Poked

Meet New York City's new Chief Digital Officer; Pokemon Go as parole violation; and more.


  • Tech and politics: Scott Goodstein and Arun Chaudhary, two of the principals at Revolution Messaging, get profiled in The New Yorker by Benjamin Wallace-Wells< on how they made Bernie Sanders connect online and on mobile. Here's a snippet:

    Chaudhary described submitting a script for a video on income inequality; the senator and his policy staff added details that dramatically swelled its length. “We were like, ‘That’s not best practices on the Internet, sir,’ “Chaudhary said, recalling a conversation with Sanders. “And he was like, ‘I think America can stand to listen for ten minutes about the single most important issue of our time.’ And he was right, because that thing has millions and millions and millions of hits.” For a while, during the Republican primary debates, they had Sanders dictate the campaign’s reaction tweets. Goodstein said, “The best part of that entire thing, in my opinion, was one tweet where he was like, ‘You know what, I’ve had enough of this. I’m going to bed.’”

  • Politico’s Nancy Scola writes that regardless of whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton wins the White House, we will “get a president with scant first-hand understanding of modern technology.”

  • This is civic tech: Open Knowledge Foundation Germany has launched a Prototype Fund, and is offers 1.2 million Euros for individuals and small teams “to test their ideas and develop open source tools in the fields of civic tech, data literacy, data security and more.” The program is modeled on the Knight Foundation’s Prototype Fund and is supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

  • New York City has a new chief digital officer, Sree Sreenivasan, who was previously the CDO for the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  • Today in stupid moral panics: At the behest of Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York State’s Department of Corrections has made playing online games like Pokemon Go a parole violation for sex offenders, Adi Robertson of The Verge reports. The decision is based on a finding by two state senators that found more than 100 pokemon and pokestops within a half block of the location of registered sex offenders. The legislators also want to require the game’s creators to make sure their virtual landscapes do not set up any in-game objectives within 100 feet of sex offenders’ homes. Considering that there are churches close to sex offenders’ homes one wonders if New York politicians will regulate them next.

  • Propublica’s Julia Angwin writes in The New York Times in favor of making algorithms more accountable, such as requiring the consumers be able to see the data used to make a judgment about them.