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First POST: Displaced

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, March 31 2014

Displaced

  • In case you missed it, the latest Twitter storm this weekend was over a bad joke comedian Stephen Colbert made in the course of making fun of Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder. The joke, which played off of Colbert's stereotype of an anti-Asian bigot, got repeated without context by his show's Comedy Central account, triggering a #CancelColbert trend. Here's Variety's story on the uproar, Twitter activist Suey Park's piece in Time about her anti-Colbert efforts, a piece in Deadspin bashing Park for overplaying the issue, and David Karpf's judicious sum-up, which he titled "Hashtag Activism Isn't Activism."

  • In Salon, Andrew O'Hehir takes a step back from the #CancelColbert controversy and suggests that "the intense and overheated focus on misbegotten tweets and malformed public utterances [functions] as displaced energy, reflecting the fact that the official political system is completely paralyzed and meaningful social and economic change seems unachievable."

  • Cyrus Farivar lets Ars Technica track his daily user logins for 11 days, and the resulting metadata is--not all that surprisingly--quite detailed.

  • Check out Tactical Tech's MyShadow.org if you want to see how much of a digital trail you leave as your traverse the web and how to make it smaller.

  • The Boston Globe's Marcella Bombardieri examines MIT's handling of the Aaron Swartz case, uncovering new emails that show some university employees praising prosecutor Stephen Heymann for his indictment of the young activist.

  • Writing on his personal blog, Mark Surman, Mozilla's executive director, addresses the controversy over CEO Brendan Eich's support for Proposition 8, noting that while he may disagree with his colleague on the issue of gay marriage, they are in alignment on the common cause of the free and open Internet. And he asks for some "kindness and patience" as the organization works through the issue.

  • Josh Marshall responds to critics of his running "sponsored content" from PhRMA on Talking Points Memo.

  • This post from Eat24 sums up, with plenty of funny food pics, what a lot of people are feeling about Facebook these days.

  • Total sign-ups for insurance under the Affordable Care Act are approaching 17 million, according to ACASignups.net, a "labor of love" built by a Michigan website developer named Charles Gaba.

  • Jahd Khalil pens a lovely profile in Fast Company of Egyptian web developer and revolutionary Alaa Abdel Fattah, connecting his support for free software and free speech in Egypt. (Oh, and by the way, it's "the" Personal Democracy Forum, not "a" Personal Democracy Forum, where Abdel Fattah spoke in 2011.)

  • Tomorrow is April Fool's Day. Use the Internet with care.

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