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Yochai Benkler - inauguration médialab Sciences Po

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  • 1. Observing Networked Politics ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Theoretical and empirical investigations of power and participation in the networked environment Sciences Po 26 May 2009 Yochai Benkler [email_address]
  • 2. http://web.archive.org/web/20021202092031/www2.diebold.com/solutions/election/default.htm
  • 3.  
  • 4.  
  • 5. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Diebold
  • 6.  
  • 7. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Diebold Diebold response Media Exposure Maryland-required studies; modifications
  • 8. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Diebold
  • 9. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Diebold Diebold DMCA
  • 10. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Diebold
  • 11. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Diebold
  • 12. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Diebold
  • 13. Overnet ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Diebold
  • 14. Overnet ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Diebold One year later
  • 15. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Politics and Power in Networked Environment
    • Technical-economic-cultural shift at the foundation of the new shift
    • Theoretical divisions about what matters and what is happening over relevant domains of politics and power
    • New empirical context: the transcript is the interaction
      • More effective observation using old models of historical analysis
      • New automated techniques of observation
        • With advantages and disadvantages
  • 16. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Networked Information Economy
    • The most important inputs, into the core economic activities, of the most advanced economies, are widely distributed in the population
      • Material
        • Computation and communications resources
        • Sensing and capture
      • Human
        • Creativity, intuition, experience, and motivation
        • Social capabilities to manage processes
  • 17. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________
    • The most important inputs, into the core economic activities, of the most advanced economies, are widely distributed in the population
    • Behaviors once on the periphery: social motivations, cooperation, friendship, decency, mobilization, hatred, move to the very core of economic life in the most technically and economically advanced societies
    Networked Information Economy
  • 18. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Commons-based production
    • Individual or collaborative
    • Commercial or noncommercial
      • increases the diversity of actors, motivations, transactional forms,
    • Important because it decentralizes authority to act, paralleling what technology/economy has done for practical capacity to act
  • 19. Peer Production
    • Peer production
      • Large scale cooperation among human contributors
      • without price signals
      • or managerial commands
    ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________
  • 20. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Apache market share 1995-02/2008 Source: Netcraft Survey December 2008 Free/Open Source Software
  • 21.  
  • 22. Price-system Firms Government; Non-profits Market-based Non-market ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Four transactional frameworks
  • 23. Price-system Firms Government; Non-profits Market-based Non-market ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ '90s Market-based reforms
  • 24. Price-system Firms Social sharing & exchange Government; Non-profits Market-based Non-market ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Four transactional frameworks
  • 25. Price-system Firms Social sharing & exchange Government; Non-profits Market-based Non-market ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Second industrial divide loosened
  • 26. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________
    • Consumers/Producers => users
    • Authority
    • Quality, accreditation
    • Capital as a proxy for authority, quality, accreditation destabilized
    • Practices of skeptical reading
      • “ how can you trust what you see on the Net” leads to skeptical reading;
      • “ trust the NYT” leads to Iraq WMD coverage
    • Maybe erosion of “there's nothing I can do about it”
    Destabilized categories of power
  • 27. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ 20 th Century rise of democracy
    • Our experience is largely with a mass mediated public sphere
    • We will begin to learn what it means to have social production in the public sphere
  • 28. citizens professional values: journalism; universities public sphere The Mass Mediated Public Sphere commercial funding: The power of money government influence (funding; access; threats) The power of power parties
  • 29. commercial funding: The power of money citizens professional values: journalism; universities public sphere The Networked Public Sphere government influence (funding; access; threats) The power of power parties?
  • 30. Russ Kick, The Memory Hole, April 2004
  • 31.  
  • 32.  
  • 33.  
  • 34.  
  • 35.  
  • 36.  
  • 37.  
  • 38.  
  • 39.  
  • 40.  
