White supremacists see website traffic increase; air pollution v. big data; and more.
Trump watch: A very big swath of civil society in America is signing onto the We Are Better Than This statement, which decries the “rising tide of hatred, violence and suspicion in America” and “pledges to stand with any community that is targeted by hateful rhetoric and violence.” The statement was initiated by MoveOn.org, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, United We Dream, the Center for Community Change, Demos, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Arab-American Association of New York SEIU and Color of Change. Andrew Rasiej and I are signers on behalf of Civic Hall. Please add your name.
White supremacists like David Duke and Stormfront founder Don Black say Donald Trump’s campaign has revitalized their movement, Politico’s Ben Schreckinger reports. Black says he is upgrading Stormfront’s servers to deal with the steady increase in traffic he has seen since Trump began campaigning. “He’s made it ok to talk about these incredible concerns of European Americans today, because I think European Americans know they are the only group that can’t defend their own essential interests and their point of view,” Duke says.
An online petition aimed at the British Parliament calling for Trump to be refused entry based on laws against hate speech has received more than 400,000 signatures, well beyond the 100,000 needed for it to prompt a parliamentary debate, Dan Bilefsky reports for the New York Times.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posts that “I want to add my voice in support of Muslims in our community and around the world,” adding that “As a Jew, my parents taught me that we must stand up against attacks on all communities….If you’re a Muslim in this community, as the leader of Facebook I want you to know that you are always welcome here and that we will fight to protect your rights and create a peaceful and safe environment for you.”
Facebook’s head of global product policy Monika Bickert has responded to a Change.org petition calling on its to do more to delete accounts supporting ISIS or praising terrorism, saying “there is no place on Facebook for terrorists, terrorist propaganda, or the praising of terror.” The petition had collected more than 135,000 signatures, as Karissa Bell reports for Mashable.
“Darth Trump” is the first political mashup of the presidential season that really hits the mark, in my humble opinion.
Samir Chopra points out that part of what is driving the Donald Trump moment is “a media corps that prefers sensation to substance.” As he notes, the Republican primary race has gotten twice as much coverage on TV as the Democratic race, with Trump alone getting more airtime than the entire Democratic field.
Nate Silver tweets that Bernie Sanders has slightly more supporters than Trump, but Trump as gotten 23 times as much coverage on the nightly network news.
What sharing economy?: Remember that Freelancers Union study claiming that 54 million Americans are freelancers? Lawrence Mishel, the president of the Economic Policy Institute, points out that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has a much lower estimate of 14.8 million self-employed workers. How to explain the difference? Mishel writes, the Freelancers Union estimate “is of anyone ‘engaged in supplemental, temporary, project- or contract-based work, within the past 12 months’ and even includes people who ‘freelance’ but do not have any 1099 income—stretching this group beyond recognition. In contrast, the BLS estimate reflects those whose primary job is or primary income comes from self-employment.” Why does this matter? Because, as Mishel carefully lays out, the Freelancers study has been used to claim that the gig economy is exploding, with tens of millions supposedly supporting themselves that way. And that doesn’t appear to be the case.
Likewise, a new study from Intuit and Emergent Research finds something similar: “the typical on-demand worker is a part-timer, working 12 hours a week via his or her primary platform and collecting 22 percent of their household income from work obtained through online marketplaces or applications that connect providers to customers.”
Tooling up: Accela is partnering with APPCityLife, which the companiespredict will make it a lot easier for government agencies to create and manage their own mobile apps. Big congrats to both, and we can’t help but notice that it was at Civic Hall that members Lisa Abeyta (for APPCityLife) and Mark Headd (for Accela, along with his colleague Seth Axthelm) met to set the partnership in motion.
Paul Taylor, editor-at-large of Governing magazine, predicts that 2016 will be the year of the government API.
IBM is using big data to help cities like Beijing fight air pollution, Alex Howard reports for the Huffington Post.
Open Knowledge has released the third annual Global Open Data Index, ranking 122 countries by the availability and accessibility of data including government spending, election results, procurement, and environmental data.
YouTube is adding a new “Trending” tab to its web and mobile apps that will show popular videos as they start taking off, Harrison Weber reports for VentureBeat.
Really brave new world: Don’t miss sci-fi author Kim Stanley Robinson’s new short story, which takes us into a future without hunger and a very angry Supreme Court. (h/t Gideon Lichfield and This.cm)