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NYTimes Matt Bai on "Flash Movements" of the Left and Right

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, February 14 2012

According to Matt Bai, the chief political correspondent for the New York Times Magazine, the progressive netroots upsurge of the mid-2000s and the rise of the Tea Party from 2009 to present are two variations on a common theme: they are "flash movements" born of online connections, cathartic urges and the devaluation of expertise. And unlike the big social movements of the past, he said both movements were merely oppositional and "ephemeral," unlikely to bring big changes to government. Read More

Announcing a Flash Conference: "From the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street and Beyond--The Future of Networked Democracy"

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, December 1 2011

Monday night December 12, from 6:00-8:30pm at NYU, Personal Democracy Media will present a flash conference titled, "From the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street and Beyond: The Future of Networked Democracy" with Ori ... Read More

Capitol Hill's Dec. 7 Hackathon Means Government's Getting Geekier

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, November 28 2011

Photo: Elliott P. / Flickr Software developers, Capitol Hill staffers and transparency advocates will brainstorm about what's to come in this field at Congress’ first-ever hackathon on Dec. 7 at the Capitol Visitors ... Read More

The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street: First They Meetup, Then They Take Over

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, November 1 2011

On Monday, I heard Scott Heiferman of Meetup.com give a great five-minute rap to a group of foundation and nonprofit types on the relationship between communities and movements, with a focus on the surprising parallels ... Read More

Tracking Twitter Reactions to the CNN/Tea Party Republican Debates

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, September 13 2011

The post-debate spin room has moved online, with reporters looking to Twitter for reactions as much as to their usual bullpen of consultants and observers, and candidates taking jabs at one another in real time. All of ... Read More

Sunlight at a South Carolina Tea Party Rally

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, April 19 2011

South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftis delivered a fired-up address on open government during a lightly-attend Tea Party Tax Day rally in Columbia: I want you to know what we’ve done since I’ve been in ... Read More

Please Stop Calling the Freshmen

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, November 15 2010

That is, in fact, the subject line on a fairly frantic email that the Tea Party Patriots, one of the umbrella groups claiming to represent local tea party outfits, blasted out to their list Friday night. Read More

Tea Partiers Call Their Congresspeople. On Their Cells.

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, November 12 2010

The Tea Party Patriots got upset yesterday when it turned out the Claremont Institute, the California-based conservative think tank, had scheduled its DC "freshman orientation" for new Republicans members of ... Read More

Email Watch: Tea Partiers Fundraise for a "Hose in the Mouth" of Opponents

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, October 29 2010

Wow, with our days to go, the gloves are officially off. An email comes in from the Tea Party Patriots. (Which one are they, again?) The subject line: "Total Annihilation." And the time for mincing words has ... Read More

Tea Party vs Netroots; Rs vs Ds: Whose Online Base is Bigger?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Saturday, September 25 2010

Two stories published in the last few days make the claim that in this cycle, the online Right is whomping the online Left. First, in Investor's Business Daily, reporter Brian Deagon's story is headlined: "Tea Party ... Read More

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Another Co-Opted Hashtag: #MustSeeIran

The Twitter hashtag #MustSeeIran was created to showcase Iran's architecture, landscapes, and would-be tourist destinations. It was then co-opted by activists to bring attention to human rights abuses and infringements. Now Twitter is home to two starkly different portraits of a country. GO

At NETmundial Brazil: Is "Multistakeholderism" Good for the Internet?

Today and tomorrow Brazil is hosting NETmundial, a global multi-stakeholder meeting on the future of Internet governance. GO

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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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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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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