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Studying Political Issues in the Digital Age by Richard Rogers. Talk given at University College London, 13 March 2014.

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Rogers studyingpoliticalissues mar2014_optimized_ii_

  1. 1. STUDYING POLITICAL ISSUES IN THE DIGITAL AGE RICHARD ROGERS
  2. 2. POLITICAL RESEARCH ONLINE WITH DIGITAL METHODS 1. Conceptual History of Online Research, 1994-2014 2. Digitized versus (Natively) Digital Methods 3. Doing Political Research with Digital Methods (neo-empirical research traditions) 4. The Future of Political Research with Digital Methods in Social Media (e.g., Twitter)
  3. 3. POLITICAL RESEARCH ONLINE WITH DIGITAL METHODS >1. Conceptual History of Online Research, 1994-2014 2. Digitized versus (Natively) Digital Methods 3. Doing Political Research with Digital Methods (neo-empirical research traditions) 4. The Future of Political Research with Digital Methods in Social Media (e.g., Twitter)
  4. 4. WHERE ARE WE NOW? FROM VIRTUAL TO SOCIETAL SPACE 3 VIRTUALS, OR 3 WAYS OF SEEING THE WEB Web as Cyberspace (1994-2000) Virtual as distinct from the real. Virtual studies Web as Virtual Society? (2000-2007) Virtual is part of the real. Offline as baseline Web as Virtual? Society (2007- ) 'Virtual' as indication of the real. Online as baseline Now: Use online data about society & culture, and make 'online grounded' claims
  5. 5. WEB AS DATA The Internet offers an entirely different channel for understanding what people are saying... Tracing the spread of arguments, rumors, or positions about political and other issues in the blogosphere… [T]he concerns of an electorate become visible in the searches they conduct. They offer ample opportunities for research that would otherwise be impossible or unacceptable. D. Lazer et al., Computational Social Science, Science, 323, 2009. Web data as offering the previously impossible and unacceptable
  6. 6. POLITICAL RESEARCH ONLINE WITH DIGITAL METHODS 1. Conceptual History of Online Research, 1994-2014 >2. Digitized versus (Natively) Digital Methods 3. Doing Political Research with Digital Methods (neo-empirical research traditions) 4. The Future of Political Research with Digital Methods in Social Media (e.g., Twitter)
  7. 7. DIGITIZED METHODS Online surveys - Finding the mailing lists to send them to Online samples - Become difficult. Knowability of population? Online interviews - Record interviewees? Online user studies - Browser histories? Online investigative reporting - Order of fact-checking changes? Imported and migrated methods adapted slightly to the online
  8. 8. NATIVELY DIGITAL In computing, software has a native mode when it is written for a specific processor. In computing, software has native support when it is written for a specific operating system. Methods are native when "written for the medium" Natively digital is meant in a computing sense
  9. 9. DIGITAL METHODS Digital Methods research steps: Which objects and data are available? (links, tags, timestamps...) How do dominant devices and platforms handle them? How to learn from and repurpose the device methods? Are findings grounded in the online? Is the online the baseline? Distinction between methods that migrate to the medium and those ‘native’ to it
  10. 10. POLITICAL RESEARCH ONLINE WITH DIGITAL METHODS 1. Conceptual History of Online Research, 1994-2014 2. Digitized versus (Natively) Digital Methods >3. Doing Political Research with Digital Methods (neo-empirical research traditions) 4. The Future of Political Research with Digital Methods in Social Media (e.g., Twitter)
  11. 11. DIGITAL METHODS OBJECTS & APPROACHES Hyperlinks - Show related sites, good to make a sample (for censorship research) 2 Search Engines - As research machines to detect partisanship and bias 3. Wikipedia - As cultural reference to study the politics of memory (reconciliation) 4. Social Media Platforms - As site to study political preference 5. Twitter - As machine providing accounts of events on the ground
