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First POST: Bleeding Hearts

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, April 14 2014

Did the NSA exploit the Heartbleed bug instead of fixing it?; one in five Americans online has had their private accounts hacked; UltraViolet gets under Dartmouth's skin with online ads; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Egypt

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, August 15 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Reacting to the massacres in Egypt; Bradley Manning apologizes; Pew Internet says the kids are all right; and much, much more. Read More

The Rise and Fall of Social Media in American Politics (And How it May Rise Again)

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, November 6 2012

Four years ago for us here techPresident, Election Day was a moment to reflect on the Internet's impact on the campaign, and in particular how so many voters had ventured onto the playing field of politics by using new interactive media, self-publishing tools like blogs and YouTube, and nascent social networks like Facebook. But if you've spent any time reading techPresident this cycle, you've noticed that we've more or less stopped paying close attention to social media metrics. The reason is, they didn't make a difference to the race. The question is why. Read More

In U.S., Smartphones Are Helping Minorities Leapfrog Over the Digital Divide

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, July 11 2011

There's more evidence of smartphone usage in the United States enabling a kind of "leapfrog effect" over the digital divide. According to a new report by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American LIfe Project, 44 ... Read More

The United States of Twitter, 2011

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, June 1 2011

New from Pew on the rate of Twitter adoption in the U.S.: 13% of online adults use the status update service Twitter, which represents a significant increase from the 8% of online adults who identified themselves as ... Read More

Pew: The Internet is Polarizing US Politics. Really?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, March 17 2011

The good folks at the Pew Internet & American Life Project are out with another one of their regular updates on the Internet's role in politics, and the takeaway appears to be: The net is fueling extremism and making ... Read More

Religious Identity and Internet Use in America

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, July 27 2010

I recently asked Aaron Smith, research specialist at the Pew Internet & American Life Project, if they had any data looking at how internet use might vary by degree of religious affiliation. Turns out that Pew hasn't ... Read More

Pew: Mobile Internet Usage Grows Explosively, Esp Among Minorities and Young

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, July 7 2010

A new survey by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project shows that Americans are clambering onto the mobile internet at an astonishingly fast pace, with African-Americans, English-speaking ... Read More

WeGov

New Pew Report on "Govt Online" Shows Big Citizen Participation But Little Govt Engagement

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, April 27 2010

"The more we can enlist the American people to pay attention and be involved, that's the only way we are going move an agenda forward. That's how we are going to counteract the special interests." --Barack Obama, ... Read More

Pew on the Internet and News: Conversation About Content is King

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, March 1 2010

Shorter Pew Internet study: "The public is clearly part of the news process now." Oh, and folks at TheNewYorkTimesFoxABCNBCCBSNPRDrudgeHuffingtonPostEtc: Forget about loyalty to your brand. Those days are gone. 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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