These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
“For the first time ever, Twitter has issued a transparency report card that sheds light on how often it's been asked by government officials to delete tweets and hand over user information -- and how frequently the social media site has complied.
Twitter's inaugural Transparency Report, based on activity during the first half of this year, details government requests for user data, authorities' efforts to have tweets removed and copyright takedown notices. It suggests officials are taking a more active interest in Twitter users' activity: Twitter's legal policy manager Jeremy Kessel writes, ‘We’ve received more government requests in the first half of 2012, as outlined in this initial dataset, than in the entirety of 2011.’” READ MORE
Web Can Foment Openness as Corrupt Regimes Fall
“Throughout the short history of the Web plenty of commentators have spouted some pretty good nonsense about it. Nicholas Negroponte, the then head of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Laboratory, predicted that the Net would bring world peace by breaking down national borders.
Speaking at a conference in Brussels in 1997 he told the credulous audience, in 20 years time children ‘are not going to know what nationalism is.’” READ MORE
“Innovative mobile games, especially those that take place at the local level and focus on issues like art or civics, are often relatively low profile. Thus, it’s hard to determine their impact on communities and the larger engagement field.
A new report seeks to address that problem by profiling nearly 40 games and revealing key opportunities and constraints that will be useful to both practitioners and academics. It outlines the emerging field of mobile and pervasive games across three dimensions: civic learning, performance/art and social change.” READ MORE
New York Times
New Media’s Old Problem
“Women dominate social media. They’re the biggest and most engaged users of social networking sites in America, according to the Pew Research Center.
But when it comes to digital punditry, women appear to have less influence. Foreign Policy magazine, which is run by a woman, included a paltry 12 women in its list last week of 100 people worth following on Twitter. In response, a group of Twitter users created a separate list of only women that was subsequently posted on Foreign Policy’s Web site, but the point had been made: in the eyes of the magazine, women in foreign policy matter less – at least on Twitter.” READ MORE
European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)
OLAF investigations resulted in €691 million recovered to EU budget and 511 years' of prison sentences
“The Annual Report of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), published today, summarises OLAF's achievements in 2011. OLAF handled 463 cases in 2011. The results of OLAF's investigations led to the recovery of €691 million and a cumulative 511 years of prison sentences being issued by Member State courts.
"Thanks to our investigations, a considerable amount of money was recovered to EU taxpayers and a large number of criminals were brought to justice in national courts for crimes against the EU budget. In this financial climate, the fight against fraud and corruption is of particular importance and should be a priority in all Member States. OLAF wants to step up this fight. Therefore, we will increase our focus on the efficiency and results of our investigations and strengthen our cooperation with our partners both within and outside the EU," said OLAF's Director-General, Giovanni Kessler.” READ MORE
“Across the African continent, internet penetration is low, computers are often too expensive to purchase, and online business transactions can be logistically complicated to execute.
But the surge in mobile phone use - there are currently 695 million mobile phone subscribers in Africa - has given Africans a simple and pervasive means of sharing information and conducting business.
In recent years, a few innovative African companies have found ways to harness the e-potential of mobile commerce and information sharing, changing the way in which Africans communicate and conduct business.” READ MORE