Berkman Buzz: March 28, 2014

March 28, 2014

The Berkman Buzz is selected weekly from the posts of Berkman Center people and projects.
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Mike Ananny publishes new research on networked press freedom and social media


This paper analyzes how mainstream, online news organizations understand press autonomy in their relationships to audiences. I situate the press in terms of neo-institutional sociology, seeing its autonomy as a distributed, field-level phenomenon involving “boundary work” among distributed actors. I then trace press-audience relations through two historical examples (letters to the editor and ombudsmen), showing how the press has historically both separated itself from and relied upon audiences. Examining eight news organizations' social media policies, I analyze the “inside-out” and “outside-in” forces through which the press distinguishes itself from audiences, concluding with a discussion of how such guidelines structure the types of control that news organizations have, or might have, as they use social network sites in their news work.

From Mike Ananny's paper, "Networked Press Freedom and Social Media: Tracing Historical and Contemporary Forces in Press-Public Relations"
About Mike | @ananny

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The site I keep open: Turkey's ironically excellent e-gov't service provides immediate info on which page is blocked.
Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep)

Bruce Schneier explains why true online security is impossible


If you’ve been reading the news recently, you might think that corporate America is doing its best to thwart NSA surveillance.

Google just announced that it is encrypting Gmail when you access it from your computer or phone, and between data centers. Last week, Mark Zuckerberg personally called President Obama to complain about the NSA using Facebook as a means to hack computers, and Facebook's Chief Security Officer explained to reporters that the attack technique has not worked since last summer. Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, and others are now regularly publishing "transparency reports," listing approximately how many government data requests the companies have received and complied with.

From Bruce Schneier's post in The Atlantic, "Don’t Listen to Google and Facebook: The Public-Private Surveillance Partnership Is Still Going Strong"
About Bruce | @schneierblog

Oliver Goodenough explores "new law" and innovation

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You know that something cutting edge is about to become accepted wisdom when Harvard has a symposium on it. The Program on the Legal Profession at the Harvard Law School held a top-level, day-long workshop on Disruptive Innovation in the Market for Legal Services. Speakers included Clay Christensen, Martha Minow and Richard Suskind, visionaries in innovation theory, progressive legal education, and the legal practice of the future. Folks in attendance straddled law firm partners, start-up entrepreneurs and legal academics. The meeting provided a punctuation point in our understanding of the great restructuring that is overwhelming law – we don’t necessarily know where it is headed, but denial that significant change is under way is no longer intellectually defensible.

From Oliver Goodenough's post for Above the Law: "The Message From Harvard: “New Law” Is Replacing “Biglaw” How Will The Profession Respond?"
About Oliver

Christian Sandvig uses show and tell to demonstrate algorithmic culture

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Last week I tried to get a group of random sophomores to care about algorithmic culture. I argued that software algorithms are transforming communication and knowledge. The jury is still out on my success at that, but in this post I’ll continue the theme by reviewing the interactive examples I used to make my point. I’m sharing them because they are fun to try. I’m also hoping the excellent readers of this blog can think of a few more.

I’ll call my three examples “puppy dog hate,” “top stories fail,” and “your DoubleClick cookie filling.” They should highlight the ways in which algorithms online are selecting content for your attention. And ideally they will be good fodder for discussion.

From Christian Sandvig's blog post, "Show and Tell: Algorithmic Culture"
About Christian | @niftyc

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Apple to expand emoji racial diversity. Great example of research impact on social change in tech Nice one, @blurky! —J. Nathan Matias (@natematias)

Global Access in Action submits comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative regarding PITAC

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Berkman Center Faculty Director Terry Fisher, with Quentin Palfrey of WilmerHale and Sara Boettiger of Global Access in Action, have submitted comments responding to a Requests for Nominations: Public Interest Trade Advisory Committee to the Office of United States Trade Representative (USTR). Global Access in Action applauds the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative for its decision to establish the Public Interest Trade Advisory Committee (PITAC).

From the Berkman Center, "Global Access in Action Submits Comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative regarding PITAC"

Australians Joust over Knights and Dames Revival

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When monarchist Tony Abbott became Australia’s Prime Minister in September 2013, he promised no surprises. However, he seems to have ambushed friend and foe alike with his reinstatement of knights and dames as part of the honours system.

Twitter faced meltdown, down under, on 25 March 2013. The #auspol Tweetdeck feed was moving so fast that it was impossible to read. Not only were the hashtags #KnightsandDames and #Dames trending in Australia for hours after the announcement, but #KnightsandDames and Australia also hit the Worldwide top ten.

From Kevin Rennie's post for Global Voices' The Bridge, "Australians Joust over Knights and Dames Revival"
About Global Voices Online | @globalvoices

This Buzz was compiled by Rebekah Heacock.

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Last updated

March 28, 2014