Commentary Essays

The Atlantic:  Why Governments Use Broadcast TV and Dissidents Use Twitter
Commentary Essays / 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 […]

TechPresident:  Singapore Doesn’t Always Need Internet Censorship to Silence Critics
Commentary Essays / In The News / TechPresident

TechPresident: Singapore Doesn’t Always Need Internet Censorship to Silence Critics

(This originally appeared as “Singapore Doesn’t Always Need Internet Censorship to Silence Critics” on TechPresident.  Redux + additional links on Freedom to Tinker.)   Singapore likes to promote itself as a business-friendly country where the government has a soft touch. But by firing a professor known for criticizing the government’s censorship strategies, […]

Huffington Post:  The Dictator’s Dead Pool for 2013: Will China’s Investments Pay Off in Political Clout?
Commentary Essays / Huffington Post / In The News

Huffington Post: The Dictator’s Dead Pool for 2013: Will China’s Investments Pay Off in Political Clout?

(This originally appeared as “The Dictator’s Dead Pool for 2013” on the Huffington Post.)   The world rarely mourns dead dictators. The death of an authoritarian ruler usually means chaos and more suffering for the people they ruled. A year ago I drafted a list of the aging and sickly […]

Slate: Let’s Build Pro-Democracy Twitter Robots
Commentary Essays / In The News / Slate

Slate: Let’s Build Pro-Democracy Twitter Robots

(This post originally appeared as “Let’s Build Democracy Robots” on Slate.  Read Jillian York’s great retort “No We Should Not Build Pro-Democracy Twitter Bots“) Most Twitter users try to ignore messages from robot accounts. But maybe we should be putting bots to work for a more noble cause—democracy. One estimate […]