You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

First POST: Info-Kale

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, February 2 2015

How the net neutrality movement went from "stop" to "go"; Facebook's ongoing effort to make News Feed more nutritious; inside Vladimir Putin's social media army; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Monkeying

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, January 22 2015

Net neutrality proponents call foul on the GOP's plans; StandUnited.com seeks to be the right's Change.org; tons of civic tech news from mySociety, Chicago and Civic Hall in NYC; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Punch List

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, January 21 2015

Obama's State of the Union and the Internet; how HealthCare.gov shares personal data with third-parties; Facebook says it will give users tools to tag false or hoax content in their News Feeds; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Phubbing

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, December 4 2014

How the NSA taps worldwide cellphone networks (and makes them more vulnerable); why Uber-fans should stop beating up on government; how NYC's new free Wi-Fi program might accentuate inequality; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Sentimental

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, November 10 2014

Why 2016 is going to be "the Facebook election"; why Berlin has become the global hub for anti-surveillance culture; how some American cities are fighting to expand their public broadband services; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Inventions

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, October 27 2014

How voter data-sharing among GOP heavyweights is still lagging; why Facebook's News Feed scares news publishers; Google's ties to the State Department; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Front Pagers

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, October 20 2014

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. Read More

First POST: Angry News Feed

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, July 23 2014

How Facebook's News Feed may be accentuating negative political polarization; new tools for visualizing political corruption; how posting your cat's photo online gives away your location; and much, much more. Read More

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

First POST: Contagious

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, June 30 2014

Facebook's manipulation of its users' News Feeds makes news; the new NSA director shrugs at Snowden while protests grow; how the Supreme Court's Riley decision may affect government surveillance practices; and much, much more. Read More