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WeGov

The App That Builds Trust Into Citizen Media

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, December 12 2013

What did I tell you about not believing everything you see on the Internet? (Flickr/@Doug88888)

Don't trust everything you find on the Internet.

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WeGov

Tech Journos in Iran Arrested For "Contact With Foreign Media," Among Other Charges

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, December 10 2013

Screenshot of video of a state TV broadcast

In the past three weeks 24 journalists, bloggers and technologists at online media companies have been arrested by Iran's elite force of revolutionary guards. Yesterday, some of those arrested appeared on state television, handcuffed and with their faces to the wall, obscuring their identity.

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WeGov

International Human Rights Day in Vietnam Marked By Launch of Blogger Network

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, December 10 2013

Vietnam Flag (Wikipedia)

Today a coalition of Vietnamese bloggers launched the Network of Vietnamese Bloggers (NVB), a new advocacy and watchdog group that will hold the Vietnamese government accountable for their United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) obligations and commitments. The launch was set for December 10 to coincide with International Human Rights Day.

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WeGov

Japanese PM Thinks His People Just Don't Understand The State Secrecy Bill

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, December 9 2013

Shinzo Abe shakes hands with President Bush (Wikipedia)

In spite of objections from human rights activists and members of the media around the world, Japan's upper chamber made the controversial State Secrecy Protection Bill law in a “raucous, late-night session” last Friday, December 6, Reuters reports. The House of Representatives passed the bill on November 26. Under the new law, state employees could be jailed for up to 10 years if they leak secrets, and journalists could be jailed for up to five if they use “grossly inappropriate” tactics to uncover state secrets. The passage of the bill has sparked uncharacteristically large protests in a country where protesters have often been considered a part of the political fringe.

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WeGov

Twitter Angling For More International Users

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, December 6 2013

Twitter on any phone, even the 'dumb' ones (Flickr/Angga Satriya)

Twitter is following Facebook and Google's lead in creating an avenue for feature phone users to access their service, even without an Internet connection. They have partnered with the Singapore-based company U2opia Mobile, Reuters reports.

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WeGov

Pakistanis Show Their Love For YouTube in Vimeo Video

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, December 5 2013

Screenshot from the Hugs for Youtube! video

Although YouTube (the website) has been banned in Pakistan for more than a year now, that didn't keep YouTube (the mascot) from walking the streets of Karachi last month, asking for hugs from Pakistanis who want the video sharing site back. The self-described citizens resistance forum Pakistan for All filmed the stunt as part of their #KholoBC campaign, which opposes Internet censorship and content regulation by the government.

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WeGov

After "Recognizing" Kosovo, Facebook Denies Political Agency

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, November 26 2013

Until 2008 Kosovo didn't have its own flag. Now it also has Facebook status. (matt.lutton/flickr)

After Facebook finally listed Kosovo as its own country, rather than lumping it together with Serbia, from which it declared independence more than five years ago, the Kosovo Minister of European Integration, Vlora Citaku, tweeted that Facebook “recognizes” Kosovo as a state, and tagged her comment #digitaldiplomacy. When Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reached out to Facebook for comment, however, the company was quick to distance itself from any political agency that it might be ascribed.

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Hacking the Hunger Games Marketing Campaign in the Name of Social Justice

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, November 25 2013

Will these three fingers mean as much in the real world as they do in Panem?

“Remember who the real enemy is,” implores Katniss Everdeen's mentor and friend, Haymitch Abernathy, in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It is his succinct reminder that the Capitol, and not her fellow Hunger Games competitors, is the real bad guy. It is a message almost entirely lost in the media coverage and marketing campaign surrounding Catching Fire. The Harry Potter Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy organization, is trying to remedy that with a campaign called Odds In Our Favor that highlights the similarities between the inequities of fictional Panem and present-day America. So far, thousands have participated by uploading selfies in which they hold up the three finger salute that symbolizes solidarity and resistance against 'the few who control the many.'

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WeGov

Iran's Foreign Minister Talks Free Will, Dignity, Standing Your Ground on YouTube

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, November 19 2013

“Imagine being told that you cannot do what everyone else is doing, what everyone else is allowed to do. Will you back down? Would you relent? Or would you stand your ground.”

These are some of the opening questions from Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in a message on the “unnecessary crisis” over nuclear energy, which was posted on YouTube today.

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WeGov

Interactive Gallery of Images Censored on Sina Weibo

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, November 15 2013

Bo Xilai has his own category of censored photos (Wikipedia)

Yesterday ProPublica launched an interactive photo gallery of all of the images deleted since May from the popular Chinese microblogging site, Sina Weibo. In those five months, a program has been checking 100 Weibo accounts, noting which posts contain an image and of those, which are deleted. Of the 80,000 posts collected, more than 5 percent (roughly 4,200) were deleted.

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