San Clemente Web University: FREE Web Marketing & Advertising Classes

You are currently browsing the archives for the Politics category.

Subscribe to Web “U”

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Web ‘U’ Sponsors


Categories

Products

Web U 2UR Phone

Phone number

Carrier

Web University Blog

November 2014
S M T W T F S
« Oct    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Web 'U' RSS Feeds

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Aneesh Chopra was the White House's first chief technology officer.

Aneesh Chopra, the first White House chief of technology, has resigned after almost three years on the job.

Chopra’s resignation was announced in a post on the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s blog that did not explain why he’s leaving the Obama administration. The Washington Post reported that he is rumored to be considering a run for lieutenant governor in Virgina.

“When President Obama came into office in January 2009, the administration found a federal government relying too heavily on 20th century technology,” John P. Holdren, director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, said in the blog post. “On his first day on the job, the president created the position of ‘chief technology officer.’”

Chopra was sworn in as the first U.S. chief technology officer May 22, 2009. The job called for “looking at ways technology can spur innovations that help government do a better and more efficient job.”

Holdren said Chopra had “a dizzying array of accomplishments” while in office, which included input on crafting the president’s National Wireless Initiative, which calls for “the development of a nationwide public safety broadband network”; establishing “a set of Internet policy principles, including the call for a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights”; and leading “the implementation of the president’s open government strategy focused on unlocking the innovative potential of the federal government to solve problems and seed the jobs and industries of the future.”

Obama, who is known as a more tech-friendly president than his predecessors, said in a statement that Chopra “did groundbreaking work to bring our government into the 21st century. Aneesh found countless ways to engage the American people using technology, from electronic health records for veterans, to expanding access to broadband for rural communities, to modernizing government records.”

The White House under Obama has used technology — social media in particular — much more than previous administrations. This can be attributed to the rise in popularity of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, but Chopra may have had an influence as well.

Before his White House job, Chopra was chief technology officer for the state of Virgina. On “The Daily Show,” host Jon Stewart once jokingly called Chopra the “Indian George Clooney.”

RELATED:

Obama 2012 campaign heads to Tumblr

Obama 2012 campaign joins Instagram on eve of Iowa caucuses

President Obama to answer questions in Google+ Hangout on Jan. 30

– Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: Aneesh Chopra smiles during a roundtable discussion at the 2010 International CTIA Wireless convention in Las Vegas. Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Comments Off
#TwitterCensored tweets on Twitter

Twitter faced a growing backlash on Friday, less than a day after it announced that it can now block specific tweets from being published in specific countries that legally require such censorship.

On Friday, a day after the country-specific plan was announced, #TwitterBlackout and #TwitterCensored were trending topics on the hugely popular social network.

In the case of #TwitterBlackout, thousands of users from around the world threatened to boycott using the service on Jan. 28, with the hactivist group Anonymous among those calling on tweeters to skip the site for a day. The group Reporters Without Borders issued a letter on its website to Twitter's executive chairman, Jack Dorsey, asking him to "reverse a policy that violates freedom of expression."

The trending topic #TwitterCensorship was filled mostly with tweets from users complaining that Twitter shouldn't be censoring any of its users. Fear over increased censorship also was widely expressed, as was some frustration as some believe Twitter's new policy may result in less censorship,  not more.

Munk_One

In the past, Twitter only withdrew a user's tweet globally — meaning the entire world wouldn't be able to see a tweet if the site censored it. But now, the San Francisco company has built a tool that allows them to censor tweets just in the country that calls for the censorship, but others outside of that nation will be able to view the message share on the service.

Twitter said Thursday in a blog post that it doesn't want to censor anyone's tweets but legally has to do so in certain cases, such as France's and Germany's ban on "pro-Nazi content."

The company also said it has teamed with the free-speech and online-rights website ChillingEffects.org — an online partnership between the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, University of San Francisco, University of Maine, George Washington School of Law and Santa Clara University School of Law clinics — to document who is asking for a tweet to be censored and why. Such notices will be published at chillingeffects.org/twitter.

Jillian C. York, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's director of international freedom of expression, argued in a blog post defending the company that the move doesn't "represent a sea change in Twitter's policies."

"It's been difficult to comment on the move given the extreme reaction by Twitter's own community," York said. "Lots of 'I told you so' from the conspiracy theorists who think that this is because of Saudi Prince Alwaleed's stake in the company, compounded by the #occupy crowd continuing to claim their hashtag was censored in Twitter's trending topics made me want to avoid the subject entirely."

But, of course, York doesn't avoid the subject.

"Let's be clear: This is censorship," she said. "There's no way around that. But alas, Twitter is not above the law. Just about every company hosting user-generated content has, at one point or another, gotten an order or government request to take down content. Google lays out its orders in its Transparency Report. Other companies are less forthright. In any case, Twitter has two options in the event of a request: Fail to comply, and risk being blocked by the government in question, or comply (read: censor).  And if they have 'boots on the ground', so to speak, in the country in question?  No choice."

Nonetheless, York said she understands why people are angry.

"Twitter has previously taken down content — for DMCA requests, at least — and will no doubt continue to face requests in the future," she said, referencing Twitter blocking tweets in the past to follow DMCA copyright laws. "I believe that the company is doing its best in a tough situation…and I'll be the first to raise hell if they screw up."

[Updated 3:03 p.m.: Twitter updated it's blog post on the censorship changes in response to the user backlash seen over the last day.

The company said that it believes "new, more granular approach to withheld content is a good thing for freedom of expression, transparency, accountability -- and for our users. Besides allowing us to keep Tweets available in more places, it also allows users to see whether we are living up to our freedom of expression ideal."

Twitter also answered threee questions it says it has been asked since Thursday. The questions and answers from Twitter:

Q: Do you filter out certain Tweets before they appear on Twitter?
A: No. Our users now send a billion Tweets every four days -- filtering is neither desirable nor realistic. With this new feature, we are going to be reactive only: that is, we will withhold specific content only when required to do so in response to what we believe to be a valid and applicable legal request.

As we do today, we will evaluate each request before taking any action. Any content we do withhold in response to such a request is clearly identified to users in that country as being withheld. And we are now able to make that content available to users in the rest of the world.

Q: What will people see if content is withheld?
A: If people are located in a country where a Tweet or account has been withheld and they try to view it, they will see a alert box that says "Tweet withheld" or "@Username withheld" in place of the affected Tweet or account.