  12. 12. A Censored Network: Iranian Social, Political and Religious Sites A hyperlink analysis method for censored Website discovery. © 2006 Govcom.org and ONI 06 Internet Censorship Visualizations________________________2006 Data_by OpenNet Initiative and map by Issuecrawler.net. Analysis_by Richard Rogers, Nart Villeneuve and Erik Borra, and design_by Marieke van Dijk. A Censored Network: Iranian Social, Political and Religious Sites IRAN Legend Blocked sites Newly discovered blocked sites Accessible sites Inaccessible site (owing to DNS issue) A co-production between the Govcom.org Foundation, Amsterdam, and the OpenNet Initiative, a partnership between the Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, the Advanced Network Research Group at the Cambridge Security Programme at Cambridge University, and the Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford University. medusa2000.com Newly discovered blocked sites: http://home.bip.net/radiohambastegi/ http://ir.mondediplo.com/ http://www.alahwaz.com/ http://www.ashoob.com/ http://www.asre-nou.net/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/persian/ http://www.channelonetv.com/ http://www.didgah.com/ http://www.didgah.net/ http://www.fadaee.org/ http://www.fedayi.org/ http://www.fwhi.org/ http://www.geocities.com/~fedaian/ http://www.gozareshgar.com/ http://www.iran-jommelli.com/ http://www.iranazad.com/ http://www.irandokht.com/ http://www.komalah.org/ http://www.kvinnonet.org/ http://www.mani-poesie.de/ http://www.medusa2000.com/ http://www.mihan.net/ http://www.negah1.com/ http://www.peykeiran.com/ http://www.radio-international.org/ http://www.radiobarabari.net/ http://www.rdki.com/ http://www.roozonline.com/ http://www.shahrvand.com/ http://www.zagros.info/ alahwaz.com alefbe.com amnesty.org ashoob.comasre-nou.net avairan.com avayeashena.com avayezan.com azadi-iran.org baztab.com bbc.co.uk/persian channelonetv.com cpiran.org didgah.com didgah.net etehadchap.com etehadefedaian.org ettelaat.com fadaee.org fadai.org fadaian.org fedayi.org forughfarrokhzad.org fwhi.org geocities.com/~fedaian golshan.com golshirifoundation.org gooya.com gozareshgar.com hadisara.com hamshahri.net hayateno.org home.bip.net/radiohambastegi i-w-o.org ihrwg.org ilna.ir ir.mondediplo.com iran-chabar.de iran-e-sabz.org iran-emrooz.de iran-jommelli.com iran-newspaper.com iran.mojahedin.org iranazad.com irandokht.com iransocialforum.org irna.com isnagency.com jebhe.org jebhemelli.net jebhemelli.org jonge-khabar.com kanoon-zendanian.org kargar.org kasravi.info komala.org komalah.org kvinnonet.org mani-poesie.de marxists.org marzeporgohar.org mihan.net nashrieh-nameh.com negah1.com nehzateazadi.org news.gooya.com panahjoo.compayvand.com/news pdk-iran.org peiknet.com peykeiran.com radio-international.org radiobarabari.net radiofarda.com radiokomaleh.com radis.org rahekargar.net ranjbaran.org rdki.com rfi.fr/fichiers/Langues/rfi_persan_main.asp rooydad.com roozonline.com roshangari.com rowzane.com sarbedaran.org sh-shafa.com shahrvand.com shamlou.org shamlu.com sharareha.com sharghnewspaper.com siahkal.com siasate-kargari.com tehrantimes.com toufan.org tudehpartyiran.org un.org voanews.com womeniniran.com wpiran.org wsu-iran.org zagros.info zan.org Method & Findings: Using Issuecrawler.net, crawl URLs (on 30 March 2006) from the OpenNet Initiative's list of Iranian social, political and religious sites. Find network of sites through one iteration of co-link analysis (pictured). Fetch each site through a proxy in Iran (on 18 May 2006). Discover sites previously unknown to be blocked. Compare newly discovered blocked sites with entire list of Iranian Websites checked by the OpenNet Initiative. The finding is the discovery of 30 blocked sites in Iran. Size of node indicates inlink count from network.
  13. 13. LINK ANALYSIS TO STUDY CENSORSHIP IN CHINA Build list of Falun Gong websites Crawl them and expand list (of related sites) with Issuecrawler Check URLs for blocking in the Censorship Explorer tool Color code Issuecrawler map to show extent of censorship How effective is the censorship of Falun Gong sites (and content)?
  14. 14. CENSORSHIP MAPS: IRAN & CHINA The map are double-edged. They may be used by the censors, too. Conclusions
  15. 15. DIGITAL METHODS OBJECTS & APPROACHES Hyperlinks - Show related sites, good to make a sample (for censorship research) >2 Search Engines - As research machines to detect partisanship and bias 3. Wikipedia - As cultural reference to study the politics of memory (reconciliation) 4. Social Media Platforms - As site to study political preference 5. Twitter - As machine providing accounts of events on the ground
  16. 16. SEARCH ENGINE AS RESEARCH MACHINE Search as research. Transform 'consumer information appliance’ into 'research machine.’ (Use research browser) Query individual sites (Google site: query) to find bias, partisanship and commitments. (Use the Google Scraper aka Lippmannian Device available at tools.digitalmethods.net). How to repurpose Google for social research?
  17. 17. SelectMethod&Visualization TheGoogleScraperqueriesGoogleandmakestheresultsavailableforfurtheranalysis. Inthetoptextbox,placeURLs.Inthebottom textbox,placekeywords. GooglewillbeaskedifeachkeywordoccursineachURL. Resultsareoutputtedastagclouds,htmltablesandtextfiles.
  18. 18. SEARCH ENGINE AS RESEARCH MACHINE Use
  19. 19. 

