Berkman Buzz: August 3, 2012

August 3, 2012

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Rhode Island Repeals Online False Speech Law

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In my four years in Providence, I undoubtedly told some white lies online. Of those I can easily remember, I have sent a message on Facebook claiming I was sick to get out of a party I had no interest in going to, though I was perfectly healthy; emailed a show's director that I'd be late to rehearsal because of a study group conflict when in fact I had brunch plans with some friends; and entered my height in heels into a Google spreadsheet as 5'4" when I know that could only true in my dreams. Little did I know that under Rhode Island General Laws § 11-52-7(b) (on computer crime), I was committing a misdemeanor every time and could have been subject to a $500 fine and/or imprisoned for a year each time. Fortunately, as I return to the area for visits, I will no longer have to worry about what I type, as this law was repealed by the Rhode Island General Assembly this June. With United States v. Alvarez, No. 11-210, 567 U.S. __ (2012), decided just days after the repeal, it's impossible not to consider how the repeal also shows a society that places value in protecting false speech. Furthermore, in the wake of Alvarez, had § 11-52-7(b) remained and been subject to a facial challenge, it would likely be found unconstitutional.

From Kristen Bergman's blog post on the Citizen Media Law Project, "Rhode Island Repeals Law Criminalizing False Speech Online"
About Citizen Media Law Project | @citmedialaw

Aaron Shaw explores crowdsourcing and outsourcing in journalism

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Crowdsourcing, outsourcing, and other sorts of distributed work have long since made inroads into professional journalism, but a recent scandal involving a few major metropolitan newspapers outsourcing their local reporting to a company named Journatic reveals the scope and extent of those inroads.

Since This American Life first broke the story a couple of weeks ago, the details of the Journatic story have made their way all over the Internet (See, e.g., coverage from Poynter, Romenesko, and Gigaom for some of the more thoughtful examples).

From Aaron Shaw's blog post, "Journatic and the future of crowdsourced journalism"
About Aaron Shaw | @aaronshaw

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"Being an object of compassion is not the same thing as being the subject of a story." On reporting from Africa:
About Ethan Zuckerman | @EthanZ

Ramadan compels censorship efforts in Indonesia

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IIn preparation for Ramadan, which began at sundown on Thursday July 19, the Indonesian Communication and Information Ministry blocked over 1 million pornographic websites from local access. Most of the sites were hosted outside of the country, and the government estimates that there are over 2 billion websites providing pornographic content worldwide. The Ministry says that the measures are being taken in accordance with Indonesia’s Electronic Information and Transaction Law and Telecommunications Law, which allows the government to block “negative content,” including pornography, libelous statements, and malware. This is the same law that forced Research in Motion to filter all pornographic content on Indonesian Blackberrys in January of last year.

From Melody Zhang's blog post on Herdict, "Indonesia increases censorship for Ramadan"
About Herdict | @Herdict

Andrew McAfee shares lessons from 21st annual IT Conference

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I have the good fortune to be back at the Aspen Institute this week, this time for the 21st annual Information Technology Roundtable. It’s a small gathering of people brought together by the Institute and Charlie Firestone to talk about the digital world’s big topics. The title for this year is “navigating the emerging economy;” we’re spending three days talking about how the economy is changing, technology’s role(s) in this shift, and what interventions, if any, are warranted.

From Andrew McAfee's post, "Lessons from a Very Mobile Industry"
About Andrew McAfee | @amcafee

S. Craig Watkins examines connected learning design pilots for high schools

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This summer I attended summer school…well kind of. For three weeks in June I worked with a great team to implement a digital media and design project with high school students. We followed that project with a two-week game design camp in July at the University of Texas with middle school students. Both projects are what you might call ‘connected learning’ design pilots. What exactly is that? The goal of each project was to put into action some of the ideas that we have been theorizing about in our work with the Connected Learning Research Network. In this, the first of two reports, I reflect on the high school project.

From S. Craig Watkin's post, "From Theory to Design: Exploring the Power & Potential of ‘Connected Learning’, Part One"
About S. Craig Watkins | @scraigwatkins

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"1.6 Bllion Rides" Visualizing NYC Subway Data #dataviz (via @fabernovel)MetaLAB (@metalabharvard)

Create UNAOC 2012: Apps and Games for Intercultural Dialogue

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New media and technologies are undeniably powerful tools, which have the potential to play a key role in tackling the challenges of the 21st century. The recently launched Create UNAOC 2012 competition is an opportunity for developers across the world to produce innovative apps and mobile games to promote intercultural dialogue, in a bid to avoid global conflicts and tension.

From Emma Bruin's blog post for Global Voices, "Create UNAOC 2012: Apps and Games for Intercultural Dialogue "
About Global Voices Online | @globalvoices

This Buzz was compiled by Royze Adolfo.

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Last updated

August 3, 2012