Q: Why did you take this approach, and why now?
A: There's no magic to the timing of this feature. We've been working to reduce the scope of withholding, while increasing transparency, for a while. We have users all over the world and wanted to find a way to deal with requests in the least restrictive way.]

ALSO:

'Don't Be Evil' tool alters new Google search results

Twitter can now censor tweets nationally, rather than globally

Twitter blasts prominence of Google+ in Google's revamped search results

– Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Images: Screen shots of Twitter users complaining about Twitter's new nation-specific censorship policy. Credit: Twitter

Comments Off

Twitter can now censor tweets nationally, rather than globally

posted by Technology @ 6:07 PM
Thursday, January 26, 2012
What a withheld tweet will look like
What a withheld username will look likeThe wings of some Twitter users may be clipped a bit less going forward.

The San Francisco-based company said Thursday that it will now be able to censor tweets in specific countries that ask it to do so for legal reasons, rather than having to block tweets globally as before.

"As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression," the company said in a blog post. "Some differ so much from our ideas that we will not be able to exist there. Others are similar but, for historical or cultural reasons, restrict certain types of content, such as France or Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content."

Up until this point, Twitter was only able to censor tweets worldwide, which means nobody would get to see a blocked tweet, the company said.

"Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country — while keeping it available in the rest of the world," Twitter said. "We have also built in a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why."

When a tweet is blocked in a country, a message will appear stating that the tweet has been withheld in that nation alongside a link that explains the reason as to why the tweet was blocked.

"We haven't yet used this ability, but if and when we are required to withhold a Tweet in a specific country, we will attempt to let the user know, and we will clearly mark when the content has been withheld," Twitter said. "As part of that transparency, we've expanded our partnership with Chilling Effects to share this new page, http://chillingeffects.org/twitter, which makes it easier to find notices related to Twitter."

Twitter says in its help center that the ability to block a tweet in a specific nation will allow it to "respect our user's expression, while also taking into consideration applicable local laws."

RELATED:

'Don't Be Evil' tool alters new Google search results

Summify flocks to Twitter to help users discover, filter content

Twitter blasts prominence of Google+ in Google's revamped search results

– Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Images: Screen shots of what blocked content will look like. Credit: Twitter

Comments Off

Tweets deny that Anonymous will try to hack into Facebook

posted by Technology @ 2:45 PM
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Anonymous has lobbed many online attacks against high-profile websites, but so far the hacktivist group has never hacked into the world's largest social network, Facebook.

And, if you believe most Anonymous connected Twitter accounts, that won't be changing anytime soon — despite ongoing rumors and a YouTube video stating an Anonymous-backed Facebook strike is planned for Saturday.

The question of whether Anonymous will attack Facebook got started with that YouTube video, published Monday. The video, which can be seen above, states that the group is targeting the social network as a part of an online war in reaction to two controversial online anti-piracy bills known as SOPA and PIPA that were abandoned by several Washington politicians last week.

"Hello. People of the world. We are Anonymous," a computer generated voice-over says in the video. "The time has come. An online war has begun between Anonymous, the people, and the government of the United States. While SOPA and PIPA may be postponed from Congress, this does not guarantee that our internet rights will be upheld."

Later, the video states that "while it is true that Facebook has at least 60,000 servers, it is still possible to bring it down. Anonymous needs the help of the people, the people who want to take a stand against the government. The people who want to make a difference. This is what we must do."

@AnonOps tweet

On Monday, just a few hours after the video was published on YouTube, the @AnonOps Twitter account — which many believe to be an authentic Anonymous account — said there were no plans to hit Facebook.

"Again we must say that we will not attack #Facebook! Again the mass media lie," one tweet said.

Another tweet repeated the denial of the YouTube video, stating "AGAIN: 'Anonymous Threatens Facebook Shutdown Jan' IS A FAKE. RT PLEASE."

But while the attack may not be a legitimate Anonymous operation, and while it may never even take place, the group's lack of hacks against Facebook isn't for a lack of threats.

Rogue members of the collective, which has no publicly clear leadership structure, and possibly even impostors have threatened attacks against Facebook multiple times in the past. Notably, one such threat last August planned for Guy Fawkes Day on Nov. 5 never panned out.

RELATED:

SOPA blackouts inspired protest around the world

Wikipedia: SOPA protest led 8 million to look up reps in Congress

Justice Department shuts down MegaUpload, Anonymous responds with Web attacks

– Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Image: A screenshot of a tweet from the @AnonOps account that denies the hacker group Anonymous will attack Facebook. Credit: Twitter

Comments Off

President Obama is back on social media like it's 2008 — when the Technology blog described him as "the first social media president."

The president has a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and Google+ — both for his reelection bid and for official White House communications. You can even download a ringtone for your smartphone of Obama singing Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" from a recent New York campaign fundraiser.

The White House on Google+

Next up is the first Presidential Google+ Hangout.

Obama will take part in a hangout video chat with up to nine other Google+ users on Jan. 30.

The hangout will cap a week of White House officials' fielding questions across Facebook, Twitter and Google+ about the president's annual State of the Union speech, to be delivered Tuesday.

And while the focus of the conversation is likely to be on the State of the Union, anyone can submit a question on just about any topic to Obama this week on Google+ and YouTube, the White House and YouTube said in separate blog posts.

YouTube posted even published a video promoting the event Monday showing scenes of tea party, Occupy Wall Street and Arab Spring protests, coverage of the death of Osama Bin Laden and the end of the Iraq War, as well as a brief voiceover from a gay Air Force lieutenant.

"If you could hang out with President Obama, what would you ask him? Would your question be about jobs or unemployment? The threat of nuclear weapons? Immigration reform? Whatever your question is, submit it on YouTube for the opportunity to ask the president directly in a special interview over a Google+ Hangout from the White House," YouTube said.

Of course, Obama won't answer all the questions submitted through the White House YouTube channel, but he will answer "several of the most popular questions" the White House said, and a small number of those who submit questions will be invited to join the president in the video chat.

RELATED:

Obama 2012 campaign heads to Tumblr

White House joins Google+ ahead of State of the Union speech

Obama 2012 campaign joins Instagram on eve of Iowa caucuses

– Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Image: Screen shot of the White House on Google+. Credit: Google

Comments Off

White House joins Google+ ahead of State of the Union speech

posted by Technology @ 5:34 PM
Sunday, January 22, 2012
The White House on Google+

The White House is now on Google+ and no, it's not technically a move to help President Obama get reelected — there is a separate Obama 2012 page for that.