a
  20. 20. 

distinct
  21. 21. 

browser
  22. 22. 

for
  23. 23. 

research
  24. 24. 

 Log
  25. 25. 

out
  26. 26. 

of
  27. 27. 

any
  28. 28. 

Google
  29. 29. 

services
  30. 30. 

 Disable
  31. 31. 

customization
  32. 32. 

based
  33. 33. 

on
  34. 34. 

signed-out
  35. 35. 

search
  36. 36. 

activity
  37. 37. 


  38. 38. 


  39. 39. 

-
  40. 40. 

removes
  41. 41. 

personalization
  42. 42. 

of
  43. 43. 

web
  44. 44. 

history
  45. 45. 


  46. 46. 


  47. 47. 

-
  48. 48. 

removes
  49. 49. 

personalization
  50. 50. 

of
  51. 51. 

(social)
  52. 52. 

network
  53. 53. 


  54. 54. 


  55. 55. 

-
  56. 56. 

retains
  57. 57. 

localization
  58. 58. 

on
  59. 59. 

geography
  60. 60. 

(e.g.,
  61. 61. 

.nl) Install and use a Research Browser
  62. 62. 1. Derive list of climate change skeptics Method
  63. 63. S. Fred Singer Robert Balling Sallie Baliunas Patrick Michaels Richard Lindzen Steven Milloy Timothy Ball Paul Driessen Willie Soon Sherwood B. Idso Frederick Seitz Skeptics
  64. 64. 1. Derive list of climate change skeptics 2. Query Google for “Climate Change” and retain top 100 results 3. Harvest URLs from the results 4. Enter URLs into top box of GoogleScraper, and the skeptics’ names in the bottom box. REPURPOSING GOOGLE
  65. 65. Climate Change Sceptics on the Web (Frederick Seitz) Research Question_To what extent are climate change 'skeptics' present in the climate change spaces on the Web? Findings_There is distance between the skeptics and the top of the search engine returns. Source_google.com Query_“Frederick Seitz” Method_Search for query “Frederick Seitz” in top 100. Organized in order. Tools_Google Scraper and Tag Cloud Generator Date_30 July 2007 Product_of the Digital Methods Initiative, dmi.mediastudies.nl. Analysis_by Bram Nijhof, Richard Rogers and Laura van der Vlies. Design_Anne Helmond. CC_BY:NC:SA campaigncc.org (1) climateark.org (4)marshall.org (8) realclimate.org (35) sourcewatch.org (21) abc.net.au (0) acfonline.org.au (0) bbc.co.uk (0) bom.gov.au (0) cbc.ca (0) ciel.org (0) climatechallenge.gov.uk (0) climatechange.ca.gov (0) climatechange.com.au (0) climatechangecentral.com (0) climatechangecollege.org (0) climatecrisis.net (0) climatescience.gov (0) dar.csiro.au (0) davidsuzuki.org (0) defra.gov.uk (0) dfat.gov.au (0) ec.gc.ca (0) ecn.ac.uk (0) ecokids.ca (0) ecy.wa.gov (0) eea.europa.eu (0) eldis.org (0) energy.gov (0) envirolink.org (0) epa.gov (0) exploratorium.edu (0) faqs.org (0) foe.co.uk (0) ft.com (0) g8.gov.uk (0) gcrio.org (0) greenpeace.org (0) grida.no (0) guardian.co.uk (0) iea.org (0) iisd.org (0) ipcc.ch (0) iucn.org (0) ltscotland.org.uk (0) metoffice.gov.uk (0) mfe.govt.nz (0) mofa.go.jp (0) nature.com (0) nature.org (0) ncdc.noaa.gov (0) open2.net (0) panda.org (0) pewclimate.org (0) royalsoc.ac.uk (0) scidev.net (0) scienceagogo.com (0) state.gov (0) theglobeandmail.com (0) ucar.edu (0) un.org (0) unep.org (0) who.int (0) whoi.edu (0) worldwildlife.org (0) CLIMATE CHANGE SCEPTICS
