Skip to the main content

Berkman Buzz: Week of March 1, 2010

BERKMAN BUZZ: A look at the past week's online Berkman conversations
If you would like to receive the Buzz weekly via email, please sign up here.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

What's being discussed...take your pick or browse below.

* OpenNet Initiative exposes Bing filtering in Arab countries.
* Harry Lewis recognizes his subjects.
* CMLP asks after Italy's conviction of Google executives for invasion of privacy.
* Judith Donath thinks through the misrecognitions of juries.
* Ethan Zuckerman digs into Jonathan Stray's investigation of "the new news ecosystem."
* Weekly Global Voices: "Chile: Army Deployed to Streets of Concepción"
* Internet & Democracy reads the numbers on Twitter.
* Micro-post of the week: Web styles of the rich and saavy?
* Doc Searls -- the personal is the radio.
* David Weinberger live-blogs Karrie Karahalios' talk on ties in social media.
* Peter Suber treats the middle ground between publishing markets and missions.
* Stuart Shieber shares open access news from Harvard Business School.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The full buzz.

"Google's recent decision to stop filtering keywords on its Chinese platform,, sparked discussion in the media about the role of corporations in controlling access to online material in repressive nations. Microsoft recently added a new layer of complexity to the ongoing debate regarding the filtering and censorship practices of U.S. search engines via its own search engine, Bing. ONI testing reveals liberal filtering by Bing in one of the most censored regions in the world: the Arab countries."
From Jillian York's blog post for ONI, ONI Releases Special Report on Microsoft Bing Filtering in Arab World

"I recently noticed that the latest digital cameras have a feature that not only tags people the camera can identify because you have tagged them before, but stops you to ask if you’d like to identify them if the camera notices that they keep turning up in your photos. Facial recognition is in the camera software."
From Harry Lewis' blog post The Camera App that Identifies your Subjects

"I've no doubt that CMLP blog readers, fellow netizens that you are, are well aware of an Italian court's conviction last week of three Google executives for invasion of privacy of an Italian teenager. (In case you missed the story, here it is in short: the teenager (who either suffered from Down's syndrome or autism; reports differ) was filmed by four other teens who were bullying him, and the bullies posted the video on YouTube..."
From Arthur Bright's blog post for the CMLP, Will Italy's Conviction of Google Execs Stick?

"But can we make justice blind? What, ideally, should juries and judges be able to see of the defendant, plaintiff or witnesses? Many feel that it they need to see the accused in order to assess their words and gauge how believable they are. Yet if that judgment is based on distorted character perception, then perhaps justice is better served by being blind, by not seeing the participant in a case, no matter how important it feels. Would we be better off with a purely audio court?"
From Judith Donath's post for the Law Lab, A Reflection on Leslie Zebrowitz’s talk

"This evening, Google News tells me that I have my choice of 5,053 articles on conflicts between Congressional Republicans and Democrats over healthcare reform. (Oh goody.) How many of those stories contain original reporting? In a world with thousands of professional media outlets at our fingertips – as well as hundreds of thousands of amateurs – how much original material do we really have access to? Pew’s annual State of the News Media report made one pass at answering this question in their 2006 edition. They did an exhaustive study across media of May 11, 2005 and concluded that, of the 14,000 stories posted on Google News that day, only 24 unique “news events” were represented."
From Ethan Zuckerman's blog post Jonathan Stray on original reporting: imaginary abundance

"The deployment of the army occurs at a time when regional authorities had begun to point fingers at the national government of President Michelle Bachelet for not sending the army earlier. Currently, citizen and mass media outlets in Chile report that Concepcion is experiencing a shortage of food and water. The city has no electricity and its water supply is intermittent. Apart from these complications, several buildings have collapsed throughout the city. Perhaps the most dramatic and devastating collapse that occurred was that of a 15-story building, where survivors are still thought to be trapped under the rubble."
From Felipe Cordero's blog post for Global Voices, Chile: Army Deployed to Streets of Concepción

"While #iranelection was a major story in 2009, it pales in comparison to the number of Tweets about Michael Jackson’s death (78 per second at its peak) over a similar two week period. In fact, it appears that Jackson’s death actually sucked all the air out of the Iran election discussion on Twitter, according to what Ethan Zuckerman tells me based on Media Cloud data."
From Bruce Etling's blog post for Internet & Democracy, 50 Million Tweets a Day

"my new paper on Digital Na(t)ives challenges assumptions about "Net generation" tx 2 @sivavaid & others 4tweets" [9:45 AM Mar 4th]
Eszter Hargittai pointing to her new paper on differences in youth Internet skills and uses

"At this point Public Radio Player (with which I have some involvent) and other ‘tuners’ for the iPhone (such as the excellent WunderRadio) are my primary radios. I use them when I’m walking, driving, or making coffee in the kitchen at home. I listen to KCLU from Thousand Oaks/Santa Barbara here in Boston, I listen to WBUR, WUMB, WERS, WEEI (Celtics basketball) and other Boston stations when I’m in California."
From Doc Searls' blog post Radio gets personal

"Karrie grew up in a small town in Greece. Every Sunday her father would call from America. The call would come to the one phone, which was in a tavern. The people around expected the call and would participate. People use communication media differently in rural and urban areas, she says. E.g., rural communities used to like party lines; it was like a sub-net. Urban folks didn't and the telephone companies moved to individual lines.Her group sampled communication usage in rural and urban communities. They had five hypotheses..."
From David Weinberger's blog post [berkman] Karrie Karahalios: Strong and weak ties in social media

"For these reasons, let me call journalism and education "mission-oriented" economic sectors, as opposed to "market-oriented" sectors like hat and hardware manufacturing. These are two ends of a spectrum, not airtight categories. In fact, I'm more interested in the complicated middle ground between the two poles than in the two poles themselves. When a newspaper's revenues decline, it may have to scale back on investigative stories about health insurance and scale up on stories about new-fledged ducklings at the zoo. When a university's endowment tanks, it may have to close some low-enrollment programs in favor of high-enrollment programs."
From Peter Suber's essay Open access, markets, and missions

"Two years to the day after the Faculty of Arts and Sciences became the first school at Harvard to vote an open-access policy, the Harvard Business School enacted their own policy on February 12, 2010, becoming the fifth Harvard school with a similar policy. Under the HBS policy, Like the previous policies, faculty agree to provide copies of their scholarly articles for distribution from the university’s DASH repository and grant the university a waivable license to distribute the articles."
From Stuart Shieber's blog post Harvard Business School approves open-access policy