So why is the Obama administration now on Google's social network? The State of the Union speech on Tuesday is at least one reason to join Google+.

The annual speech will be broadcast across major TV networks and an enhanced version will be streamed online to the White House's mobile apps and at whitehouse.gov/sotu, with "charts, stats and data that helped inform President Obama's policy decisions as he delivers his speech to the nation," the White House said.

After the speech, which starts at 6 p.m. Pacific time, White House officials will field questions throughout the week regarding the speech, the president's policies, and the direction in which the country and economy is headed. Those questions will be taken from Twitter, Facebook and (as of this week) Google+.

Down the road, the White House may use Google+ Hangouts, the social network's group video-chatting feature, to reach constituents.

"The President and First Lady often call the White House 'The People’s House.' Well, this is another way we're opening our doors (virtually) to citizens around the country," said Kori Schulman, the deputy director of outreach at the White House Office of Digital Strategy, in a blog post. "On our Google+ page, we'll host regular 'White House Hangouts' with administration officials on a range of issues and topics.

"Some Google+ users will be invited to join the Hangout with the White House and have a conversation with policy experts. But the best part is that even if you're not 'in' the Hangout, you can watch the whole thing live on WhiteHouse.gov, on our Google+ page or on the White House YouTube channel."

The White House currently has no Google+ Hangouts planned.

Although the White House's Google+ page isn't an official campaign tool, there is no doubt that the Obama administration and his reelection campaign staff are looking to use every tool possible to reach voters this year.

After all, the president's use of social media in his winning of the 2008 election is often cited as one of the reasons he was able to build up support among voters. The Technology blog even described Obama as "the first social media president."

One other reason the White House might want to be on Google+ — Republican rivals looking to knock Obama out of office are there too.

RELATED:

President Obama's 2012 campaign joins Google+

Facebook to launch its own political action committee

Obama 2012 campaign joins Instagram on eve of Iowa caucuses

– Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Image: A screen shot of the White House page on Google+. Credit: Google

Comments Off

PIPA anti-piracy bill vote postponed in Senate

posted by Technology @ 7:51 AM
Friday, January 20, 2012

Next week's scheduled vote on the PIPA anti-piracy bill has been postponed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Next week's scheduled vote on the PIPA anti-piracy bill has been postponed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, handing a defeat to Hollywood and a major victory to Internet companies that launched online protests to battle the legislation and its House companion, known as SOPA.

"In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the Protect IP Act," Reid (D-Nev.) said Friday. He called for all sides to work together to resolve "legitimate issues" raised about the bill to crack down on foreign websites that traffic in pirated movies, music and other goods.

"Counterfeiting and piracy cost the American economy billions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year, with the movie industry alone supporting over 2.2 million jobs. We must take action to stop these illegal practices," Reid said. "We made good progress through the discussions we've held in recent days, and I am optimistic that we can reach a compromise in the coming weeks."

Wikipedia led a 12-to-24-hour blackout by more than 10,000 websites on Wednesday in protest of the proposed Protect Intellectual Property Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act. The sites directed people to contact their members of Congress, flooding Capitol Hill with calls and emails.

The bills are strongly backed by the entertainment industry and had been on a fast track to approval, with the Senate set to hold a key procedural vote on Tuesday. But the protests led several co-sponsors of the legislation to pull their support, with numerous other lawmakers vowing to oppose the legislation in its current form out of concern that it could squelch free speech on the Internet and lead to the shutdown of legitimate sites.

RELATED:

MegaUpload file sharing site shut down for piracy by Feds

Click here to find out more!SOPA and PIPA opponents warn the bills are not dead yet

Uproar over proposed bills delays answer to Internet piracy

– Jim Puzzanghera in Washington

 

Comments Off

MegaUpload, one of the world's largest file-sharing websites, was shut down Thursday by the U.S. Department of Justice, which accused it of violating piracy and copyright laws.

  In an indictment, the Justice Department alleged that MegaUpload was a "mega conspiracy" and a global criminal organization "whose members engaged in criminal copyright infringement and money laundering on a massive scale."

The Justice Department said MegaUpload, which had about 150 million users, tallied up harm to copyright holders in excess of $500 million by allowing users to illegally share movies, music and other files. Prosecutors said in the indictment that the site's operators raked in an income from it that topped $175 million.

Justice Department indictment of MegaUpload DOCUMENT: Read the indictment against MegaUpload

MegaUpload was just one of the many services that allow for the easy sharing of large files online. Others include sites such as Mediafire and Rapidshare and cloud storage services that allow for shared folders such as Box.net and Dropbox.

One way MegaUpload differentiated itself was with its online marketing campaign that featured celebrities such as rapper/producers Kanye West, Lil' Jon, Sean "Diddy" Combs and Swizz Beats stating in YouTube videos why they loved using the site. Other videos feature tennis star Serena Williams, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., Def Jam Records founder Russell Simmons and director Brett Ratner testifying to their use of MegaUpload.

The release of the Justice Department indictment came after dozens of websites, led by tech heavyweights Wikipedia, Craigslist, Mozilla and Google, altered their websites to protest two anti-piracy bills under consideration on Capitol Hill: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).

Critics of the bills say the proposed laws would give the Justice Department the ability to censor the Internet by giving the agency clearance to shut down a site without having to get court approval of an indictment, as it did with MegaUpload. Although the indictment was unsealed Thursday, it was issued by a federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia on Jan. 5, the agency said.

In a statement issued with the indictment,the Justice Department said "this action is among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States and directly targets the misuse of a public content storage and distribution site to commit and facilitate intellectual property crime."

The Justice Department said that at its request, authorities arrested three MegaUpload executives — officially employed by two companies, Megaupload Ltd. and Vestor Ltd. — in New Zealand, including the site's founder, Kim Dotcom, who was born Kim Schmitz. The agency is also looking to arrest two additional executives.

The indictment charges the two companies with running a "racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement."

According to the Associated Press, before the MegaUpload site was shut down Thursday, a statement was posted on the site saying the allegations made against it were "grotesquely overblown" and that "the vast majority of Mega's Internet traffic is legitimate, and we are here to stay. If the content industry would like to take advantage of our popularity, we are happy to enter into a dialogue. We have some good ideas. Please get in touch."

Visits to Megaupload.com on Thursday showed the website as unable to load. The Justice Department had ordered the seizure of 18 domain names it linked to the alleged wrongdoing.

