Coders for Bernie; regulating StingRays; Facebook developing software for schools; and more.

  • There is a petition to the U.K. government asking them to accept more asylum seekers and increase support for refugee migrants that has more than 350,000 signatures. The U.K. parliament considers debating all petitions that get more than 100,000 signatures, and responds to all petitions with more than 10,000 signatures.

  • Andy Carvin writes at that this is not the moment to debate the place of graphic imagery in news and social media; this is the moment to respond to a crisis and ongoing catastrophe.

  • Bernie Sanders has a “legion” of volunteer coders supporting him, Nick Corasaniti reports for the New York Times, building apps that would cost thousands if they had been commissioned by a paid developer. Most are young—under 35—but they are otherwise a diverse crowd, and Corasaniti writes that nearly everyone interviewed was new to this level of political engagement. Although many volunteers get involved through the subreddit Coders for Sanders, the bulk of the collaborative work is taking place on Slack.
  • The Obama administration has released a new set of online climate data resources as part of an online Climate Resilience Toolkit meant to boost climate resistance in the Arctic.

  • The Justice Department has announced increased regulation of StingRays in federal investigation, Nicholas Fandos reports for the New York Times.

  • John Paul Farmer, the Director of Microsoft’s Technology & Civic Innovation group and co-founder of the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, writes in the Harvard Business Review that the U.S. now needs a Congressional Innovation Fellows program: “In the 21st century, policy doesn’t work unless the technology works. That simple truth is why we need a federal government—including both the executive and legislative branches—that understands technology and innovation and infuses best practices from Silicon Valley into the very fabric of government.”
  • Yesterday a new campaign finance tracking tool developed by Maplight went live on California’s secretary of state website, reports Patrick McGreevy for the Los Angeles Times. Californians (or anyone else) can search by geography, dollar amounts and time periods, back to 2001.

  • Passing for human: TIL that a bot has made it to the front page of Reddit three times, which Hamza Shaban writes at BuzzFeed has implications for future newsrooms. This editor would like to point out that a human still had to write the headlines.

  • President Obama left a Facebook comment on a Humans of New York photo from Iran, which Vox’s Max Fisher writes is significant: “Maybe I’m reading too much into one Facebook comment on a heartwarming photo about fatherhood, but the fact that the president chose the unusual step of leaving this comment, and that he chose to leave it on a photo of a father and son in Iran of all places, seems meaningful.”

  • Remember when schools used to block Facebook? Maybe some still do. But perhaps not for much longer—Joseph Bernstein and Molly Hensley-Clancy report for BuzzFeed that Summit Schools, a charter school network, has let Facebook rebuild its learning software, a tool that Facebook plans on eventually providing public schools for free.