Social Media Users in Egypt Must Be Careful

Using social media in Egypt? Be careful what you say. “Mansoura University engineering student Abdallah Azmy was studying for his midterm exam a few weeks ago, when one of his friends took his mobile and cursed their college on Azmy’s personal Facebook account. Azmy never imagined that such a prank would lead to his suspension for the rest of the semester.” This quote made me really sad: “Egyptian laws usually do not offer any legal protections to citizens in such cases, says [lawyer Fatma] Serag. When she has defended clients in such cases, Serag has pointed to the Constitution, which protects people’s right to freely express their opinions and their right to privacy. But ‘the Constitution is usually not translated to laws, unfortunately,’ she says.”

Dems Debate, IA Tracks

While the Democrats debate, the Internet Archive will be watching. “When Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders take the podium tonight along with other contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, their debate will be televised. The Television Archive will be tracking the news coverage surrounding the debate, viewable and searchable… And this tool, developed by political scientist Kalev Leetaru and fueled by Internet Archive data, allows users to see how many times a particular candidate’s name is mentioned in news coverage.”

GovTrack Launches A Kickstarter

GovTrack has launched a KickStarter to help it pay for an intern to write news summaries. “Today GovTrack is fully automated. There’s no staff here. All of the information on the site is collected automatically from the official record. But the official record can’t tell us everything we want to know about what’s going on in Congress. With your help I will hire a full time researcher to add more information about bills to GovTrack. The researcher will report on the political context behind legislation and will tell us what bills really mean.” I’m not sure I agree with how the KickStarter is set up (the minimum pledge is $10, and the reward levels are pretty steep) but GovTrack is a great resource, even as an automated tool. I suspect that as an automated tool with a human writing summaries, it’d be amazing.