[Updated at 3:42 p.m.: As noted by Times reporter Ben Fritz on our sister blog Company Town, the hacker group Anonymous has allegedly lobbed a denial-of-service attack that has temporarily taken down the websites for the Department of Justice and Universal Music as a move in retaliation for the shutdown of MegaUpload. Forbes is reporting that the same attack has struck the sites for the Recording Industry of America and the Motion Picture Assn. of America.]

[Updated at 3:50 p.m.: The Twitter accounts @YourAnonNews and @AnonOps are taking credit on behalf of Anonymous for the web attacks on the websites of the Justice Department, Recording Industry of America, Motion Picture Assn. of America and Universal Music.]

ALSO:

SOPA blackouts inspired protest around the world

Apple's iBooks 2, iBooks Author: Bids to own publishing's future

Wikipedia: SOPA protest led 8 million to look up reps in Congress

– Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

twitter.com/nateog

Comments Off

SOPA and PIPA opponents warn the bills are not dead yet

posted by Technology @ 11:21 AM
Thursday, January 19, 2012

PIPA protesters
A day after a widespread Internet protest, key opponents of SOPA and PIPA warned Thursday that the controversial online piracy bills are not dead yet and called for lawmakers to slow down and start over.

"It's not dead at all," said Michael Petricone, vice president of government affairs for the Consumer Electronics Assn., noting that the Senate was still scheduled to hold a procedural vote on the Protect Intellectual Property Act on Tuesday.

At a Capitol Hill news conference, Petricone and others said opponents needed to continue to pressure Congress to remove the legislation from the fast track and start a more open process to craft a narrower bill that would not threaten collateral damage on legitimate websites.

“You have all kinds of very substantive, very smart interests who are bringing up very substantive potential problems with this bill," Petricone said. "Why can’t we step back and get it right? This isn’t the Patriot Act; the country’s not going to blow up if we don’t enact this next week."

Lawmakers' ears were still ringing from the thousands of calls and emails that flooded into Capitol Hill after Wikipedia led about 10,000 websites in a 24-hour blackout Wednesday to protest the bills. At least five co-sponsors of the bills publicly pulled their support, with several others announcing they would not vote for the legislation without major changes.

The lead sponsors of the bills have promised to make changes and are expected to remove the most controversial provision, which would allow Internet service providers to block access to foreign-based piracy sites. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the lead backer of PIPA, is working on a set of amendments he plans to unveil before Tuesday's vote.

The cautions about the fight not being over were echoed by Wikipedia, whose English-language version was easily accessible again Thursday. A banner at the top of the site reads, "Thank you for protecting Wikipedia. (We're not done yet)."

"SOPA and PIPA are not dead: they are waiting in the shadows," Wikipedia said on a page linked from that banner. "We’re turning the lights back on. Help us keep them shining brightly."

Markham Erickson, who heads a coalition of Internet companies, said Congress needed to take more time to get the legislation right.

"There are solutions, but we need to step back and reset," said Erickson, whose NetCoalition includes Google Inc., Amazon.com, EBay and Yahoo Inc. "Instead of having to negotiate with a gun to our head,  so to speak, let’s sit down and have a data-driven process."

He and other SOPA and PIPA opponents are looking toward legislation introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who have been two of the strongest congressional opponents of the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act.

Their Online Protection & Enforcement of Digital Trade Act, known as the OPEN Act, is a much narrower approach that would try to cut off the money to foreign piracy sites through the U.S. International Trade Commission. The entertainment industry and other supporters of SOPA and PIPA said such an approach would not be as effective in shutting down foreign piracy sites.

But opponents of SOPA and PIPA said they liked the process Issa and Wyden have used in crafting their bill. The two lawmakers released a draft last year at www.KeepTheWebOpen.com and said they revised it to reflect some of the more than 150 substantive comments and suggested improvements received from visitors to the site.

RELATED:

The Internet flexes its muscles with blackout

Bloggers in China sound off on SOPA blackout

Blackout: Sites gone dark to protest anti-piracy bills

– Jim Puzzanghera in Washington

Photo: Protesters in New York on Wednesday demonstrate against the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Act. Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Matt Kuchar has new sponsors, later start in season

Comments Off

Bloggers in China sound off on SOPA blackout

posted by Technology @ 2:44 AM
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Bloggers in China sound off on SOPA blackout

Watching from China, where Web censorship is practically a national hallmark, some can't help but smirk and crack jokes about the controversy raging over Internet freedom in the U.S.

"Now the U.S. government is copying us and starting to build their own firewall," wrote one micro-blogger, relating China's chief censorship tool to the U.S. plan to block sites that trade in pirated material.

The Relevant Organs, an anonymous Twitter account (presumably) pretending to be the voice of the Chinese communist leadership, quipped: "Don't understand the hoopla over Wikipedia blackout in the U.S. today. We blacked it out here years ago. Where are OUR hugs?"

PHOTO: Sites gone dark to protest anti-piracy bills

Humor aside, the brouhaha has generated some strong opinions in the country that  Google fled, not the least because opponents of the SOPA and PIPA anti-piracy bills are conjuring Chinese Web censorship to promote their case.

The consensus here, however, appears to be this: Americans should try a minute in our shoes before invoking online Armageddon.

If anything, Chinese bloggers say, the debate underscores how privileged U.S. Web users and Internet companies are, even in times of duress.

"Only an American company could protest the way Wikipedia or Google has to the government," said Zhao Jing, a closely followed blogger in Beijing who uses the pen name Michael Anti. "A Chinese company would never get away with that."

Indeed, China's Internet sector has no choice but to submit to government pressure -– be it by censoring its own users or implementing whatever happens to be the state initiative of the moment (the latest may require the real-ID registration of 250 million micro-blog accounts despite threats to privacy and the cost burden on Web firms).

Another distinction Chinese activists note is that the proposed legislation in Washington is being debated openly in public and ultimately has to adhere to U.S. law. Chinese censorship, on the other hand, operates in an opaque space where no one really knows what's banned, what isn't and who is calling the shots.

"It's hard for people in the U.S. to understand Internet censorship in China," said Wen Yunchao, a prominent blogger and outspoken government critic who left mainland China recently for Hong Kong. "In China, all the government decisions are done in a dark box. No one knows what's going on. There's never any legal reason cited. If these laws are passed in the U.S., every step of the way it will be more transparent. People can challenge it. There's no comparison when it comes to censorship in China and in the U.S."

