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2 New Social Networks With Very Different Political Twists 99

Posted by timothy
from the choose-your-paradigm dept.
judgecorp writes "Frustrated at the off-topic chatter on Twitter, British MP Louise Mensch has launched a supposedly rival service. Despite the name, Menshn, this is apparently not a hoax, but a site aimed at 'on-topic' conversation, initially around the U.S. election. Mensch is a former 'chick lit' author, and a Member of Parliament since 2010. She has taken part in questioning of Rupert and James Murdoch, and urged control of social media." If "control of social media" urged by sitting politicians strikes you as undesirable, or the hyper-focused content seems constraining, take heart: an anonymous reader points out an online community of a different stripe — a social network launched by Wikileaks, intended to be "a secure, surveillance-resistant social network purpose-built for Friends of WikiLeaks." Whether or not your politics line up with those of most Wikileaks supporters, you might wish for some of the features FoWL is designed to provide: "By design your details are encrypted, and hidden from everyone except your immediate contacts. Even we can't access them. Connected by FoWL, friends of WikiLeaks will communicate however they like, including using secure person-to-person methods. As the network grows away from the site infrastructure, it becomes autonomous and decentralized, opaque to observers and impossible to compromise."
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2 New Social Networks With Very Different Political Twists

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  • Hmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by larry bagina (561269) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:19AM (#40384805) Journal
    Will Ecuador accept Julian Assange's friend request?
  • Friends of Wikileaks (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This sounds like unsocial social media. Social media is all about attention-whoring, and doesn't sound like FoWL can do that.

  • Impossible? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DrData99 (916924) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:24AM (#40384861)

    "...impossible to compromise."

    Sounds like a challenge for NSA!

    • Ah yes, just like the unsinkable Titanic
    • Wouldn't uhhhmmm... merely admiting to your own friendship and affinity for WikiLeaks technically compromise the network? I mean, wasn't the whole anonimity/security part of the act of leaking actually part and parcel TO the whole idea? Like, "leaking" is not "whistle blowing". The whole point is protecting the identity of the source. So... if there's suddenly a "social network" of WikiLeaks supports, and they promote their own visibility, doesn't that uh... uh... uh... make them targets?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Good luck with those. I'm sure they'll blow up and everyone will become overnight millionaires. No, seriously. Totally.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      I spy sarcasm with my little eye.
      - I didn't know Wikileaks launched a social network. So too did Alex Jones with PlanetInfowars. And of course google started one a few months ago. "Launching social websites" must be the new fad.

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        Actually, it's not "launching social networks" as much as "launching bleeding-edge viral cloud-based scalable social software with user-generated content".

  • We already have this (Score:4, Interesting)

    by vlm (69642) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:26AM (#40384893)

    a site aimed at 'on-topic' conversation

    We already have this, its called the comments section of our local dying newspaper. I would assume your local newspaper, if any, is similar. The comments on articles are exclusively filled with sloganeering by "both" sides written by paid political hacks. The problem with the business model is its already dying, because on a percentage basis, roughly no one wants to read idiotic "divide and conqueror" sloganeering. Why sling meaningless slogans on a new site, if you're already slinging them on the old site?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Connected by FoWL, friends of WikiLeaks will communicate however they like, including using secure person-to-person methods. As the network grows away from the site infrastructure, it becomes autonomous and decentralized, opaque to observers and impossible to compromise.

      And we already have THIS. It's called "the internet" combined with a little unknown development called "even the slightest bit of encryption, you knobs".

      Well, besides the "impossible to compromise" part, but if the normal internet with decent encryption can't do that, I fail to see how a social network can. No, not even one made and blessed by every anarchist's darling idol-of-the-moment, WikiLeaks.

  • Sad.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:28AM (#40384917)
    When she was elected, I thought Louise Mensch might actually be some use in Parliament. Certainly a lot of the attacks on her have been (a) unmerited and (b) seem to come from people who are not quite right in the head. But Arianna Huffington she is not. And it is pretty clear that, no matter how MPs of all parties may complain about News International and its proprietor, David Cameron is determined that no harm shall come to Murdoch, his cashflow, or (given the retention of Hunt) Murdoch's moles. Rather than waste time on a website doomed to oblivion, shouldn't she be trying to get her own party on board the prevention of foreign media interference in the UK Government?
    • by SkunkPussy (85271)

      After all, it was Cameron (and/or Osborne) that decided to put someone aggresively in favour of news international with personal relationships with key staff in charge of the bid. So if Hunt is bad, Cameron (and/or Osborne) is/are worse.

    • Certainly a lot of the attacks on her have been (a) unmerited and (b) seem to come from people who are not quite right in the head.

