Close looks at the Knight News Challenge data winners; remembering the Egyptian revolution; and more.
This is civic tech: iHollaback, the anti-street-harassment organization, is launching HeartMob today, a new platform aimed at helping people report online harassment and receive (and give) online support in real-time.
The new group of White House Presidential Innovation Fellows has just been announced (along with a nifty photo from the NY Tech Meetup).
The new round of winners of the Knight News Challenge (announced yesterday at Civic Hall) have a strong focus on efforts to track police, make FOIA easier, or follow journalism, reports Joseph Lighterman for Nieman Lab.
Built in Chicago’s Andres Rekdal focuses on two Knight News Challenge winners, mRelief and the Citizens Police Data Project, that exemplify civic tech’s potential to improve people’s lives and change policing for the better.
The Smart Chicago Collaborative’s Youth-Led Tech program is heading into its second year, announcing ambitious plans to double the number of young people in its intensive web design instruction program this summer. (Kudos Dan O’Neil!)
U.S. News and World Report’s Joseph Williams has a nice overview of current efforts to use technology to improve criminal justice (along with some of their pitfalls).
Belated but still worthwhile: don’t miss this beautiful profile of TechDirt blog founder Mike Masnick by Simon Owens. In case anyone tells you that bloggers don’t matter any more.
Tech and the presidentials: We couldn’t help but notice this tantalizing line at the bottom of Sunday’s New York Times story about President Obama’s love of tech gadgets: “In long dinners with Silicon Valley titans, [President Obama] has talked extensively about ways to better use personal technology to increase voter turnout and improve civic engagement.” So we went looking and managed to dig up a partial transcript of one of those dinners, featuring Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn, Eric Schmidt of Google, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Bill Gates of Microsoft, Mark Pincus of Zynga and Travis Kalanick of Uber.
Speaking of Uber, don’t miss Dana Rubinstein’s report for Capital New York on how the company’s lobbyists worked last summer with Governor Andrew Cuomo to undermine New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s opposition to its expansion. They even had a draft executive order ready for his signature that would have overruled any city regulation blocking the company’s growth, Rubinstein reports.
According to a Bernie Sanders supporter on Reddit, the number of people showing up to phonebank for the Vermont Senator vastly outweighs the numbers showing up for Hillary Clinton, based on reports from both campaign’s websites. For example, in the Los Angeles zip code of 90021, just 5 people are listed as phone banking for Clinton, compared to 318 for Sanders. In Austin, it’s 443 to 1.
According to Echelon Insights, Sanders and Clinton are closely matched in Iowa and New Hampshire Facebook conversations. Not surprisingly, Donald Trump has the lion’s share of conversation in both states. Intriguingly, a Trump campaign YouTube video on how to caucus in Iowa and a caucus finder on his website are among the links most shared in that state.
Want to know the type of people Donald Trump retweets? Then just following @TrumpRetweeps, a twitter bot built by the geniuses at Fusion, which tweets the Twitter bio of everyone Trump plugs, as Daniel McLaughlin explains.
Thursday night’s GOP debate, held on FOX, will include some new real-time information features provided by Google, including long-form rebuttals by campaigns, reports Danielle Bowers from Google News Lab.
Remember our 10Questions.com project, which crowdsourced questions to the presidential candidates back in 2007? The Des Moines Register and Change Politics, Change.org’s new elections platform, collected questions for the Democratic presidential candidates for an online townhall forum in Iowa and got their answers to the most popular top five.
Related: As T.C. Sottek writes for The Verge, the cable networks that host these debates are just become “showrooms” for internet companies to display their products from.
Brave new world: On the fifth anniversary of Egypt’s January 25 revolution, New York Times master-blogger Robert Mackey takes a melancholy trip down memory lane with many of the social-media-powered activists who briefly represented a new kind of people power.
Blocked by the government of Malaysia for publishing critical reporting by a site called Sarawak Report, Medium’s legal team says it’s not going to censor any content without an order from a “court of competent jurisdiction” and “we stand by investigative journalists who publish on Medium.” Kudos!
I know where you drove last summer: Conor Friedersdorf reports for the Atlantic on Vigilant Solutions, a private corporations that has built a database of 2.2 billion car and truck license-plate photos, which it combines with location data and sells to police agencies.