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

The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, April 16 2014

2006 story in the Toronto Star (Hossein Derakhshan)

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.

Read More

WeGov

Analyzing Social Network Metadata to Uncover Censorship

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, March 12 2014

Screenshot of email metadata (MIT Immersion)

If you've entered your email into the MIT Media Lab Immersion platform, you might have some idea of the information that can be gleaned from metadata. The same is true of social networks like Twitter and Facebook. One researcher has found that analysis of social network metadata can reveal wide scale censorship with 85 percent accuracy, without needing to track sensitive keywords.

Read More

WeGov

Building an Automatic "Lie Detector" for Twitter

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, February 20 2014

American inventor Leonarde Keeler testing his lie-detector (Wikipedia/public domain)

An international group of researchers led by the University of Sheffield is building a social media “lie detector” called Pheme, after the mythological rumormonger, that can determine in real time whether a information spread on social media is true or false.

Read More

WeGov

Study Says Social Movements "Should Never Be Called a Twitter or Facebook Revolution"

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, November 22 2013

A report on Digital Activism and Non-Violent Conflict was released this month by the Digital Activism Research Project. It found that the role of hacking and cybercrime in digital activism is grossly overstated by the media and that Facebook and Twitter are the leading platforms for activism on a global scale, but that other tools do well on a smaller, regional scale. The study found no causation or correlation between specific tools and positive outcomes.

Read More

Personal Democracy Media Seeks Research Intern; Know Anyone?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, November 19 2013

We are looking for a super-sharp research assistant, interested in exploring questions of 21st century democracy, civic innovation, tech policy, political change, and organizational design. Read More

Rich Or Poor, You've Probably Friended Someone Recently

BY Nick Judd | Friday, August 26 2011

Half of all Americans and 65 percent of Internet users use social networks, according to a new study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project that also reveals use of the social tools crosses lines of race and ... Read More

A Full Third of American Adults Own Smartphones, Pew Study Finds

BY Nick Judd | Monday, August 15 2011

Photo: Cheon Fong Liew / Flickr Here are three reasons why mobile phones could be a crucial battlefield for the 2012 election, courtesy of a Pew Internet & American Life Project study released this morning: ... 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

A Bucketful of Transparency Papers

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 18 2011

Just a heads up on a potentially valuable resource: Rutgers Newark's School of Public Affairs and Administration has posted a slew of academic research papers on transparency in conjunction with its 1st Global Conference ... Read More

New Paper: To What Do We Owe Judicial Ludditism?

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, April 19 2011

Evgeny Morozov points us to a juicy new Cornell Law School working paper that one looks forward to reading on why courts have lagged behind the public sector and other government branches in embracing technology: Judged ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed monday >

First POST: Front Pagers

How Facebook's trending topics feed is wrecking political news; debating the FBI's need for an encrypted phone "backdoor"; democratizing crisis data; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Tracking

Questions about whether Whisper is secretly tracking its users' secrets; the FBI's continued push against the new wave of encrypted phones; community service, high-tech-mogul-style; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Hosts

Airbnb in hot water in NYC; Knight Prototype Fund backs some civic tech projects; pondering Google's position on net neutrality; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Africa Calling

How some techies are starting to respond to the Ebola crisis; everything you need to know about GamerGate; how Twitter may upset the 2015 UK elections; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Burrowing

How Democratic candidates down-ballot are getting access to the same voter targeting tools used by larger campaigns; Microsoft Bing rolls out its election prediction program; Edward Snowden's first emails to Laura Poitras; and much, much more. GO

More