  66. 66. Climate Change Sceptics on the Web (Sherwood Idso) Research Question_To what extent are climate change 'skeptics' present in the climate change spaces on the Web? Findings_There is distance between the skeptics and the top of the search engine returns. Source_google.com Query_“Sherwood Idso” Method_Search for query “Sherwood Idso” in top 100. Organized in order. Tools_Google Scraper and Tag Cloud Generator Date_30 July 2007 Product_of the Digital Methods Initiative, dmi.mediastudies.nl. Analysis_by Bram Nijhof, Richard Rogers and Laura van der Vlies. Design_Anne Helmond. CC_BY:NC:SA realclimate.org (42) sourcewatch.org (14) climatescience.gov (0) greenpeace.org (0) campaigncc.org (1) climateark.org (1) abc.net.au (0) acfonline.org.au (0) bbc.co.uk (0) bom.gov.au (0) cbc.ca (0) ciel.org (0) climatechallenge.gov.uk (0) climatechange.ca.gov (0) climatechange.com.au (0) climatechangecentral.com (0) climatechangecollege.org (0) climatecrisis.net (0) dar.csiro.au (0) davidsuzuki.org (0) defra.gov.uk (0) dfat.gov.au (0) ec.gc.ca (0) ecn.ac.uk (0) ecokids.ca (0) ecy.wa.gov (0) eea.europa.eu (0) eldis.org (0) energy.gov (0) envirolink.org (0) epa.gov (0) exploratorium.edu (0) faqs.org (0) foe.co.uk (0) ft.com (0) g8.gov.uk (0) gcrio.org (0) grida.no (0) guardian.co.uk (0) iea.org (0) iisd.org (0) ipcc.ch (0) iucn.org (0) ltscotland.org.uk (0) marshall.org (0) metoffice.gov.uk (0) mfe.govt.nz (0) mofa.go.jp (0) nature.com (0) nature.org (0) ncdc.noaa.gov (0) open2.net (0) panda.org (0) pewclimate.org (0) royalsoc.ac.uk (0) scidev.net (0) scienceagogo.com (0) state.gov (0) theglobeandmail.com (0) ucar.edu (0) un.org (0) unep.org (0) who.int (0) whoi.edu (0) worldwildlife.org (0) CLIMATE CHANGE SCEPTICS
  67. 67. Climate Change Sceptics on the Web (Sallie Baliunas) Research Question_To what extent are climate change 'skeptics' present in the climate change spaces on the Web? Findings_There is distance between the skeptics and the top of the search engine returns. Source_google.com Query_“Sallie Baliunas” Method_Search for query “Sallie Baliunas” in top 100. Organized in order. Tools_Google Scraper and Tag Cloud Generator Date_30 July 2007 Product_of the Digital Methods Initiative, dmi.mediastudies.nl. Analysis_by Bram Nijhof, Richard Rogers and Laura van der Vlies. Design_Anne Helmond. CC_BY:NC:SA climateark.org (2)marshall.org (6) realclimate.org (55) abc.net.au (0) acfonline.org.au (0) bbc.co.uk (0) bom.gov.au (0) cbc.ca (0) ciel.org (0) climatechallenge.gov.uk (0) climatechange.ca.gov (0) climatechange.com.au (0) climatechangecentral.com (0) climatechangecollege.org (0) climatecrisis.net (0) dar.csiro.au (0) davidsuzuki.org (0) defra.gov.uk (0) dfat.gov.au (0) ec.gc.ca (0) ecn.ac.uk (0) ecokids.ca (0) ecy.wa.gov (0) eea.europa.eu (0) eldis.org (0) energy.gov (0) envirolink.org (0) epa.gov (0) exploratorium.edu (0) faqs.org (0) foe.co.uk (0) ft.com (0) g8.gov.uk (0) gcrio.org (0) grida.no (0) guardian.co.uk (0) iea.org (0) iisd.org (0) ipcc.ch (0) iucn.org (0) ltscotland.org.uk (0) metoffice.gov.uk (0) mfe.govt.nz (0) mofa.go.jp (0) nature.com (0) nature.org (0) ncdc.noaa.gov (0) open2.net (0) panda.org (0) pewclimate.org (0) royalsoc.ac.uk (0) scidev.net (0) scienceagogo.com (0) state.gov (0) theglobeandmail.com (0) ucar.edu (0) un.org (0) unep.org (0) who.int (0) whoi.edu (0) worldwildlife.org (0) greenpeace.org (0) campaigncc.org (0) sourcewatch.org (0) climatescience.gov (0) CLIMATE CHANGE SCEPTICS