Still, Wen supports U.S. activists challenging the bills, saying it's a slippery slope to lesser Web access. He said China's so-called Great Firewall, which blocks access to many foreign sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, was first billed as a strategy to stop piracy and pornography.

"Now it's being abused and extended to thousands of websites," he said.

Ironically, China's 513 million Web users have relatively free access when it comes to the very sites targeted by the proposed Protect Intellectual Property Act and Stop Online Piracy Act. Those include BitTorrent sites such as Extratorrent and sellers of counterfeit goods such as Taobao.

"The Chinese Great Firewall is not targeting pirated material," said Beijing-based Jason Ng, another popular blogger who has 29,000 Twitter followers. "Look at the Chinese Internet space and it's all about pirated movies, TV and porn. Everyone just wants to enjoy and be entertained. If the government cut all that off, they'd have a serious problem on their hands."

RELATED:

Number of Web users in China hits 513 million

SOPA blackout: How many have joined the fight?

Google says 4.5 million people signed anti-SOPA petition today

– David Pierson
twitter.com/dhpierson

Photo: A Google search page awaits input from a user at an Internet cafe in Beijing. Credit: Alexander F. Yuan / Associated Press

Comments Off

SOPA blackout: How many have joined the fight?

posted by Technology @ 2:50 PM
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Google.com on Wednesday Jan 18

There's something awesome and kind of a folksy feeling about today's first semi-coordinated online protest against anti-piracy bills that have been circulating around Congress.

But how many people have actually been moved to action?

That's where the kind of coordinated-ness of it all gets a little annoying. Almost all of the striking websites suggest visitors take some sort of action against the bill — some recommend you get in touch with your congressional representative to express your opposition to SOPA and PIPA,  others ask users to sign a petition expressing their concern over the bills.

PHOTOS: Sites on strike

But even these petitions are not centralized, so it's difficult to tally how many people have been moved to participate.

Here's what we have been able to gather, as of this writing:

48,882 people have liked the Against the Stop Online Piracy Act page on Facebook.

Google is reporting more than 3 million Americans have signed various petitions opposing SOPA.

51,689 signed a petition on the White House's website We the People, asking the Obama administration to veto SOPA.

1.4 million people worldwide signed a "Save the Internet" petition on the activist website Avaaz.org

BlackoutSOPA.org is reporting that 68,620 people have changed either their Twitter, Google+ or Facebook profile picture to feature an anti-SOPA message.

Fight for the Future, a nonprofit, is reporting that 75,000 sites have signed up to participate in the protest, and that between its two sites Sopastrike.com and AmericanCensorship.org, 350,000 people have sent emails sent to their two senators and their representatives.

We'll keep updating as we learn more.

ALSO:

SOPA blackout: Bills lose three co-sponsors amid protests

SOPA blackout: Who’s gone dark to protest anti-piracy bills?

Wikipedia still accessible during SOPA blackout — with a little effort

– Deborah Netburn

Image: A screen shot of Google's anti-SOPA home page.

Comments Off
Photo: Poeple meetup in an event organized by the group New York Tech Meetup to protest against proposed laws to curb Internet piracy outside the offices of U.S. Democratic Senators from New York Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. Schumer and Gillibrand are co-sponsors of the Senate bill PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act). SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) is the US House version. Credit: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

The protests against the House's Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate's Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) spread from the Web into the streets of New York on Wednesday.

According to the New York Times, the New York Daily News, USA Today, Cnet and Mashable, hundreds (and maybe thousands) of people organized by the group New York Tech Meetup protested in person and with signs against SOPA and PIPA outside of the offices of New York Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both Democrats.

The group, which reportedly has about 20,000 members, targeted Schumer and Gillibrand for the protest because the two are co-sponsors of PIPA. The protesters, which police corralled into metal barriers on a sidewalk in front of the senators' Manhattan offices, called for Schumer and Gillibrand to withdraw their support for PIPA — a move a few politicians took on Wednesday amid the widespread online actions against the proposed laws.

Similar protests were also planned Wednesday in San Francisco, Seattle, Las Vegas and Washington, D.C.

While lawmakers in support of SOPA and PIPA have said that the bills are written to protect against online piracy and theft of American-made films, TV shows, music and other digital goods, those against the bills say the legislation would open the door to online censorship that would essentially ruin the free flow of information on the Web.

PHOTOS: Sites on strike

Andrew Rasiej, chairman of the New York Tech Meetup, told the New York Daily News that not only would SOPA and PIPA open the door to censorship of the Internet, but the laws would also have negative effects on the ability of the U.S. to remain a leader in the global tech industry.

"Because a new innovation by a start-up could be interpreted by a judge unfamiliar with how the technology works as infringing on copyright, investors and entrepreneurs would be discouraged from moving forward with a start-up due to a significantly increased risk of legal entanglement," Rasiej told the New York Daily News. "This in turn would dampen job creation and future opportunities for New Yorkers and Americans as a whole."

RELATED:

More opponents of PIPA and SOPA emerge on the right

SOPA blackout: Bills lose three co-sponsors amid protests

SOPA blackout: Who’s gone dark to protest anti-piracy bills?

– Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

twitter.com/nateog

Photo: People gather outside the offices of two U.S. senators from New York, including Sen. Charles "Chuck" Schumer,  to protest against proposed laws to curb Internet piracy. Credit: Stan Honda / AFP/Getty Images

Comments Off
Wired

Wednesday, Jan. 18: the day of the SOPA "blackout" protest. As you may have seen from our coverage, major names in the online world such as Google, Wikipedia, Mozilla and Reddit are censoring their own websites with black bars and blacked-out pages in protest of SOPA and PIPA, two online anti-piracy bills currently under consideration on Capitol Hill.

Lawmakers who support the bills say the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act will protect the intellectual property rights of music, movie and TV studios. But the websites and tech giants taking part in the Wednesday blackout argue that SOPA and PIPA would allow for a censoring of the Internet that would forever alter the Web and what we can do, say and publish online.

And it's not just Silicon Valley that's protesting SOPA and PIPA in the day-long blackout — a few publications that cover the tech world are taking part as well, including Wired and ArsTechnica.

Here's a list of more than 30 websites (and screen shots of each) we've spotted that are protesting today in the form of full-on blackouts or even just making their anti-SOPA and anti-PIPA stances known publicly. If there are a few we've missed, feel free to let us know in the comments.