      Or (c) come from people who heard her imbecilic comments about protesters drinking coffee and being able to afford tents on HIGNFY.

  • Louise Mensch (Score:5, Informative)

    by Des Herriott (6508) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:29AM (#40384927)

    For an example of her (lack of) grasp of politics, or indeed common sense: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WvAkhW-XNI [youtube.com]

    • And the postscript to that story is that the queue stretching outside the door of Starbucks wasn't even for coffee. It was to use the toilets. People wanting to purchase coffee could just go straight to the counter.

      That's not to say that no protester ever bought coffee from Starbucks. I'm sure they did. Starbucks not being a bank isn't actually responsible for the banking crisis. However the basic premise of Mench's comments couldn't be more wrong since it wasn't people buying coffee that made the long queu

  • by zrbyte (1666979) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:31AM (#40384949)

    Whatever happened to Diaspora?

    • by IRGlover (1096317) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:41AM (#40385067)
      It went away.
    • It mostly became a moot point once Israel was formed.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Johann Lau (1040920)

      It's fine: http://diasporaproject.org/ [diasporaproject.org]

      There's also Friendica, which is cross-network (you can even add diaspora users to it) and contrary to diaspora will run on quite a few shared hosts: http://friendica.com/ [friendica.com] Though public pods aren't easy to come by... care to run one? :D It may not be the fastest or the prettiest, but that's why I post the link on slashdot, and not on grandma's wall ^^ I also LOVE the tagline. "The internet is our social network." That's the spirit, and something to build on.

      Also, this i

    • This is supposed to be a Twitter competitor, not a Facebook competitor.

      However, in both cases, what makes the dominant service interesting is the user base. Unless Menshn convinces people that it's an interesting place to hang around, nobody's going to hang around there, and therefore it won't be interesting.

      And saying it's a "rival" suggests that not only does Menshn think that it's competing with Twitter, but also that Twitter thinks that Menshn is competing with it, which is a bit, ummm, premature.

  • These networks need to support http://ostatus.org/ [ostatus.org]!

  • by sqldr (838964) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:33AM (#40384963)

    Given that she has chosen not to work full time as an MP any more while she goes off to start another "lifestyle company", I assume she doesn't need to earn £66k of tax payers' money, let alone all the expenses (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_parliamentary_expenses_scandal) every year as a result.

    So.. where is the resignation letter, Louise?

    • by u38cg (607297) <calum@callingthetune.co.uk> on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:43AM (#40385101) Homepage
      MPs don't resign, and discouraging MPs with external interests is a bad idea, unless you like the Ed MIlibands of this world.
      • by sqldr (838964)

        and discouraging MPs with external interests is a bad idea

        No it isn't. It's a very good idea. They're there to do a job, and external interest = bias.

        • by phlinn (819946)
          I wouldn't mind government officials with no external interests if they were content to sit around and do nothing. But they tend to want to be seen doing something, so they insist on finding things that aren't broken to fix. Otherwise their constituents might start wondering what they are being paid for. Having a secondary job indicates some sort of grounding in the real world instead of viewing everything in it as something to be managed.

          Measuring the number of jobs handled is a poor idea for poor te
          • by sqldr (838964)

            NHS IT project: 12 billion. Who "championed" it? Patricia Hewitt. What were her external interests at the time? Anderson consulting. Which companies qualified for her over the top stringent requirements for being given an RFP? Anderson was one of them. Who did it and fucked it up? Anderson and Cable and Wireless, which she also had shares in.

            External interest = conflict of interest. I know a few companies that could've done it in half the time for a quarter of the price.

      • By the Ed Millibands of this world, you presumably mean MPs who concentrate their time on the parliamentary work that they are paid for, rather than sending time writing novels and setting up vanity project websites.

        Obviously by your comment you're a conservative. But I'm sure even the Tories must have at least some MPs who aren't moonlighting to make extra cash.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          By the Ed Millibands of this world, you presumably mean MPs who concentrate their time on the parliamentary work that they are paid for, rather than sending time writing novels and setting up vanity project websites.

          The flip side is well, you also want legislators who have current real-world experience, not some career politician who's been at it for 30 years and completely out of touch (e.g., the ivory tower). As long as these interests are revealed well ahead of time and the appropriate people recluse the

          • The flip side is well, you also want legislators who have current real-world experience, not some career politician who's been at it for 30 years and completely out of touch (e.g., the ivory tower).

