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First POST: Kicking Off

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, March 3 2014

The latest from the Ukraine-Russia crisis, filtered through social media; PandoDaily's continued war on Pierre Omidyar and his First Look Media; how Twitter won the Oscar's; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Collections

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, January 13 2014

The collection of phone meta-data would not have stopped any terrorist attacks since 9-11, says a New America Foundation study; Christie's aides are hardly the only political hacks using personal email to avoid public records laws; Matthew Burton explains how the CFPB's experience can help other govies make better web products; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: This Town

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, September 4 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribersIs Washington too obsessed with itself to gauge public opinion on Syria correctly?; Al Gore's incredibly shrinking climate change group; and the best executive director monthly report you've ever seen; plus much, much more. Read More

User-Generated Online Video Swamping Official Obama, Romney Content on YouTube

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, August 27 2012

From the beginning of the 2011-2012 U.S. Presidential election campaign in April 2011, there have nearly 2 billion views of videos tagged about Barack Obama or Mitt Romney on YouTube, Ramya Raghavan of YouTube Politics blogged today. The political campaigns are swimming in a sea of user-generated content, even moreso than in 2008. Read More

Do Sen. McCain's Tweets Hint at a Future Presidential Endorsement?

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, December 8 2011

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has said that he isn't going to endorse any Republican presidential candidate any time soon, but he may have blown his cover with a recent series of tweets. Though the Arizona senator was ... Read More

Long Island's Online Posse Includes Chuck Schumer

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, December 1 2011

Minor uproar over a joke by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) about Long Island played out on Twitter yesterday. On the Senate floor, McCain, referring to a Supreme Court case, commented, "Isn't it true that Justice O'Connor ... Read More

John McCain Considers Twitter

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, April 6 2011

Apropos, perhaps, of this whole discussion of how P.J. Crowley's tweeting post-State Department, Sen. John McCain seemed to be in awe of the power of Twitter and other online communication tools of the modern age at a ... Read More

The Art and Craft of Building McCain's Twitter Base

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, September 23 2010

In a sadly overlooked comment on a post last month about that "John McCain is a Twitter genius" report, Stan Olshefski smartly points out that some part of McCain's 1.7 million follower base came about through ... Read More

Reinventing John McCain...dot com

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, February 5 2010

Credit: Forty 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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