Advice

The path forward for tech in politics; how open city data can support racial justice; and more.


  • Tech and politics: Writing for Civicist, three veterans of political tech—Cheryl Contee, Josh Hendler and Julie Menter—offer a “reality check” for how the tech industry can truly help to “build new political power in the Trump era.”

  • Robby Mook and Matt Rhoades, respectively the former campaign managers for Clinton 2016 and Romney 2012, have released a cyber-security playbook for campaigns under the auspices of Harvard’s Belfer Center.

  • Morgan Marquis-Boire, a top security hacker and former Googler who worked with First Look Media, and Toronto’s Citizen Lab has resigned his positions with those organizations after multiple allegations of physical and sexual assault, Sarah Jeong reports for The Verge.

  • A fake Twitter account claimed to be a woman assaulted by Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, who denied the charge, but that didn’t stop pro-Trump websites from spreading the slander, Ben Collins, Gideon Resnick and Sam Stein report for The Daily Beast.

  • Life in Facebookistan: Sandy Parakilas, a former Facebook engineer who led the company’s efforts to fix privacy problems on its developer platform back in 2011-12, before it went public, writes in The New York Times that “lawmakers shouldn’t allow Facebook to regulate itself. Because it won’t.”

  • There’s rising interest in Congress and beyond in the idea that platforms like Facebook and Google should notify users when they’ve been exposed to false news, Austin Carr reports for Fast Company.

  • YCombinator has finally ended its relationship with Facebook board member and Trump supporter Peter Thiel, by ending its part-time partner program, Ryan Mac reports for BuzzFeed News.

  • This is civic tech: Kate Krontiris (longtime friend of Civic Hall who led the research for its creation, in fact) reflects on the challenges of inclusive design that she and her colleagues have encountered while working to “Make the Breast Pump Not Suck.”

  • Kate MacArthur reports for the Chicago Tribune on efforts there to replace hackathons with more lasting ways of connecting nonprofits with tech volunteers.

  • Forty percent of Detroiter’s don’t have any home internet access, so the Detroit Community Technology Project has launched the “Equitable Internet Initiative” to build their own high-speed network, Kaleigh Rogers reports for Motherboard.

  • Noel Isama of the Sunlight Foundation describes how open city data can support racial justice.

  • Here’s a visualization of more than 2000 digital social innovation projects in Europe. (h/t Steven Clift)

  • New York City’s Council has released its legislative API, built by Granicus.

  • Apply: Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) has launched an Entrepreneurship Fellowship focused on young entrepreneurs working in education tech, new technologies of currency, urban innovation and civic tech, Internet of Things, and addressing the Sustainable Development Goals. For more information and to apply, go here.