            Oh absolutely, MPs need real world experience. It's a terrible idea for people to go straight into politics from University. They should go out and experience the real world for a far period of time before standing for parliament. But not when they actually are MPs. Then, there job is to be an MP. And that's a demanding and time consuming job. If they're doing it properly there shouldn't be time for other jobs.

            Not only that but current employment means that they can't be independent. They are almost inevita

            • by u38cg (607297)
              Actually, there's no need whatsoever for an MP to be full time - they only make work for themselves. There are legislatures out there that only meet once a year or more. And it's not like the country grinds to a halt every time Parliament goes into recess. The country might be labouring under a few less ill-thought out laws if Parliament only assembled once a week.
  • by CimmerianX (2478270) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:34AM (#40384975)

    And the U.S. Government seizes those domains in 5..4..3..2..

  • I cannot even fathom a U.S. politician being 1) a young female, 2) an attractive young female, or 3) an attractive young female who releases new web apps.

    It’s phenomenal :O

    I wish there were more women of this calibre to go around.

    • by nschubach (922175)

      I can't wait for the day when the person's sex doesn't matter in what they do.

      • by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:51AM (#40385229) Journal

        You'll probably have to wait until men can gestate, give birth to, and then nurse a baby.
        Until then, sex will matter.

        • it will be a lot easier for women to build mechanical sperm machines, maybe personal size, all carrying the X chromosome of course, than it will be to build artificial wombs

          men will be otherwise be replaced with fancy dildos

          science is pretty much at the point where us males are irrelevant and unnecessary, we're not yet at the point where females are

          • by tqk (413719)

            science is pretty much at the point where us males are irrelevant and unnecessary, we're not yet at the point where females are

            Really? So, what is it you're going to use to impregnate that egg? I also wouldn't count out the possibility that we may invent artificial wombs in the next few decades, freeing both genders of all the complicated bits of childbirth.

          • by epyT-R (613989)

            men offer much more than reproductive ability to society, and it's not all or even mostly negative, no matter what the man-haters say.

        • by epyT-R (613989)

          since her achievement has nothing to do with having babies, her being a woman doesn't make it any more or less special.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        >>>I can't wait for the day when the person's sex doesn't matter in what they do.

        Yeah well I'll stop looking at women and saying "cute", when THEY stop looking at posterior and saying, "Nice butt." It's not just the ladies who get judged by appearance.

        • And the ladies started it, right? Right?

          • by epyT-R (613989)

            I'm sure the mating behavior of both genders started and evolved co-dependently and in parallel, long before homo sapiens existed. Men and women objectify and check each other out.. it's how sex works. feminist morons need to accept their sexuality.

    • by u38cg (607297) <calum@callingthetune.co.uk> on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:45AM (#40385137) Homepage
      She wasn't involved with the coding, and she's not (that) young, either, but she is a refreshingly different face from the political old guard.
      • by buglista (1967502)
        No, she's not - was nice to see her to stand up to Murdoch though.

        But she also said on TV that the Occupy protesters couldn't complain about anything if they bought Starbucks coffees, as that was the capitalistic system in action and it's all the same, isn't it? Buy a Starbucks coffee, endorse the military-industrial complex and the banking sector, apparently. (wtf?)
        • And she's saying that in the UK - surely she's not expecting the Occupiers to drink traditional English coffee, is she? Starbucks may not be as politically or culinarily correct as Local Hipster Organic Coffee Roasterz(tm), but it's probably succeeding in the UK for the same reason it succeeded in the US Midwest and Southeast, which is that it's radically improving the quality of the coffee, as well as providing wifi and a social environment. (Besides, apparently the real story was that the Occupiers were

          • by buglista (1967502)
            Yeah; time was - pre-2000 or so - you needed to find some cafe with an Italian with a proper coffee machine - nowadays we have Costa and Nero though, who for my money, make better coffee.

            Nice cake in Starbucks though, can't deny it.
    • by Bigby (659157)

      Especially in England

    • Christine "Not a Witch" O'Donnell is a US politician who's female, relatively young, and relatively attractive. And while she's not likely to be releasing any new web apps, because she's crazy and an idiot, chances are that Mensch didn't write her own either.

      But if you're puzzled that a young woman would be releasing web apps, or that a young woman would be a politician, there's a reason you're still single and living in your parents' basement. (If you're puzzled that somebody who's bright enough to relea

  • by pla (258480) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:42AM (#40385071) Journal
    Whether or not your politics line up with those of most Wikileaks supporters, you might wish for some of the features FoWL is designed to provide: "By design your details are encrypted, and hidden from everyone except your immediate contacts.

    Does anyone seriously believe the founders of Wikileaks still have any control whatsoever of such a valuable source of information about leakers?

