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First POST: Generation W?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, September 17 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Whistleblowing as an act of generational identity?; Craig Newmark is officially the government's biggest "nerd"; Turkey's ruling party is building a social media army; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

Gezi Park and The Turkey Uprising As You've Never Seen It Before

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, August 30 2013

Still from Taksim Commune

The film opens with the sound of explosive clapping, drumming and chanting. The first images are of destroyed streets, smoke blossoming from an improvised barricade and men standing defiantly on a pile of bricks. Then a shot of an injured man being carried by four others, all with their mouths and noses covered by scarves or masks. These are the opening scenes of Taksim Commune: Gezi Park and The Uprising In Turkey, a short documentary that captures not only the conflict that marred the protest, but the jubilation and energy that defined it first.

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The Top Tech-Politics Developments of 2013, So Far

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, August 1 2013

Every six months or so, we add more items to our "Politics and the Internet" Timeline, a living document that now includes more than 160 items stretching back to 1968 and covering a range of domestic, international and online events. Keep in mind, this isn't an official list but just our best subjective judgment on the most important developments at the intersection of technology and politics. If you would like to suggest something that we've left out, or make a correction to the record, please use this form. After the jump--Here's what we've added for the period from January 2013 to the end of July: Read More

WeGov

Protests in Turkey: Lies, Damn Lies, and Social Media

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, June 3 2013

Mapping tweets around Istanbul. Source: NYU SMaPP

If Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to be believed, ongoing protests in Istanbul are thanks in no small part to lies and exaggerations spreading online. "There is now a menace which is called Twitter," Erdogan said on TV, according to the Guardian. "The best examples of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society." While some have suggested that Erdogan has cracked down on Internet access in response, there's no evidence his government has limited connectivity. In fact, initial research suggests that the Turkish protests have spawned a record number of Tweets compared with other protests, spreading not just real-time information about protests, but encouraging others to participate. The uncomfortable truth is that while it's unsurprising to hear a government official denouncing his detractors as misinformed or dishonest, Erdogan isn't entirely wrong. Unverified and in some cases clearly inaccurate information about the protests is spreading fast, and in some cases too rapidly for reliable information to counteract. Read More

WeGov

Twitter a Mirror for the Turkish Press, and the Reflection Isn't Pretty

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, June 3 2013

Istanbul protestor (credit: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

While comparisons between what is happening in Istanbul now and what happened in Cairo's Tahrir Square between January and February 2011 are perhaps inevitable, they are most definitely not accurate. This is not a Turkish spring, although it might be the Turkish version of the Occupy movement. But Turkey is not Egypt and Erdogan is no Mubarak. Prime Minister Erdogan has been elected three times by popular vote and Turkey is a democracy with an ostensibly free press. How, then, to explain the near-farcical failure of the Turkish media to cover the largest spontaneous demonstrations in the country's recent history? Read More

WeGov

IBM Optimizes Ivory Coast Bus Routes by Mining Mobile Phone Data

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, May 1 2013

Abidjan, Ivory Coast (credit: Flickr/SoCE)

Cell phone data might be the next indispensable resource for urban planners. Mining mobility data from 2.5 billion call records, a team of IBM researchers identified modifications to bus routes in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, which could slash travel time up to 10 percent. Read More

WeGov

EU Fines Turkey for Blocking Google Sites

BY Julia Wetherell | Wednesday, December 19 2012

An EU court has ruled against a blocking of the Google Sites service in Turkey, in a case filed by a Turkish citizen. A 2009 ruling by a regional court in the southwestern city of Denizli blocked all pages hosted on sites.google.com, apparently after a single page was found to insult Republic of Turkey founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Defamation of Atatürk or Turkish identity is illegal in the country. Read More

Turkey Considering Law that Would Severely Circumscribe Internet Users' Privacy

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, October 11 2012

The Turkish government is considering legislation which, if passed, would require Internet users to submit a password and their national identity number to gain online access, reports Digital Civil Rights in Europe (EDRI). Read More

Sex, Turkish Politics, and Anonymous Videotapes

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, May 23 2011

The New York Times' Sebnem Arsu reports: Just weeks before general elections in Turkey, six leading members of an opposition party were forced to resign from Parliament on Saturday after sexually explicit videos of one ... Read More