Clinton promises data-driven campaign going forward; Politwoops is back; and more.
Here are “five common-sense, bipartisan principles for building a smart, digital government,” offered by Republican Matt Lira and Democrat Nick Sinai writing for Politico. As they note, “The 2016 presidential candidates like to talk about innovation, and they’re currently debating the tech-fueled ‘gig economy.’ Those are important issues, but when it comes to how government meets the digital world, there’s a crucial component they’re not talking about.” More like this, please.
Margaret Sullivan, the New York Times’ ombudswoman, retraces how the paper got the Hillary Clinton email “criminal referral” story wrong, blaming the rush to get a scoop and unreliable, anonymous sources.
Commenting on Sullivan’s story, Josh Marshall of TalkingPointsMemo zeroes in on Times’ executive editor Dean Baquet’s mea culpa. Baquet told Sullivan: “You had the government confirming that it was a criminal referral. I’m not sure what [the Times reporters and editors] could have done differently on that.” Marshall responds, “This is a telling statement. The ‘government’ didn’t tell the Times anything. Anonymous people in the government told them something. Big, big difference.”
An unsigned “editors’ note” in today’s Times effectively apologizes for not correcting the original Clinton “criminal referral” email story sooner.
Bernie Sanders’ campaign is planning to live-stream into several thousand house parties nationwide Wednesday night, and as Aaron Davis observes for the Washington Post, “Whether Sanders can use the internet to build an effective campaign remains to be seen.” Sanders told him he believes the event “will be the largest digital organizing event in the history of this country,” which may be true for a presidential campaign this early in the cycle. This map produced by the Sanders campaign shows 3,146 organizing meetings with 82,465 RSVPs. Looks to me like a pretty effective internet-driven campaign so far.
Tech billionaire loudmouth Mark Cuban (owner of the Dallas Mavericks, star of Shark Tank) takes a stand for his class, according to Fox & Friends, saying “I have to honestly (say) he is probably the best thing to happen in a long long time. I don’t care what his actual positions are. I don’t care if he says the wrong thing. He says what’s on his mind. He gives honest answers rather than prepared answers. This is more important than anything any candidate has done in years.”
Here’s a corollary to the “Barbara Streisand Effect,” which is what happens when you try to suppress something online: If, in the course of trying to intimidate a reporter from writing a damaging story about a past, reported event, such as Donald Trump’s “violation” of his then-spouse Ivana Trump, your lawyer says, “I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting,” then your lawyer actually has invoked the Streisand Effect.
Dave Pell’s “Next Draft of the Future,” written for Vice’s Motherboard, is wickedly good on current events, despite being written from the future.
Elizabeth Gillis reports for the Berkman Center blog on its Internet Monitor project, which is developing a new dashboard for understanding how people all over the world access and use the net.
Related: Vindu Goel reports for the New York Times on Facebook’s efforts to sell its Internet.org project, describing it as “an ambitious effort to connect the world’s poorest people to the internet,” without mentioning that in fact it doesn’t connect them to anything like the actual internet.
Writing for The Verge, Ariha Setalvad also describes Internet.org’s expansion as “making it easier for any mobile operator to sign up to offer free internet access to basic online services,” again failing to note that Internet.org does not provide users a connection to the open internet.
Julie Scelfo reports for the New York Times on how recent college suicides, often happening in clusters, may be in part a response to accentuated social pressure fed by social media. Describing one student’s descent, Scelfo writes, “Friends’ lives, as told through selfies, showed them having more fun, making more friends and going to better parties. Even the meals they posted to Instagram looked more delicious.”
The NSA will destroy the phone metadata it has been collecting on Americans since 2001, the AP’s Ken Delanian reports.
A group of leading artificial intelligence and robotics researchers, plus non-experts like Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak and Noam Chomsky, have signed onto an open letter calling for a ban on offensive autonomous weapons.
Josh Tauberer of GovTrack has launched a Kickstarter to hire a full-time researcher to add more information about the daily activities of Congress.
GovDelivery announced this morning that it has acquired Textizen, a product of Code for America’s inaugural incubator program that enables government agencies to communicate via mobile messaging with the public.
A new ranking of start-up ecosystems looking at “the broad infrastructure of talent, knowledge, entrepreneurs, venture capital, and companies that make up a startup community” has San Francisco first, New York City second, Los Angeles third, Boston fourth and Tel Aviv fifth, Richard Florida reports for CityLab. The global study did not include cities in China, Taiwan, Japan or South Korea due to language barriers.
Don’t miss incoming Civic Hall Fellow Andrew Slack on “why we need a civic imagination” and what he’s going to be working on while at Civic Hall.