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The Day We - But Not Wikipedia - Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, February 11 2014

Screen shot of the defunct Wikipedia planning page for The Day We Fight Back

Drop by the Wikipedia main page today and you will find a featured article on the constellation Perseus. Conspicuously absent is The Day We Fight Back banner so many other websites like reddit, Boing Boing, and Upworthy are flying. Nor did they set Edward Snowden as the featured article, as someone suggested in a thread on what, if any, action should be taken today. Although it was discussed in multiple Wikipedia forums, no consensus was ever reached, and so Wikipedia is sitting this one out.

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WeGov

Pakistanis Take Refuge in Social Media Campaigning Before Election

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, May 8 2013

Screengrab from the Official MQM Twitter page

In the days leading up to Pakistan’s general election on May 11, politicians from the three major secular parties have been forced, by violent attacks on political rallies that have caused more than a hundred deaths, to stop holding political events in public areas. Instead, they have come to rely on Facebook and Twitter as a campaign platform. Read More

The Three Different Meanings of "Internet Activism"

BY Nick Judd | Friday, January 4 2013

In an article for its upcoming print edition, Economist discovers the politics of the Internet. In an extended primer appearing in its Jan. 5 print edition, the venerable magazine explores the world of Internet freedom activists — people who love the Internet as it is and view the fight to preserve freedom of information as political trench warfare across multiple theaters: before state regulators, in corporate boardrooms, in Congress, in the court of public opinion, and in the design of the hardware and programming of the software that keeps the Internet running.

The piece is worth a read, but the Economist has trouble sussing out two or three different forces at play when it comes to "Internet activism."

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About SOPA, Law Prof Asks: Is Corporate Political Speech Suddenly Okay With You?

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, January 18 2012

UCLA Law School professor Eugene Volokh challenges the idea that people who like today's "blackout" protests by Internet companies can also dislike the now-lowered limits on corporate speech thanks to the Citizens United decision. Read More

Dave Winer asks, 'Did Politics Just Change?'

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, October 12 2011

Dave Winer suggests that, if the Occupy protests are a sign of things to come, then the future of politics will be completely digital: If politics has changed, it's now in the domain of tech, completely. You won't use ... Read More

A Look at #OccupyWallStreet's Internet-Powered Protest Engine

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, October 4 2011

Occupy Wall Street protesters march on the Brooklyn Bridge on Oct. 1. Photo: blulaces / Flickr Vanessa Zettler moved to New York from Brazil about a year ago, and says she was among the first to find out that Occupy Wall ... Read More

#OccupyWallStreet Protesters Turn Online to Organize

BY Nick Judd | Monday, September 19 2011

Protesters on Wall Street on Sept. 17. Photo: Paul Weiskel / Flickr Hundreds of people converged on Wall Street this weekend to protest corporate influence over politics, an event that began Saturday after a call to ... Read More

New Crowdfunding Site Promises to Be a Kickstarter for K Street

BY Nick Judd | Monday, September 12 2011

For years, many Internet activists have gone online to counter the influence of real-world lobbyists. Soon, though, they may go online to hire their own lobbying muscle instead. A coming website, YouLobby, is expected to ... Read More

In Vancouver, Riot Cleanup -- and Consequences -- on Twitter and Facebook

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 16 2011

Flickr user Matthew Grapengieser shares this image of the violence in Vancouver, B.C. after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup Final on June 15. Sometimes, Internet activists want to protect people who take to the streets ... Read More

News Briefs

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NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

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