Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2012 about Politics on Friday 9th March

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  • Half Day Event-The Americans Elect Lounge

    Recharge your batteries and your brain in our lounge, and find out about our lounge's Flash Mob Happy Hours by following us on Twitter (@AmericansElect) and via #sxaelounge.

    We'll have charging stations, classic board games like Battleship, Connect Four, and Operation, videos to watch, swag, and a version of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots that we modded with donkey and elephant heads just for SXSW!

    And if you happen to see a giant plush elephant and donkey walking around SXSW, they're with us. Like the two parties, they can't agree on anything. Tweet photos and videos of them in action at #donkeyVelephant and you could win your own Limited Edition Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots: Donkey v. Elephant Edition. Only five exist in the world!
    More about Americans Elect:

    We're hosting a national online primary this summer. Any registered voter can participate, and whoever the American people choose will be on the ballot nationwide, right next to the Republican and Democratic candidates.

    We're nonpartisan, so it's completely up to you to pick this third option. We're using the internet to empower voters and circumvent the two parties. Together we'll pick a president, not a party. Check us out at www.AmericansElect.org !

    At 1:00pm to 6:00pm, Friday 9th March

    In Room 7, Austin Convention Center

  • Political Humor 2.0: Teh Internetz R Leaking

    by Carol Hartsell, Alf LaMont, Greg Proops, Sara Benincasa and Rory Albanese

    In an election year that is as divisive as any in recent memory, a snarky, slightly jaded and unflinching group of funny folk are taking action and making an impact on the political scene. Learn how the internet empowered comedians and comedy writers and how funny folk are wielding their online prowess to affect some real-world change. Join comedians and staff from The Daily Show, Huffington Post,and Wonkette in an in-depth discussion that may very well save the world!

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Friday 9th March

    In Room 12AB, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage audio clip

  • Social Media Sharecropping: Black Tech Adoption

    by Gina Mccauley

    This panel is about the many ways in which modern internet adoption and use mirrors the development of agrarian sharecropping in the South following the Civil War- whereby African Americans provided massive amounts of labor to make other people rich, but could never move beyond basic subsistence living. According to the Pew Internet& American Life Project,as of May 2011, 25% of online African Americans now use Twitter, compared with 9% of such whites. African-American and Latino internet users are each significantly more likely than whites to be Twitter adopters. One out of ten African-American internet users now visit Twitter on a typical day—that is double the rate for Latinos and nearly four times the rate for whites. Pew research has also indicated that Blacks and Latinos are significantly more likely to use mobile devices to text message, use social networking sites, use the internet, watch and record videos, make charitable donation, use email, play games, listen to music, instant message and post multimedia content online. Yet disproportionate consumption of technology among Blacks, does not appear to be translating into wealth building and job creation in a community facing a 16.1 unemployment rate. Techcrunch founder, Michael Arrington caused a minor controversy when CNN’s Soledad O’Brien asked him about Black entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and Arrington replied “I don’t know a single Black entrepreneur.” In 2012, the definition of Digital Divide appears to have shifted from access to technology to how communities of color leverage that technology.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Friday 9th March

    In Room 5ABC, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage audio clip

  • Iranian Outlaws: Satire vs. Censorship

    by Saman Arbabi and Raina Kumra

    Saman Arbabi will use his signature wit to relate how the satirical TV program challenges the oppressive Iranian regime all the while influencing the direction of the country’s political landscape. The program, “Parazit,” has become a runaway hit in Iran despite the gov’s strict censorship practices. The program uses alternate channels of distribution to reach their audience which has driven the program further underground and contributed to its outlaw status and popularity. The show has so completely seeped into the Iranian psyche that the president and his supporters have launched a counter-Parazit program. Saman will give insight into their innovative methods of growing an audience that was previously all but unreachable. At SXSW, he will unveil his latest: "Weapons of Mouse Destruction," the largest global art project against government Internet censorship. Raina Kumra BBG Director of Innovation will open the session with an overview of closed media environments around the world.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Friday 9th March

    In Room 12AB, Austin Convention Center