JCL Blog

A Facebook for Government Transparency

We want to know more about the way our government works and we want the government to know less about what we are doing.  Unfortunately, right now the trend is going the other way. But what if it did not?  Right now governments use Facebook to follow their citizens.  This is pretty widely documented in countries with poor human rights records like Syria.  We can only hope that Facebook is putting significant effort into keeping our government from turning Facebook into the ultimate citizen watching system.  Ironically, in America where Facebook was created, we are the ones that are supposed to have access to the doings of our government and our government is not supposed to have access to our private lives. 

Imagine a Facebook for government.  Each representative would have a page.  All associations ("friends") between elected officials and donors and lobbyists would be listed.  All meetings, emails, phone calls, and flows of money would be cataloged and displayed for anyone to see.  It would be a citizen’s dream: transparent representation.  Right there on your representative's "wall" would be their attendance and voting record.  Cool. 

Who wouldn’t want such a thing?  Well, what honest government would not want such a thing?