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We Know A Lot More: a quarter of a million pieces of information since 2008

Back in January 2012, I wrote a blog post to mark a milestone: WhatDoTheyKnow, our Freedom of Information site, had processed 100,000 requests. Just three years later, that number now stands at 250,000. That represents a quarter of a million requests for information that have been processed through the site, and published for anyone to…

FixMyTransport launches – mySociety’s biggest project since 2008

Everyone at mySociety is quite bubbling with excitement at the news that we’re today officially launching FixMyTransport.com , mySociety’s first new core charitable website since WhatDoTheyKnow launched in 2008. We’ve never before launched a site that took so much work to build, or that contained so much data. What is it for? FixMyTransport has two goals –…

Summing up 2008

According to some, today is the day when the world is going to be saved. Not sure if I agree with that, but recognise that the inauguration of Barack Obama is of some importance :-)). And, naturally, so is the work carried out by mysociety.org. I therefore thought today would be a good time to…

Why having the Right To Know matters

Today is International Right To Know Day. Right to Know Day was started back in 2002 by international civil society advocates, and has since been officially adopted by UNESCO with the more formal title of ‘International Day for the Universal Access to Information’. To mark this day I wanted to highlight some of the reasons…

Zero tolerance for bullying and abusive behaviour in the Civic Tech community

Like many others we were shocked to read the allegations of attempted rape, and physical and verbal abuse leveled at Clay Johnson, a former senior staff member at Sunlight Foundation – our fellow Civic Tech organisation in the USA. Our thoughts are with the women affected and the staff of Sunlight and the other organisations…

Memorable FOI requests from WhatDoTheyKnow’s first ten years

To help us mark WhatDoTheyKnow’s tenth anniversary, we asked volunteers, supporters and users to tell us which Freedom of Information requests from the site’s first ten years particularly stuck in their minds. The result was an eclectic mix of stories that really show the breadth of how WhatDoTheyKnow has been used. They have very little…

Ten years of WhatDoTheyKnow

On 22 February 2008, we posted an announcement on this very blog: “the new mySociety Freedom of Information site is now live”. More than 450,000 requests later, WhatDoTheyKnow is marking its tenth anniversary: as part of the celebrations, we’ve put together a timeline showing how WhatDoTheyKnow has intersected with the history of FOI in the…

50 news stories uncovered by WhatDoTheyKnow’s users

Part of our tenth birthday celebrations One important mechanism of FOI is that it gives people the power to uncover activity from our public authorities that is undesirable, mistaken or otherwise ill-considered. WhatDoTheyKnow is used by thousands of ordinary people who want to access information from public authorities. They ask a question, and all being…

Timeline: FOI and WhatDoTheyKnow

Part of our tenth birthday celebrations WhatDoTheyKnow has become part of the furniture in the UK: hear someone talking about FOI, and in the next breath you’ll often find a recommendation to use the site. Over the ten years since its launch, WhatDoTheyKnow has been making it simple for anyone to file a request, and…

FixMyStreet — not just for streets

Location-to-email reporting software Our FixMyStreet software was created to fulfil a specific purpose — to allow residents to report issues such as potholes and fly-tipping to the local authority responsible for getting them fixed. But the FixMyStreet platform can also be used and adapted for any other project where you require users to make location-based…