Wikipedia.org

Wikipedia's English website

Google.com

Google.com

Craigslist.org

Craigslist- inland empire classifieds for jobs, apartments, personals, for sale, services, community, and events

Mozilla Firefox's start page

Mozilla Firefox Start Page

BoingBoing.net

Boingboing

Reddit.com

Reddit

ArsTechnica.com

ArsTechnica

Wired.com

Wired

TheVerge.com

TheVerge

OReilly.com

O'Reilly Media - Stop SOPA

TechCrunch.com

TechCrunch

MoveOn.org

MoveOn.org- CENSORED

WordPress.com

WordPress

Xkcd.com

XkcdSOPA

Fark.com

Fark

4Chan.com

4chanSports

GigaOm.com

GigaOM

FunnyOrDie.com

Funny or Die - Funny Videos, Funny Pictures, and Funny Jokes

PerezHilton.com

Celebrity gossip juicy celebrity rumors Hollywood gossip blog from Perez Hilton

GoDaddy.com

Go Daddy & Many Other Internet Leaders Oppose SOPA & PIPA - Go Daddy Blog - Go Daddy Support

KnowYourMeme.com

Internet Meme Database - Know Your Meme

Imgur.com

Imgur

BoardgameGeek.com

BoardGameGeek

Newgrounds.com

Newgrounds.com

UrbanSpoon.com

Los Angeles Restaurants - Urbanspoon

DemocraticUnderground.com

Democratic Underground Is Offline To Protest SOPA And PIPA. Stop The Internet Blacklist Legislation!

JoinDiaspora.comStrike Against SOPA & PIPA

Heritage.org

HeritageFoundation

GameBreaker.tv

Gamebreakerdottv

Pocho.com

Pocho

RateYourMusic.com

Rateyourmusic

SparkFun.com

SparkFunElectronics

DayTrader.com

DayTrader

TextsFromLastNight.com

Texts From Last Night

[Updated 12:29 p.m.: GigaOm.com is also against SOPA and PIPA, and on Wednesday the news site let that stance be known.]

[Updated 2:49 p.m.: Added the Jan. 18 anti-SOPA and PIPA protests on FunnyOrDie.com, PerezHilton.com, GoDaddy.com, KnowYourMeme.com, Imgur.com, BoardgameGeek.com, Newgrounds.com, UrbanSpoon.com, DemocraticUnderground.com and JoinDiaspora.com.]

[Updated 3:15 p.m.: Added the anti-SOPA and PIPA Jan. 18 stances seen on Heritage.org, GameBreaker.tv, Pocho.com, RateYourMusic.com and SparkFun.com.]

[Updated 4:51 p.m.: Added DayTrader.com's blacked-out Jan. 18 homepage.]

RELATED:

More opponents of PIPA and SOPA emerge on the right

SOPA blackout: Bills lose three co-sponsors amid protests

SOPA anti-piracy bill markup to resume next month, lawmaker says

– Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Images: Screenshots (made using the Mac app LittleSnapper) of websites taking part in the Jan. 18, 2011 protests against SOPA and PIPA by either blacking out their websites, or publishing statements condemning the controversial anti-piracy bills.

Comments Off

SOPA blackout: Bills lose three co-sponsors amid protests

posted by Technology @ 11:19 AM
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sen. Marco Rubio

Three co-sponsors of the SOPA and PIPA antipiracy bills have publicly withdrawn their support as Wikipedia and thousands of other websites blacked out their pages Wednesday to protest the legislation.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) withdrew as a co-sponsor of the Protect IP Act in the Senate, while Reps. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) and Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.) said they were pulling their names from the companion House bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act. Opponents of the legislation, led by large Internet companies, say its broad definitions could lead to censorship of online content and force some websites to shut down.

In a posting on his Facebook page, Rubio noted that after the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously passed its bill last year, he has "heard legitimate concerns about the impact the bill could have on access to the Internet and about a potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government's power to impact the Internet."

PHOTOS: Sites on strike

"Congress should listen and avoid rushing through a bill that could have many unintended consequences," Rubio said in announcing he was withdrawing his support. While he's committed to stopping online piracy, Rubio called for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to back off plans to hold a key procedural vote on the bill on Tuesday.

Rubio's withdrawal will reduce the number of co-sponsors to 39. Last week, two other co-sponsors, Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), joined four other Senate Republicans in a letter to Reid also urging him delay the vote. But Grassley and Hatch have not withdrawn their support.

Terry and Quayle were among the 31 sponsors of the House legislation before they withdrew their support Tuesday.

Quayle still strongly supports the goal of the House bill to crack down on foreign websites that traffic in pirated movies, music, medicine and other goods.

"The bill could have some unintended consequences that need to be addressed," said Quayle spokesman Zach Howell. "Basically it needs more work before he can support it."

Terry said that he also had problems with the House bill in its current form and would no longer support it.

Wikipedia, Reddit and about 10,000 other websites blacked out their pages Wednesday with messages warning of the dangers of the legislation and urging people to contact their congressional representatives. Howell said Quayle's office had not seen a major increase in calls or emails Wednesday, but that the piracy bills have been the main issue in recent weeks for people contacting the office.

There has been a "manageable increase" in visits to House member websites Wednesday, said Dan Weiser, a spokesman for the House office of the chief administrative officer.

"It’s possible some users will see a short delay or slow loading of a member's web page," he said.

RELATED:

More opponents of PIPA and SOPA emerge on the right

SOPA blackout: Who’s gone dark to protest anti-piracy bill?

Wikipedia still accessible during SOPA blackout — with a little effort

– Jim Puzzanghera in Washington

Photo: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Credit: Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel

Comments Off

SOPA blackout: Wikipedia still accessible — with a little effort

posted by Technology @ 9:19 AM
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wikipedia blackout

Wikipedia is the biggest name among the approximately 10,000 websites that pledged to go dark Wednesday in a broad Internet protest of the SOPA and PIPA online anti-piracy bills. But word has quickly spread about how to circumvent the blackout.

Visitors to Wikipedia's English-language site — either directly to its homepage or via a link from a search engine query — are diverted in seconds to a dark page that asks people to "Imagine a world without free knowledge." There's a couple of sentences about threat from the bills, and a box to enter your ZIP code to help contact your member of Congress about the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect-IP Act.

Mashable.com lists a couple of ways to bypass the blackout screen and get to Wikipedia's pages.

