Saturday, December 25, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

WikiPiques: Let’s All Just Calm Down

The pariah du jour to the United States and the countries who do business with it is one Julian Assange, a soft-spoken Australian whose motives may be obscure but whose life work is pretty clear. The founder of WikiLeaks, Assange is the whistleblower’s whistleblower, enabling the disclosure of anything in digital form — which, in the age of the Internet, is everything.

The drama to marginalize/silence/demonize Assange is playing out like a (bad) Hollywood script, but the stakes — to commerce, to free speech, to the freedom of the Internet — are quite real. It’s a good time to take a deep breath.

While critics portray Assange as the sort of caricature you’d expect to see as Batman’s arch nemesis he actually hews more to the suave Bond villain (sex scandal and all) — an international man of mystery whose calm demeanor is incongruous with a determination to blow things up.

Friday, December 3, 2010

So, Here's A Twitter Question For Ya ...

Ordinarily I would Tweet this question — but my question is about a potential Tweet I haven't been able to make, despite several attempts on two occasions a week apart.

So I am going old school, a blog post, to whisper in Times Square to be heard in Budapest.

Here is the text of the Tweet that will not be posted:
"M" is for the merriment you give me. "A" is for the ass that I become. "R" is are you having a martini? Yes.
Okay, I know it's trite. Looking at it, it's like the joke you have to explain. Cute by 1/2. Let's all look past that please.

Why has this Tweet been, apparently systematically, suppressed?

I know what you're thinking. I replaced "ass" with symbols, dots and a cute by 1/2 "[REDACTED]. No soap.

So I have been reduced to subterfuge. This post will automatically post to Twitter, with a URL and a headline designed to create interest.

If anyone knows what might be the reason this particular string of 110 characters are fated to spend eternity in purgatory, I'd love to hear from ya.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Do: ‘Objectivity’ in the Age of the Internet

Alan Mutter, a media critic who is both wise and smart, has pointed to the elephant in the room: journalists aren’t objective. Can’t be, really (though many try). But their biases are so mundane, he argues, that these collections of predilections and conflict-appearing life facts certainly don’t disqualify the conscientious ones from being respected reporters — if the rest of us know about them instead of treating them like the insane aunt you won’t admit is locked in the cellar.

Mutter notes that the history of journalism is about partisanship, driven by newspaper owners with agendas. “Objectivity was not their objective,” he says. But it’s no accident that the internet — blogs, Facebook, Twitter — has accelerated the discussion not only of who is a journalist but how “objective” a journalist has to be.

Full post at Epicenter.