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First POST: Bitrot

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, February 17 2012

  • A photo yesterday showing that only men were present at a Congressional hearing yesterday regarding contraception quickly went viral. Planned Parenthood shared the photo, which looks to be a screen capture of a video feed from the hearing, on Facebook with the comment, "These are the witnesses testifying on the birth control benefit right now on Capitol Hill. What is wrong with this picture?" The photo has now been shared over 19,000 times. The image was also posted on sites like Jezebel, where it was liked or shared 5,000 times on Facebook, Thinkprogress, the Huffington Post, Rachel Maddow's blog, and others. Planned Parenthood also retweeted a commented by a Philadelphia Weekly writer, "Inspired by @DarrellIssa, I'm holding a panel on the rights of mice. Inviting 9 cats to speak #bc4us." The DCCC started a petition, "Where are the women?"

  • Maybe you've seen the "What I Do" meme on Facebook, the point of which seems to be to explain how woefully misunderstood and underappreciated the poster's occupation is. The meme has spread to politics and around the world. Here's a take on Occupy Wall Street, shared over 3,000 times. In Germany, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung created a version today after the German President Christian Wulff announced his resignation following months of allegations about business favors and an attempt to influence coverage in a tabloid. In their meme he sees himself as President Obama and journalists see him as the Godfather. In two hours, it's been shared over 4,400 times.

  • While the March 1st Republican presidential primary debate has been cancelled, since candidates Ron Paul and Mitt Romney declined to attend the Atlanta event and of the four candidates, only Newt Gingrich stated he would attend, Jay Rosen and his students at NYU's Studio 20 program analyzed all the questions asked at the previous debates as part of the Citizens Agenda project. They compared the kinds of questions journalists ask and the questions voters in the audience ask, and noted that Mitt Romney's (and Jon Huntman's) faith hardly seemed to get any mention at all.

  • Google has been looking at global searches for the Republican presidential candidates and searches for budget related items.

  • The Ron Paul campaign raised $1.2 million on Valentine’s Day through a money bomb fund-raiser.

  • Buzzfeed notes the longstanding Mitt Romney fan site Mitt Romney Central.

  • Representatives from Wikileaks are being denied a part in a UNESCO conference on “The Media World after Wikileaks and News of the World.” UNESCO stated that the decision to prevent Wikileaks representatives from attending is their right under “freedom of expression.”

  • Techdirt notes that the Justice Department seeks $5 million for copyright enforcement.

  • The Atlantic reports that nearly 10 percent of the social media documentation of the Egyptian revolution has vanished. With the digital content having been removed, certain Tweets from the uprising are now only documented in physical form.

  • The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is investigating two Chinese telecommunication companies over their alleged cooperation with the Chinese government to steal “intellectual property from foreign commercial competitors.”

  • Politico reports that Rick Santorum is using Rush Limbaugh to target voters in Michigan. Through a Google web ad, users in Michigan are encouraged to “Hear What Rush Says” and click on a link that takes them to a page on Santorum’s site that both provides a Limbaugh quote and solicits donations from the user.

  • Joseph Patrick Kennedy III announced on YouTube that he would be running for the House seat currently held by Barney Frank. Frank has announced his intent to retire.

  • The European Court of Justice ruled that social networks cannot be required to install an anti-piracy filtering system.

  • The president of the European Council is surprisingly popular with an account on the Chinese microblog service Weibo.

  • No. 10 Downing Street has released photos on Flickr marking a year of residence of Larry the cat, who according to news reports was "recruited" to address a mouse problem.

  • Participants in the European Police Congress discussed how the Internet is playing an ever greater role in data-sharing among the European countries.

  • Chinese hackers are suspected in a long-term breach of Nortel Networks.

  • Racist comments appeared on Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu's Facebook page after a crash of a bus with Palestinian children.

  • The A.P. notes how the leaders in the Syrian opposition use Skype to communicate with fighters on the ground.

With Raphael Majma

News Briefs

RSS Feed 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.

GO

tuesday >

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.

GO

monday >

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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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.

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