Stop. Investigate the source. Find better coverage. Trace claims, quotes, & media to original context.
Whether we wash our hands or scrub our feed of viral misinformation, we can stop the spread to our friends, families, & communities as others become vectors for infection.
The more social interactions someone has, the more responsibility they have not to pass on a disease.
The bigger a platform someone has, the more responsibility they hold. (Mark Zuckerberg, for example.)
But this isn’t just about media in 2020: every politician & member of the public has to help.
Always verify before you trust or amplify.
Deny lies oyxgen.
Attention & trust are 2 of the most precious commodities today.
Whether it’s algorithms suggesting politicians & content, taking $ for ads, running op-eds, or broadcasting a tsunami of lies or a protest live, tech companies, media, & the public all give speech reach.
If everyone had worn a mask since March, tens of thousands of Americans might be alive.
President Donald J. Trump bears direct responsibility for that, as well as the absence of the testing and contact tracing capacity we must have to reopen safely.
Why have European and Asian counties been able to suppress this pandemic while the USA has not?
The public health playbook for a pandemic is not a secret: universal masks, robust, rapid testing, contact tracing, & supported isolation & treatment — quarantine — for infections.
It’s the *only strategy* that will help us reopen in a safe way until we develop an effective vaccine, vaccinate 70%+, and have effective antivirals and therapeutics.
Masks are about protecting other people, & them protecting you, while scientists work on a safe, viable vaccine.
The key exception is someone who needs to gear up with a N95 as a healthcare worker or first responder to treat infected patients, in which case they’ll need that respirator, face shield, gloves & gown.
But that better mask would help on a subway or bus or plane or office. If we had manufactured tens of millions of N95 masks & distributed them this spring, Americans would be safer — like South Koreans, who did exactly that, distributing inexpensive masks around their nation.
Republicans seem to have realized they are on the wrong side of public opinion, the global health consensus, and history, shifting to saying everyone should mask up, with Speaker McConnell, Leader McCarthy and Rep. Cheney all speaking out in favor of wearing them last week.
But President Trump hasn’t just refused to wear a mask himself or tweet his *own administration’s guidance” on people wearing a mask: He has used his bully pulpit on Twitter and White House events to mock people who mask up & cast doubt on their effectiveness.
After months of anti-mask messaging, he finally reversed himself last week.
Republicans in Congress and Governors finally decided to support this crucial public health intervention — like their peers in the rest of the world’s developed nations and democracies — to stop the spread of COVID19.
“‘I’m all for masks,’ Trump lied, adding that he would wear one himself if he were in a crowded room (he hasn’t) and noting that he had a black one on recently. “I sort of liked the way I looked.’”
And then he hosted two large public events where people close together were not required to wear masks.
Every preventable death is a tragedy and I’m not willing to lose my parents or friends or neighbors to malign negligence.
President Trump is the first President in modern US history that has not tried to extend beyond his political base, governing all Americans.
His example carries outsize importance for his supporters — which goes to the importance of him wearing one and supporting their use — and negative valence with anyone else.
The public record shows that President Trump holds significant responsibility for the politicization of masks in the USA and thereby actively undermined a basic public health intervention that would have made a huge difference in the R value (infection rate) of a deadly disease.
God may have mercy on his soul, but historians will not be kind.
Americans will keep dying on his watch until our nation masks up, tests, traces, isolates & treats every case.
And now, as a result of their ham-handed self-regulation, I can’t engage people on Facebook about my piece advocating Facebook creating a public interest file for politicians and civil servants who create ephemeral media (“Stories”) on Instagram and Facebook.
UPDATE: When I shared this on Twitter, Rob Leathern, the director of product at Facebook responsive for ads integrity and transparency, replied to my @mention, stating that “This is not blocked – this is an ad about an issue of national importance and so requires you to go through the authorization process, before it will run.”
This is not blocked – this is an ad about an issue of national importance and so requires you to go through the authorization process, before it will run
When I said the feature wasn’t available on mobile, he told me to visit Facebook from a desktop computer to complete the process. When I did so, Facebook prompted me to enter a mailing address and upload images of my passport, driver’s license or state ID.
There’s an interesting wrinkle here, as I noted to Leathern on Twitter: I’ve been “verified” on Facebook for years now, with a big blue checkmark next to my name and a special signifier in comments. What, exactly, does being “Verified” mean if Facebook still needs to identify who I am?
On May 29, senior officials from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the State Department confirmed that the United States will developed a new National Action Plan for Open Government for the Open Government Partnership this spring and summer, hosting two “co-creation” events in June and re-opening an online forum for public comments on Github. The State Department announced that the U.S. would be restarting the consultation process for building a new plan.
