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Grassroots vs Grassrootsy: How to Parse Technology's Role in Politics

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, July 18 2011

For a whole bunch of reasons, we should be on guard against claims that money given online, as well as tallies of small donations versus large donors, or other newer metrics of public participation like Twitter retweets ... Read More

An EFF-Led Challenge To Boost the Use of Internet Traffic Anonymizers

BY Becky Kazansky | Friday, July 15 2011

The Electronic Frontier Foundation — based in San Francisco and known for its advocacy in support of digital privacy measures — has been encouraging its supporters to aid activists around the world by ... Read More

In Wisconsin, Savvy Organizing Online, But Not Much Marketing

BY Nick Judd | Friday, July 15 2011

Writing for ClickZ Politics, Kate Kaye takes a look at the online action — or lack thereof — around the Wisconsin recall effort. In the wake of the Wisconsin state legislature's passage of a controversial ... Read More

In a Year of Local Labor Battles Nationwide, A Major Union Doubles Down Online

BY Nick Judd | Friday, July 15 2011

Union protesters rally against Ohio Senate Bill 5 in March. Union staffers nationwide say their members have moved increasingly online throughout this year's fights over state budgets and collective bargaining rights. ... Read More

For Activists, the Syrian Internet Hasn't Gone Dark — It's Just a Dark Place

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, July 13 2011

Fear of Syrian government retaliation against people who use social media to find and coordinate protests is now keeping Syrians off those platforms, Reuters reports: I am too scared to speak about my political activity ... Read More

The Europe Roundup: Social Networks and Voting in Italy: is There New Evidence?

BY Antonella Napolitano | Friday, July 8 2011

Italy | Social Networks and Voting in Italy: is There New Evidence? In the past two months Italy has faced a round of elections  – two administrative ballots and a referendum day – which have been unanimously ... Read More

George Scoville Shares 'Online Activism 101'

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 22 2011

On his personal blog, political consultant George Scoville — now of CRAFT Media/Digital — recaps his Right Online talk with Ericka Andersen on how to be a successful activist online. Among his tips is this ... Read More

Facebook Users are More Politically Active, Pew Says

BY Nick Judd | Friday, June 17 2011

A study released yesterday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project finds Facebook users are far more likely to be politically engaged: Our survey was conducted over the November 2010 elections. At that time, 10% ... Read More

NationBuilder, a New Online Activism Platform, Previews Today

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, April 6 2011

Jim Gilliam. Photo: Brave New Films / Flickr Online activist, Brave New Films co-founder and Personal Democracy Forum 2011 speaker Jim Gilliam is planning to give a live preview of his new platform for online campaigns, ... Read More

After Egypt: The "Democratic Republic of Facebook" Struggles to Grow Up [UPDATED]

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, February 25 2011

A few days ago, Dr. Rasha Abdulla, an expert on the role of the Internet in Egypt who teaches at the American University in Cairo (and who I'm pleased will be speaking at Personal Democracy Forum this June in New York), ... Read More

Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

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wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

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The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

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tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

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Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

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monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

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