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NYTimes Matt Bai on "Flash Movements" of the Left and Right

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, February 14 2012

According to Matt Bai, the chief political correspondent for the New York Times Magazine, the progressive netroots upsurge of the mid-2000s and the rise of the Tea Party from 2009 to present are two variations on a common theme: they are "flash movements" born of online connections, cathartic urges and the devaluation of expertise. And unlike the big social movements of the past, he said both movements were merely oppositional and "ephemeral," unlikely to bring big changes to government. Read More

Crowdsourcing the Apocalypse

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, November 16 2010

You know what Howard Dean and Sarah Palin have in common? Both, finds the New York Times Magazine's Matt Bai, are crowd-sourced candidates who, finding themselves "buffeted in a digital storm of emotion," ... Read More

McCaskill Responds to Bai

BY Nancy Scola | Saturday, May 9 2009

Claire McCaskill has an appropriately short and effectively sweet response to Matt Bai's disapproving take on Twitter's growing popularity in Washington politics. Hitting politicians for inane tweeting is something like ... Read More

Twitter and Politics: What Matt Bai Doesn't Get

BY Micah L. Sifry | Sunday, April 26 2009

First Maureen Dowd writes a (justly parodied) silly diss of Twitter, and now Matt Bai, who covers politics for the Times Sunday Magazine, offers his own misreading of Twitter's importance for politics. Read More

Bai on "Digital Democracy": Not Fairytale, But Not Quite True. Yet.

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, March 12 2009

Over on the demurely-named Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, New York Time Magazine political writer Matt Bai has a review of Matthew Hindman's new book, "The Myth of Digital Democracy." Hindman's argument is that ... Read More

Losing Language Control, Not Message Control

BY Alan Rosenblatt | Thursday, December 27 2007

Colin Delany's comments on Matt Bai's recent NYT article reminds me of so many conversations I have had about how Google killed message control. For a long time, I have argued that campaigns cannot control their message ... Read More

The Rise of the Democratic Philanthocracy

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, September 25 2007

Google the words “DailyKos” and you’ll get about 2.6 million results. Google the words “Democracy Alliance” and you’ll get about 44,000 hits, and from them you won’t find out much. That's why I'm writing to ... Read More

Daily Digest: 9/24/07

BY Joshua Levy | Monday, September 24 2007

Jose Antonio Vargas reviews Matt Bai's The Argument; according to CBS Evening News, the majority of Americans still get their political news from the newspaper; the Huffington Post/Slate/Yahoo "Mashup" debate was viewed ... Read More

Daily Digest: 9/4/07

BY Joshua Levy | Tuesday, September 4 2007

Profiling the passions and energies of Ron Paul supporters; buzzing about Matt Bai's "The Argument"; seven post-Labor Day questions about the presidential race, plus a few suggestions from us; and catching up with Mitt ... Read More

Daily Digest 8/8/07

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, August 8 2007

The open-sourcing of debate planning; the debate on the online Right; the demographics of the online Left; the ongoing decline of newspapers; another exploitative video; and whose website is winning the most attention... ... Read More

News Briefs

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Civic Hackers Call on de Blasio to Fill Technology Vacancies

New York City technology advocates on Wednesday called on the de Blasio administration to fill vacancies in top technology policy positions, expressing some frustration at the lack of a leadership team to implement a cohesive technology strategy for the city. GO

China's Porn Purge Has Only Just Begun, And Already Sina Is Stripped of Publication License

It seems that China is taking spring cleaning pretty seriously. On April 13 they launched their most recent online purge, “Cleaning the Web 2014,” which will run until November. The goal is to rid China's Internet of pornographic text, pictures, video, and ads in order to “create a healthy cyberspace.” More than 100 websites and thousands of social media accounts have already been closed, after less than a month. Today the official Xinhua news agency reported that the authorities have stripped the Internet giant Sina (of Sina Weibo, the popular microblogging site) of its online publication license. This crackdown on porn comes on the heels of a crackdown on “rumors.” Clearly, this spring cleaning isn't about pornography, it's about censorship and control.

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wednesday >

Another Co-Opted Hashtag: #MustSeeIran

The Twitter hashtag #MustSeeIran was created to showcase Iran's architecture, landscapes, and would-be tourist destinations. It was then co-opted by activists to bring attention to human rights abuses and infringements. Now Twitter is home to two starkly different portraits of a country. GO

What Has the EU Ever Done For Us?: Countering Euroskepticism with Viral Videos and Monty Python

Ahead of the May 25 European Elections, the most intense campaigning may not be by the candidates or the political parties. Instead, some of the most passionate campaigns are more grassroots efforts focused on for a start stirring up the interest of the European electorate. GO

At NETmundial Brazil: Is "Multistakeholderism" Good for the Internet?

Today and tomorrow Brazil is hosting NETmundial, a global multi-stakeholder meeting on the future of Internet governance. GO

Brazilian President Signs Internet Bill of Rights Into Law at NetMundial

Earlier today Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff sanctioned Marco Civil, also called the Internet bill of rights, during the global Internet governance event, NetMundial, in Brazil.

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Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us launched with big ambitions and star appeal, hoping to crack the code on how to get millions of people to pool their political passions through their platform. When that ambition stalled, its founder Nathan Daschle--son of the former Senator--decided to pivot to offering political candidates an easy-to-use free web platform for organizing and fundraising. Now the new Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com for help. GO

Armenian Legislators: You Can Be As Anonymous on the 'Net As You Like—Until You Can't

A proposed bill in Armenia would make it illegal for media outlets to include defamatory remarks by anonymous or fake sources, and require sites to remove libelous comments within 12 hours unless they identify the author.

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The Good Wife Looks for the Next Snowden and Outwits the NSA

Even as the real Edward Snowden faces questions over his motives in Russia, another side of his legacy played out for the over nine million viewers of last night's The Good Wife, which concluded its season long storyline exploring NSA surveillance. In the episode titled All Tapped Out, one young NSA worker's legal concerns lead him to becoming a whistle-blower, setting off a chain of events that allows the main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), and her husband, Illinois Governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), to turn the tables on the NSA using its own methods. GO

The Expanding Reach of China's Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring Site, Danger Maps

Last week billionaire businessman Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, appealed to his “500 million-strong army” of consumers to help monitor water quality in China. Inexpensive testing kits sold through his company can be used to measure pH, phosphates, ammonia, and heavy metal levels, and then the data can be uploaded via smartphone to the environmental monitoring site Danger Maps. Although the initiative will push the Chinese authorities' tolerance for civic engagement and activism, Ethan Zuckerman has high hopes for “monitorial citizenship” in China.

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The 13 Worst Bits of Russia's Current and Maybe Future Internet Legislation

It appears that Russia is on the brink of passing still more repressive Internet regulations. A new telecommunications bill that would require popular blogs—those with 3,000 or more visits a day—to join a government registry and conform to government-mandated standards is expected to pass this week. What follows is a list of the worst bits of both proposed and existing Russian Internet law. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed anything.

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