Today, in an email sent to the open government and civil society working group email listserv, GSA analyst Alicia Yozzi shared noted about the remarks delivered by the three officials, who were
Matt Lira, special assistant to the president for innovation policy and initiatives in the White House Office of American Innovation
Matt Bailey, acting policy unit chief, Office of the U.S. Chief Information Office, White House Office of Management and Budget
Chanan Weissman, special advisor in the Department of State
Yesterday morning, we convened the public U.S. inter-agency Open Government Working Group meeting with civil society in the offices of General Services Administration (GSA) and launched the process to develop and ultimately publish the Fourth Open Government Partnership (OGP) U.S. National Action Plan.
Thank you to those who joined us by phone and in-person. If you could not make it we’ve captured notes and I’m including them below.
SAVE THE DATE(s) – We will be hosting 2 Co-Creation Sessions to develop the 4th U.S. National Action Plan (NAP 4) and would love to have you join us. Space is limited so please register in advance. Passcode: OpenGov2018
Matt Lira – Special Assistant in the White House Office of American Innovation
This Administration is committed to open government in the United States. Today we are here to renew the process of drafting and publishing the Fourth National Action Plan.
Empowering American citizens to hold their government accountable is a core function of any democracy and a priority for this Administration. A core objective is to ensure that our government is efficient, effective, and accountable to the American people.
We view this as a whole-of-team effort. The U.S. government will have a number of offices within the State Department, the GSA, and other agencies working on the fourth OGP National Action Plan.
We want to hear from you – citizen engagement and public participation is a critical part of this process. To help focus these discussions, the President’s Management Agenda will serve as a guiding document for our commitments. In particular, we will look forward to your input on the following areas of interest:
Modernizing Government Technology to Increase Productivity and Security
Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset
Developing a Workforce for the 21st Century
Consistent with OGP’s feedback to all of its participants, we expect the fourth National Action Plan to include fewer – but more impactful – commitments relative to previous years.
Matt Bailey – Acting Policy Unit Chief, OFCIO, OMB
Highlighted that the OpenGov team really wants to get agencies and civil society together for the co-creation events, especially those that are able to make commitments for the new NAP.
We want to be able to have frank, open discussions with the public and the agencies that will be able to implement the recommendations.
Save the date for 6/14 and 6/21 for the co creation events. More information coming soon. [Note that 6/14 and 6/21 are now the confirmed dates.]
Cross-agency priority goals constitute the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) which, along with previous public input will serve as the starting point for this process
Chanan Weissman, Special Advisor, Department of State
Chanan provided a very brief overview of the soon-to-be released Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) Report on the Third U.S. National Action Plan and the status of the upcoming OGP Global Summit.
He thanked open gov representatives throughout the inter-agency for their feedback on the pre-publication version of the Report. Agencies provided 60 plus distinct comments, edits, clarifications, etc. back to OGP IRM researchers.
IRM cited three noteworthy highlights:
Modernization of access to information
Police open data
IRM Report’s five main recommendations included:
collaboration with the public,
fewer and more transformative commitments,
service delivery and infrastructure, and
legislation branch involvement.
IRM Report information can be found online and out for release soon.
TheOGP Global Summit in Tbilisi, Georgia on July 17-19. The last one was in Paris, France in December 2016. This year,they are streamlining the number of attendees (1000-1500 versus ~3,000 in years’ past) and limiting the number of panel discussion themes to three: anti-corruption, public service delivery, and civic participation.
o There is a Google Group to share information and a Github account. Unfortunately, Github is not accessible to everyone. Can the group be sure to use the google group to share?
Yes. We will be sure to leverage the Google group to include the majority of people.
o Can you talk more about the OGP co-creation events?
We’d love to hear feedback on how to structure that process most effectively
We are still developing the structure but want it to be productive
Both events will at GSA, one in the morning and one in the afternoon
We are considering ways to include folks who cannot be present in person
Regrettably, I could not attend nor participate in this public meeting due to illness, or I would have asked several questions. Thanks to the GSA for taking these notes and circulating them online.
Whether the United States government actually follows through engaging the public almost a year later in an open process that involves that “collaboration of citizens, civil society, political and official champions and other stakeholders” is an open question that will be answered over the next month — but there’s ample reasons to be skeptical, given political polarization, partisan rancor and low trust in government.
Almost a decade ago, we saw what the Obama administration at least attempted to do with Change.gov and then the Open Government Initiative. Two government-hosted events in DC and a Github forum are not going to be meet the more robust standards for public participation and co-creation that OGP has promulgated after years of weak consultations.
The Open Government Partnership was designed to be a platform that would give civil society an equal seat at the table. That would means not just voting on a pre-existing management agenda or pre-populated commitments from closed workshops, but getting commitments that are responsive to the great challenges that face American democracy into the plan, including ethics reforms.
