When Crowdsourcing is Not Democracy

A response to “Democratizing ICT4D with DIY Innovation and Open Data” In the digital era, it’s easier to conflate participation with democracy. This is a dangerous and unfortunate trend as it degrades the very concept of what a democracy can and should be: a transparent, participatory, and accountable means of representative governance. Voting itself doesn’t … Continue reading

A Wired City Versus A Hurricane

My grandma was trapped in mandatory evacuation zone with hurricane Irene fast approaching. As an elderly Russian immigrant, she didn’t have much access to good information about the storm. I rushed to the internet to see what I can find so that I can give her the best advice I can. Flash back to the … Continue reading

Social Media to Prevent Hate Media

Originally published on Huffington Post George Orwell wrote “History is written by the winners” and while this has been the case in many places, it has certainly not held true for Israel. After the war of independence established the state of Israel, it has continued to fight for legitimacy as a state. Media has been … Continue reading

Digital activism is more than marketing

In Micah White’s recent article about so-called “clicktivism,” he points out that the substance of activism has been replaced by reformist platitudes and marketing. There is a difference, however, between an educational campaign and straight marketing. While many people certainly work on both worlds simultaneously, there is often a tangible difference in the look, feel and … Continue reading

Leaking Peace

Modern warfare is not just violence, but also peacebuilding initiatives. One of the problems with releasing 90,000+ documents, as WikiLeaks did, and not reporting on the contents of those documents, as the media didn’t, is that the story of the war becomes skewed. Meaning that anyone trying to make sense of a war that has raged … Continue reading

Notes on Wikileaks

I recently met Julian Assange. My conversation with him helped to shine a light on for Wikileaks’ internal processes, just as Raffi Khatchadourian’s brilliant piece in the New Yorker and Julian’s TED talk also helped to do. Julian’s point, which I agree with, is often that newspapers are failing because of bad journalism. How many … Continue reading

Eastern Europe’s New Communist Threats

My grandfather is the picture of a  90 year old soviet man. Injured by shrapnel from a grenade in the great patriotic war, yet he still jogs a few miles every morning. He lived through World War 2, the new economic policy, Stalin, the fall of the wall, and all the rest. I had the … Continue reading

P2P doesn’t include the police

I’m on a train from the Hague to Amsterdam. Earlier today I described the place like going to Disney land, but for human rights, having never been before. The meetings went well and the city is beautiful, but it’s the train ride that got interesting. Being on the phone, I didn’t notice getting onto the … Continue reading

Armenia’s New Media Landscape

Last week I was in Armenia looking at the current media landscape. It was a pleasure to be back again after I was there for Barcamp Yerevan back in April. It was fun to be back and exploring the media sector in more detail, applying what I learned from the civil society tech brainstorm sessions … Continue reading

Open My City with Humanity in Action

It was my pleasure to be invited speak with Humanity In Action‘s  2009 Summer Fellows. The organization does great work engaging student leaders in the study and work of human rights. I was there to talk to them about the Open My City project and get them excited enough about the idea to volunteer in … Continue reading