sdg | MIT Center for Civic Media

Recent blog posts by sdg

Expressing, Engaging, Reacting: Civic Engagement in an Online Community of Young Creators

This collaborative blog post summarizes the project Ricarose Roque and I have been working on for the Introduction to Civic Media class (CMS 860).


Trying to define Civic Media : looking back

In my "hello world" post for this blog, I tried to define Civic Media as

…a set of tools, technologies and practices that enable wider and more active participation in a democratic process.

While writing this post, I remember trying to unpack the concept of "democratic process", but I wasn't sure about how to go about it. I talked about the "curation and synthesis of public knowledge" and the importance of expression, but it felt that there needed to be a clearer distinction between what was to me, the "traditional" democratic process, and the processes that I would typically think of in the context of the civic media landscape.

Anonymous tries to undermine anonymity ? Looking at Operation India

On the midnight of 5th June 2011, Indian police violently cracked down on a peaceful group of protesters who had convened together against corruption and untaxed money stashed away in foreign tax havens (referred to as "black money" in India). On the 7th of June, Anonymous announced "Operation India" on Twitter, kicked off by the defacement the website of the Indian federal government's nodal IT agency, the NIC, and the release of a list of demands. The demands consisted of:

Project Update: Pushing the Limits

This a collaborative post on the project Ricarose Roque and I have been working on:

Interview Protocol for Moderators
To understand the perspective of community moderators, which includes a full-time online community coordinator, we plan to interview one or two members of the moderation team. We frame our interview questions using our project’s three research questions (listed below). To make our conversations concrete, we plan to ask moderators to identify two-to-three examples of particularly challenging scenarios of moderation specifically around civic engagement of Scratch community members. Below is our interview protocol for moderators organized around background questions, specific examples, and looking ahead.

Research Questions for the Interview

Social Media & Mass Media : Looking at BBC's guidelines for using pictures from Social Media

BBC is one of the few mass media outlets that has a worldwide footprint, and as someone who used to live in a region which is heavily covered by the BBC, it was very interesting to see the "outside perspective" that it brought in for issues which had a strongly localized context. With the BBC going into the practice of inviting participation (via social networks) to their reporting process, I think it would be very interesting to see the resultant blending of the local and the outside perspective.

The BBC has published their social media policy online, and as I was going through it, their editorial guidelines for using pictures from social media seemed very interesting to me. The guidelines cover three important areas - context, consent and amplification.