Opinion

Anthony De Rosa

You don’t own your hashtag

Anthony De Rosa
Nov 28, 2012 22:37 UTC

Today the Obama administration unveiled a hashtag “#My2k” to push their “fiscal cliff” message that if middle-class tax cuts aren’t extended, middle-income families will lose $2,000 of income a year. Soon after, conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation purchased the following sponsored tweet that appears at the very top of any search for #My2K:

Below the sponsored tweet are people of all political affiliations and sides of the issue tossing in their two cents. Here’s a sample:

Some positive:

Where social media fails

Anthony De Rosa
Oct 19, 2012 18:37 UTC

I’ve been thinking a lot about my use of social media and how helpful it is in informing the people who consume it. This election season has particularly made me think more critically about how sometimes the short, context-less text updates can lead to a poorly informed public. I’m certainly not the first person to realize this, as Craig Kanalley recently wrote in detail. People increasingly latch on to the latest minutiae of the campaign, the Big Bird, the binders, the memes, which have little relevance to the actual issues that matter: employment, foreign policy, the expanding income gap, so on and so forth. Here’s what we plan to do to improve the signal to noise ratio.

    Focus my updates on more short, rapid-fire networks like Twitter on doing fact checks, linking to substantive articles about issues related to how the candidates will govern: economy, taxes, social issues, etc. Find flaws in the arguments of both candidates with detailed pieces that point out where they have either been too opaque or flat out lied. Engage with people all over the political spectrum to start a dialogue and understand what they care about. It is “social media” after all and I see many people who are supposed “social media editors” who never engage their readers. Spend more time live blogging, which allows for longer posts and rich media

The Elections 2012 live blog format gives us the room to provide context that you may not be getting from Twitter and Facebook. I’ve put together a number of lists that might also be helpful, which I try to update as much as possible:

Open source politics: Reddit drafts “The Freedom of Internet Act”

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 25, 2012 03:50 UTC

Reddit users have taken it upon themselves to draft legislation in place of SOPA and PIPA, unsatisfied with Washington politicians, who seem to have shown a willful ignorance of how the Internet actually works. Using a Google Doc open for anyone to help write and edit, they’ve come up with a draft version of “The Freedom of Internet Act”

The act addresses some basic tenets they’ve set forth. Note that these proclamations are subject to change as this is a living document and only reflect the content at the time of this publication:

    Censorship – No government of any form presiding over any land, people, or assets in any form within the United States of America shall pass any law, nor ratify any treaty, which imposes or administers any kind of censorship on the Internet, except content found to be illegal content in accordance with this act. Culpability – Only the creator or uploader of data is responsible for whether that data is legal to upload, possess or make available to other users or information services. Restrictions on the Internet - No federal union or sovereign state may pass unilateral restrictions on the Internet. Content removal - Notice must be given to an administrator of the information system and to the uploader of the content within at least 30 days in advance of any deletion of data from any information system or service, or within 24 hours of the transfer of the data in question from publicly accessible storage to privately accessible storage. Judicial proceedings - Anyone undergoing judicial proceedings based on this document must be judged in the courts of the nation where the alleged offence was committed. Appropriate punishment - TBD Rights of the user – Addresses right to anonymity, privacy, use of proxies, encryption without fear of discrimination or suspicion. Liability and Settlement of Copyright Infringement Claim - All calculations related to this are to be carried out in a consumer, retail, individual level pricing upon which the production cost, marketing cost will not influence, capped at 200% of calculated damage.

The sub-Reddit page for FIA is located here, where it was created by a user named “RoyalwithCheese22

President Obama hangs out on Google+

Anthony De Rosa
Jan 30, 2012 23:39 UTC


A social media first occurred this evening when President Barack Obama held a Google+ Hangout to take live questions from five Americans and a few people who were taped beforehand, including a homeless veteran and an Occupy protester.

He answered questions about the economy, job creation, small business, and the use of drones in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama referenced a New York Times story on the use of drones, which he called “overwritten,” and said that the use of drones had not resulted in an unusual number of civilian casualties. Asked about the anti-piracy legislation that set the Internet on fire, Obama said, ”When SOPA came up on the hill, we expressed some concerns about the way the legislation had been written.”

Almost as fascinating as the Hangout itself was the discussion of the Hangout on Twitter.

BuzzFeed gets serious

Anthony De Rosa
Jan 13, 2012 03:15 UTC

BuzzFeed has been getting a lot of attention lately, for their high profile hire of well respected political reporter Ben Smith, from Politico and for a recent influx of $15.5 million in new investment. I headed to BuzzFeed headquarters downtown here in Soho to find out what they’re planning to do with the money and how they’re going to differentiate themselves from sites like the Huffington Post.

Interview with founder and CEO Jonah Peretti and politics editor-in-chief Ben Smith

Interview with political reporter and video researching wunderkind Andrew Kaczynski

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