  68. 68. Climate Change Sceptics on the Web (Robert Balling) Research Question_To what extent are climate change 'skeptics' present in the climate change spaces on the Web? Findings_There is distance between the skeptics and the top of the search engine returns. Source_google.com Query_“Robert Balling” Method_Search for query “Robert Balling” in top 100. Organized in order. Tools_Google Scraper and Tag Cloud Generator Date_30 July 2007 Product_of the Digital Methods Initiative, dmi.mediastudies.nl. Analysis_by Bram Nijhof, Richard Rogers and Laura van der Vlies. Design_Anne Helmond. CC_BY:NC:SA campaigncc.org (2) climateark.org (2)marshall.org (2) realclimate.org (11) sourcewatch.org (4) greenpeace.org (0) climatescience.gov (11) abc.net.au (0) acfonline.org.au (0) bbc.co.uk (0) bom.gov.au (0) cbc.ca (0) ciel.org (0) climatechallenge.gov.uk (0) climatechange.ca.gov (0) climatechange.com.au (0) climatechangecentral.com (0) climatechangecollege.org (0) climatecrisis.net (0) dar.csiro.au (0) davidsuzuki.org (0) defra.gov.uk (0) dfat.gov.au (0) ec.gc.ca (0) ecn.ac.uk (0) ecokids.ca (0) ecy.wa.gov (0) eea.europa.eu (0) eldis.org (0) energy.gov (0) envirolink.org (0) epa.gov (0) exploratorium.edu (0) faqs.org (0) foe.co.uk (0) ft.com (0) g8.gov.uk (0) gcrio.org (0) grida.no (0) guardian.co.uk (0) iea.org (0) iisd.org (0) ipcc.ch (0) iucn.org (0) ltscotland.org.uk (0) metoffice.gov.uk (0) mfe.govt.nz (0) mofa.go.jp (0) nature.com (0) nature.org (0) ncdc.noaa.gov (0) open2.net (0) panda.org (0) pewclimate.org (0) royalsoc.ac.uk (0) scidev.net (0) scienceagogo.com (0) state.gov (0) theglobeandmail.com (0) ucar.edu (0) un.org (0) unep.org (0) who.int (0) whoi.edu (0) worldwildlife.org (0) CLIMATE CHANGE SCEPTICS
  69. 69. ISSUE AND SOURCE CLOUDS The clouds show at a glance partisanship but also watchdog behaviour. Conclusions
  70. 70. DIGITAL METHODS OBJECTS & APPROACHES Hyperlinks - Show related sites, good to make a sample (for censorship research) 2 Search Engines - As research machines to detect partisanship and bias >3. Wikipedia - As cultural reference to study the politics of memory (reconciliation) 4. Social Media Platforms - As site to study political preference 5. Twitter - As machine providing accounts of events on the ground
  71. 71. WIKIPEDIA AS CULTURAL REFERENCE As articles mature, they may express a national as opposed to neutral point of view. Neutral to whom? Compare article elements: title, authors (or editors), table of contents, images and references. Also: location of the anonymous editors (based on IP address), and a reading of the talkpages. How to have language Wikipedia versions show cultural reference? How to show the politics of memory (and reconciliation)?
  72. 72. Referenced hosts in the Srebrencia articles per Wikipedia language version, colored by frequency, and ordered by frequency and by alphabet, 20 December 2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 Serbian Bosnian Dutch Croatian Serbo-Croatian English un.org un.org un.org un.org un.org un.org srebrenica.ba srebrenica.ba icty.org srebrenica.ba srebrenica.ba srebrenica.ba icty.org ic-mp.org groene.nl icty.org srebrenica- zepa.ba icty.org bosnia.org.uk idc.org.ba vandiepen.com bosnia.org.uk srebrenica.nl bosnia.org.uk guardian.co.uk srebrenica-zepa.ba books.google.nl guardian.co.uk vladars.net guardian.co.uk ic-mp.org helsinki.org.yu dutchbat.luchtmobiel. nl icj-cij.org ic-mp.org icj-cij.org hlc.org.yu dutchbat1.com idc.org.ba icj-cij.org iwpr.net ogrish.com emperors- clothes.com iwpr.net idc.org.ba news.bbc.co.uk sense-agency.com nu.nl news.bbc.co.uk iwpr.net nytimes.com vladars.net ochtenden.nl nytimes.com news.bbc.co.uk ohr.int dzemat-oberhausen.de volkskrant.nl ohr.int nytimes.com srebrenica-zepa.ba inzl.unsa.ba vreme.com ohr.int vreme.com preventgenocide.org balkaninsight.com vreme.com 128.121.186.47 srebrenica- genocide.blogspot.com bim.ba 128.121.186.47 b92.net zeneucrnom.org domovina.net b92.net helsinki.org.yu edition.cnn.com balkaninsight.com hlc.org.yu europarl.europa.eu bim.ba news.independent.co.u k independent.co.uk domovina.net ogrish.com newsweek.com edition.cnn.com reuters.com pbs.org europarl.europa.eu slobodan-milosevic.org potocarimc.ba groene.nl
