Daily Digest | Facebook, Free Speech and Holocaust Denial
BY Editors | Tuesday, May 12 2009
- Facebook, Free Speech and Holocaust Denial Many people have eviscerated Facebook for its reluctance to ban Holocaust denial groups from its site. Micah disagrees. While it's true that Facebook is a private company and the First Amendment doesn't apply inside corporations, Facebook is clearly wrestling with the implications of also being a gigantic semi-public space. The content on these groups may be horrible, but having hosts of de facto semi-public spaces suppressing free speech is dangerous.
- An Open Government Paradigm Being Built Behind Closed Doors This whole thing is something like a leather-bound edition of Diet for a Small Planet. Holding an AA meeting at a bar. Passing around a charity box at an Objectivist conference. The Obama Administration's process for crafting the mandated open government directive is happening largely behind closed doors. Say what?
- What Scares CRS About Going Public Here's how you know that open government absolutists and CRS, the internal research wing of Congress, are so far apart that the entire Library of Congress plus the states of Connecticut and Arizona could fit comfortably between them. At the very same time Joe Lieberman and John McCain are pushing legislation to force CRS to post their closely-held report database online for all the world to see, CRS is calling in the FBI (!) to figure out how a cache of their reports got out onto the Interwebs.
- WhiteHouse.gov: Moving Into Advanced Work Before Mastering the Basics The Washington Post does a second round of grading WhiteHouse.gov, and a salient criticism peeks through the comments of the various graders. While Obama's White House web operation has expanded into online town halls, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blog posts in only three months, it's losing points for completeness.
- White House Opens "Office of Public Engagement," Releases Citizen's Briefing Book The White House Office of Public Liaison, the White House has announced, is being renamed to better capture the hope of the Obama Administration that the office will be the point of contact for American citizens as they interact with the executive branch. Presenting the White House Office of Public Engagement. See what the newly renamed office is up to.
- Bloggers Go to the White House The Obama Administration has invited bloggers from the Consumerist, the popular Consumers Union-affiliated blog, to come to the White House this week to interview economic advisor Austan Goolsbee on credit card reform. What's more, Consumerist bloggers are asking their readers what questions they should put to Goolsbee. Could this be the first of many blogger visits?
- Facebook Expands Government Arm with Hire of Public Policy Director Facebook has hired a new public policy director whose resume reads like a direct response to the arguably growing concerns over free speech and privacy as Facebook figures out how to manage its enormous user base. The new director most recently served at the ACLU, with a particular focus on "the ever-growing surveillance society."