  • 41. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ An emerging new ecosystem
    • A few large commercial/professional news organizations, with global reach
    • Distributed social action:
      • politically mobilized peer production platforms; a new party press system on a volunteer model (dailyKos)
      • Individual research and expression in networked clusters of mutual linking
    • Low cost, low profit commercial models, engaged with peer producers (TPM)
    • Nonprofit increased efficacy because of lower costs and capacity to leverage distributed social action (Sunlight)
  • 42. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ “ Internet democratizes” & critique
    • “ Everyone a pamphleteer”
  • 43. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ “ Internet democratizes” & critique
    • “ Everyone a pamphleteer”
    • First Generation Critique
      • Babel Objection (Sunstein)
        • Fragmentation : The “Daily Me”: public sphere disappears
      • Theoretically: heavy focus on “deliberation” and rational decision making; emphasizing common goals and shared fate; not much discussion of organization, salience, conflict; none of power
      • Empirically: armchair anthropology/media studies
  • 44. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Still in the armchair... New observation tools... “ Internet democratizes” & critique
    • “ Everyone a pamphleteer”
    • First Generation Critique
      • Babel Objection (Sunstein)
        • Fragmentation : The “Daily Me”: public sphere disappears
        • The culture of Web speech
          • mutual linking
          • “ see for yourself”
          • aggregation and search capabilities (e.g. Digg; Technorati; Google News)
        • power law distribution of links
  • 45. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ physics CS poli-sci
    • “ Everyone a pamphleteer;”
    • First Generation Critique
    • Second Generation Critique
      • Power law distribution of links, implies attention ( Shirky)
      • You can talk, but no one will hear
        • Barabasi
        • Glance and Adamic
        • Hindman:
          • Very little attention paid to politics at all
          • What there is, highly concentrated and mainstream media still garners massive portion of it
          • Who speaks in the blogosphere at the high end is every bit as elitist as the op-eds
    “ Internet democratizes” & critique
  • 46. What is a power law?
  • 47. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Network Topology
    • 1999: Barabási and Albert
      • Power laws characterize degree distributions in many diverse network phenomena
        • Preferential attachment: “the rich get richer”
      • Adamic & Huberman: intrinsic growth rate: Interest? Money? Quality?
  • 48. Glance and Adamic Political Blogosphere Small number of highly connected nodes accounts for majority of inlinks
  • 49. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Network Topology
    • 1999: Barabási and Albert
      • Power laws characterize degree distributions in many diverse network phenomena
        • Preferential attachment: “the rich get richer”
      • Adamic & Huberman: intrinsic growth rate: Interest? Money? Quality?
    • How do we explain the reality that a website launched on a Monday to rally for a political cause may have hundreds of thousands of participants by the end of the week?
      • Intuitively trivial: people who care about the same thing will pass messages to each other, and congregate on an action platform
      • Theoretically non-obvious given power law distribution of links as a proxy for attention
  • 50. Bursty relevance and salience: Even in the domain of opinion polls, where reputation is so important, Nate Silver becomes a major source in the span of 6 months
  • 51.  
  • 52.  
  • 53. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Network Topology
    • Clustering
      • Content-related sites cluster—interlink much more densely than random links on the web
  • 54. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ computer scientists political scientists Network Topology
    • Clustering
    • At sufficiently small scale clusters, the body becomes moderate; the long tail turns out to be a little fat
      • Pennock: universities; companies—still long right tail, but lots of moderately connected sites
      • Chakrabarti—same is true for narrower topical clusters
      • Drezner & Farrell—among political blogs in smaller interest areas
  • 55. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ What is a moderate body?
  • 56. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Self-organizing networked public sphere
    • Topical clusters
    • At small scales, moderate visibility bodies with high visibility tails
      • Many entry points for discussion
      • Mechanism for “peer review” of claims, arguments, observations
        • Intense interest is core value
      • “ Superstars” serve as “broadcasters” across clusters
    • Huge, interconnected “strongly connected core” with many redundant paths among clusters
  • 57. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ More democratic, after all
    • Not “everyone a pamphleteer”; but we are also not all intellectual lemmings
    • Structured web offers more visibility, to more people, in accreditation and filtration clusters
      • Relatively free of financing constraints on speech
      • Emphasizing what is intensely interesting to active users who link and read; not what moderately interested passive consumers
    • New observation methods do not obviate interpretation; they provide new sources of insight and require new rounds of interpretation
      • But difficult to engage without familiarity with, and use of, newer techniques
  • 58. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________
    • “ Everyone a pamphleteer”
    • First Generation Critique
      • Babel Objection
        • Fragmentation
        • Polarization
          • Does mainstream discourse polarize?
