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He's Back! Alan Grayson Shares His Thanksgiving Wal-Mart Escapade on Facebook and YouTube

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, November 27 2012

Congressman-elect Alan Grayson hasn't even been sworn in yet, but he's already engaging the public and putting issues on the radar with his signature use of social media. Read More


Egyptian Belly Dancer's Salacious Video Mocking Muslim Brotherhood Goes Viral

BY Mahmoud Salem | Monday, November 19 2012

Sama El Masry (publicity shot)

Last week Sama El Masry, a famous Egyptian belly dancer, uploaded a home-made video to YouTube; it shows her in a skin tight outfit, swinging her hips seductively to a song rife with anti-Muslim Brotherhood political innuendo. The sexy little number set the Egyptian social media and political worlds ablaze — but not only because it mocked the prudish Islamists with the double whammy of gyrating hips and lyrics that were a blatant political satire that pulled no punches. In a bizarre twist that could only happen in post-revolutionary Egypt, the dancer was also famous for claiming to be the ex-wife of a Salafi member of parliament. Read More

Israel Announces Military Operation Against Gaza -- on Twitter (UPDATED)

BY Lisa Goldman | Wednesday, November 14 2012

In what is possibly a social media precedent, the Israeli army spokesperson's office (@idfspokesperson) today announced a military action against Gaza — on Twitter. Using a multi-pronged strategy, the army spokesperson's office launched a full social media assault via YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter, with the latter in English, Hebrew, Arabic, French and Spanish. No word yet on the tumblr blog, though. Read More

New YouTube Horror Video Parodies Obama Campaign's Data Mining Prowess

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, November 5 2012

As our publisher Andrew Rasiej told ace political reporter Josh Richman of the San Jose Mercury News recently: "If the tech story of the 2008 election was social media, the tech story of 2012 is Big Data." So the time ... Read More


The Rough and Tumble of Digital Diplomacy, For Better or Worse

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, October 25 2012

Screenshot from the the State Department's blog

Digital diplomacy is a bit of a buzzword these days. It is practiced widely, both formally and informally, by governments across the globe — the United Kingdom has a particularly extensive site. Brian Fung of the Atlantic explores the impact of direct engagement via social media in an article for the Atlantic: Digital Diplomacy: Why It's So Tough for Embassies to Get Social Media Right. Read More

Who's Winning the YouTube War, Obama or Romney?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, October 24 2012

Obama Denver rally live on YouTube, October 24, 2012

While the presidential campaign appears to have tightened in the polls, in the last month Barack Obama has been trouncing Mitt Romney on YouTube, garnering nearly five times as many views overall. Here's how the two campaigns' strategies with online video differ, and why it matters. Read More


In Wake of Public Outcry, Iran Lifts "Indefinite" Block on Gmail After One Week

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, October 1 2012

One week after announcing that access to Gmail and Google search would be blocked indefinitely in the Islamic Regime of Iran, regime officials restored access to the popular online platforms while claiming that they had unintentionally blocked them while trying to filter the crude anti-Islam film, "Innocence of the Muslims." Meanwhile, the Ministry of Telecommunications launched its own official email service, which requires users to register. Read More

In New Ad, Obama Campaign Uses iPads to Spread the Damage from Romney's "47 Percent" Comments

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, September 18 2012

In the latest ad from the Obama campaign — its first response to leaked footage in which Mitt Romney addresses donors and makes David Corn at Mother Jones the happiest man alive — "ordinary Americans" watch Romney's comments on an iPad, then offer their opinions on the man who would be president.

The Obama campaign has used this man-on-the-street style in previous videos, but this is the first one to feature the iPad as a technological twist.

Read More

In Egypt and Libya, Evidence Mounts: Unlikely 9/11 Unrest a Response to Film Clips Alone

BY Lisa Goldman | Wednesday, September 12 2012

It sounds like the plot of a B-movie: Mobs of enraged Muslims attack US embassies in the Arab world on the anniversary of 9/11 because of a film that purportedly insults the Prophet Mohamed. But the facts don't support the theory of spontaneous rage at a YouTube video gone viral. Read More