Computers, Freedom, and Privacy

originally prepared by Jon Pincus for presentations at CFP08 on "elections 2.0" and " Activism and Education Using Social Networks Jon's “Election falsification” and other voting issues in Ohio contains excerpts and discussions of many of the initial sources here. Please help supplement with additional sources and links to discussions!

Tracing the thread[]

A comment by Jon Pincus in Cognitive diversity and the 2008 US election discusses some of the information flow in some detail:

A great example of the not-so-hidden power of social networks: a 26-year-old from Butler County Ohio posted a story on Newsvines and then a link in a thread in the One Million Strong for Barack Facebook group. I did some research with the aid of a couple other Facebookers (including a college student in Florida whose Mom lived in Ohio) and wrote up a blog entry, updating it for a few days as new information came up. After I sent it to Kim, she did some more research and blogged about it on Wired’s THREAT LEVEL blog.
Ari saw it on Wired, talked about it on CSPAN, and after Rush attacked him did a nice piece on The Nation’s blog: Limbaugh’s Lying Voters Under Investigation. [The funny thing is, I actually know Ari via email — he did a long piece about Facebook for The Nation’s print edition in January that I saw on TPM; he quoted my response in his followup post and we’ve stayed in touch — but hadn’t thought of sending this to him.]
Ohio newspapers and TV stations had reported before the election that lying on crossover pledges was illegal; discussions all over the political blogosphere had discussed the effect of Limbaugh-inspired crossover votes. Nobody (outside of Ohio) put the two of them together.

It's interesting that Kim Zetter's story missed the excellent Cleveland Plain Dealer article, which included interviews with several voters and had come out the day before. Jon Pincus comments that he had also missed it: it wasn't mentioned in the Obama Facebook group, and he didn't see it until it was linked from dKos.