bizarre Sunday comment exposing the idea that he thinks that some forms of rape are "legitimate," but the ... Read More
BY Cody Lyon | Friday, August 3 2012
Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Joshua Boschee is an openly gay candidate for public office in a socially conservative state, but observers say he's got a real shot at becoming one of Fargo, North Dakota's next representatives in the state legislature.
Boschee's home state of North Dakota has, according to one study, the lowest proportion of same-sex couples in the United States. It's a conservative state, although "conservative" means something different in the only state in the Union with a state-owned bank and a state-owned grain mill and elevator.
The 30-year-old activist and assistant director of leadership and organizations at Minnesota State University is a special case in part because he and his campaign manager say social media is offering him a competitive edge. People he might not otherwise know how to find in a city like Fargo, such as people who respond to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues but aren't already a part of LGBT-focused communities there, he can find on Facebook instead. And when he builds his constituency anywhere, he says, he immediately sees those persuadable voters following up to find out more about him online.Read More
BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, August 3 2012
Google rolled out a new service this week that enables advertisers to target their audience specifically by congressional district. The new functionality adds a level of granularity that isn't available through Facebook, ... Read More
BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, July 27 2012
Despite draconian restrictions on Internet access, the Iranian regime has not succeeded in preventing its citizens from using Facebook. Now a semi-official news agency reports that the head of the cyber-pollice tacitly admitted its failure to block the social networking site, when it asked Facebook for help in fighting cyber crimes and pornography. Read More
BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, July 26 2012
Gina Maddox, a self-employed communications consultant and a self-described moderate Republican, is passionate about GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. So passionate, in fact, that she's used Facebook gone beyond her role as county co-chair of his election effort in Florida's Santa Rosa County to extend the reach of her activities beyond the Florida Panhandle, helping like-minded Republican women to connect with each other both nationally and locally. Maddox is the founder of Women for Romney 2012 on Facebook, a group that describes itself as a grassroots network of supporters not associated with the campaign or any political action committee. It's also the latest example of political activists turning to one particular tool — private Facebook pages — as a low-impact way to organize largely outside of public view. Read More
BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, July 24 2012
NGP VAN has released a new tool built to allow a candidate's supporters contact the likely voters that they find among their Facebook friends. The new tool is based on an earlier one that the company tested out in fall 2011 during the battle in Ohio over public sector unions, said Stuart Trevelyan, NGP VAN's CEO. The updated platform with a new interface allows users to not just engage their friends with virtual phone banks, but also with e-mails, social sharing and e-postcards, he said, and integrates it with gamification options like points and badges. Read More
BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, July 23 2012
The National Rifle Association's Facebook page appeared to be unavailable from late Saturday night to Monday morning in the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colo. TechPresident called the NRA for comment about the page Monday morning, while the page was still unavailable. Officials there didn't return our call for comment. They returned to Facebook, however, within a matter of hours after our call. A Facebook spokesman referred all request for comment to the NRA. The organization's page is now "liked" by 1.5 million users, some of whom went to other forums over the weekend looking for NRA's stance in the wake of the Aurora incident. Twenty-four-year-old former student James Holmes is accused of using an arsenal of weapons, including an assault rifle available thanks to the 2004 lapse of a ban on assault weapons, during a shooting spree in which 70 people were shot and 12 killed. Gun owners were looking for "leadership" on how to handle this situation, some wrote in online forums, and were disappointed to find the NRA was not active on social media to provide it. Read More
BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, July 20 2012
The government of Uzbekistan's repressive policies coupled with widespread self-censorship are creating a deeply insular society, which makes access to a safe place on the Internet psychologically and ideologically important, posits the author of a new paper. In other words, people are forgetting basic democratic values as they avoid reading anything political, lest they be discovered by government monitors and punished with a loss of personal freedom. Read More