Twestivals, Tweets for Zimbabwe and Truth Commissions

If you haven't already succumbed to the addictive micro-blogging site, Twitter, like I have, nor dismissed it as a time and energy wasting medium, you'll be pleased, as I was, to see its founders endorsing it as a platform with democratic aims.

Founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams recently cited the "tweets" that first reported the terrorist attacks in Mumbai as support for Twitter's ability to break news and views from around the world. (In the news this week: Congress may want to add a new rule to its security guidelines for official overseas trips: No twittering from war zones.)

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Now, more users are realizing and testing the potential of charity and awareness campaigns launched within Twitter.

On February 12, 2009, 175+ cities around the world will be hosting Twestivals to bring together Twitter communities to raise money and awareness for the organization charity: water. The volunteer-run fundraising meet-ups will connect people who know each other through Twitter to com together to ""

Others, including Joe Trippi, are getting in on the social action side of Twitter too. Trippi has a fledgling page through which he hopes "to encourage non-partisan support to bring attention to Zimbabwe." Click here to help him out.

In other news, Senator Patrick Leahy, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, called yesterday for a truth commission to conduct inquiries into legal oversight at the Justice Department and various other decisions about interrogation procedures and other practices. More on that here. It will be interesting to see how this develops.

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