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

[OP-ED]: In Defense of Big Data and Political Ad Targeting

BY Jordan Lieberman and Megan Cellucci | Monday, July 2 2012

Rebutting academic David Parry's suggestion last week that sophisticated online ad targeting is harmful to democracy, the managing director and senior digital strategist at online political advertising firm CampaignGrid write: "Voters have received relevant campaign information for at least a generation. Women often receive mailers about women’s issues, and voters with hunting licenses often receive mailers about a candidate’s position on the Second Amendment and gun control. CampaignGrid has used technology to move to the web activities that have taken place over the phone, through the mail, and – most intrusively – door-to-door, for decades. Assistant Professor Parry fails to connect how online advertising is any better or worse than other forms of sophisticated targeting that have been used for years." Read More

At #PDF12, Zac Moffatt Talks Digital Strategy

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 12 2012

Zac Moffatt at Personal Democracy Forum 2012. Photo: Esty Stein / PDM

In a talk on PDF's main stage at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, Mitt Romney's digital director Zac Moffatt delivered a pitch for online advertising. He pointed to survey data that indicates one in three online adults — and a majority of adults at all age levels are online, according to recent Pew data — are completely ignoring "live television," focusing instead on using tools like DVR to skip over ads entirely. The result is an ever-decreasing audience for television ads, something that makes digital work more important than people seem to think, Moffatt said. Read More

#PDF12: Announcing This Year's PDF Tumblr Fellows

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, June 5 2012

We're pleased to announce that thanks to the generous support of our friends at Tumblr, this year PDF is giving conference scholarships to nine highly deserving individuals who are innovating at the intersection of tech ... Read More

#PDF12: Announcing This Year's PDF Google Fellows

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, June 4 2012

We're pleased to announce the following people have been named Google Fellows for Personal Democracy Forum 2012. Fifteen highly creative and talented people were selected out of a competitive pool of more than one ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed 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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

thursday >

In Pakistan, A Hypocritical Gov't Ignores Calls To End YouTube Ban

YouTube has been blocked in Pakistan by executive order since September 2012, after the “blasphemous” video Innocence of Muslims started riots in the Middle East. Since then, civil society organizations and Internet rights advocacy groups like Bolo Bhi and Bytes for All have been working to lift the ban. Last August the return of YouTube seemed imminent—the then-new IT Minister Anusha Rehman spoke optimistically and her party, which had won the majority a few months before, was said to be “seriously contemplating” ending the ban. And yet since then, Rehman and her party, the conservative Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), have done everything in their power to maintain the status quo.

GO

The #NotABugSplat Campaign Aims to Give Drone Operators Pause Before They Strike

In the #NotABugSplat campaign that launched this week, a group of American, French and Pakistani artists sought to raise awareness of the effects of drone strikes by placing a field-sized image of a young girl, orphaned when a drone strike killed her family, in a heavily targeted region of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Its giant size is visible to those who operate drone strikes as well as in satellite imagery. GO

Boston and Cambridge Move Towards More Open Data

The Boston City Council is now considering an ordinance which would require Boston city agencies and departments to make government data available online using open standards. Boston City Councilor At Large Michelle Wu, who introduced the legislation Wednesday, officially announced her proposal Monday, the same day Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued an executive order establishing an open data policy under which all city departments are directed to publish appropriate data sets under established accessibility, API and format standards. GO

YouTube Still Blocked In Turkey, Even After Courts Rule It Violates Human Rights, Infringes on Free Speech

Reuters reports that even after a Turkish court ruled to lift the ban on YouTube, Turkey's telecommunications companies continue to block the video sharing site.

GO

wednesday >

Everything You Need to Know About Social Media and India's General Election

The biggest democratic election in the world to date is taking place in India from April 7 to May 14, and, for the first time in India, the results might hinge on who runs a better social media campaign. The Mumbai research firm Iris Knowledge Foundation has said that Facebook will “wield a tremendous influence” but Indian politicians are not limiting their attentions to India's most popular social media platform. In addition to virtual campaigning are initiatives to inform, educate and encourage Indians to participate in their democracy.

GO

More