            • Sunstein experimental work – Yes; Fishkin, No
            • E.g. Adamic & Glance
    “ Internet democratizes” & critique
  • 59.  
  • 60. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________
    • “ Everyone a pamphleteer”
    • First Generation Critique
      • Babel Objection
        • Fragmentation
        • Polarization
          • But: Linking counteracts polarization
            • Adamic & Glance: ~ 1:6 to 1:7 of the links on top liberal/conservative political blogs link across the ideological divide
            • Gallo, Kane, Hargittai – strong internal linking, but no clear polarization over time; cross linking ~ half substantive or “go read” rather than “can you believe these idiots”
            • Farrell, Lawrence, Sides: blog readers more partisan; left and cross-divide readers participate in voting and politics more than those on the right
    “ Internet democratizes” & critique
  • 61. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Note: New, mixed techniques; link analysis plus more traditional content analysis
    • “ Everyone a pamphleteer”
    • First Generation Critique
      • Babel Objection
        • Fragmentation
        • Polarization
          • But: Linking counteracts polarization
            • Adamic & Glance: ~ 1:6 to 1:7 of the links on top liberal/conservative political blogs link across the ideological divide
            • Gallo, Kane, Hargittai – strong internal linking, but no clear polarization over time; cross linking ~ half substantive or “go read” rather than “can you believe these idiots”
            • Farrell, Lawrence, Sides: blog readers more partisan; left and cross-divide readers participate in voting and politics more than those on the right
    “ Internet democratizes” & critique
  • 62. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Kelly and Etling, 2008 Mixed observation techniques
  • 63. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________
    • Link analysis provides overall shape and structure of the network; relative weight of different loci
    • Structured observation with human readers to add nuance
    • Current efforts to scale up and generalize harnessing human effort
      • Web based interface provides individual coders with a questionnaire
      • Directs them to a URL, open in a pane, with questions
      • Data collected
      • Currently working on integration with Amazon Mechanical Turk to provide large numbers of contributors, for small payments
      • Early efforts toward distributed translation
    Mixed observation techniques
  • 64. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________
    • “ Everyone a pamphleteer;”
    • First Generation Critique
      • Babel Objection
        • Fragmentation
        • Polarization
      • Who will be the watchdog? Netanel; Starr 2009
        • Peer-production of watchdog function
          • Time, research on the Net, and organized action
            • Diebold & Stolen Honor
            • Dan Rather
          • Being there with distributed sensing and ubiquitous communication
            • Macaca
            • “ Bomb Iran”
    “ Internet democratizes” & critique
  • 65.  
  • 66. Macaca Bomb Iran
  • 67. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________
    • “ Everyone a pamphleteer;”
    • First Generation Critique
    • Second Generation Critique
      • Elements of an answer
        • Drezner & Farrell (2004): bloggers can set agenda through mainstream media informing itself about views on the cheap
        • Benkler (2006)
          • Sites themselves have become discursive platforms on a significant scale
          • An attention backbone building on topical clustering, speakers on the periphery can be identified by major sites and broadcast iteratively to higher-level visibility
          • Greater affordances for directed action by mobilized groups
    “ Internet democratizes” & critique
  • 68.  
  • 69.  
  • 70. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Participation platforms
  • 71. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Participation platforms
  • 72. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Left/Right divergent practices
  • 73. ~10,000 participants in a platform with visibility roughly equivalent to TNR complicated to call this simply elitism; imperfect to call it fully egalitarian participation
  • 74.  
