IRS Admits Targeting Conservative Groups During 2012 Election
An anonymous reader writes "A recurring theme in comments on Slashdot since the 9/11 attacks has been concern about the use of government power to monitor or suppress political activity unassociated with terrorism but rather based on ideology. It has just been revealed that the IRS has in fact done that. From the story: "The Internal Revenue Service inappropriately flagged conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election . . . Organizations were singled out because they included the words 'tea party' or 'patriot' in their applications for tax-exempt status, said Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups. In some cases, groups were asked for their list of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said. 'That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate. That's not how we go about selecting cases for further review,' Lerner said . . . 'The IRS would like to apologize for that,' she ...
ProPublica's Guide To News App Tech
dstates writes "ProPublica, the award winning public interest journalism group and frequently cited Slashdot source, has published an interesting guide to app technology for journalism and a set of data and style guides. Journalism presents unique challenges with potentially enormous but highly variable site traffic, the need to serve a wide variety of information, and most importantly, the need to quickly develop and vet interesting content, and ProPublica serves lots of data sets in addition to the news. They are also doing some cool stuff like using AI to generate specific narratives from tens of thousands of database entries illustrating how school districts and states often don't distribute educational opportunities to rich and poor kids equally. The ProPublica team focuses on some basic practical issues for building a team, rapidly and flexibly deploying technology and insuring that what they serve is correct. A great news app developer needs three key skills: the ability to do journalism, ...
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Google.org Donates A Total Of $3.7M To Spark Civic Innovation Using Technology
Today, Google.org’s VP, Matthew Stepka, announced that the non-profit arm of Google is going to be giving a large sum money to Sunlight Foundation and mySociety to promote civic innovation through technology. Specifically, its Civic Information API will help fuel new applications and services for places worldwide. Big and small. Here’s what Stepka had to say about the initiative: We’ve seen developers use our Civic Information API to bring election data to citizens in new and exciting ways. Our live election results maps have been viewed by billions around the world, bringing real-time transparency to elections in Egypt, Mexico, Ghana, and more. Last week, we launched the Kenya Elections Hub for citizens to access the latest news and resources for the country’s presidential election. Sunlight Foundation and mySociety will be given $3.7 million to continue their innovation in civic leadership. By helping communities engage in a closer relationship with their government, Google hopes ...
Labor Department tells Fox unemployment report 'skewed'
With a presidential election less than a month away, a Labor Department spokesman has admitted its report showing weekly unemployment applications the lowest in four years, is skewed downward.
Google Launches A Civic Information API For The Upcoming U.S. Elections
Google just launched a new free API that will make it easier for developers to add civic information like polling places, early vote locations, candidate data and election official information to their applications. Google says it hopes this new Google Civic Information API will "unleash the creativity of the Internet and help you build innovative products that push civic information to your communities in interesting ways." As the U.S. presidential election in November gets closer, the kind of information developers can access through the API tends to change frequently, but Google says it will make "every effort" to ensure that its data is accurate.