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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

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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.

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Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

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Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

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In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

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In Pakistan, A Hypocritical Gov't Ignores Calls To End YouTube Ban

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The #NotABugSplat Campaign Aims to Give Drone Operators Pause Before They Strike

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Boston and Cambridge Move Towards More Open Data

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YouTube Still Blocked In Turkey, Even After Courts Rule It Violates Human Rights, Infringes on Free Speech

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The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg struck down a data retention law Tuesday that required telecoms to keep customers' communications data for up to two years, declaring it violated privacy rights. However, experts warn that the ruling will have no automatic effect on relevant laws in member states, which could lead to “messy consequences.”

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