February 28, 2012
Madison as a Platform for Crowdsourcing Legislation Critiqued
During the heat of the SOPA and PIPA debates, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Congressman Darrel Issa (R-CA) proposed The Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN) which they opened to crowdsourced contributions by way of Madison. Alexander Furnas, a master's cadidate at the Oxford Internet Institute evaluates the Madison platform at Can We Harness the Internet to Collaboratively Write Better Laws? (The Atlantic). From the conclusion:
[A]s a platform Madison is flawed. It is a platform designed without paying enough attention to the lessons learned and best practices developed by those already within the social web space. What its designers overlooked is that collaborative consultation online is merely a political application of already existing social web interactions. The last six or seven years have given us thousands of mini-experiments into how to do social engagement right online, and designing successful political engagement platforms need to learn from them.