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Berkman Buzz: June 17, 2011

June 17, 2011

A look at the past week's online Berkman conversations

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

* David Weinberger shares his linked open data take-aways
* The Citizen Media Law Project explains Rakofsky v. Internet
* Samuel Klein helps introduce Afghan families to Wikipedia
* Dan Gillmor defends anonymity online, even after #Amina
* Ethan Zuckerman reflects on #Amina
* Weekly Global Voices: "Cuba: Activists, Bloggers on the Cuba Money Project Vimeo Channel"

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The full buzz.

"I just wrote up an informal trip report in the form of “take aways” from the LOD-LAM conference I attended a cople of weeks ago. Here is a lightly edited version."
From David Weinberger's blog post, "Linked Open Data take-aways"

"By now, you've perhaps heard of the plight of one Joseph Rakofsky, the man who sued everyone who ever wrote about him on the Internet. In short: Man represents defendant in murder trial; judge declares mistrial; judge says scathing things about man's professional competence; newspaper covers the unusual mistrial; law bloggers pick up story; man brings 75-defendant lawsuit against everybody who wrote about him."
From John Sharkey's blog post for the Citizen Media Law Project, "The SLAPP-Happy Story of Rakofsky v. Internet"

"Jalalabad also houses Afghanistan’s only FabLab – which set up the first “FabFi“ mesh network to serve the surrounding community. After the deployment of OLPC laptops to a local school there, families began to have access to the Internet, and to Wikipedia, for the first time."
From Samuel Klein's blog post, "Introducing Afghan families to Wikipedia"

"There was predicable dismay, but I suspect not all that much surprise, when we learned that the "Gay Girl in Damascus" was, in fact, a married, middle-aged American man living in Scotland. To the sceptics who did the digging that led to the disclosure, "Amina" seemed too good to be true, and she was."
From Dan Gillmor's post for The Guardian's Comment is free, "In defence of anonymity, despite 'Gay girl in Damascus'"

"In his interview with BBC Scotland today, MacMaster explains that “I really felt a number of years ago, in discussions on Middle East issues in the US, often when I presented real facts and opinions, the immediate reaction to someone with my name was: ‘Why are you anti-American? Why are you anti-Jewish?’ So I invented a name to talk under that would keep the focus on the actual issue.” He explains that he wanted people to listen to the perspectives Amina was offering “without paying attention to ‘the man behind the curtain’.” Thanks to his actions – whether they were stupid, naïve or malicious – people are going to be looking closely for the man behind the curtain in citizen media for a long time to come."
From Ethan Zuckerman's blog post, "Understanding #amina"

"For anyone interested in United States (US) policy, human rights activism, or the problem of free expression in Cuba, there is a new must-see channel on Vimeo."
From Ellery Roberts Biddle's post for Global Voices Online, "Cuba: Activists, Bloggers on the Cuba Money Project Vimeo Channel"

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Compiled by Rebekah Heacock.

The Berkman Buzz is selected weekly from the posts of Berkman Center people and projects and sometimes from the Center's wider network.

Suggestions and feedback about the Buzz are always welcome and can be emailed to buzz@cyber.harvard.edu.

Last updated

June 17, 2011