The Berkman Center just came out with a report on the public
discussions surrounding the SOPA-PIPA actions; drawing on the Media
Cloud work by Yochai Benkler and others.
It provides context for the discussions on the English Wikipedia, and
captures the differences between the grassroots and top-down decisions
by different organizations and media channels who took part in the
An interactive time-visual shows how the conversation was driven at
different times by different communities:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Publication Release: July 25
Social Mobilization and the Networked Public Sphere: Mapping the
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society is pleased to announce the
release of a new publication from the Media Cloud project, Social
Mobilization and the Networked Public Sphere: Mapping the SOPA-PIPA
Debate, authored by Yochai Benkler, Hal Roberts, Rob Faris, Alicia
Solow-Niederman, and Bruce Etling.
Social Mobilization and the Networked Public Sphere: Mapping the
>From the abstract: In this paper, we use a new set of online research
tools to develop a detailed study of the public debate over proposed
legislation in the United States that was designed to give prosecutors
and copyright holders new tools to pursue suspected online copyright
violations. Our study applies a mixed-methods approach by combining
text and link analysis with human coding and informal interviews to
map the evolution of the controversy over time and to analyze the
mobilization, roles, and interactions of various actors.
This novel, data-driven perspective on the dynamics of the networked
public sphere supports an optimistic view of the potential for
networked democratic participation, and offers a view of a vibrant,
diverse, and decentralized networked public sphere that exhibited
broad participation, leveraged topical expertise, and focused public
sentiment to shape national public policy.
We also offer an interactive visualization that maps the evolution of
a public controversy by collecting time slices of thousands of
sources, then using link analysis to assess the progress of the debate
over time. We used the Media Cloud platform to depict media sources
(“nodes”, which appear as circles on the map with different colors
denoting different media types). This visualization tracks media
sources and their linkages within discrete time slices and allows
users to zoom into the controversy to see which entities are present
in the debate during a given period as well as who is linking to whom
at any point in time.
The authors wish to thank the Ford Foundation and the Open Society
Foundation for their generous support of this research and of the
development of the Media Cloud platform.
About Media Cloud
Media Cloud, a joint project of the Berkman Center for Internet &
Society at Harvard University and the Center for Civic Media at MIT,
is an open source, open data platform that allows researchers to
answer complex quantitative and qualitative questions about the
content of online media. Using Media Cloud, academic researchers,
journalism critics, and interested citizens can examine what media
sources cover which stories, what language different media outlets use
in conjunction with different stories, and how stories spread from one
media outlet to another. We encourage interested readers to explore
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University was
founded to explore cyberspace, share in its study, and help pioneer
its development. For more information, visit
Below is the plan for the Global Economic Map to become integrated with
Wikidata task force page:
Project homepage: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Global_Economic_Map
1. Wikidata already has a page on each country.
2. Wikidata already has a page on each administrative division of each
of these countries.
3. Wikidata already has a page on each of the larger companies and
4. The Global Economic Map project will work with Wikidata to define the
additional items and properties needed to incorporate the Global Economic
data into Wikidata in a form which is machine readable.
5. Once the Wikidata development team have completed the development of
the datatypes required for this project (notably the URL datatype and the
Number with Dimension datatype - both due to be completed by September 2013)
 <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Roadmap#Wikidata_deployment> then
the properties can be created and the Global Economic Map project will work
with Wikidata to create bots to automatically import data from various
databases into the various pages in Wikidata. Each datum will be a separate
statement on wikidata with a source (where it came from, when it was
downloaded) and appropriate qualifiers (industry sector, time period it
refers to, location). Where automation is not practical the data will be
imported by hand into Wikidata, including the source and date info.
6. Wikidata will make this data, like all the data on Wikidata,
available, through their public API, in various standard formats, so it can
be reused by others.
7. As part of Wikidata stage 3 (due autumn 2013) the Wikidata developers
will work on creating queries and data visualisations using the data in
Wikidata. The Economic World map team will create a mini standalone site
where the economic data can be queried and displayed in various ways.
8. The Global Economic Map team will work with the Wikidata stage 3
developers and one of the wikipedias (probably not the English Wikipedia -
their articles are pretty stable so they don't want too much
experimentation) to create data visualisations using the data on Wikidata
and add this to national and regional wikipedia pages. Once these are
stable they can be adapted to other nations and regions on that wikipedia.
These can then be be used as a model by other wikipedias.
Rick Falkvinge has been writing a book, "Swarmwise", on how the Pirate
Party organised. He's been posting it a chapter at a time to his blog.
You know how Wikipedia/Wikimedia has (or had) the meme that "voting is
evil"? This sets out why.
tl;dr: voting creates winners and losers, and losers are unhappy and disengage.
i am a long-time wikipedia user and long-time and low-volume editor,
and a significant contributor to the strategic roadmap of wikipedia
which occurred a few years ago. i returned to edit a page and found
that the IP address of the HTTP proxy that i use had been blocked. i
was reminded of an extreme intimidation incident which clearly
violated the spirit of trusting people to contribute to wikipedia, so
thought it best to alert you of this.
the editing last year was carried out - accidentally - anonymously and
using my usual style of making several incremental edits in rapid
succession so as not to lose track of the information being added. i
was unpleasantly surprised to find that in the middle of the editing
the *entire* set of edits had been reverted. i had encountered the
user who carried out the blanket reversion before (when logged in) and
he's what one might call a "wiki nazi": very experienced at "the
rules", and uses them to bullying effect rather than works *with* a
less-experienced contributor, usually by doing total-revert in a
highly disruptive manner.
things escalated and a number of idiots piled in, citing the anonymity
as a means to "attack" wikipedia, whereas in fact it was purely
accidental, but the bullying and the lack of trust shown was the
reason why i chose to *remain* anonymous.
the article in question i refuse to name publicly because it will
identify me instantly to the bullies from whom i still wish to remain
it was a corner-case technical article full of technically inaccurate
technically unsubstantiated and speculative "wishful thinking" on the
part of former editors. i.e. former editors *wish* that the
technology would be successful, but are unfortunately dreadfully
misinformed on basic maths and physics. the problem is: the lack of
success of anyone to create a commercially successful version of this
technology in over 100 years makes it very difficult to provide any
kind of "wikipedia-acceptable" citations as to why there are no
commercially successful versions of this technology.
the article therefore continues to mis-inform people rather badly. a
quick check shows that the page has since been updated, but the core
concerns remain as the page is completely lacking basic math and
physics references, as well as having since been marked as requiring
so there are several things that need to be resolved - bear in mind
that i am *not* prepared to help publicly resolve this unless the
people who carried out the intimidation are taken to task first:
1) the people who carried out the intimidation and accusations need to
be reminded of the spirit of wikipedia to *trust* contributors rather
than automatically assume that they have malicious intent
2) the IP address of my HTTP proxy is to be removed. it's utterly
pointless to block IP addresses based on an *individual's* assessment,
when there are things such as "Tor" and other truly anonymous proxies.
anyone wishing to truly vandalise wikipedia could do so with extreme
prejudice in an automated fashion, and they would certainly not use an
HTTP proxy where a simple reverse-DNS lookup would quickly identify
once these things have been done then i am prepared to assist further
in resolving the subtly misleading parts of the article. i am happy
to provide the details *privately* to more senior individuals within
the wikipedia foundation such that an investigation can be made.
my efforts to improve wikipedia's accuracy are genuine and sincere,
but as a very low-traffic part-time editor of highly-technical
corner-case articles i simply don't have time to go learning all the
"rules": i'm just not interested, to be absolutely frank. i'm happy
to work with people who are sincere and accommodating who truly
welcome technical input.