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First POST: Africa Calling

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, October 15 2014

Africa Calling

  • Avaaz is mobilizing thousands of volunteers to help fight Ebola's spread.

  • Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have pledged $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control Foundation to help fight Ebola, report Marina Koren and Stephanie Stamm for National Journal. That's more, they note, than what China, Canada and France have given, combined, so far, to aid in the crisis. The Gates Foundation has given $50 million to UN agencies fighting Ebola.

  • Here's a useful map and database of Africa's nearly 100 tech hubs, courtesy of the Fab Foundation and Zambia's BongoHive Tech Hub. (h/t Tony Roberts)

  • Obie Fernandez writes up his work with the Andela fellowship program in Nigeria. The program finds and trains software apprentices and connects them with employers around the world.

  • Gamergate may not be on your radar if you aren't a gamer (I'm not), but this long and careful essay by Kyle Wagner in Deadspin explains why it should be. He writes:

    What we're seeing now is a rehearsal, where the mechanisms of a toxic and inhumane politics are being tested and improved. Tomorrow's Lee Atwater will work through sock puppets on IRC. Tomorrow's Sister Souljah will get shouted down with rape threats. Tomorrow's Tipper Gore will make an inexplicably popular YouTube video. Tomorrow's Willie Horton ad will be an image macro, tomorrow's Borking a doxing, tomorrow's Moral Majority a loose coalition of DoSers and robo-petitioners and scat-GIF trolls—all of them working feverishly in service of the old idea that nothing should ever really change.

  • Looking ahead to the UK's 2015 national elections, Demos-UK's Carl Miller offers seven somewhat breathless predictions about how "Twitter will shape" the contest.

  • In BuzzFeed, Evan McMorris-Santoro and Johana Bhulyan explain how Obamacare is lifting the "sharing economy."

  • Opponents of deforestation are using GPS trackers surreptitiously placed on trucks to reveal illegal logging in the Amazon, Damian Carrington reports for The Guardian.

  • Steven Johnson's new six-part PBS series, "How We Got to Now," starts tonight.