This just in: evil meters, Superstruct and Darfur Is Dying
Some updates on stories we've been following at Social Ch@nge:
Google's Evil Meter:
You'll remember that Amnesty International refuses to use Google's free project management programs on the grounds that Google's human rights record is poor (if you're picturing intellectuals chained to their desks, better check out our earlier post 'Say It Ain't So, Google') For a company whose motto is 'Don't Be Evil' and who claims to have used an Evil scale to discuss their expansion into China, it comes as a bit of a surprise to see their CEO snap 'We don't have an evil meter.' Wired magazine meters Google's evil for them instead.
In 'Maps as Social Protest: Drawing Your Own Conclusions', we talked mostly about the dark side of social network mapping - there's the spooky group on Wired that's going after Russian hackers, there's the late artist Mark Lombardi's corruption maps that connect the Bushes and the Bin Ladens (for starters), there's even the corruption map from the good citizens of Cleveland. For yet another twist to this story, check out Marcia Stepanek's post on Cause Global about Ushahidi - a web platform that creates maps of danger areas (where violence is occurring) through information sent in by eye-witnesses via text message and email. It was first used during the violence following the Kenyan presidential election - it mapped danger areas and testified to the reality of what was happening during a time when a government ban prevented everyone from sharing information.
Finally, we've mentioned World Without Oil a number of times as a socially responsible game. You can also check out some of these awareness raising games - we mentioned UNICEF's 'What Would You Do' in our Subversions post, but have you played Darfur is Dying? Expect to lose. If you're looking for a less pessimistic game, today is the story start of Jane McGonigal's future-modelling problem-solving game Superstruct (the game goes live in October).
Thanks to our readers for sending in these updates - if you ever see follow-ups to a story we've posted about, please let us know! You can email us at email@example.com