Disappointed

What's so hard about assessing impact in civic tech?; forcing a Senate vote on net neutrality; and more.


  • Must read: Writing in Civicist, Matt Stempeck considers the problems with assessing impact in the civic tech sector.

  • Approximately a dozen Google employees are resigning in protest of the company’s work with the U.S. military on classifying images from drone footage, Kate Conger reports for Gizmodo.

  • And Amazon’s board will institute a rule mandating the consideration of women and people of color for top positions after all—a rule the board initially opposed but now claims, after employee backlash, was “a practice already in place,” Jason Del Ray reports for Recode.

  • Tomorrow, Senate Democrats plan to force a vote to restore net neutrality principles, Jon Brodkin reports for Ars Technica.

  • A New York judge is temporarily blocking the release of police body cam footage as the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association appeals the decision to not classify body cam footage as personnel records, which are excluded from public disclosure laws, Ashley Southall reports for The New York Times.

  • The Seattle City Council has passed a law that taxes for-profit companies grossing $20 million or more $275 per employee, Matt Day and Daniel Beekman report for The Seattle Times, down from an earlier proposal of $500 per employee, which Amazon had protested by halting an ongoing construction project, and that the mayor had threatened to veto. The new funds will go towards addressing homelessness. An Amazon spokesman said they were “disappointed” by the vote.

  • In India, WhatsApp has become an source of fake news and religious hatred that are heightening tensions in the run-up to national elections next year, Annie Gowen and Elizabeth Dwoskin report for The Washington Post.

  • This toy company is helping kids learn about STEM topics through hands-on play as they build, race, and hack radio-controlled cars. Learn more about the company (and the soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter campaign) here.

  • Last word: For Select/All, Dan Nosowitz writes about not knowing how to waste time on the internet anymore.