Posts tagged social media

An incredibly interesting way to think about rethinking election monitoring in semi-democratic regimes.
From globalvoices:

Electoral monitoring association “Golos” together with gazeta.ru had launched Kartanarusheniy.ru, a crowdsourced mechanism for collecting user data on electoral violations. 

An incredibly interesting way to think about rethinking election monitoring in semi-democratic regimes.

From globalvoices:

Electoral monitoring association “Golos” together with gazeta.ru had launched Kartanarusheniy.ru, a crowdsourced mechanism for collecting user data on electoral violations. 

A timely reminder of two things: (a) social media and other internet tools are not only useful for toppling regimes, they can also be used by authoritarian (or other) regimes to stifle opposition movements; and (b) hackers and other technophiles may not always have “good” intentions at heart. In a world where such tools gain importance and widespread use, what will the impact be on states? And what will the impact be on democracy?
From theatlantic:

Syria’s Digital Counter-Revolutionaries

As President Bashar al-Assad dispatches tanks against peaceful protesters across Syria, pro-regime forces are launching a parallel effort against the uprising on a very different front: the Internet. A collective of pro-Assad hackers and online activists, calling themselves the Syrian Electronic Army, appears to be targeting dissidents within Syria as well as sympathizers without. Though the nature of the group’s connection to the regime remains unclear, their tactics — the most sophisticated response to online activism of the Arab Spring — reveal the skill of Assad’s forces and their determination to defeat the protest movement that toppled fellow dictators in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia.The Syrian Electronic Army has aggressively engaged in a wide range of online activities to punish perceived opponents and to force the online narrative in favor of the Assad regime. Over the past few months, their primary means of attack has been to overload the social networking profiles of government institutions and Western media outlets, flooding the Facebook pages of ABC News, the Telegraph, Oprah Winfrey, and the U.S. Department of Treasury with pro-Assad messages. Their primary method is distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks: by jamming an online portal with messages, the group keeps regular visitors out and forces institutions to remove content unfavorable to the Syrian regime

Read more at The Atlantic

A timely reminder of two things: (a) social media and other internet tools are not only useful for toppling regimes, they can also be used by authoritarian (or other) regimes to stifle opposition movements; and (b) hackers and other technophiles may not always have “good” intentions at heart. In a world where such tools gain importance and widespread use, what will the impact be on states? And what will the impact be on democracy?

From theatlantic:

Syria’s Digital Counter-Revolutionaries

As President Bashar al-Assad dispatches tanks against peaceful protesters across Syria, pro-regime forces are launching a parallel effort against the uprising on a very different front: the Internet. A collective of pro-Assad hackers and online activists, calling themselves the Syrian Electronic Army, appears to be targeting dissidents within Syria as well as sympathizers without. Though the nature of the group’s connection to the regime remains unclear, their tactics — the most sophisticated response to online activism of the Arab Spring — reveal the skill of Assad’s forces and their determination to defeat the protest movement that toppled fellow dictators in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia.

The Syrian Electronic Army has aggressively engaged in a wide range of online activities to punish perceived opponents and to force the online narrative in favor of the Assad regime. Over the past few months, their primary means of attack has been to overload the social networking profiles of government institutions and Western media outlets, flooding the Facebook pages of ABC News, the Telegraph, Oprah Winfrey, and the U.S. Department of Treasury with pro-Assad messages. Their primary method is distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks: by jamming an online portal with messages, the group keeps regular visitors out and forces institutions to remove content unfavorable to the Syrian regime

Read more at The Atlantic

globalvoices:

Afghan Youth Voices Festival is a place where young Afghans can express themselves, whether it is through filmmaking or Facebook, through new media tools like blogs or traditional ones like theatre.

globalvoices:

Afghan Youth Voices Festival is a place where young Afghans can express themselves, whether it is through filmmaking or Facebook, through new media tools like blogs or traditional ones like theatre.

Really interesting analysis of twitter use in US politics. I’m sure this can be replicated for other contexts.
From kohenari:

Is Twitter Politically Polarized?

Yes, according to a new paper by M. D. Conover, J. Ratkiewicz, M. Francisco, B. Goncalves, A. Flammini, and F. Menczer …. But there still is some interesting interaction between Twitter users from different political perspectives.
The authors use an algorithm to identify 250,000 Twitter messages (from a database of 355 million tweets gathered over a six week period) with politically relevant hashtags, coming from about 45,000 users. What’s interesting is that they identify quite different dynamics as operating within two different communication networks. One network is composed of retweets – where one user simply retweets another’s message. Here, they find that this network is densely clustered, so that left-leaning people retweet messages from other leftwingers, and right-leaning people retweet messages from other rightwingers. However, there is a second network, composed of ‘mentions’ – where one Twitter user mentions another’s user name in order to communicate with him or her. This network is far more heterogenous, as can be seen from the figure below (the retweet network is linkmapped on the left, the mention network on the right). This can be interpreted with a positive or negative normative slant, depending.
The authors lean towards the latter interpretation. They also generously provide their dataset (located at http://cnets.indiana.edu/groups/nan/truthy ) for others interested in exploring the “role of technologically-mediated political inter- action in deliberative democracy.”

