LittleSis is a free database detailing the connections between powerful people and organizations. They bring transparency to influential social networks by tracking the key relationships of politicians, business leaders, lobbyists, financiers, and their affiliated institutions. Helping answer questions such as: Who do the wealthiest Americans donate their money to? Where did White House officials work before they were appointed? Which lobbyists are married to politicians, and who do they lobby for? All of this information is public, but scattered. They bring it together in one place. Their data derives from government filings, news articles, and other reputable sources. Some data sets are updated automatically; the rest is filled in by their community.
LittleSis is meant to support the work of journalists, watchdogs, and grassroots activists. They’re bringing together a community of citizens who believe in transparency and accountability where it matters most.
Over the past century, journalists, activists, and artists – from the early muckrakers, to civil rights movement researchers, to the artwork of Mark Lombardi – have used the methods of power structure research to analyze and challenge power networks in American society, often to extraordinary effect. In an era marked by unprecedented concentrations of wealth and power, the need for this research is especially clear. This talk will explore current modes of power structure research and future possibilities, with a focus on two online tools: LittleSis.org and Oligrapher.
How can code-based practices contribute to effective activism? How can activist approaches allow us to examine and interrogate systems of technology? In this panel, a diverse group of artists and activists will discuss how they are approaching these questions through their work and research. Moderated by Jer Thorp.