  73. 73. Burial of 465 identified Bosniaks, Potočari, 2007. Map of the Srebrenica military operations, made by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, with green arrow showing the route of the Bosnian forces. Map of the location of Srebrenica, the Republika Srpska, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial and Cemetery, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Grave of a 13-year old Bosniak boy. Ratko Mladic. An exhumed body with blindfold and hands tied behind his back. As of September 2012, the photo has been removed from Wikipedia article. Exhumed grave of victims, 2007. Podrinje Identification Project's facility for storing, processing, and handling exhumed remains.. "UN left 8,000 to die in Bosnia." Headline in The Independent, 30 October 1995. Satellite photo of Nova Kasaba mass grave. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Den Haag, the Netherlands. Srebrenica Genocide Memorial Stone at Potočari, with the victim count of 8,372. Skull exhumed outside of Potočari, July 2007. Wall of names at the Srebrenica Genocide Memorial. War-damaged buildings in Srebrenica. The Bosniak enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa, declared safe areas by the U.N. in 1993. DUTCH ENGLISH BOSNIAN CROATIAN SERBIAN SERBO- CROATIAN
  74. 74. COMPARATIVE REFERENCE AND IMAGE GRIDS The reference and image grids show 'alignment' and non-alignments of 'national' cultural accounts. They may be seen as indicators of current state of politics of memory and reconciliation. Conclusions
  75. 75. DIGITAL METHODS OBJECTS & APPROACHES Hyperlinks - Show related sites, good to make a sample (for censorship research) 2 Search Engines - As research machines to detect partisanship and bias 3. Wikipedia - As cultural reference to study the politics of memory (reconciliation) >4. Social Media Platforms - As site to study political preference and engagement 5. Twitter - As machine providing accounts of events on the ground
  76. 76. POLITICAL PREFERENCE Do friends of political party leaders have similar interests? Aggregate friends' interest and show compatibility. One may also show compatibility of interests (e.g., Islam and Christianity). Social media profile and interest data as source for studying political preference
  77. 77. ENGAGEMENT IN CAUSES Which content has the most (and most consistent) likes, shares, comments and liked comments in Facebook pages and groups? What animates users to engage? Social media data as means to study content engagement
  78. 78. F O R Z A N U O VA S I C I L I A ATA K A P L ATA F O R M A P E R C ATA L U N YA R I S P O S T E L A I Q U E L I G U E D E D E F E N C E F R A N C A I S E P E R U S S U O M A L A I S E T S I O E F R A N C E V O TA F O R Z A N U O VA A L L E C O M U N A L I D I M I L A N O N O R - W E G I A N D E F E N C E L E A G U E S W E D I S H D E F E N C E L E A G U E D E R D A N S K E V O R E N I N G PA X E U R O PA F R E M S K R I T T S PA R T I E T S V E N N E R E S PA Ñ A 2 0 0 0 B R I T I S H N AT I O N A L PA R T Y S I O E E N G L A N D SIAD DENMARK SIOE DEUTSCHLAND B L O C I D E N T I TA I R E
