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

More Progressives Target Zuckerberg on Facebook over FWD.us

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, May 8 2013

Progressives United, the political action committee founded by former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, is coordinating the latest push by progressive groups against the advertising tactics of FWD.us, the pro-immigration advocacy group backed by Mark Zuckerberg and other technology companies.

After initial protest efforts by groups such as Credo and the Sierra Club, Progressives United reached out to those to those organizations and others, said Josh Orton, spokesperson for Progressives United. That coalition, which also includes MoveOn, Democracy For America, Daily Kos, the League of Conservation Voters, 350.org, Presente, Environmental Action and UltraViolet, vowed in an announcement yesterday that for a minimum of two weeks, they would pull their paid Facebook ad campaigns and hold purchases of new ad campaigns.

That also applies to the coalition's own advocacy efforts on Facebook itself, said Orton. A Facebook page backed by the coalition with the message "Tell FWD.us and Mark Zuckerberg: Pull Your Dirty Ads" has over 11,700 supporters, and Orton said the growth is coming through outreach to e-mail lists and other efforts, and not promoted posts or campaigns.

The aim of the effort is not "bankrupting Facebook," Orton said. "The point of this is to send a political message to Zuckerberg...[Zuckerberg and other technology leaders] have a legitimate story about why they support immigration reform ... We are protesting their tactics."

With its advertisements backing Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and in favor of the Keystone Pipeline, progressive issues such as the environment and health care reform are being "thrown under the bus" by FWD.us, he said.

"We think it's bad strategy executed poorly," Orton went on to say. Running those ads is condescending, he said, implying that people in those states were too naive to have a proper discussion about the immigration issue.

"The ads are not about immigration and have nothing to do with immigration reform," he said, and draw on "Tea Party" rhetoric from the 2010 election with references to "Chicago-style politics" and "wasteful stimulus spending." If Zuckerberg does not hold those views, Orton said, "the approach is entirely cynical and transactional."

But even with Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook as a target of the campaign, Orton said the use of Facebook's own tools was a self-evident strategy. "We're winking towards the irony of it," he said. "You have to go where the people are."

The ideal outcome, he said, would be "for them to change strategies and admit this cynical route is not the way to go." Orton added that there "are some indications that Facebook is starting to take notice," but said he could not expand on that at this time.

"We recognize that not everyone will always agree with or be pleased by our strategy – FWD.us remains totally committed to supporting a bipartisan policy agenda that will boost the knowledge economy, including comprehensive immigration reform," FWD.us spokesperson Kate Hanson wrote in an e-mail to techPresident.

On its Facebook page, FWD.us is raising awareness about tomorrow's Senate hearings on immigration reform. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) today contributed an opinion piece to TechCrunch in support of immigration reform.

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

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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

More