The Hill / Changing America: Native American communities make a final push to get out the vote this November

The Hill / Changing America: Native American communities make a final push to get out the vote this November. “Many Native American households lack access to the internet, where the census count is taking place for the first time ever, and in-person efforts were postponed due to COVID-19. Now, members of the community are concerned that they will be disenfranchised yet again at the ballot box. The nonprofit is hosting two virtual town halls on Facebook about the importance of voting and representation on Sept. 22, National Voter Registration Day, and Oct. 14. A new website includes resources for Native American people to check their voter registration and make a plan to vote safely.”

MIT Technology Review: Letter-writing staved off lockdown loneliness. Now it’s getting out the vote.

MIT Technology Review: Letter-writing staved off lockdown loneliness. Now it’s getting out the vote.. “Of course, there’s nothing new about writing letters. But a combination of social distancing measures and a volatile political year has made the traditional act of putting pen to paper suddenly more attractive than just shooting an email or an emoji-filled text. Beyond Instagram-fueled social projects for people in quarantine, letter writing has become a form of retro-political activism to help get out the vote.”

Hyperallergic: Guerrilla Girls and Julie Mehretu Among 60+ Artists Helping You “Plan Your Vote”

Hyperallergic: Guerrilla Girls and Julie Mehretu Among 60+ Artists Helping You “Plan Your Vote”. “A new, nonpartisan initiative launched by the nonprofit Vote.org seeks to channel the power of art to encourage voter participation. Along with links to register to vote, check absentee status, and set voting reminders, among other crucial resources, the ‘Plan Your Vote’ website offers a digital library of voting advocacy visuals that are free for anyone to download and circulate.”

ProPublica: Facebook’s Political Ad Ban Also Threatens Ability to Spread Accurate Information on How to Vote

ProPublica: Facebook’s Political Ad Ban Also Threatens Ability to Spread Accurate Information on How to Vote. “Facebook this week said it would bar political ads in the seven days before the presidential election. That could prevent dirty tricks or an ‘October surprise’ and give watchdogs time to fact-check statements. But rather than responding with glee, election officials say the move leaves them worried. Included in the ban are ads purchased by election officials — secretaries of state and boards of elections — who use Facebook to inform voters about how voting will work. The move effectively removes a key communication channel just as millions of Americans will begin to navigate a voting process different from any they’ve experienced before.”

The Conversation: How social media are levelling Kenya’s political field – and lessons learnt

The Conversation: How social media are levelling Kenya’s political field – and lessons learnt. “Social media were used sparingly by politicians in Kenya’s 2007 elections. However, there was a significant increase in use in the 2013 elections, and an even greater push in the 2017 elections. Over 80% of candidates had an online presence with the winning political coalition, Jubilee, using social media most aggressively. The greatest attraction for politicians is the large number of Kenyans on social media. The latest data put internet penetration at 90%. There are 8 million social media users and over 80% of Kenyans visit platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp.”

Egyptian Streets: Why Egyptian Minister Rania Al-Mashat’s Social Media Activity Matters

Egyptian Streets: Why Egyptian Minister Rania Al-Mashat’s Social Media Activity Matters. “My lack of attention to the other political figures in Egypt and their work could be explained by their little to very much absent activity online. Each time I searched a name, it was mainly the ministry’s main page that would come up, or a poorly activated social media account….Yet Rania Al-Mashat’s social media activity, on the other hand, is active, managed, and distinctive from the official ministry’s account. Though I did not track her increase of followers or engagement over time, one can simply look at the comments and reactions to her posts and recognize how her social media activity is building a profile for her and her work.

New York Times: Why Random Government Accounts Are All Over Your Timeline

New York Times: Why Random Government Accounts Are All Over Your Timeline. “Earlier this month… the San Antonio Water System, which regulates the water utilities for the Texas city, tweeted a joke about Baby Yoda reaching to flush the toilet. In October, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer fired off a tweet about clogging a friend’s toilet using an image of the widely memed Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. The Department of Transportation in Northern Virginia used a GIF of a confused German shepherd to ask drivers to refrain from speeding.”

NiemanLab: Text-for-housing-data service Outlier Media and MuckRock combine to close more information gaps around the country

NiemanLab: Text-for-housing-data service Outlier Media and MuckRock combine to close more information gaps around the country. “Two nimble but powerful organizations are joining forces to continue reimagining journalism as a public service. The three-person team of Detroit’s text-for-housing-info startup Outlier Media is becoming part of MuckRock, the 10-year-old nonprofit news site focused on accountability journalism through public records, they announced Monday.”

Mashable: In the internet era, public libraries are more vital than ever

Mashable: In the internet era, public libraries are more vital than ever. “Back in 2018, Forbes sent Twitter into fury with a now-retracted column. Its big idea: Amazon should replace libraries because it has ‘provided something better.’ The Kindles, Netflixes and Starbucks of the world have rendered libraries obsolete, the author suggested; monetizing libraries would not only save taxpayer money but also bolster Amazon’s stockholder value. Librarians and activists are fighting hard against this idea. In fact, they’re making the case for why libraries are even more important in a world redefined by companies like Amazon.”

National Association of Secretaries of State: NASS Launches #TrustedInfo2020: A Public Election Education Initiative

Another November release I missed, from the National Association of Secretaries of State: NASS Launches #TrustedInfo2020: A Public Election Education Initiative. “#TrustedInfo2020 encourages American citizens to look to their state and local election offi­cials as the trusted sources for election information. Driving voters directly to election officials’ websites and verified social media pages will ensure voters are getting accurate election infor­mation, and cut down on the misinformation and disinformation that can surround elections.”

Parliament: Government e-Gazette to be free to public by end-January, says Iswaran (Straits Times)

Straits Times (Singapore): Parliament: Government e-Gazette to be free to public by end-January, says Iswaran. “By end-January, all publications on the Government e-Gazette website will be made available to the public for free, said Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran. In a written parliamentary reply to Workers’ Party Non-Constituency MP Leon Perera on Monday (Jan 6), Mr Iswaran said this includes publications that have been published for more than five days.”

Route Fifty: A State’s Sassy Approach to the Social Media Game

Route Fifty: A State’s Sassy Approach to the Social Media Game. “With a ‘your mom’ joke and a lot of state-specific content, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s digital team tackles Twitter in a whole new way (while also getting serious when the news is serious).”