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

Why Twitter Didn't Believe the "Hacked" AP, But Bought False Facts About Boston Manhunt

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, April 24 2013

When the Associated Press' Twitter account caused a brief stir Tuesday by posting a false report that President Barack Obama had been injured in a fictitious bombing at the White House, stocks plummeted — but only for a few minutes. That response differed significantly from the situation late April 18 and early the next morning, a Friday, as the first reports emerged of the manhunt that would bring Boston to a halt for a full day. It's an example of how quickly misinformation can spread online in the absence of rapid action to roust it away. Read More

NRCC Wants to Make Vine Attack Ads a Thing With S. Carolina Congressional Race

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, April 12 2013

The NRCC has launched what it says is the first political attack ad in the form of a six-second Vine video in the House race in South Carolina's First District, where Elizabeth Colbert Busch, sister of Stephen Colbert, is running against former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. Read More

WeGov

Is This the End of Iceland's Crowdsourced Constitution?

BY Julia Wetherell | Wednesday, April 3 2013

Icelandic citizens who drafted the constitution last year. (Skrifstofa Stjórnlagaráðs / Flickr)

When Iceland faced a fiscal catastrophe in 2008, residents took to the streets with pots and pans to demand change from the government.  Leaders in the country took the spirit of the crowd to heart. In 2011, Iceland announced that it would be crowdsourcing its next constitution, an effort that ultimately resulted in a full draft bill.  Yet amid Iceland’s election season and the turmoil to determine the country’s future, the crowdsourced constitution has now been effectively scrapped. 

Read More

WeGov

Controversy Over Egyptian Comedian Facing Gov't Prosecution Morphs into a Twitter War

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, April 2 2013

Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef (credit: Hossam El Hamalawy / Flickr)

When the Egyptian prosecutor's office summoned a famous comedian and political satirist for questioning, accusing him of insulting the president and Islam, a war of words ensued on Twitter. On one side was the U.S. State Department, in the form of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, squaring off against the Egyptian president's office and Ikhwanweb, the Muslim Brotherhood's official media wing, which has an active Twitter account. On the sidelines ordinary 'netizens queued up to cheer and jeer. Read More

Microsoft Finally Reveals Statistics on Law Enforcement Requests for User Information

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, March 21 2013

Microsoft on Thursday reported that law enforcement authorities around the globe had made 75,378 requests for information about the users of its services in 2012. The company said that those requests "impacted potentially 137,424 accounts." It estimates that these requests affected less than .02 percent of its active users. Read More

WeGov

Israelis and Palestinians Launch Online Campaigns Ahead of Obama's Visit

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, March 19 2013

Logo for Operation Unbreakable Alliance on the Israeli government's Facebook page.

With Barack Obama set to land in Israel tomorrow for his first official visit as president, Israelis and Palestinians have taken to the Internet to campaign for their causes and to express approval or disapproval of what the Israeli government has dubbed Operation Unbreakable Alliance . Read More

Report Ranks Federal Agencies On How Much They Allow Scientists to Share Online

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, March 15 2013

NASA may get a lot of attention for its use of social media to engage with the public, but according to one group, the National Institutes of Health takes the cake on Twitter. The Union of Concerned Scientists has issued grades for the social media policies of federal agencies, with a focus on how the policies protect the ability of government scientists to communicate freely. Read More

WeGov

Quebec's Language Laws Lead to "Pastagate"

BY Elisabeth Fraser | Friday, March 15 2013

Internet meme for "Pastagate"

The long-running language debate in a province where English-speakers are outnumbered by French-speakers, has recently reached new heights of absurdity against the backdrop of a proposed language law tabled by the province's separatist minority government. Read More

WeGov

Alec Ross, Leaving State Department for Private Sector, Talks "21st-Century Statecraft"

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, March 11 2013

State Department Senior Adviser for Innovation Alec Ross will leave government Tuesday and immediately start work on a new policy analysis and advisory shop to governments, investors, and other kinds of institutions — a company that plans to advise its clients on geopolitics in a globally networked world. In a protracted email exchange and a phone interview, Ross explained to techPresident where he thinks "21st-century statecraft" now stands and discussed his future plans. Read More

How Different Are Twitter Users From Average Americans?

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, March 5 2013

NodeXL graph of a Twitter conversation. Flickr/Marc Smith

A Pew Research Center study confirms what everyone suspected: People who use Twitter to share their opinions don't reflect the general public's opinion as a whole. Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

First POST: Reminders

Why the RNC hasn't managed to reboot how Republican campaigns use voter data; new ways of using phone banking to get out the vote; how the UK's digital director is still ahead of the e-govt curve; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Patient Zero

Monica Lewinsky emerges with a mission to fight cyber-bullying; Marc Andreessen explains his political philosophy; tech donors to MayDay PAC get pushback from Congressional incumbents; and much, much more. GO

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

More