Media Policy For Everyday Folks


Trophy Kids: A Podcast (Ep1)

Welcome to the Trophy Kids Podcast! (Listen on SoundCloud) Each episode, we’ll discuss a statement made about Millennials, where it came from, and whether or not it’s true.

In our debut episode, we begin with the phrase “Millennials are the worst!” and chat with Laura Stampler, freelance author of a Business Insider article that may have started […]

10 Years Later, Google Stops Scanning Your Email, But Not For the Reasons You’d Think

EUGENE – Google’s pseudonymous parent company Alphabet Inc. announced late last week that it would discontinue the use of controversial in-email advertisements. For over a decade, the company scanned the content of users’ emails for keywords and then displayed relevant ads right in Gmail. Despite ongoing protest from consumer and digital rights activists, as well […]

July 4th

I’m of the opinion that July 4th should be celebrated more like a Jewish holiday. Let’s sit and reread treatises and old revolutionary era letters, feel guilty and then make a concerted effort to do better. I’m all for beer olympics and fireworks, but I think its time for some reflecting.

edit: And lots of food.

Germany’s Network Enforcement Act: A Wurst Case Scenario

EUGENE –  Typically known for more stringent laws around speech than other western democracies, Germany’s latest push back against the use of social media for inciting violence and sharing extremist messages raises big questions on effectiveness, jurisdiction and legality.

On the heels of the recent Facebook Files leaks, which document the ways ICTs moderate content, new […]

Facebook Town Hall Feature Trades Privacy for Efficacy

// In the wake of the 2016 election, Facebook unveils Town Hall. The new feature will ‘strengthen the online community’ by connecting users to the elected officials that represent them. If keeping users on-site to create marketable data is in Facebook’s best interest, can Town Hall really deliver? Will the ad platform use Town Hall data for targeting? Who […]

First They Came for Our Zunes

// If private employees must agree to remote access of work issued devices like cellphones, laptops and tablets, shouldn’t the same security measures be in place for our government employees? In this quick blog post I try to look at the DOJ/Apple decryption debacle from another angle.


Quick Update: In the News

Most of the time I find myself reporting and commenting on tech news. Once in a while, however, I’m part of that news:

For my work with Code for Philly – a Code for America Brigade, I was recognized both on the official CfP blog, and on (a tech blog with a focus on civic engagement […]

Square Pegs in Round Holes: Facebook Real Name Reporting Policy

// This is a follow up to a previous article on Facebook’s Real Name Policy, “Pseudonyms: Not Who You Share With, But Who You Share As”

Back in early October, I wrote a lengthy piece on pseudonymity online – the way we assume multiple identities based on context. Just like you may act and speak differently with close friends than you would at work, so too (generally) goes conduct online. This is accomplished through usernames, avatars, and other privacy tools. […]

Comey’s Backdoor: What We Got Wrong After Paris

// In this blog post, I’ll explore media and government reactions to acts of terror in both Paris and San Bernardino, California. FBI Director James Comey and California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein suggest radical changes to how we look at cryptography in the United States, often in direct defiance of security and civil rights experts.

A […]

It’s Often Transparent in Philadelphia: When Open Government Actually Works

//Ah – the sweet smell of transparency in local government. In this blog post I’ll take a look at a recently released report that was only made possible by bringing together civic actors and civic hackers. Through that I’ll look at the stigma around the word “hacker” itself – hopefully lending some clarity to an […]