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Hacktivism

Anonymous. WikiLeaks. LulzSec. Today's tech-powered politics includes renegade factions, outsider forces and merry pranksters who sometimes break the law and often break social norms in their desire to make change. Not to be confused with civic hackers, today's hacktivists are using new media as well as ingenious social strategies to disrupt and destabilize the existing order. Not everyone agrees with their tactics, and vibrant debates have broken out over whether this is genuine online civil disobedience, or disobedience of a kind that has chosen to stop being civil.

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Revolution 2.0

Wael Ghonim, the Google executive who set up a Facebook page that was a prominent force in helping galvanize the January 25, 2011 revolution in Egypt, has said, "If you want to liberate a society, just give them the Internet." While things aren't so simple, and authoritarian governments are also using technology to control their populations and suppress movements for change, there's no question that organizers and activists are using the net to rattle and in some cases help overthrow powerful regimes. Here's a select set of some of techPresident's best coverage and commentary.

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Obama 2012

In 2008, the Barack Obama campaign built an online juggernaut. With 13 million emails, nearly 4 million donors, 2 million members of the My.BarackObama.com social network, and tens of thousands of engaged activists, Obama's team broke new ground in using the internet to build a new kind of powerful political machine. In 2012, they worked hard to reengage their base and re-invent how campaigns use technology to move voters and win elections. And the results: a critical increase in targeted turnout, built on top of an even bigger list and volunteer base.

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Malcolm Gladwell

We can't resist. Everybody's favorite social theorist and business writer, Malcolm Gladwell made waves in 2010-11 when he waded into the international debate on the role of social media in the Arab Spring and declared that "The Revolution Will Not Be Twittered." Below, our favorite responses to Gladwell.

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Facebook Nation

If Facebook were a country it would be the third biggest in the world. For many of its one billion users, Facebook is indeed their home base online. Everyone, from politicians to revolutionary movements, is using the site to advance their causes. And this raises all kinds of important questions, from how to make the most of Facebook, to how to make sure Facebook treats its users fairly.

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Online Organizing

Here comes everybody? Well, almost. As more people get their hands on the tools of communication and collaboration, it's become ridiculously easy to form a group and agitate around any case. But for all the multiplying ways that we're discovering to network and connect, online organizing still takes knowledge and practice. Giant e-groups like MoveOn.org, with its millions of email members, are constantly honing their approach.

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Occupy Wall Street

The same youth-driven, hyper-networked wave of grassroots protests against economic inequality and political oligarchy that have been rocking countries as disparate as Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Greece and Spain have hit America. The occupation of the Wisconsin state legislature last winter was a harbinger, but now all kinds of previously disconnected individuals, loosely centered on a core of beautiful-style troublemakers and inspired by events and methods honed overseas, are linking up and showing up to occupy symbolically important centers in their cities and campuses.

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WeGov

All over the world, groups and individuals are using technology in a variety of innovative ways to increase government transparency, fight corruption, open data, hack on civic problems, strengthen economic development, address environmental problems, improve public health and education, and advance the conditions of women and children.

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Fonts of Wisdom

From Gotham to Helvetica, Fedra to Serifs, the typography of politics has played a subtle but critical role in shaping how we relate to campaigns online. Good design matters, and over the years we've spotted all kinds of wisdom in the way things are presented and branded.

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Egypt

Egypt has been called the center of Arab civilization, and today it is the red hot center of the Arab Spring. What happens there is influencing the entire region, and creating ripples even in places like Madison, Wisconsin. Below, links to features covering some of the seminal leaders and moments in Egypt's struggle to create a more democratic future.

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News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

First POST: Resets

Apple's new iOS8 promises greater user privacy; Occupy Wall Street three years later; how tech may tilt the Scotland independence vote; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Connecting the Dots

Take Back the Tech grades Facebook, Twitter, et al, on transparency; MayDay PAC founder Lawrence Lessig talks about getting matched funds; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Splits

USA Freedom Act divides Internet activists; Julian Assange's Reddit "Ask Me Anything"; New York's pro-net-neutrality protest; and much, much more GO

monday >

After Election Loss, Teachout and Wu Keep Up Net Neutrality and Anti-Comcast Merger Campaign

The Teachout/Wu campaign may have lost, but their pro net-neutrality campaign continued Monday as both former candidates participated in a rallly in New York City marking the final day to comment on the Federal Communications Commission's Internet proposals and kept up their pressure on Governor Andrew Cuomo. GO

friday >

NYC Politicians and Advocacy Groups Say Airbnb Misrepresents Sharing Economy

A coalition of New York election officials and affordable housing groups have launched an advocacy effort targeting Airbnb called "Share Better" that includes an ad campaign, a web platform, and social media outreach. GO

First POST: Data Dumps

The Internet Slowdown's impact on the FCC; Uber drivers try to go on strike; four kinds of civic tech; and much, much more. GO

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