  79. 79. PREFERENCE AND ENGAGE- MENT IN SOCIAL MEDIA Preference. Like sociometric or psychometric profiles, the aggregated interests of politicians' friends provide the politics of TV shows, music, movies and media more generally. Engagement. Likes, shares, comments and liked comments are seen as forms of engagement in content for causes. Conclusions
  80. 80. DIGITAL METHODS OBJECTS & APPROACHES Hyperlinks - Show related sites, good to make a sample (for censorship research) 2 Search Engines - As research machines to detect partisanship and bias 3. Wikipedia - As cultural reference to study the politics of memory (reconciliation) 4. Social Media Platforms - As site to study political preference >5. Twitter - As machine providing accounts of events on the ground
  81. 81. TWITTER STUDIES WITH DIGITAL METHODS First, decide whether you are studying Twitter I, Twitter II or Twitter III Twitter I: Banal, phatic, ambient friend-following Twitter II: News-following, elections and disasters Twitter III: Generic data on social phenomena, any topic Digital Methods contributions to the study of social media
  82. 82. TWITTER I, TWITTER II, TWITTER III Twitter I (2006-2009): Urban lifestyle tool (origins) and 'Banal' Tagline: "what are you doing?" Twitter II (2009-2012): Elections, disasters and revolutions. Tagline: "what's happening?" Twitter III (2012- ): Research tool and data market Tagline: "compose new tweet" 'Twitter' as object of study and critique
  83. 83. Berman, Ari (2009), “Iran's Twitter Revolution,” The Nation blog, The Nation, 15 June.
  84. 84. method. Step 1: Capture all tweets with #iranelection between 10 and 30 June 2009, and archive them at rettiwt.net.
  85. 85. the collection. #iranelection dataset (10-30 June 2009): Tweets tagged with #iranelection: 653,883 Unique number of Twitter users with #iranelection tag: 99,811 Twitter users of #iranelection with multiple tweets: 46,702 Twitter users of #iranelection with more than 20 tweets: 6,000 Twitter users of #iranelection with 1 tweet: 53,109 Twitter users of #iranelection who were retweeted: 36,913 Twitter users of #iranelection retweeted multiple times: 16,336 Twitter users of #iranelection retweeted at least 10 times: 2,829 Twitter users of #iranelection retweeted 1 time: 20,577 Number of languages using #iranelection: 26 Number of tweets with #iranelection in English: 612,373
  86. 86. method. Step 2. Filter out top 3 RTs per day Turn Twitter into sory-telling machine
  87. 87. What’s happening in Iran just after the disputed election (DMI, 2009)?
  88. 88. Mousavi holds an emergency press conference. The voter turn-out is 80%. SMS is down; Mousavi’s website and Facebook are blocked. Police are using pepper spray. Mousavi is under house arrest; he is prepared for martyrdom. Neda is dead. There’s a riot in Baharestan Square. First aid info is here. Bon Jovi sings “Stand by Me” in support. Ahmadinejad is confirmed the winner. Light a candle for the ppl of Iran.
  89. 89. DIGITAL METHODS FOR POLITICAL RESEARCH ONLINE Hyperlink analysis for censorship research 2 Search engine queries for partisanship research 3. Wikipedia comparisons for the study of the politics of memory (and reconciliation) 4. Social media platforms to study political preference and engagement in causes 5. Twitter to make an account (and timeline) of events on the ground
  90. 90. POLITICAL STUDIES ONLINE THANK YOU See also: R. Rogers, _Digital Methods_, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013 Digital Methods Initiative, http://www.digitalmethods.net Contact: rogers@uva.nl Come to the 2014 Digital Methods Summer School!

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