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First POST: Malarkey

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, October 12 2012

Photo: Pete Souza / White House

Around the web

  • Joe Biden's use of the word "malarkey" caused waves online, including 30,000 out of the four million tweets about the debate. The highest number of tweets occured when Biden retorted, "Now you're Jack Kennedy?"

  • Malarkey was also a top searched term on Google. While "laughing" was a term associated with Biden, "shirtless" and "workout" were associated with Ryan. According to Google, the moment sparking the most searches was Biden's reference to his family.

  • According to Pew, one in ten Americans were following the first presidential debate not only on television, but also on a second screen.

  • The Obama campaign promoted the success of its ground game and called for more activity on its Dashboard online organizing platform on a recent conference call with supporters.

  • Activist groups are asking people to propose questions for the next presidential debate through a platform that the various debate hosts don't plan on using very much.

  • The Democratic National Committee fired an employee who appeared in a James O'Keefe video and appeared to endorse the idea of voting in two different states.

  • In a graphic, Google tracked searches for seven political issues and looked at which ones were used most commonly in which states, with, for example, searches for the term "abortion" high in Mississippi and Washington D.C., "Social Security" high in Florida and Arkansas and "gun control" high in Montana.

  • Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned yesterday that the U.S. faces the possibility of a “cyber-Pearl Harbor” and is increasingly vulnerable to computer hackers who intend to target sensitive systems, the New York Times reported. Earlier this week, the White House discussed cybersecurity with Senate aides, and Senator Joe Lieberman suggested that the president would sign an executive order within the next month.

  • A former deputy homeland security advisor to the President and a former deputy assistant secretary for policy at the Homeland Security Department argue that encryption is the key to safe cloud computing.

  • In honor of National Coming Out Day, 37 Members of Congress posed in photos for the NOH8 campaign.

  • Techcrunch's Gregory Ferenstein takes a critical look at Google's study on factchecking political issues online.

  • The oil industry is preparing to counter a Matt Damon film that is critical of fracking, with, among other efforts, a "truth squad" campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Ars Technica fact-checked the claims RIAA chair Cary Sherman made at this year's Personal Democracy Conference about the decline in the number of musicians.

  • The GAO published a report on how mobile devices collect location data and how federal actions could help further consumer privacy.

  • Privacy Caucus co-Chairs Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) expressed concern that the Digital Advertising Alliance is urging members to ignore the default-on Do Not Track settings in Microsoft's latest Internet Explorer browser.

  • In the Wall Street Journal, technology entrepreneur Christopher Schroeder argues that governments that treat the web as a threat can put economic development at risk.

  • A judge ruled that libraries who provide Google with books to scan are protected by fair use.

  • The military's highest court heard arguments on greater access to Bradley Manning's trial.

  • Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock has been trying to target his opponent, Joe Donnelly, on Twitter. There's just one problem: He's been after the wrong person named Joe Donnelly.

  • All Facebook highlighted how the Ending Spending Action Fund, a independent anti-Obama group backed by Joe Ricketts, uses Facebook Connect to create a personalized ad through an application developed by Republican firm Campaign Solutions.

  • The wife of the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Washington state tweeted video of the candidate dancing "Gangnam Style" while spanking himself. The candidate, Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna, trails his Democratic challenger.

  • Occupy protesters in Georgia protested alongside police officers in the case of a retired officer who is faced with losing her home to foreclosure.

  • ABC News and Yahoo News together are reaching the largest digital audience.

  • The New York Times recently reported on how changes to the Social Security death records are harming research of various kinds.

  • A Marketwatch contributor links the inaccessibility of the latest season of Downton Abbey via the web as it airs in Britain to the debate over public broadcasting which airs the show in the U.S. but won't broacast until the new year. "We can no longer blame distance or time or technology for the delays. The program is actually available to us, and people over there are sitting down and working out ways to stop us seeing it ... It’s insulting to viewers to have these artificial barriers."

  • Wikileaks seems to have put up a paywall of sorts for new Global Intelligence files it says it is releasing related to the presidential campaign, and seemes to have angered some Anonymous supporters.

  • Reddit has blocked links by Gawker from its politics section, after a Gawker journalist threatened to reveal the identity behind a man running Reddit's "creepshots", "beatingwomen" and "jailbait" forums.

  • Companies like Time Warner and AT&T would like to get the same benefits that Google is getting for offering its high-speed fiber Internet, the Wall Street Journal reported.

  • Pandodaily highlighted how Google and Microsoft are encouraging connectivity through free wifi offerings in various cities.

  • MSNBC reported on how the Newark school district has been using Mark Zuckerberg's large-dollar gift, two years on.

  • Rane Johnson-Stempson, principal research director for education and scholarly communication for Microsoft Research Connections, wrote about attending a presidential reception on combating human trafficking and how technology can help in those efforts.

  • Google announced a new online collection of material dedicated to Jewish issues with materials from the Anne Frank House, the Polish History Museum, the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Foundation France Israel and Yad Vashem.

  • Mother Jones recently featured a photo essay of Libya taken with nothing but an iPhone.

  • The European Union is launching a new clean energy campaign with a social media component with a social media and online component called World You Like.

  • A British web company founded by the British Conservative Party chairman was taken down ahead of the party conference, also removing from the web details about an alter ego he had taken on, the Guardian reported.

  • The Communist Party of Nepal demanded that cinemas stop playing Bollywood films for 10 days to protest India's growing influence in the country.

  • The Washington Post reported how the popularity of Gangnam Style is reflecting positively on South Korea's brand.

News Briefs

RSS Feed wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.


The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.


tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

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.


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

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.


monday >

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

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.


friday >

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

thursday >

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

YouTube has been blocked in Pakistan by executive order since September 2012, after the “blasphemous” video Innocence of Muslims started riots in the Middle East. Since then, civil society organizations and Internet rights advocacy groups like Bolo Bhi and Bytes for All have been working to lift the ban. Last August the return of YouTube seemed imminent—the then-new IT Minister Anusha Rehman spoke optimistically and her party, which had won the majority a few months before, was said to be “seriously contemplating” ending the ban. And yet since then, Rehman and her party, the conservative Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), have done everything in their power to maintain the status quo.


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

In the #NotABugSplat campaign that launched this week, a group of American, French and Pakistani artists sought to raise awareness of the effects of drone strikes by placing a field-sized image of a young girl, orphaned when a drone strike killed her family, in a heavily targeted region of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Its giant size is visible to those who operate drone strikes as well as in satellite imagery. GO

Boston and Cambridge Move Towards More Open Data

The Boston City Council is now considering an ordinance which would require Boston city agencies and departments to make government data available online using open standards. Boston City Councilor At Large Michelle Wu, who introduced the legislation Wednesday, officially announced her proposal Monday, the same day Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued an executive order establishing an open data policy under which all city departments are directed to publish appropriate data sets under established accessibility, API and format standards. GO

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

Reuters reports that even after a Turkish court ruled to lift the ban on YouTube, Turkey's telecommunications companies continue to block the video sharing site.