Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Can Online Politics Be Local?

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, October 5 2010

What makes "Facebook politics" inadaquete, muses Princeton's Julian Zelizer, is that it's not tied to particular spot on the map, which has always been the point around which social organizing pivots: The most ... Read More

The Things You Can Pick Up in a Bathroom

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, October 4 2010

The AP digs into the mystery of why a Senate candidate might post a "Text FLUSH to Robin" sign in a bathroom in violation of what must be some advertising world maxim about not associating your product with ... Read More

Get Gladwell Direct

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, September 29 2010

Malcolm Gladwell's "Short Change" piece on the failings of social-media infused activism has sparked some energetic discussion this week. Here's your chance to talk it over with Gladwell himself. He'll be doing ... Read More

Whose Online Base is Bigger, Contd.

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, September 28 2010

I'm glad to see my friends Mindy Finn and Patrick Ruffini responding to my post yesterday "Tea Party vs Netroots; Rs vs Ds: Whose Online Base is Bigger?" And I don't mind at all that they're disagreeing with my questions ... Read More

The Strength of Tweet Ties

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, September 28 2010

Down in our comments, North Carolina organizer and general online doer Ruby Sinreich points to a nice post from University of Maryland (Baltimore) sociologist Zeynep Tufekci in which she makes a learned case that Malcolm ... Read More

Trouble in the Land of Wikileaks

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, September 28 2010

Wired.com's Kevin Poulsen, who has been on the Wikileaks story like white on rice, joins up with his colleague Kim Zetter to report on the apparent internal complications inside the ad hoc Wikileaks organization: Read More

Quote of the Day III: The Tech Arms Race

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, September 27 2010

It's the nature of politics. Things leapfrog.   Read More

Quote of the Day: Axelrod on Speed

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, September 27 2010

You can start a race up much more quickly than you can in the past. Read More

Malcolm Gladwell Searches Twitter for '60s Activism

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, September 27 2010

Slactivism gets the Malcolm Gladwell treatment in his new New Yorker piece out today. Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

Brazilian President Signs Internet Bill of Rights Into Law at NetMundial

Earlier today Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff sanctioned Marco Civil, also called the Internet bill of rights, during the global Internet governance event, NetMundial, in Brazil.

GO

tuesday >

Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us launched with big ambitions and star appeal, hoping to crack the code on how to get millions of people to pool their political passions through their platform. When that ambition stalled, its founder Nathan Daschle--son of the former Senator--decided to pivot to offering political candidates an easy-to-use free web platform for organizing and fundraising. Now the new Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com for help. GO

Armenian Legislators: You Can Be As Anonymous on the 'Net As You Like—Until You Can't

A proposed bill in Armenia would make it illegal for media outlets to include defamatory remarks by anonymous or fake sources, and require sites to remove libelous comments within 12 hours unless they identify the author.

GO

monday >

The Good Wife Looks for the Next Snowden and Outwits the NSA

Even as the real Edward Snowden faces questions over his motives in Russia, another side of his legacy played out for the over nine million viewers of last night's The Good Wife, which concluded its season long storyline exploring NSA surveillance. In the episode titled All Tapped Out, one young NSA worker's legal concerns lead him to becoming a whistle-blower, setting off a chain of events that allows the main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), and her husband, Illinois Governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), to turn the tables on the NSA using its own methods. GO

The Expanding Reach of China's Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring Site, Danger Maps

Last week billionaire businessman Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, appealed to his “500 million-strong army” of consumers to help monitor water quality in China. Inexpensive testing kits sold through his company can be used to measure pH, phosphates, ammonia, and heavy metal levels, and then the data can be uploaded via smartphone to the environmental monitoring site Danger Maps. Although the initiative will push the Chinese authorities' tolerance for civic engagement and activism, Ethan Zuckerman has high hopes for “monitorial citizenship” in China.

GO

The 13 Worst Bits of Russia's Current and Maybe Future Internet Legislation

It appears that Russia is on the brink of passing still more repressive Internet regulations. A new telecommunications bill that would require popular blogs—those with 3,000 or more visits a day—to join a government registry and conform to government-mandated standards is expected to pass this week. What follows is a list of the worst bits of both proposed and existing Russian Internet law. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed anything.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

More