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Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2012 about Politics on Tuesday 13th March

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  • All 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 9:00am to 4:00pm, Tuesday 13th March

    In Room 7, Austin Convention Center

  • How the White House is Mobilizing Social Media

    by Kori Schulman

    From his first day in office, President Obama put a priority on an open and engaging government. From Hangouts to hashtags, the White House is utilizing social media to interact with Americans everyday on the issues that they care about the most. As the first Administration in history to have a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and elsewhere online, the White House’s social media strategy is focused on creating opportunities for meaningful engagement. This session will highlight the #40dollars campaign surrounding the payroll tax cut extension, White House Hangouts and more. Kori Schulman, Deputy Director of Online Outreach at the White House, will discuss how the Administration is breaking new ground to engage with citizens in the digital age and what’s next.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Tuesday 13th March

    In Salon E, AT&T Conference Center

  • 2012: Social Media’s New Role in Politics

    by Khris Loux, Ben Parr, Vishal Sankhla and Mark Blumenthal

    Social media has earned a prominent seat at the table with the large media companies of the world and has birthed an entirely new way to cover the world of politics. As we approach the electoral year, political chatter will continue to snowball and generate enormous heaps of data. Data can drastically impact how we determine the importance of a given story, the ways that we gauge public opinion and eventually may even revolutionize the way we cast our votes. This panel will discuss the many ways that the web is providing entirely new tools and resources to track and cover the world of politics and discuss the unique perspective social media data paints for the voice of a bolder and broader demographic. This panel will feature experts in political news, new media, data crunching and the real-time web debating the future of political coverage and the impact of new social technologies on political news and research.

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Tuesday 13th March

    In Salon A, AT&T Conference Center

    Coverage audio clip

  • Democracy 2.0 in the German Parliament

    by Jimmy Schulz

    Jimmy Schulz attended SXSW in 2011 and announced during the panel session „Make Citizens Social: Digital Participation in Public Services“ that next year he would report the results of the implementation of “Adhocracy” in the German parliament. The Inquiry Committee “Internet and digital society” has been experimenting with the application of Liquid Democracy ( www.demokratie.de ) this last year. New forms of democratic participation thanks to technical innovation can help reduce public dissatisfaction with politics. Significantly, these tools can improve transparency, which is important for political legitimization and helping people better understand and identify with political decisions. Jimmy Schulz would like to report on the initial results of the application of these tools in the German Parliament.

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Tuesday 13th March

    In Salon B, AT&T Conference Center

  • American Copyright: Will Government Go Too Far?

    by Jonathan Bailey, Mark Petrolis, Katherine Sunstrom, Patrick O'Keefe and David Snead

    During the week of SXSW in 2011, the White House’s Intellectual Property Coordinator, Victoria Espinel, released a whitepaper calling for increased government crack-down on copyright infringement. Espinel’s paper called for: Stronger criminal laws related to online copyright infringement; increased surveillance of foreign websites marketing to US consumers; enabling law enforcement to wiretap purported “infringers” and share the results of those wiretaps with private “rightsholders.” Law makers and big media rightsholders have concerns that piracy causes “economic harm and threaten the health and safety of American consumers.” The legislature is reviewing the PROTECT IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act to address these concerns.Are the proposals commensurate with the purported threat? Will they even address the threat? Are the invasions on consumers’ rights necessary and do such privacy concerns outweigh the supposed threat to the “health and safety” of American consumers?

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Tuesday 13th March

    In Salon A, AT&T Conference Center

    Coverage audio clip

  • People-Powered: Technology and the Revolution

    by David All and Pete Snyder

    The people-powered revolution, fueled by the Internet and technology, is changing everything -- especially the worlds of activism, media and policy. Today, the conversation about the Internet’s role has never been louder or more distributed.

    Activism, media and policy always have worked together. But thanks to the tools we now have and will continue to develop, their speed and influence are limitless. New technologies that strengthen the people-powered movement are emerging every day, giving individuals the tools they need to be heard.

    Join us for a discussion about the latest technologies and how they are bolstering this revolution by empowering people to shape activism, media and policy.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Tuesday 13th March

    In Room 8A, Austin Convention Center

  • Policy Effects of Media Portrayals of Hacktivists

    by Molly Sauter

    Hollywood and the international news media delight in presenting us with depictions of hackers and hacktivists as subterranean Ohmian "Super Users," capable of hacking *all* the ISPs with a few keystrokes in between shots of Red Bull. How do these depictions, both in fiction and news coverage of hacktivist actions, affect the development and implementation of Internet policy and regulations? In this talk, I'll be examining how media coverage and depictions of hackers and hacktivists has changed as the hacktivist movement has developed since the 1980s. I'll be describing how such coverage, from "Sneakers" to photo galleries of Fawkes-masked Anonymous protests, influences policy on subjects from intellectual property and communications regulations to information security and cyberwar. I'll be questioning what these trends of laws, regulations, and apparent media biases mean for the future of hacktivism and digital activism.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Tuesday 13th March

    In Salon A, AT&T Conference Center

  • Senate Committees Push Boundaries on Social Media

    by Conor Kenny and Steven Polunsky

    The bulk of social media and Web 2.0 use in Congress and state legislatures has until now largely been composed of personal tweets and posts by legislators and staff, pushing communications out without engaging in true conversations with constituents. Innovation in this area has lagged the private sector.One Texas Senate committee is changing that. Charged by Chairman John Carona to “push the envelope so hard it’s no longer stationery,” the Business and Commerce Committee is moving out with social media. They began by examining the legislative process and identifying each point where lobbyists and advocates have special access to information or legislators, then looked for technologies that would level the playing field, open the process to the public, or help generate consensus. As a testbed, the committee is currently tackling a tough issue –payday lending – and they’ll tell you what they’re doing, what’s worked and where they think Gov2.0 is going.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Tuesday 13th March

    In Salon B, AT&T Conference Center

    Coverage audio clip