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First POST: Surging

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, October 21 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Will a "tech surge" of the "best and brightest" save HealthCare.gov?: FWD.us holding a hackathon to build engagement tools to help win the immigration reform fight; David Carr's chat with Pierre Omidyar; and much, much more. Read More

Twitter Offers Some #Answers on Who #Dodged Debate Questions in S. Carolina

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, January 17 2012

Mitt Romney's Not So Artful #Dodging

Last night's Fox News debate in South Carolina was another made-for-TV circus, and not surprisingly, Fox failed to do anything remotely meaningful with the Twitter data. But Twitter itself took the time to analyze and report on the real-time flow. Late last night, the company blog posted some interesting visualizations that demonstrate that it is possible to tease some signal from all the noise. Read More

FoxNews.com's Curious Math

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, January 16 2012

Micah writes: "In preparation for tonight's Republican presidential debate, which is featuring a collaboration between Fox News and Twitter similar to their last event using the hashtags #answer and #dodge to involve viewer feedback in the conversation, I went looking on the FoxNews.com website to see if there was any more information about how they were going to handle the Twitter feedback. (You may recall that last time around, this experiment was essentially a bust.)" Read More

Fox News' #Dodge #Answer Feedback Loop Flops In #IowaDebate

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, December 15 2011

The idea of inviting people to use tags like #dodge and #answer is a good one, and maybe if someone (Twitter?) runs the data afterwards they'll be able to tell us what the viewers were saying about particular responses by particular candidates. But in real-time, as displayed by Fox online, this information isn't usable. Read More

Inside the Data-Driven Debate

BY Nick Judd | Friday, September 23 2011

Over at Google's Public Sector blog, the Google team slices and dices real-time search data cross-referenced against last night's Fox/Google debate for Republican nominees, and finds that when candidates were quotable, ... Read More

Fox News/Google Team Up for GOP Debate; Also, Paint Dries on Walls

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, September 21 2011

Tomorrow, Thursday September 22nd, the internet will play a supporting role in the latest Republican presidential "debate," as Fox News's reporters will be asking some questions submitted by the public via YouTube. As ... Read More

Presidential Debates 2.0: It's Not Too Late to Open Up the Process

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, September 14 2011

Next week, on September 22nd, Fox News is teaming up with Google/YouTube to present a different kind of presidential debate. Or is it? Read More

After Hacking Attack, Fox News Twitter Account Falsely Claims Obama 'Assassinated'

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, July 5 2011

The Fox News Twitter account @foxnewspolitics was hacked over the weekend, and Fox News has said the hackers were behind a series of tweets sent on Monday that falsely said President Barack Obama had been assassinated. ... Read More

Can't. Log-in. To. The. Secret. Service. Twitter. Account. Anymore.

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, May 19 2011

The new-to-Twitter U.S. Secret Service calls an "our bad" on a staffer tweeting out, on their official @SecretService account, "Had to monitor Fox for a story. Can't. Deal. With. The. Blathering." The ... Read More

Daily Digest: The Well-Oiled Campaign Machine

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, July 17 2008

Bill Richardson and -- sooprise, sooprise -- Ron Paul come out on top of Slate's vice-presidential picker; the Obama campaign is, in the words of one Dean veteran, not innovative but "extraordinarily professional;" we ... 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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