Dear Facebook: Uganda ≠ Joseph Kony

A friend and I just spent four days in Uganda, and I got an email today letting me know that she had put her photos from the trip up on Facebook.

She geotagged the album as taking place in Uganda, and when I clicked on the “Uganda” link, mistaking it for the album title…

…I was redirected here:

Once again, for those of you who missed it:

I clicked on:

and was redirected to:

Dear Facebook: WHAT THE FUCK.

(Also: 70,000 people “like” Kony on Facebook. WHAT DOES IT MEAN.)

UPDATE: As of Wednesday morning EST, this appears to be fixed. The country page for the United Kingdom, however, redirects to a page for the Britanica Summer Academy.

FOIA…and Rick Astley

As I’ve talked to technology for transparency activists over the past year, one thing that’s repeatedly come up is the importance of traditional transparency tools — partnering with the mainstream media to get the word out tends to be more effective than going it alone with phones and websites, for example. One key aspect of this “old school” activism is the use of freedom of or right to information laws (FOIA/RTI) in different countries — officially requisitioning information from the government. This doesn’t always work, of course; bureaucratic processes often draw out the process interminably, and some governments simply don’t have the capacity to keep track of the kinds of data transparency activists would like.

Today, I stumbled across of the best uses of public record requests I’ve seen since I’ve started paying attention to this field. Thank you, Oregon House of Representatives, for this gem, created with the help of a public records request for hours of film of the February 2010 legislative session:

More information on how this beauty came to be, and the role that public records requests played, here: How one Oregon lawmaker convinced his colleagues to ‘Rick Roll’ the state legislature