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First POST: Checking

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, March 20 2015


  • The US threatened to stop sharing intelligence information with Germany if the country offered asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the country's vice chancellor said this week, reports Glenn Greenwald for The Intercept.

  • The Republican presidential candidates all pretty much follow each other on Twitter, this graphic from Bloomberg Politics shows.

  • A new study by Philly Political Media Watch, a project funded by the Democracy Fund and the Rita Allen Foundation and led by the Internet Archive, found that the ratio of political advertising time to political news stories on Philadelphia TV stations (which took in a combined $14 million from political advertisers) was 45:1 in the last weeks leading up to the 2014 election. In case you missed that: forty-five to one.

  • The US Digital Service has launched a real-time analytics dashboard that will "will help government agencies understand how people find, access, and use government services online to better serve the public" and over on his blog, Alex Howard dives in to see what the data currently shows. Interestingly enough, the We the People e-petition site had 6 million-plus views last month, while the main White House site had just 4 million, he notes.

  • Upworthy co-founder Peter Koechley apologizes for "kind of [breaking] the Internet last year" and says the site's goal is to "build empathy at a truly massive scale, get millions, tens of millions, and hundreds of millions of people to understand and care about people they have never seen or will never meet."

  • The New York Times' public editor, Margaret Sullivan, admonishes Style section columnist Nick Bilton for writing a column speculating about the cancer risks of cellphones and wearable gadgets without "extra checking and caution" or "the careful interpretation of facts."

  • Mapbox has announced the release of Landsat-live, a map that is constantly refreshed with the latest satellite imagery. Blogs Camilla Mahon, it "can be used to check the health of agricultural fields, the latest update on a natural disaster, or the progression of deforestation."

  • The Pirate Party of Iceland is now polling at almost 24% of the vote, nearly double from a month ago, Lucy Wescott reports for Newsweek.