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SwiftRiver: Keeping Your Head Above Data

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, September 1 2010

From the folks behind the crowd-sourcing reporting system Ushahidi comes an announcement that a brand-new version of SwiftRiver has launched. SwiftWha? Here's the scoop: Read More

Fixing Voting One Tweet at a Time

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, April 21 2010

Jacob Soboroff has posted video of our panel session yesterday at the 140 Character Conference on what one might do with social media and other tech to address flaws in the way America votes (and doesn't vote). Also up ... Read More

Twitter Mobilization Lands Queens Man in FBI Trouble

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, October 5 2009

Well, this is interesting. The New York Times is reporting that the FBI is pursuing charges against Queens man for, it seems, posting Twitter updates about police actions during G20 Summit protests in Pittsburgh: Read More

Props for Vote Report

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, July 23 2009

It's an honor just to have been recognized. Naturally, the far more satisfying honor is actually winning the thing, but whatever. We'll take what we can get. [Twitter] Vote/Inauguration Report was named a "notable entry" ... Read More

Deconstructing (Twitter) Vote Report: Lessons Learned and What's Next

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, July 8 2009

One of things that made the Twitter Vote Report project so darn exciting during the '08 U.S. election also, at times, threatened to pull the whole shebang under. The thing simply had dozens of moving parts. We had people ... Read More

India's Elections: Transparency May Have Been on the March, But Voters Weren't

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, May 7 2009

A quick check in on what's happening on the online front when it comes to the Indian parliamentary elections. Vote Report India and other online transparency projects have gotten a good deal of positive press attention, ... Read More

Twitter and Politics: What Matt Bai Doesn't Get

BY Micah L. Sifry | Sunday, April 26 2009

First Maureen Dowd writes a (justly parodied) silly diss of Twitter, and now Matt Bai, who covers politics for the Times Sunday Magazine, offers his own misreading of Twitter's importance for politics. Read More

Vote Report Wins the Golden Dot

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, April 17 2009

We're pleased to announce that Twitter Vote Report has won a Golden Dot Award from the Institute for Politics, Democracy, & the Internet at George Washington University. Vote Report bested all the competition in the ... Read More

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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wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

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The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

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.

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tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

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Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

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monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

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