Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

First POST: Snark vs. Smarm

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, December 6 2013

Tom Scocca's must-read "On Smarm"; Upworthy had 87 million visitors last month; President Obama promises NSA reforms; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Root Causes

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, October 10 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus: Just how far has the Obama administration strayed from its promise to be the most open and transparent in history?; how government procurement practices led to the HealthCare.gov mess; Ari Fleischer's Twitter meltdown; and much, much more. Read More

Sean Parker: New Technology Can Diminish The Dominance Of Money In Politics

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, March 13 2012

Sean Parker's string of investments in the political technology space in recent years are rooted in the belief that lowering the cost of electioneering is the key to diminishing the corrupting influence of money in ... Read More

Malcolm Gladwell: It Wasn't Liberté, Égalité, Facebook, Now Was It?

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, March 30 2011

In an interview on CNN with Fareed Zakaria, Malcolm Gladwell re-ups on the idea that the social nature of modern communications doesn't have much to do with revolutions. "I can't look in the past at social ... Read More

The Internet vs the TSA: Is Civil Disobedience Next?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, November 15 2010

Is America on the verge of an airport travelers rebellion against the Transportation Safety Agency (TSA)? Read More

Facebook Politics Comes to Pepper Pike

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, October 7 2010

I wondered, can online politics be local? In a comment, Jill Zimon, recently-elected member of the Pepper Pike (OH) City Council, says, yes, absolutely: Read More

Can Online Politics Be Local?

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, October 5 2010

What makes "Facebook politics" inadaquete, muses Princeton's Julian Zelizer, is that it's not tied to particular spot on the map, which has always been the point around which social organizing pivots: The most ... Read More

Which Revolution Will Be Twittered?

BY Alan Rosenblatt | Saturday, October 2 2010

Cross posted from Huffington Post "The revolution will not be televised," said Gil Scott Heron. He was right. Television did not end the Vietnam War and create global peace. But television did expose our nation to the ... Read More

Strong Ties, Weak Ties and Obama's "New Reality"

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, October 1 2010

Former chief Obama campaign blogger Sam Graham-Felsen has a nice post up on Huffington Post today that's worth a read. It's notable especially because it validates a very tough criticism of Obama's political strategy ... 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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

More