Yochai Benkler - inauguration médialab Sciences Po

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Yochai Benkler - inauguration médialab Sciences Po

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

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