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First POST: Adjustments

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, May 1 2014


  • The Republican National Committee's new CTO Andy Barkett is being demoted to a diminished role, signaling trouble with the committee's efforts to upgrade its national voter database Beacon, reports Jon Ward for the Huffington Post.

  • Now Facebook is allowing users to log in anonymously to mobile apps.

  • And in case you haven't noticed, Facebook is also "throttling" the organic reach of nonprofits and political activists. Writing for Valleywag, "B. Traven," a pseudonym for someone running social media for a mid-sized international NGO in Washington, DC, says, "It's starting to look like Facebook is willing to strangle public discourse on the platform in an attempt to wring out a few extra dollars for its new shareholders."

  • The Atlantic's Adrienne Lafrance and Robinson Meyer pen a smart and pungent "Eulogy for Twitter." They write:

    Twitter used to be a sort of surrogate newsroom/barroom where you could organize around ideas with people whose opinions you wanted to assess. Maybe you wouldn't agree with everybody, but that was part of the fun. But at some point Twitter narratives started to look the same. The crowd became predictable, and not in a good way. Too much of Twitter was cruel and petty and fake.

  • My take: I remember when Twitter was often a cure for boredom; now it's often the reverse.

  • New from our Sarah Lai Stirland: "Crowdfunding 101: A User's Guide to Success on IndieGoGo. It's All About Connections."

  • The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court now has a public website. Just don't try searching it for information about surveillance. (h/t Eric Mill.)

  • Sascha Meinrath's X-Lab is open for business.

  • New York City is looking for vendors who will convert its more than 7,000 public phone kiosks into free WiFi hotspots (with digital advertising covering the costs).

  • Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration is also expanding the social media efforts of his predecessor, with its digital operation being moved from the Office of Media and Entertainment directly into City Hall, reports Jill Colvin for the New York Observer.

  • Brian Fung looks at how Silicon Valley is trying to support a new breed of commercially self-sufficient nonprofit organizations, just at a moment when class-based resentment of high-tech is on the rise.

  • Related event: May 8 in San Francisco: Code for America presents an evening on "Doing Good and Making Money: Opportunities in Civic Entrepreneurship."

  • The Russian legislature has passed a new set of laws clamping down further on bloggers and the Internet. They would "equine bloggers with 3,000 or more page-views a day to reveal their identities, fact-check their content, not disseminate extremist information or information violating privacy of citizens, and abide by the rules of pre-election silence," reports Olga Razumovskaya for the Wall Street Journal.