    Nothing but a pure sweet grade-A honeypot. Oh bother.
    • by tqk (413719)

      Does anyone seriously believe the founders of Wikileaks still have any control whatsoever of such a valuable source of information about leakers?

      Yes. There is still hope out here. Some very smart and reputable people signed on in the past, and lowly proles like me find it difficult to easily discount their action.

      Strip away all the politics and personalities, the *idea* (WikiLeaks) is a good one. Execution may not be perfect so far, but the goal (holding bastards feet to the fire, shining the light of day on their nefarious deeds) is a positive one.

      Well, that's the way I think of it, at least.

  • by k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:42AM (#40385079)
    What's this, a web site owned by a British MP available only in the United States?
  • So essentially what we have is yet another rehash of 'how much moderation is appropriate' with two (relatively) extreme examples?

    *yawn* wake me up when we go through this again next time, I think I will sit this round out.
  • by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:49AM (#40385207)
    Who in their right mind would give private information to an organization that has made it's reputation on exposing private information to the public. Seems like a no brainer to avoid that site if you ask me.
    • by Quakeulf (2650167)
      Ding ding ding! I think you are on to something.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      beats giving private information to an organization that has made it's reputation on exposing private information to undisclosed entities... *shrugs*

      • doesn't beat doing neither.

    • But...but those are just government secrets! Ignore the fact that a number of the leaks contained such personal information like the names of informants against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

      • I'm sure you'd only have to worry if you posted (or know someone who posted) something interesting...
      • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @11:22AM (#40385671)

        This again? Find me one person whose name was on the list and who was NOT already known to be an informant. Good luck. Finally, as to the original poster's point -how much different would it be from a) a corporation selling it to other corporations and governments, and b) if it is really as secure as they say - and they should release the code, who cares where it comes from?

        • This again? Find me one person whose name was on the list and who was NOT already known to be an informant. Good luck. Finally, as to the original poster's point -how much different would it be from a) a corporation selling it to other corporations and governments, and b) if it is really as secure as they say - and they should release the code, who cares where it comes from?

          I don't use facebook (or other social networks) either, however.... As much as I don't want corporations to be able to buy my information, it's preferable over the information being publicly available for free. If it's just posted on wikileaks for free, then scammers, identify thieves, script kiddies and everyone else (including corporations) can just grab it on a whim.

    • To be fair to Wikileaks, they recognize that there are legitimate secrets [youtube.com]. They are an organization for publishing information supplied by whistle-blowers.

    • On the topic of no-brainers, from the summary: "your details are encrypted, and hidden"
      Also: "Even we can't access them."
      Also: "the network grows away from the site infrastructure, it becomes autonomous and decentralized, opaque to observers"
      Perhaps those in their "right mind" might notice the relevance of these statements and stop trolling do degrade the value of said statements.
      • Actually, it's

        "As the network grows away from the site infrastructure, it becomes autonomous and decentralized, opaque to observers and impossible to compromise."

        Hmm. Also, where are the technical details? The source?

    • If you have nothing worthy of being leaked, then you shouldn't have to worry about having your privacy leaked.

  • She has repeatedly stuck her tongue up News Internationals corporate arse and licked as hard as possible.

  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @12:01PM (#40386269)

    Ok, people might not "get" Twitter or feel it has a use for them, but since when is anything off-topic on Twitter. It's like a giant mixer where people discuss anything and everything. You aren't forced to focus on just one topic. You can discuss cooking with one tweet and then reply to a political comment with another and then ask your followers about a recently released movie in a third. Why does Mensch think Twitter conversation *needs* to be focused on any one subject (politics)?

  • An on-topic message link? And how is this different from any moderated usenet newsgroup?

    Oh, right, it's still "tell me everything you know in 140 chars...."

                    mark

  • I'm nobody, but at least my voice can bear witness. That matters. If this makes the NSA waste time on me, then it has been a good thing. At the age of 16 I worked on a labor crew in Saudi Arabia composed of Yemeni's and Pakistani's. We dug ditches for laying telephone lines. They were just like you and me, though without our advantages of money and education. I'm ashamed of what the United States is doing to their grandchildren. I realize more and more how great and good the White Rose resistance movement
  • I had the idea of creating a P2P social network a while ago, and actually started writing code: https://github.com/macourtney/masques [github.com]

    However, I haven't finished much due to lack of time. It's open source. Any help would be appreciated.

    Instead of going through a website, each node in the network connects directly to each friend and all information is encrypted. Though you can create a handle, your real id is your public key. This causes some issues when finding friends, but public keys seem like the bes

  • by allo (1728082)

    Menschen is the german word for people.

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