PHOTOS: Sites on strike

The easiest is to go to Wikipedia's mobile version, which is not being blacked out. You don't have to use a mobile device to do it. The mobile version is available via your Web browser at en.m.wikipedia.org.

There's a black bar at the top that notes the piracy protest, but the rest of the site is fully accessible.

Another easy workaround is the Simple English version of Wikipedia, which is designed for children and adults learning the language. It's not as extensive as Wikipedia's main site, but could be helpful for youngsters working on school projects.

The Village Voice offers another alternative. Wikipedia's foreign-language sites — with dozens of options, from Afrikaans to Zeêuws — are not participating in the blackout and are open for surfing if you're multilngual or have quick access to Rosetta Stone.

RELATED:

SOPA blackout shows little hope of peace with Hollywood

Websites flexing muscle in push against online piracy bills

Websites going black to protest anti-piracy bills in Congress

– Jim Puzzanghera in Washington

Photo: A laptop in London shows Wikipedia's protest page on Wednesday. Credit: Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

Comments Off

House Judiciary Committee members John Conyers and Lamar Smith

One day before major players in the online community plan to launch a virtual protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) making its way through Congress, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) issued a statement saying the committee will delay its markup of the bill until February.

But Smith said the delay is unrelated to Wikipedia's announcement that it would black out its English sites for 24 hours, or to Reddit's decision to black out its site for 12 hours, or to Google's announcement that it will place a link on its homepage to highlight its opposition to the bill.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Smith said the delay was because of Republican and Democratic retreats scheduled for the next few weeks.

Then he reiterated his commitment to sending the bill to the White House.

"To enact legislation that protects consumers, businesses and jobs from foreign thieves who steal America's intellectual property, we will continue to bring together industry representatives and Members to find ways to combat online piracy," Smith said. “I am committed to continuing to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to send a bipartisan bill to the White House that saves American jobs and protects intellectual property."

ALSO:

Yang out at Yahoo

Waterproof smartphones? Yes please!

Internet strike: Wikipedia, Mozilla, Reddit to go dark tonight

– Deborah Netburn

Photo: Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), left, and Lamar Smith (R-Texas) are members of the House Judiciary Committee. Credit: Alex Wong AFP/Getty Images

Comments Off

Internet strike: Wikipedia, Mozilla, Reddit to go dark tonight

posted by Technology @ 1:56 PM
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Wikipedia

What does an Internet strike look like? You're about to find out.

Wikipedia, Reddit, BoingBoing and hundreds of other websites have pledged to go dark Tuesday night to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) — two anti-piracy bills that are currently making their way through Congress.

"This is an extraordinary action for our community to take," said Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales in a statement Monday announcing Wikipedia's decision to go dark. "While we regret having to prevent the world from having access to Wikipedia for even a second, we simply cannot ignore the fact that SOPA and PIPA endanger free speech both in the United States and abroad, and set a frightening precedent of Internet censorship for the world."

Wikipedia — the Web's fifth-most popular property with 470 million monthly users — is the largest Web entity to declare its intent to go dark, but it joins many other websites that have already pledged to shut down for 12 to 24 hours to draw attention to legislation that they say will hasten the end of the free Internet.

Reddit was one of the trailblazers of the blackout movement, declaring its intent to go dark on Jan. 10. Two days later, Ben Huh, chief executive of Cheezburger, which has a network of 50 sites including the seminal ICanHasCheezburger as well as Fail Blog, Know Your Meme and the Daily What, said his sites would be joining the strike.

Blackouts are not the only types of protest you'll find online Wednesday. Google announced Tuesday that, while its search engine will continue to function, the company will place a link on its home page to highlight its opposition to the bills.

“Like many businesses, entrepreneurs and Web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the Internet,” Samantha Smith, a Google spokeswoman, said in an email Tuesday. “So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our U.S. home page.”

And Scribd, which claims to be the world's largest online repository of documents, said visitors to its website would find a pop-up roadblock Wednesday in protest of SOPA and PIPA that will lead to a call to action and an online petition. 

Craigslist started its protest early. A starred section at the top of the site urges users to "help put a stop to this madness" and links to a page dedicated to the topic.

ALSO:

No Steve Jobs doll after all

Waterproof smartphones up next?

Where's my Wikipedia? SOPA, PIPA blackout coming

– Deborah Netburn

Image: The Wikipedia home page.

Comments Off

Where’s my Wikipedia? SOPA, PIPA blackout coming

posted by Technology @ 9:00 AM
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jimmy Wales will shut down Wikipedia for 24 hours

Wikipedia is among hundreds of websites that will be showing just how they feel about SOPA  by going dark Wednesday.

The English-language version of Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, will be shut down for 24 hours in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act and PIPA, the Protect Intellectual Property Act, now working their way through Congress.

Jimmy Wales, site co-founder, told the BBC's Martha Kearney on Tuesday morning that "tomorrow from midnight Washington D.C. time until midnight the entire day of Wednesday, we're going to blank out" the English version of Wikipedia and post a message of protest.

He told Kearney that the legislation makes "something like Wikipedia essentially impossible … if the provider has to police everything that everyone is doing on the site."

Websites taking part in the so-called SOPA Strike include Mozilla, Reddit, WordPress and Boing Boing.

Twitter was hopping Tuesday morning with the news:

From the BBC's Philippia Thomas: "#Twitter chief says 'Closing a global business in reaction to a single-issue national politics is foolish'. How about that #Wikipedia?"

Greenpeace tweeted:  " 'We're sorry, you're not allowed to read this.' Join us in saying no to corporate censorship of the internet."

The MPAA and others who support the law say the Internet operators have it all wrong. As the Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday:

The Motion Picture Assn. of America and others driving the legislation said real progress had been made toward creating a law that would protect intellectual property. The advocates said misinformation is inflaming passions on the Web while doing nothing to solve the problem of piracy.

ALSO:

Zappos website hacked

No Steve Jobs doll after all

Waterproof smartphones up next?

– Amy Hubbard

Photo: Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales in 2011.  Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth / Associated Press

Comments Off

Obama 2012 campaign joins Instagram on eve of Iowa caucuses

posted by Technology @ 10:14 AM
Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Barack Obama's first photo on Instagram

As Republicans focused on the Iowa caucuses and President Barack Obama made a pitch to Iowans of his own over streaming video on Tuesday, the Obama 2012 reelection campaign took its message to Instagram.

