Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Upcoming: PD+ Call on Women's Online Health Activism and Planned Parenthood

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, March 27 2012

I'm looking forward to this Thursday's Personal Democracy Plus call with Heather Holdridge and Deanna Zandt for a bunch of reasons. Obviously, the "internet wave" that is lifting all kinds of social activism boats is playing a big role in the politics of women's health care these days. As one of the country's biggest providers of health services to women and families, Planned Parenthood is inevitably in the middle of all of this. A year ago, when pressure in Congress to cut off federal funding to the organization started to hit a boiling point, Planned Parenthood saw a surge in membership, with more than a million new supporters joining. And more recently, in the four-day media firestorm that erupted when the Komen Foundation announced that it was withdrawing its funding of PP's breast-cancer program, the online arena was central to the pushback.

Holdridge and Zandt are ideal people to talk to for insight about these issues; Holdridge is PP's digital director, and comes to that position with years of experience advising and guiding other nonprofit groups navigating the online environment. And Zandt is a quintessential net-activist, who has been steadily perfecting a variety of creative ways of rallying and galvanizing the grassroots around a range of issues. In the most recent instance, the Komen controversy, Holdridge was on the inside at PP helping manage the organization's online response, while Zandt was on the outside, spreading a supportive message using a Tumblr called "Planned Parenthood Saved Me."

On the call, I'm aiming to get into three related areas:
1. How PP understands and navigates its online environment;
2. How grassroots ('free agent'?) activism around women's health issues is growing and using the social web; and
3. To what extent the social media toolkit (everything from Tumblr testimonial sites to Change.org petitions to Twitter hashtags, Facebook walls and viral videos) is becoming understood by organizers and a methodology is arising for how to move rapidly around media moments.

To join in, you should RSVP here to get the call details. It's Thursday at 1pm ET.

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

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

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

More