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First POST: Nothing In Here About the iPad Mini

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, October 24 2012

Do we really want open, transparent politics?

  • In years past, campaigns might have asked supporters to call their friends or knock on doors in their neighborhoods to get out the vote. This year, campaigns are asking supporters to reach out to specific friends, either people who the campaign knows are living in swing states or who appear in a campaign database as a likely voter, after looking through each supporter's Facebook friends list. It's the latest example of experiments powered by the increasing utility of voter data, which wasn't always available in such a comprehensive form and may be getting more accurate as states improve their record-keeping. And it also shows how campaigns are using strategies informed by research that indicates peer pressure, including on Facebook, gets out the vote. In theory, if not in practice, your political history has always been public. Now what used to be private for all intents and purposes is becoming as known to everyone as your latest Facebook post. Is this a new day for democracy, or is it just creepy?

Around the web


  • Nieman Lab explored the greater global context of the New York Times' plan to launch a Portuguese-language site aimed at Brazil.

  • Brazilian newspapers have pulled out of Google News because they say the search engine has not paid for content and is taking away traffic from their websites.

  • The European Parliament has endorsed stricter European export control of digital arms.

  • While a counter-terrorism expert said that being able to access criminal suspects' communications is key to succesful prosecutions, a journalist told a parliamentary commitee reviewing plans for a British online surveillance bill that the plan could lead to a police state.

  • British authorities have been using drones in the high-profile search of a missing five-year-old.

  • A Greek right-wing deputy has been stripped of his immunity by parliament after videos posted online showed him helping to smash stalls of vendors that he and others claimed were operating without permits, the AP reported.

  • Iranian media officials have expressed anger that Europe‚Äôs largest satellite providers have ceased transmission of 19 Iranian state-operated satellite television and radio channels that broadcast to Europe and parts of the Middle East to comply with tougher EU sanctions against Iran.

  • The British ambassador to Chile apologized for posting an anti-Argentine tweet with a message used by Chileans to mock Argentina's defeat in the Falklands war ahead of a football game between Argentina and Chile.

  • A Turkish musician is facing charges for insulting Islam in Twitter posts.

  • The mother of a Belarusian man who was executed has begun an online campaign against the death penalty in the country, with the support of Dmitry Savelov, the eastern Europe and Central Asia coordinator for

  • A Cairo court has postponed proceedings in the case of a 27-year old charged with posting the controversial anti-Islam video "Innocence of Muslims" on Facebook.