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143941 | Facebook and YouTube just got more transparent. What do we see?

Social media platforms have been notoriously opaque about how they work. But something may have shifted, writes Tarleton Gillespie.
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Ten ideas for policymakers to drive digital progress

This US article offers 10 guiding principals for creating technology policy that spurs and sustains digital progress. Innovators continue to find new ways to use information technology (IT) to make our lives better. Looking forward, IT will continue to be a critical component of solutions...
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Real communities

Social researcher Hugh Mackay's essay on on making social investments in our communities. The former prime minister once dreamed of Australia as a nation of shareholders, enriched by their participation in the adventure of capitalism. Properly conceived, that is certainly one form of social engagement...
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$15.3 million for town squares in a feudal broadband system

FORGET media diversity in the fast broadband world. The new model for local media is top-down and centrally controlled.
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Family joblessness in Australia

Family joblessness is one of the most significant problems facing Australian society today. Following its establishment in May 2008 the Australian Social Inclusion Board was asked by the Government to work as a priority on jobless families and children at greatest risk of disadvantage. This...
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A moral obligation

THE RUDD GOVERNMENT should help out the United States by accepting some of the remaining seventeen Uighur detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay. The Uighurs, ethnically Turkic Muslins who populate China’s north-west, have been detained at Guantanamo since 2002, despite having no known connection...
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Plastic policies

THERE IS BROAD agreement that Australian plastic bag consumption should be reduced. To this end, recent South Australian legislation has banned certain types of plastic bags. But other states wishing to reduce their plastic bag consumption may find a tax rather than a ban the...
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Consumer democracy

The idea that it is the primary function of elected governments to raise the disposable income of their citizens is the great unwritten understanding of modern Western democracy. ‘The social contract of Cold War liberalism’ one commentator noted is, ‘a state‐sponsored guarantee of private consumption.’...
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Been there, done that, still hoping for more

Trust and engagement are the twin pillars of a participation society. In their absence, the ties that bind -- the networks of 'social capital' that underpin civility, respect for others and a collective sense of mutual responsibility -- are loosened. This essay is driven by...
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Hypocrisy and people smuggling

People smuggling is a matter of considerable political concern to Western governments, and has received much international attention in recent years.