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First POST: In It To Win It

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, April 13 2015

In It To Win It

  • Until yesterday, Hillary Clinton identified on her Twitter handle as a "Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD…" Now there are a few changes: "Wife, mom, grandma, women+kids advocate, FLOTUS, Senator, SecState, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, 2016 presidential candidate. Tweets from Hillary signed –H."

  • Somehow, the Clinton announcement wasn't streamed live on either Periscope or Meerkat, and so far neither live-streaming service has surfaced any video of her on her road-trip to Iowa. Still, it's the #MeerkatElection, right?

  • Clinton's announcement tweet has been retweeted more than 95,000 times and favorited almost 92,000 times as of this morning. By comparison, of the two declared Republican candidates, Ted Cruz's announcement tweet has garnered about 13,000 retweets and almost 12,000 favorites since he launched on March 23rd, and Rand Paul's tweet has only been retweeted a little over 2,000 times and favorited a similar amount since his April 7th start.

  • As a measure of intensity, Cruz's Twitter followers appear a tad more fired up about their candidate's announcement than Clinton's, while Paul's following appears much less so. About 6.3% of Cruz's 393,000 current followers have retweeted or favorited his announcement, while 5.6% of Clinton's much larger pool of 3.32 million followers have done so with hers so far--though that's a number that will surely grow over the next days. Just .7% of Paul's followers have shared his announcement. In absolute terms, though, Clinton's base in the Twitterverse dwarfs her declared Republican foes in a manner reminiscent of Barack Obama's lead at a similar point in 2011. (Reminder to self: this kind of data-porn, as fun as it is to play with, will not have any significant impact on the 2016 election result.)

  • More data-porn: Here's the Twitter conversation in real-time as its played out across the US yesterday.

  • One thing that Hillary for America did not launch with, compared to Obama in 2011, is a Facebook app like his "I'm in" tool, which enabled the Obama campaign to gather a tremendous amount of information about its supporters' social graphs. It appears that no campaign will be able to use Facebook this way in 2016 due to changes the company has made in its API.

  • Longtime Clinton enthusiasts (and PDM friends) Peter Daou and Tom Watson coin a meme: #HillaryMen. Arguing that it is time to apply "an explicit gender lens to this election," they cite a litany of "human travesties" afflicting women and girls across the planet and call on their fellow men to help Clinton smash "the ultimate glass ceiling."

  • In the Washington Post, Ellen Nakashima and Barton Gellman do an excellent job of summing up the current debate between federal law enforcement agencies and tech companies over whether their products can safely include a "digital key" allowing government access to encrypted products.

  • In an age of networked communication, the rising new civil rights movement doesn't need a Martin Luther King, argue Danielle Allen and Cathy Cohen in the Washington Post, citing #BlackLivesMatter, Black Youth Project 100, Ferguson Action, Dream Defenders and Hands Up United.

  • Using the Nigerian elections as a testing ground, researchers are teaching an open source artificial intelligence platform called AIME how to discern tweets related to voting issues, election rigging and election-related violence, Patrick Meier reports.

  • Opponents of a new Spanish law criminalizing protests outside of Parliament starting July 1 protested outside of Parliament by hologram, reports Brittan Levine for Mashable.

  • Weekend wedding: A big First POST mazel tov to Code for America's Jen Pahlka and O'Reilly Media's Tim O'Reilly, who tied the knot in NYC on Saturday.