  • 75. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Benkler, Shaw, and Stodden 155 top political blogs Structured observation Link analysis to select high- impact sites Complemented by structured observation =>still small scale increasing capacity using online recruitment and management tools Left/Right divergent practices
  • 76. Adamic & Glance 2005
  • 77. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Benkler, Shaw, and Stodden 155 top political blogs Structured observation Link analysis to select high- impact sites Complemented by structured observation =>still small scale increasing capacity using online recruitment and management tools Left/Right divergent practices
  • 78. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________
    • No single effect
      • Symmetry is overstated
      • Different cultural/historical reception
    • Consistent with stable claims about social psychology of left/right
      • Individualist/hierarchist vs. egalitarian/communitarian?
    • Consistent with story anchored in state of government, media outlets (talk radio; Fox News), and churches on right; no equivalents on left push to adoption of a workaround platform
    Left/Right divergent practices
  • 79. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________
    • Participation, visibility, and agenda setting
      • Developing new, text-based tools
    • New theoretical question
      • How do we think of a more active and visible large elite? New visibility of academics?
      • How do we think about BarbinMD, and about Farrell et al, that bloggers are more politically knowledgeable and activated
        • A new “elite” of information haves able to speak around mass media pathways
        • New party dynamics?
    • Cultural power and participation
    Beyond deliberation/fragmentation
  • 80. Economics
  • 81.  
  • 82.  
  • 83.  
  • 84. Media Cloud
  • 85.  
  • 86.  
  • 87.  
  • 88.  
  • 89.  
  • 90.  
  • 91. Fox News Jan 1-20, top five stories on googlenews search
  • 92. New York Times Jan 1-20, top five stories on googlenews search
  • 93. Informed Comment Jan 1-20, top five posts on google blog search Both for “ethnic cleansing” and “ethnic nationalism”
  • 94. Media Cloud
  • 95.  
  • 96.  
  • 97.  
  • 98. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Benkler, Shaw, and Stodden 155 top political blogs Structured observation Link analysis to select high- impact sites Complemented by structured observation =>still small scale increasing capacity using online recruitment and management tools Left/Right divergent practices
  • 99.  
  • 100.  
  • 101. “ Stolen Honor” ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Kerry campaign DNC FCC FEC
  • 102. “ Stolen Honor” ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Kerry campaign DNC FCC FEC
  • 103. “ Stolen Honor” ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Kerry campaign DNC FCC FEC
  • 104. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ 19 18 15 13 12 20 11/3 First report of “stolen honor” LA Times=>Talkingpointsmemo Boycott organized Democratic establishment vows action Ad cancellations begin; first media reports Lehman warning Sinclair declares will not air “stolen honor” Intense debate on multiple blogs; actions proposed and debated First attempts; Tactical discussions feedback; lots
  • 105. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ More democratic, after all
    • Not “everyone a pamphleteer”; but we are also not all intellectual lemmings
    • Structured web offers more visibility, to more people, in accreditation and filtration clusters
      • Relatively free of financing constraints on speech
      • Emphasizing what is intensely interesting to active users who link and read; not what is moderately interested passive consumers
      • Fostering investigation and irreverence
  • 106. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ More democratic, after all
    • Not “everyone a pamphleteer”; but we are also not all intellectual lemmings
    • Structured web offers more visibility, to more people
    • Strong “see for yourself” ethic and peer accreditation
      • Reading as skeptical investigation, rather than a search for authority
    • Greater practical capacity to organize to act on politically salient issues
      • Not always through established, not even necessarily legal, pathways
  • 107.  
  • 108.  
  • 109. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ More democratic, after all
    • Not “everyone a pamphleteer”; but we are also not all intellectual lemmings
    • Structured web offers more visibility, to more people
    • Strong “see for yourself” ethic
    • Greater practical capacity to organize
    • Critical culture; emerging folk cultures
    • At a minimum, an expanded elite
      • Is a shift from several thousand to a few million out of 300 million significant?
  • 110.  
  • 111.  
  • 112.  
  • 113.  
  • 114.  
  • 115.  
  • 116.  
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  • 118.  
  • 119.  
  • 120.  
  • 121.  
  • 122.