It was a pleasure attending the Personal Democracy Forum annual conference, June 6-7 in New York. Congratulations to Andrew, Micah and the rest of the PdF team for putting together a wonder event with a remarkable series of speakers. This was my first, and I won't be my last.
To all the #PdF11 attendees, please stay in touch with the Center for Digital Information. The Center is a new initiative designed to modernize the digital dissemination methods of the policy research sector — think tanks, foundations, nonprofits, academic institutions, etc. We are all too familiar with these six words — Click here to download the PDF. In this era of big, open, linked data (and the revolutionary interactive applications that they power), those six words still describe an astonishing 98% of the massive and hugely important body of knowledge created by nonprofit policy researchers. CDI's purpose is to fundamentally change the approach by merging this knowledge with the best digital presentation techniques.
Look for important announcements coming in the next few months about the Center's funding and activities. I welcome all of your input as we move ahead and look forward to opportunities for collaboration.
Please contact me at jeff [at] digitalinfo.org if you are interested in hearing more about CDI or collaborating. You can also find me at @jeffcdi
Now back to DC.
- Jeff Stanger, Director, Center for Digital Information
The networked public sphere is precarious. It shouldn't be taken for granted. - @mlsif #PdF11 Day 1
"People with no media training whatsoever can become the voices of their country." - @acarvin #PdF11 Day 1
The Internet is the tool of our century. - Senator Gillibrand @SenGillibrand #PdF11 Day 1
When we take away control and agency, we take away privacy. - @zephoria #PdF11 Day 1
@sivavaid "We haven't dealt with the politics of the network itself." - @sivavaid #PdF11 Day 1
We are "nowhere near" having online platforms for real political dialogue. - @sivavaid #PdF11 Day 1
#Egypt was not an internet revolution, but an "internet-based revolution." - Rasha Abdula @RashaAbdulla #PdF11 Day 1
In #Egypt "Technology normalized politics" - Alaa Abd Al Fattah @alaa #PdF11 Day 1
Tools matter, but tools do not equal courage. - Zeynep Tufecki #PdF11 Day 1
Micah Sifry of the Personal Democracy Forum provided the context for the first round of speakers. In an environment where technology is no longer a matter of whether, but how, how do we go about defining the responsibility of platforms that are private, but now integral to public dialogue?
Some quick take-aways from the three speakers, Susan Morgan, Siva Vaidhyanathan and danah boyd:
Morgan: In a networked world, companies need to consider the human rights implications of their business decisions. They should do this through: 1) due diligence and human rights assessments; 2) tap outside expertise to improve decision-making; and 3) build and retain trust of users through information and transparency.
Vaidhyanathan: "Real politics is what we should be after" and we haven't gotten anywhere near creating a real online public sphere. We are making a mistake by mythologizing "the internet" when we're dealing with real examples of repressive states and private firms with close relationships with those states. China is not an anomaly, but increasingly the norm. While much attention is paid to politics using the network, we need to deal with the politics of the network itself.
boyd: Offline, things are private by default, public through effort. Online, the opposite: public by default, private through effort. Privacy regulation should be focused less on the collection of data and more on their use.
Update: Recap at TechPresident