digital democracy Feed

Facebook's Ideological Foundation

Tom Hodgkinson in the Guardian:

Facebook is a well-funded project, and the people behind the funding, a group of Silicon Valley venture capitalists, have a clearly thought out ideology that they are hoping to spread around the world. Facebook is one manifestation of this ideology. Like PayPal before it, it is a social experiment, an expression of a particular kind of neoconservative libertarianism. On Facebook, you can be free to be who you want to be, as long as you don't mind being bombarded by adverts for the world's biggest brands. As with PayPal, national boundaries are a thing of the past.

I did not even know the CIA had a venture capital fund.


UnLtdWorld empowers people to generate greater social impact in the real world by enabling them to share, shape and build knowledge, markets and communities through social networks.

Has some interesting functionality:

Neighbourhoods - users can easily see other members who have similar interests, who interact with the site in a similar way or could potentially be a relevant connection.

Let's Meet Up - through this feature a member is able to communicate a city they are going to, and when they'll be there. All members in that location receive a notification on their profile, and consequently have the possibility to contact that user if they feel it would be valuable to meet up.

Shout Box - A mini-blog for members to share opinions, stories and relevant links.

Comment Wall - A forum built into each users profile for other members to post comments for that user. A user has the possibility to set different access level options.

Favourite and Share Content - The option for users to save relevant content to their profiles or to share content with friends.

Created by a UK-based Nonprofit:

UnLtdWorld is a project of UnLtd - the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs. UnLtd's mission is to reach out and unleash the energies of people who can transform the world in which they live. We call these people social entrepreneurs.

Funded by....


Evaluating the Value of Social Networks

A.Fine Blog on Evaluating the Value of Social Networks. If friend joins friend joins friends of friends in a cause-related action that comes to nothing, does the residual value of the network itself still have value? You could also ask: Does it have value as a means to an end? As an end in itself? That is, mights social capital or cohesion or solidarity in itself be part of what we mean by "human flourishing?" I would say so. I want to live in a society where many and diverse networks of solidarity criss-cross in all directions, not only in friendship, but in civic friendship for public-spirited ends. Whether those ends are achieved or not, such solidarity is part of what makes life worth living. (I mean it beats tv, and most other ultimate ends.) 

Faking Identity, Norm Police, and Cyberstalking Statutes

Is it fraud to use a fake identity on the net?

Federal officials in Los Angeles are investigating whether it was fraud for someone to use a false identity on an Internet social network in a taunting blamed for the suicide of 13-year-old Megan Meier.

And then there are the norm police.  Also relevant are the cyberstalking statutes:

It has been defined as the use of information and communications technology, particularly the Internet, by an individual or group of individuals, to harass another individual, group of individuals, or organization. The behavior includes false accusations, monitoring, the transmission of threats, identity theft, damage to data or equipment, the solicitation of minors for sexual purposes, and any form of aggression. The harassment must be such that a reasonable person, in possession of the same information, would regard it as sufficient to cause another reasonable person distress.[1]

Great thanks to Jeff Trexler, a Yale Law trained JD, for the links posted in a comment to an earlier post.

Open Source Philanthropy After Holden Karnofsky

Did the dream of open source philanthropy die with the beating Holden Karnofsky has taken? Will the lesson learned inside the closed world of elite philanthropy be that it should stay closed? That insiders should continue to meet with insiders in "safe places," since the net is such a dangerous place. I think I hear the sound of many doors, quietly closing.