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Why Facebook's 'Voter Megaphone' Is the Real Manipulation to Worry About

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, July 3 2014

Two years ago, on the morning of the 2012 election in the United States, I got an email with an urgent subject line: "You should write the story of how Facebook blew an opportunity to turn out 300k voters." The sender, a veteran progressive online activist who would prefer to remain anonymous, was upset for good reason. The election was bound to be close, and as of 10am that morning he hadn't yet seen an "I'm Voting" button on his Facebook page, nor had another colleague of his. Nor was one on my own Facebook page. Given that when Facebook deployed a similar "I Voted" button in 2010, and added messages in users' News Feeds showing them the names and faces of friends who had said they voted, the cumulative effect boosted turnout then by at least 340,000 votes, these activists had good reason to be concerned. Facebook had announced that it was going to do the same thing in 2012, and this time around its American user base had grown enormously, from 61 million to more than 160 million. A social and visible nudge like an "I 'm Voting" button had the potential to measurably increase turnout, even more so as Facebook was including a useful tool to help people find their polling places. And yet on Election Day 2012 its deployment was far from universal. Facebook was conducting research on us. Read More

WeGov

Facebook Rolls Out Voter Megaphone Internationally

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, May 21 2014

(Facebook)

Facebook is rolling out a revamped version of its "I'm a Voter" tool internationally after a successful test run in the recent Indian elections, beginning with the European Parliament elections that run from Thursday to ... Read More

Campaigns & Elections Magazine Announces "CampaignTech Innovators"

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, April 5 2012

Campaigns & Elections magazine has announced its 2012 CampaignTech Innovators in the areas of campaigns, advocacy, Capitol Hill and nonpartisan innovation. Candidates are nominated by their peers. The winners "all demonstrate a visionary approach to the future of digital politics and advocacy," according to Campaigns and Elections. The recipients will officially receive the awards on April 19 at the CampaignTech Conference in Washington D.C., and most of the names will be familiar to regular techPresident readers. Read More

The Pocket Campaign: Mobile Politics in 2012

BY Jack Harris | Monday, March 26 2012

Toronto mayoral candidate Rocco Rossi canvasses with an iPad in 2010. Photo: Rocco Rossi

The past two years offer several fresh, new examples of how causes and campaigns willing to experiment with mobile technology reported back that they were rewarded with a network of more engaged, more empowered volunteers. Last year, for example, activists fought tooth-and-nail in several states around ballot initiatives and recall efforts. In those fights, often for the first time, grassroots organizers began to ask volunteers to work on their phones and tablets. At the same time, candidates in 2011 local and congressional races took advantage of mobile tools and tactics that had been developed in higher-profile races in prior years, but had now become cost-effective for the small campaign. This special report updates that tranche of examples with case studies from across the country. Each one explores how mobile technology has become part of the organizing, messaging and fund-raising strategy of some tech-savvy causes and campaigns. Read More

Politics is Mobile, According to New Pew Report

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, December 23 2010

As much as 26 percent of the adult American population may have engaged with the midterm elections using their mobile phone, according to a study released today by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Online ... Read More

Join Rudy joins us in the modern world

BY David All | Tuesday, September 4 2007

As the Washington Post reported, this past weekend visitors to Rudy Giuliani's campaign website (www.joinrudy2008.com) came face-to-face with a placeholder which read, "Happy Labor Day Weekend! JoinRudy2008.com is down ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

First POST: Front Pagers

How Facebook's trending topics feed is wrecking political news; debating the FBI's need for an encrypted phone "backdoor"; democratizing crisis data; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Tracking

Questions about whether Whisper is secretly tracking its users' secrets; the FBI's continued push against the new wave of encrypted phones; community service, high-tech-mogul-style; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Hosts

Airbnb in hot water in NYC; Knight Prototype Fund backs some civic tech projects; pondering Google's position on net neutrality; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Africa Calling

How some techies are starting to respond to the Ebola crisis; everything you need to know about GamerGate; how Twitter may upset the 2015 UK elections; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Burrowing

How Democratic candidates down-ballot are getting access to the same voter targeting tools used by larger campaigns; Microsoft Bing rolls out its election prediction program; Edward Snowden's first emails to Laura Poitras; and much, much more. GO

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