Really interesting analysis of twitter use in US politics. I’m sure this can be replicated for other contexts.

From kohenari:

Is Twitter Politically Polarized?

Yes, according to a new paper by M. D. Conover, J. Ratkiewicz, M. Francisco, B. Goncalves, A. Flammini, and F. Menczer …. But there still is some interesting interaction between Twitter users from different political perspectives.

The authors use an algorithm to identify 250,000 Twitter messages (from a database of 355 million tweets gathered over a six week period) with politically relevant hashtags, coming from about 45,000 users. What’s interesting is that they identify quite different dynamics as operating within two different communication networks. One network is composed of retweets – where one user simply retweets another’s message. Here, they find that this network is densely clustered, so that left-leaning people retweet messages from other leftwingers, and right-leaning people retweet messages from other rightwingers. However, there is a second network, composed of ‘mentions’ – where one Twitter user mentions another’s user name in order to communicate with him or her. This network is far more heterogenous, as can be seen from the figure below (the retweet network is linkmapped on the left, the mention network on the right). This can be interpreted with a positive or negative normative slant, depending.

The authors lean towards the latter interpretation. They also generously provide their dataset (located at http://cnets.indiana.edu/groups/nan/truthy ) for others interested in exploring the “role of technologically-mediated political inter- action in deliberative democracy.”

Economist Daily Chart: Europe’s social media hotspots. Only 37% of German internet users make use of social networks, compared with 80% in Hungary. Web surfers in the EU’s eastern member states are the most smitten by networking sites.

Economist Daily Chart: Europe’s social media hotspots. Only 37% of German internet users make use of social networks, compared with 80% in Hungary. Web surfers in the EU’s eastern member states are the most smitten by networking sites.

Hundreds of thousands risking their lives to face down a tyrant? Expensive. Taking credit for it from a London mansion? Cheap.

"Julian Assange: The man who came to dinner, the man who saved Egypt" | CSMonitor.com

Dan Murphy, a Middle East correspondent, eviscerates Julian Assange’s claim that he’s responsible for the “Arab Spring” revolutions.

I’ve been particularly interested in the various “Arab Spring” revolutions for two reasons: 1) I’m interested in democratization processes, so this gives us a number of additional cases to look at (for causes, consequences, processes, outcomes, etc.) and 2) I’m interested in the role of social media (and the internet more broadly) on politics.

But I’ve been fascinated by how often reports about the role of social media in the events became stories about us, rather than about the brave men/women who actually, physically faced down dictatorships. Social media clearly contributed to these phenomenon. But to believe that posting a status on Facebook is equivalent to physically facing down armed thugs is, well, juvenile. 


From the Commentary page on CSMonitor.com, thanks to Ed Stein.

This actually speaks to something I’ve been puzzled by lately: Why do American youth, in particular, use the amazing technological tools available to them for apolitical purposes, while around the world, people w/ much more limited access to these tools (i.e. the “third world”) seem to routinely make such more use of them? There’s a dissertation in there somewhere, I’m sure.

From the Commentary page on CSMonitor.com, thanks to Ed Stein.

This actually speaks to something I’ve been puzzled by lately: Why do American youth, in particular, use the amazing technological tools available to them for apolitical purposes, while around the world, people w/ much more limited access to these tools (i.e. the “third world”) seem to routinely make such more use of them? There’s a dissertation in there somewhere, I’m sure.

Freedom House has just released its latest “Freedom on the Net” report. From globalvoices:

Russia’s position in Freedom House’s report “Freedom on the Net 2011” has dropped from previous findings in 2009. According to Marina Litvinovich, to “liberate” the Internet and raise Russia’s position in Freedom House’s ratings, the Russian community must turn its attention to Article 282 and start a campaign to have it repealed.
Image courtesy of Freedom House.

Freedom House has just released its latest “Freedom on the Net” report. From globalvoices:

Russia’s position in Freedom House’s report “Freedom on the Net 2011” has dropped from previous findings in 2009. According to Marina Litvinovich, to “liberate” the Internet and raise Russia’s position in Freedom House’s ratings, the Russian community must turn its attention to Article 282 and start a campaign to have it repealed.

Image courtesy of Freedom House.

Raid On Bin Laden Was Live-Blogged, Though The Blogger Didn't Know It

This is an amazing example of the information-saturated social media environment we live in. 

Ten Ways To Use Skype in a Course

Another gem from jsucus:

10 ways to use Skype in a course. Here are half of them. Click through to read more.

  1. Group work – students contact each other outside of class to work on projects.
  2. Office hours – conduct student meetings or help sessions from your office or from home.
  3. Collaboration – share a data gathering project with classes in other locations.
  4. Performance – show a student presentation, skit, or speech to an expert evaluator.
  5. Absence – if a student has to miss a class due to illness, he can participate through a Skype connection.

»via world-shaker