Kony2012: new media success story or cautionary tale?

The Kony2012 campaign from Invisible Children is one of the most viral social-media campaigns of all time. But is it a sign of how powerful social media can be as a news-distribution mechanism, a sign of how dangerous it can be or both?

Memo to Malcolm Gladwell: Nice Hair, But You Are Wrong

Author Malcolm Gladwell argued in a recent piece for New Yorker magazine that the influence of Twitter and other social-media tools on social activism has been over-stated, but as Twitter co-founder Biz Stone notes in an essay of his own, this argument has some serious flaws.

Censorship FAIL: Azerbaijan Jails Video Bloggers for Donkey Video

Two video bloggers from Azerbaijan are being held in prison by local authorities after uploading a satirical video to YouTube, according to a BBC News report. Andnan Hajizade and Emin Milli are part of a youth movement known as “OL !” that works towards a democratic civil society in Azerbaijan. The duo produced and uploaded a video of a press conference with a guy in a donkey suit in late June. The clip criticized Azerbaijan’s government for new laws against NGOs while making fun of staged government press conferences.
The video makers were arrested in early July after allegedly taking part in a scuffle at a restaurant — a charge that has been widely criticized as being politically motivated and an attempt to legitimize censorship of the duo. Hajizade and Milli were officially charged with hooliganism, which could land them in prison for up to five years. Their trial is scheduled to begin this Friday.
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Post Online Video and Risk Going to Jail

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) this week published its annual prison census, which puts the spotlight on imprisoned journalists from around the world. 2008 marks the first year in which the report is dominated by online journalists, with 45 percent of those jailed bloggers, online reporters or editors. And the report makes clear that repressive regimes are increasingly targeting online video makers.

The findings serve to show how quickly online all forms of online media are gaining importance. When it comes to online video, many repressive regimes are afraid of the worldwide audience garnered by sites like YouTube, using the same laws meant to control state-run TV stations to crack down on video bloggers and video journalists.

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On Her Majesty’s Web-Based Workforce

With Gordon Brown‘s fiscal reputation following Dubya‘s own battered rep into a swirling black hole of oil prices and crunchy credit, it’s heartening to know that (sometimes) Her Majesty’s government can still do its subjects a few financial favours here in Blighty.

A couple of weeks ago, the UK’s tax authority – Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs Service – announced a number of measures that may benefit Britain’s web workers, and more broadly, any Brits working from home.

Those working from home whom have a portion of their residence setup as a dedicated work area or office can claim that portion as a tax rebate. Also, they no longer have to pay capital gains tax on the sale of their home.

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