Transparency: You cannot unring the bell

A strange thing happened today. For a while, I have drawn a fairly bright line between my social networks: facebook was for college friends; twitter business friends. On twitter, I’d end up seeing all the news I needed — and then some — about open government, civic technology, and the like, but on facebook very little of the same. That changed today.

Today I saw on facebook multiple posts regarding the “We The People” petitions platform that the Obama White House deployed to encourage citizen engagement in the policy making process. The idea was simple enough: anyone could post a petition and if it gained enough support (i.e. 100K+ endorsements) the administration would be required to issue a formal response. Effectively it democratized the press pool, enabling anyone with a popular enough question to get an answer.

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