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Other Public Writing

Why the Internet Should Be a Public Resource

(I just wrote this on CES for Yale Press’s Blog.) The excitement of this year’s CES—the enormous technology show and tell event that just ended in Las Vegas—was about the “internet of things.” Stoves and baby bottles will soon be smart, and the devices you already have will be smarter. […]

In The News / interviews

Millennials and the Age of Tumblr Activism

Contributed to a story in New York Times story about how Tumblr can draw young people into contemporary activism. “Tumblr is kind of like a gateway drug for activism,” said Philip Howard, 44, the principal investigator at the Digital Activism Research Project at the University of Washington. “Once you connect […]

TechPresident:  Bad News Bots
Commentary and OpEds / In The News / TechPresident

TechPresident: Bad News Bots

(This originally appeared as “Bad News Bots” on Techpresident.)   It’s no secret that governments and political actors now make use of social robots or bots—automated scripts that produce content and mimic real users. Faux social media accounts now spread pro-governmental messages, beef up web site follower numbers, and causeartificial […]

In The News / interviews

#HashtagActivismMatters: Some experts see online-to-IRL change in police protests

Contributed to a Washington Post story on how hashtag activism can translate to policy change: This interplay between real-world events and online activism is what turns a catchy hashtag into a powerful slogan. “It tethers the conversation to things that really happened,” Howard said. Howard, who calls himself a “cyber-optimist,” […]