Gun control: where there’s a will there must be a way


In the aftermath of the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, USA, on December 14 that saw 20 kids aged six and seven shot to death along with six adults, much talk has focused on re-opening the American debate on gun control. An image I’ve seen posted by many people on social networking sites like Facebook […]

Curating Leveson


I’m experimenting with getting to know Spundge, a content curation and publishing platform (which Craig Silverman talks about at length in the latest FIR Interview podcast I posted yesterday). Spundge is a lot about finding and filtering relevant content that matches topics you’re interested in. You do this through creating a Spundge Notebook, a sort […]

How social media supports Israel’s military and political goals


The current conflict between Israel and the Hamas government in Gaza includes a contemporary element that shouldn’t really surprise anyone – the use of social media in support of Israel’s military and political objectives. 21st-century tools for propaganda purposes, some might say. Effective tools and channels to engage online with influencers and opinion-leaders wherever they […]

UK crisis of trust: BBC is just the tip of the iceberg


A news item in today’s Telegraph says that a survey by Kantar shows that 79 percent of the British public don’t trust senior BBC managers to tell the truth. This, of course, relates to the serious and still-unfolding crises confronting the broadcaster as investigations into allegations of child sex abuse over past decades vie for […]

The Twitter channel for government announcements


This morning, the British government announced the appointment of the next Archbishop of Canterbury. I’ve linked to the announcement, above. It will bring you the tweet you see in the screenshot. Yes, a tweet is the government announcement. According to the BBC report on the appointment: [...] Prime Minister David Cameron made the announcement via […]

Tomorrow’s democracy demonstrated


The United States has a new president – the old president. Barack Obama wins a second term in a contest whose result was a close call in terms of the popular vote – less than two million votes separate winner from loser – but substantial in terms of the electoral college votes (the ones that […]

Does the BBC really have the courage to come clean?


Unless you sit atop a remote mountain or cast yourself away on a desert island, and as long as you have no means of digital connectivity with you, it’s impossible to avoid seeing and hearing about Jimmy Savile. The continuing reporting on the revelations about the late alleged child abuser is relentless. Each day, more […]

The mindset shift in open government online


The British Government has launched GOV.UK, a new website that is designed to be the single place online for access to wide-ranging information and other content about government services available to citizens. The new website replaces the public sites Directgov and BusinessLink; and websites of all government departments and many other public bodies will be […]

Tuning out the politics on Facebook


Since joining Facebook in April 2007, one thing I like using it for is keeping in touch, sometimes connecting, with many American friends, colleagues and acquaintances. They’re typically a lively crowd, lots of commentary and opinion on topics of mutual interest and discovery. It’s always a pleasure to see who’s saying what. This week, though, […]