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First POST: Post-Ambition and Fear Not

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, February 25 2014

Cyberwar in Syria?; the Obama 2012 tech tools are being shared with lower ballot candidates; the debate over Netflix and Comcast continues; and much, much more. Read More

How a Romney Gaffe that Wasn't Went Viral on the Web

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, August 20 2012

"I never tried to pretend that the original 'RMoney' image was real, and acknowledged that it was faked shortly after I posted it," said Dave Allsopp, co-founder of the liberal site Democratic Underground. "But I understand that since then people have been confused as to whether it is real or not. As I said, that's probably the main reason why it has spread so far."

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Democrats Create "Unlikeable" Romney Facebook Timeline for Video

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, May 30 2012

The Democratic National Committee has released a video that constructs its own version of Mitt Romney's Facebook timeline. Using the motto "Little to Like," it's a "celebration" of Romney officially winning enough delegates for his nomination. Read More

The Double Life of the Obama Campaign's "Julia" Character

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, May 4 2012

Two critics of "big government" have taken the Obama campaign's latest interactive, a several-frame graphic that seeks to paint President Barack Obama's policies favorably in comparison to Mitt Romney's, and turned it into a microsite with a remarkably similar parody. "It’s funny because Julia becomes a web/graphic designer, and that’s something I’ve been doing since I was 15 or so," Josh Fields, one of the creators, told techPresident in an email. "I think the part of the story for Julia that’s missing is that life is more of a stumble and fall than a race to the top. That’s something I question if Romney or Obama understand, you can’t promise all this stuff and not expect people to be pissed when they don’t get it." Read More

From "Texts With Hillary" To a Face-to-Face Meeting

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, April 10 2012

The creators of Texts from Hillary meet the Secretary of State.

Talk about starting something online and moving it offline: The makers of the Texts from Hillary tumblr met with, and collected an autographed "TfH" submission from, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "Someone on her staff emailed us yesterday and said that she had seen the site, she liked it and wanted us to come by and say hello for a few minutes," site co-creator Adam Smith told techPresident by phone today. Smith said that while she was "warm" — a contrast to the always-telling-people-what-to-do persona they've given her on the site — they didn't speak long. "She had another meeting to go to," he said. "I mean, she is the Secretary of State." Read More

On Humor and Being 'Harmonized:' Read This NYTimes Piece on Censorship in China

BY Nick Judd | Monday, October 31 2011

Discovered late, this New York Times Magazine article on the tension between Internet humor and censors in China is well worth a read: To slip past censors, Chinese bloggers have become masters of comic subterfuge, ... Read More

Not-Bachmann Says 'Mama Gets a What-What,' Gets More Views In Single Vid Than Any of Real-Bachmann's Official Videos Ever Have

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, October 6 2011

This parody YouTube video — in which someone completely unsympathetic to Rep. Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign dubs over one of her videos with what it looks like she might say, if she was overtaken by a ... Read More

New York's Mayor Bloomberg Gets His @MayorEmanuel: @ElBloombito

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, August 30 2011

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a limited command of the Spanish language and no compunctions about showing it off, two traits he revealed again to the world during his series of press conferences about Hurricane Irene. ... Read More

The Internet is Getting Together to #SlowClapForCongress

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, August 2 2011

"When the debt deal goes through," Baltimore-based developer Chris Ashworth mused Sunday on Twitter to what he describes as a fairly modest following, "can we start a meme where we all make videos of ourselves slowly ... Read More

Anatomy of a Political Twitter Strategy Gone Wrong

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, July 27 2011

Call it squatting, or parody, or just being a watchdog, but occupying domain names or user names similar to ones used by your opponents has been in the online politics bag o' tricks for years. On the Internet at large, ... Read More

News Briefs

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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