Commentary and OpEds

Reuters:  Let’s Make Candidates Pledge Not to Use Bots
Commentary and OpEds / In The News / Reuters

Reuters: Let’s Make Candidates Pledge Not to Use Bots

(This originally appeared as “Let’s Make Candidates Pledge Not to Use Bots” on the Reuters Commentary Wire.) Bots — chunks of computer code that generate messages and replicate themselves — have been infecting political discourse around the world. They have been spotted try to influence elections in the United Kingdom, Mexico and just recently, South […]

Symposium Magazine:  When Does Digital Activism Pack a Punch?
Commentary and OpEds / Original Data / Other Public Writing

Symposium Magazine: When Does Digital Activism Pack a Punch?

We are starting to disseminate some of the findings from the USIP-supported Digital Activism Research Project.  One of the first pieces on the work is now up with Symposium Magazine: The past few decades have given scholars a rich collection of data that can help them analyze political change, whether […]

The Atlantic:  If Your Government Fails, Can You Create a New One With Your Phone?
Commentary and OpEds / In The News / The Atlantic

The Atlantic: If Your Government Fails, Can You Create a New One With Your Phone?

Myanmar is opening up politically, and among the first, largest civil society campaigns is a social movement organized over Facebook for cheaper cellphone calling plans. Syria has been locked in civil war for almost two years; despite the strife—or because of it—cellphone subscriptions have taken off. In Nairobi’s largest slum, […]

The Atlantic:  Why Governments Use Broadcast TV and Dissidents Use Twitter
Commentary and OpEds / In The News / The Atlantic

The Atlantic: Why Governments Use Broadcast TV and Dissidents Use Twitter

(This originally appeared as “Why Governments Use Broadcast TV and Dissidents Use Twitter” on The Atlantic.com)   Last March I was walking past Gezi Park with a Turkish friend at dusk. He had just joined me from prayers and I asked him what he thought about the brewing debate over […]