In the Trump era, until we start seeing seeing federal agencies, Cabinet members, and the White House itself using social media, mobile devices, radio, and TV appearances to not only inform and engage the public but to incorporate public feedback into meaningful government reform proposals, unfortunately there’s little reason to trust that this newfound commitment to open government is serious.
Fascinating new research from the World Economic Forum offers more insight about how using mobile apps leaves people feeling — and how moderation can reduce regret:
Here’s the key contention: for many of the apps that people uses the most, there is a time when the law of diminishing returns kicks in, after which time more use begins to leave us with increased regret.
That’s about 20 minutes a day, for Facebook. I do wonder if Facebook’s internal data would show about how happiness changes over time, across different interactions. I suspect more time interacting with friends and less time passively consuming pictures and video is correlated with more positive feeling.
1) intentional use & discipline can have a real impact on someone’s sense of well-being and reported happiness. (That sounds a lot like a doctor recommending a healthy diet and daily exercise, to me. Common sense but not always easy to do.)
2) lots of time spent on some apps are strongly enough associated unhappiness that people struggling with depression should probably delete them if they cannot moderate use.
3) In aggregate, this likely adds up to unprecedented combination of cognitive loads for people who spend a lot off time every day staring at their smartphones (ahem!) which may explain our complex relationship we have constant connectivity.
I think I’ll try to adapt Michael Pollan’s mantra for eating to a healthier “digital diet” this year:
3) Twitter deserves credit for watching what its users are doing on the platform to get around the character constraints.
“We’ve spent a lot of time observing what people are doing on Twitter, and we see them taking screenshots of text and tweeting it,” he said. “Instead, what if that text…was actually text? Text that could be searched. Text that could be highlighted. That’s more utility and power.”
You don’t need to imagine what that would look like: Google+ had no such character limit and amazing text search from the start. (Google’s effort had other issues, leading to a complete redesign and relaunch of Google Plus in November.)
Recode reports that Twitter is working on expanding its famous 140 character limit to a 10,000 characters. Users might click “read more” to expand a tweet to the full length.
If it carries through on this change, I think that Twitter needs to retain both high information density and easy browsing of tweets. The existential risk it runs if not is that it would lose product differentiation versus other social media platforms. Facebook has steadily positioned itself as the go-to alternative for media to share news and live stream events. I find that its Mentions app for media is a much better product than anything Twitter provides.
In 2016, Twitter just aping Facebook is risking everything to compete with the biggest social platform on the planet. The question that its executives must be able to answer to media, politicians and the public is why they should tweet (or read tweets) instead of using another platform.
Over the years, I have found that I find the way I use Twitter – to find and share information or news, track live events, learn from others, and discuss ideas – looks like work to many other people. Finding and following (and unfollowing) smart people is crucial to making Twitter useful. Twitter tried to improve this in its onboarding process, using lists of interests, but it’s still not effectively explaining how people who love it and value make the most of the platform.
Twitter tried to address this using Twitter Moments, but I’m not sure it’s working. Character counts won’t either.
I think Twitter will need to invest in Tweetdeck and Tweetbot for its power users, to retain its position as an information utility and preserve the inputs that drive its value to people who prefer to browse, but that’s enough.
Flat user growth suggests that Twitter must make itself much easier to use for mainstream. Elevating user Lists would help, instead of just curating “Moments” internally and publishing them, especially shorn of links. And guess what? Media already make and use Lists. Instead of largely ignoring power users or their frustration, perhaps partner with them? Maybe even offer those users a share of ad revenue if their Lists prove to be the best lens on an event or news or a law or disaster?
I’m obviously spitballing here, but I’m concerned about what’s going to happen to my favorite social media platform in 2016 and beyond.
Whether you are also are a long-time user or someone who tried it and left, I’d certainly welcome your ideas on what Twitter should do — or be.
Cue “Periscope Election” hype! More seriously, it’s a slick app: easy to sign up, browse, network and, most importantly, livestream.
Twitter once asked us “What are you doing?” Now, Periscope asks us “What are you seeing?”
When I logged on, I saw windows into our shared worlds from all over the globe.
I downloaded Stringwire as well this week, but it’s not on par with Periscope’s features, UX or integration. I wonder if NBC Universal will create clear incentives for its use.
As I found some time ago, Google Hangouts can also be streamed live to YouTube. There are an awful lot of a Android devices in the world; I’d keep an eye on how that evolves, along with Facebook’s video features.
I also wonder about who will use these apps and where. Established celebrities can find their audiences. This morning, I saw people tuned in to see Mario Batali cook this morning. As with Vine and YouTube, unheralded talent may find success as well.
Most of life is, however, mundane by definition. I look forward to seeing how Periscope and other apps help us choose and share moments that resonate with the rest of humanity.
Emerging technology has the power to make democracy stronger or weaker. Understanding where, when, and how is the hard part. Subscribe to Civic Texts to get insights about how technologies are changing our democracy in your inbox.
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