Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Blogs Take Lead in Reporting Polling Problems, With Supporting Evidence on YouTube

New York Times

That the blog now has a firm place in the choreography of national events — and in elections perhaps more so than in any other cultural exercise — is a boon to the democratic process, said Jonathan Zittrain, a professor of Internet governance at Oxford University and a co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard.

“In a lot of ways they’re helping to set the agenda for the mainstream media in fast-moving events like this,” Mr. Zittrain said. “They just need to be able to produce enough that’s credible quickly to give a lead.”

Alluding to some of the voter intimidation reports (see e.g. here) that unfolded on Election Day, he added, “There’s also a real difference between hearing about a call that tells someone they’re not allowed to vote and actually hearing the call as if you are receiving it.”

Some bloggers placed what were said to be digital recordings of such calls online (e.g. here) for the world to hear. (See also MSNBC's report about the blog/robocall angle, linked from TPM.)

Elsewhere online, voting machine problems also filled many posts on Talking Points Memo (e.g. here), a liberal site that seemed to take the initiative in tracking complaints, malfunctions and alleged malfeasance by Republicans (another fine example here; see also Bradblog, run by Brad Friedman, perhaps the most dogged critic of electronic voting machine technology in the blogosphere, also mentioned in the NYT Article.)

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