Democratic candidates flub on encryption; a search engine for civic tech; and more.

  • The annual Burson-Marsteller Twiplomacy study is expanding this year to include other platforms like Instagram and YouTube. Yesterday, they released the the first installment, which covers the use of Facebook by world leaders and their governments.

  • The report is as full and detailed as ever, even if judging governments and leaders by their social media presence has its limits. (I, for example, would rather judge my president’s effectiveness by something other than Facebook interactions.) Burson-Marsteller found that Barack Obama and India’s Narendra Modi were the Most Liked world leaders, as determined by the number of page likes. Argentina’s new President Mauricio Macri was found to be the “Most Engaged,” with the highest interactions to fan ratio, followed by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu. Narendra Modi and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan topped the list of “Most Effective” world leaders, meaning that they had the highest average number of interactions per post.

  • I reached out to Burson-Marsteller to ask about bots and whether evidence of bot activity was found or taken into consideration in the results, and a representative replied, “We did see some strange activity on one or two accounts but we cannot say for certain whether this was due to bots or if the organisation simply paid to promote the account or the posts with Facebook ads. Since Facebook will not release that information we decided not to mention this.” According to the press release, additional installments to the 2016 Twiplomacy study will be released each month until the full study is published in May.

  • New on Civicist: We’re thrilled to announce that Tom Steinberg is our new senior contributing editor, and his first piece, on civic tech’s Important Problems, is up now.

  • Maksim Pecherskiy reflects on his first year as CDO of San Diego.

  • Looking for civic tech?: Code for America’s Andrew Hyder has revealed a new thing called the Civic Tech Project Search, which is exactly what it sounds like and pulled up awesome things when I did two quick test searches for “food” and health.” Looks like a great resource for finding out who’s working on what, where.

  • Civic Hall v2.0?: Earlier this month, Toronto’s Government Management Committee was asked to consider opportunities for the creation of a Toronto-based “Civic Hall,” “based on the civic model which has been developed in New York City” (that’s us!). Motion was carried, and the Committee should be getting a report back in June.

  • On Sunday, Slack co-founder and chief executive Stewart Butterfield emailed Slack employees to remind them of the significance of the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. In the email, published in full here, he writes, “Despite the fact there have been areas of progress great and small, [the civil rights movement] is still, shamefully, far from finished. And it is on all of us to see it through. There is only us, the people. And if we truly value solidarity at this company it is a good time to recognize, and remember, and recommit to standing with the people who lost their livelihoods, their limbs, and even their lives, merely asking for something as simple and basic and obvious as equal rights and equal protections under the law.” It’s quite a statement.

  • Tech and the presidentials: Writing for Time, Haley Sweetland Edwards observes that the Democratic presidential candidates “flubbed” it in response to a question about their stance on encryption from YouTube star Marques Brownlee.