e.Woke #79: Partisan Tech & Government Accountability

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It’s an anxious time worldwide. Time to be aware, stay informed, and take action! From California to China, we learn about censorship and surveillance bills abound and the movements that are fighting to take back our privacy.

“Talking with Yochai Benkler about the right-wing ecosystem”

Republican vs. Democrat, Right vs. Left, Us vs. Them. In the aftermath of Super Tuesday, let’s revisit how the 2016 presidential campaign was affected by technology and what it could mean for the future. Mathew Ingram of Columbia Journalism Review’s Galley writes, “Is this a new thing, or a digital version of a very old thing? And has it changed the way politics and journalism function in the United States and elsewhere, and if so what – if anything – can we do about it?” (Photo by Renderon Broadcast Design)

“Students Organize to Keep Facial Recognition off Campus”

National action against facial recognition! Fight for the Future writes, “Across the country today, students, alums, and faculty took action to defend their campuses from the aggressive marketing onslaught of facial recognition companies. Their message was simple, and backed by 150+ faculty and 40+ civil society groups like ACLU, Freedom Works, and Color of Change: facial recognition on campus makes everyone less safe. It should be banned.” Check out this breakdown of action on campuses across the country in Medium. (Photo by Fight for the Future)


“Digital rights activists raise money for billboard criticizing Schiff over surveillance fight”

When they go secret, we go public. Emily Birnbaum writes for The Hill, “Digital rights activists are fundraising for a billboard criticizing House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) over his efforts to reauthorize a surveillance bill that they say does not go far enough in reforming how the government is allowed to spy on everyday Americans.” Visit the crowdfunding page from Fight for the Future and Demand Progress to call out the proposal for invasive spying techniques! (Photo by Bonnie Cash)


“Censored Contagion: How Information on the Coronavirus is Managed on Chinese Social Media”

Governments really do be trying us. With Covid-19 making its way around the world we need to understand what role governments had in covering up and controlling the media messages. Lotus Ruan, Jeffrey Knockel, and Masashi Crete-Nishihata write for CitizenLab, “This report presents results from a series of censorship tests on YY [a streaming service] and WeChat [a messaging app] that show that Chinese social media began censoring content related to the disease in the early stages of the epidemic and blocked a broad scope of content.” (Illustration from report)

Overall Mood Meme for this week is…

Me, staying cautious of everything during these trying times.


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