The president's campaign staff, which is also looking to reach voters on Tumblr and Google+ (along with a few Republican rivals), has posted two photos thus far, both of the president speaking with Iowa's caucus voters via video chat, making his case for another term in the White House.

Although Instagram — a photo-sharing app known for retro filters that allows people to share photos with one another from their iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads — is new territory for Obama, the move by his 2012 campaign shouldn't come as a surprise.

In the 2008 election, Obama's team was so well known for its use of Twitter, Facebook and blogging to help build up an overwhelming amount of support that the Technology blog described Obama as "the first social media President." And over the last four years, the White House has made great use of the photo-sharing site Flickr.

Instagram, which has seen its more than 5-million users share more than 150-million photos, said in a company blog post that it is "excited to welcome President Barack Obama to Instagram" and that it looks "forward to seeing how President Obama uses Instagram to give folks a visual sense of what happens in the everyday life of the President of the United States."

The Obama 2012 campaign is also looking for supporters to share their photos with the @BarackObama Instagram account by tagging their photos with "#obama2012," Instagram said.

The company also made sure to point out that political coverage on Instagram has been on the rise over the last year as the 2012 presidential election gets closer.

"News organizations such as NBC News, ABC World News and the Washington Post have been sharing behind-the-scenes photos at debates and town hall meetings across the country, offering a unique look into the 2012 elections," Instagram said.

Among the most interesting photos shared so far by news organizations covering the election on Instagram would have to be Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker's shot of Republican hopeful Mitt Romney typing on his Apple iPad in an airport.

RELATED:

Obama 2012 campaign heads to Tumblr

President Obama's 2012 campaign joins Google+

Tech entrepreneur Kevin Systrom is focused on photography

— Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Image: A screen shot of President Barack Obama's first Instagram photo. Credit: Obama 2012 / Instagram

Comments Off

Facebook’s top political stories: from Occupy to the ‘dougie’

posted by Technology @ 11:28 AM
Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street, Osama bin Laden's death and the birther movement all ranked high on Facebook's top political stories this year. 

The social networking site said Wednesday that its "Facebook Political Team" looked at some of the top sources for political news and what stories received the most traffic from Facebook through friend shares, pages and social plug-ins such as the "like" button.

The top 40 stories came from newspapers, television news shows and blogs and "represent the type of political news people have been sharing and discussing with their Facebook friends this year," the tech company said.

Coming in at No. 1: "Open letter to that 53% guy," in which an Occupy supporter responds to a former Marine who posted a photo of himself telling Occupy supporters to, among other things, "Suck it up you whiners." The story has been shared 585,000 times, "liked" on Facebook 150,000 times and has nearly 600 comments on the Daily Kos, a political blog.

Facebook's list wasn't all economy and wars, though. It also contained some light-hearted stories, including First Lady Michelle Obama's visit to a middle school in which she danced the dougie and running man (No. 6), the Obamas shopping at a Target (No. 29) and lobbyists succeeding at getting pizza classified as a vegetable in schools (No. 38). 

Here's the full list: 

1. Daily Kos: Open Letter to that 53% Guy
2. Washington Post: Obama's and Bush’s effects on the deficit in one graph
3. FOX News: Should U.S. Get Involved in Syria?
4. CNN: Osama bin Laden, the face of terror, killed in Pakistan
5. Salon: "USA! USA!" is the wrong response
6. Huffington Post: Michelle Obama Dances 'The Dougie' & 'The Running Man'
7. Huffington Post: Obama's Birth Certificate Through The Eyes Of A Birther
8. CNN: Think Occupy Wall St. is a phase? You don't get it
9. Huffington Post: Sarah Palin's PAC Puts Gun Sights On Democrats She's Targeting In 2010
10: MSNBC: Anti-gay marriage group fakes support with doctored photos
11. Huffington Post: Conservative Pie: Republicans Introduce Legislation Redefining Pi
12.Huffington Post: Westboro To Picket Funerals Of Arizona Shooting Victims
13. MSNBC: Web's bin Laden 'death photo' (just the photo) is fake
14. LA Times: Michele Bachmann is worried about the Renaissance
15. Huffington Post: Senate Votes To Let Military Detain Americans Indefinitely 
16. FOX News: White House Condemns Possible Execution of Iranian Pastor
17. Huffington Post: Everything The Media Told You About Occupy Wall Street Is Wrong
18. FOX News: Usama Bin Laden Killed in Firefight With U.S. Special Ops Team in Pakistan
19. CNN: Arizona enacts funeral protest legislation
20. FOX: 'Occupy Wall Street' — It's Not What They're for, But What They're Against
21. LA Times: Lara Logan breaks her silence on '60 Minutes'
22. The Blaze: Adam Carolla on Occupy Movement: '[Expletive] Self-Entitled Monsters'
23. MSNBC: In the ruins of Gadhafi's lair, rebels find album with photos of Condoleezza Rice
24. CNN: Soldier leaves a legacy much larger than 'he was gay.'
25. Slate: Pentagon's top secret cat warfare exposed
26. CNN: Middle class backlash at Occupy Wall Street protesters
27. Weekly Standard: Obama bans asthma inhalers over environmental concerns
28. Slate: Clarence Thomas writes one of the meanest Supreme Court decisions ever
29. Good Morning America: Obamas go shopping at Target
30. CNN: Who owns America? Hint: It's not China.
31. Huffington Post: UC Davis protesters arrested, pepper sprayed
32. FOX News: Should the American flag be banned in America?
33. Huffington Post: UC Davis police officer pepper sprays nonviolent protesters
34. LA Times: Arnold Schwarzenegger acknowledges paternity of child out of wedlock
35. MSNBC: U.S. Forces kill Osama bin Laden in Pakistan
36. MSNBC Video: Obama announces the death of Osama bin Laden from White House
37. CNN: Obama announces the death of Osama bin Laden
38. Huffington Post: Lobbyists succeed in categorizing pizza as a vegetable in schools
39. MSNBC: Lobbying firm memo spells out plan to undermine Occupy Wall Street
40. Wall Street Journal: How to Tax the Rich

RELATED:

Facebook says LAX tops list of most 'social' airports

Facebook to launch its own political action committee

Facebook privacy policy becomes an issue in political attack ad

– Andrea Chang

twitter.com/byandreachang

Photo: An Occupy Wall Street demonstrator in New York in November. Credit: Brendan McDermid / Reuters

Comments Off
San Clemente Web University: FREE Web Marketing & Advertising Classes is proudly powered by Link Web Services, Inc.