Dr. Deen Freelon, Assoicate Professor in the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, discusses how researcher collect and analyze social media data to study politics. We talk about Facebook’s recent API shut-down, the new Social Science One initiative, differences between Python and R programming languages, and one of his recent reports analyzing how minority communities engage with news on Twitter.
Anson Kaye, Partner at GMMB, discusses how a political advertisement for a campaign is crafted from concept to implementation. Anson has designed paid media for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Harry Reid, and he shares his insights into how the rise of social media platforms has influenced his work. We also look ahead into how the advertising landscape might look like in the 2018 U.S. Congressional midterm elections.
Matt Compton, Director of Advocacy and Engagement at Blue State Digital, discusses how email programs are used for political campaigns and advocacy. Matt also shares his experience in working in digital communications for the Obama White House and the Democratic National Committee. We look ahead to the 2018 U.S. midterm elections and discuss trends in how the Democratic Party is using social media to campaign.
#50: Platforms and News Publishers: Digital Journalism in the Facebook-Google Duopoly, with Rameez Tase
Rameez Tase, Vice President of Audience Development and Insights at Axios, discusses news publishing in a digital environment dominated by Facebook and Google. Rameez outlines the challenges and opportunities of being a digitally native news outlet, how Axios crafts content to fit contemporary news consumption patterns, and how the organization uses native advertising to sustain a business model in a crowded media environment.
Matt Schruers, Vice President of Law and Policy at the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), discusses the work that CCIA does as a link between the tech industry and legislators. The CCIA represents the interests of large tech firms such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Netflix. We chat about the tech industry’s position on GDPR, ePrivacy, and other regulations; the role of competition in tech; and how regulation might affect the Internet of Things.
#48: Cyberattacks on Social Media: Spear Phishing, Trolling, and Disinformation, with Dr. Arun Vishwanath
Dr. Arun Vishwanath, Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Buffalo, shares his expertise on how social media are used to conduct cyberattacks. We discuss the three key tactics that state-sponsored actors use to undermine trust in American democracy: spear phishing, trolling, and disinformation. We delve into Dr. Vishwanath’s research exploring what factors predict users’ likelihood to accept a false friend request on Facebook, what implications these types of attacks have for national security, as well discuss what governments are trying to do to stop these attacks.
Brendan Tobin, Head of Growth at Ecanvasser, discusses how the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will affect political campaigning in the European Union. We talk about what GDPR is, how it will be enforced by legislators, and what the implications of this new regulation are for democracy. Given the multi-level governance structure of the EU, it will take some time to see how GDPR will influence how campaigns engage with companies like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube. Subscribe to the Social Media and Politics Podcast to keep up to date with all the latest developments in the social media space!
Tom Lillywhite, founder of Wilder Digital and the digital campaigning tool ‘Pack‘, joins the podcast to discuss how political campaigns and organizations can mobilize supporters to increase organic reach on social media. We discuss how crowdsourcing ardent supporters can increase organic reach on Facebook and Twitter, as well as how Pack is currently being used for advocacy groups and the Camden Labour Party.
Craig Dwyer, co-founder of the Transparent Referendum Initiative, discusses targeted Facebook advertising ahead of the Irish constitutional referendum about abortion on May 25th. The TRI collects “dark” Facebook posts and is building an openly accessible database of targeted political ads. We discuss some of the major issues surrounding the referendum, the difficulties in discerning when a Facebook ad is “political,” and targeted political advertising on other platforms like Google and Youtube.
The Medium post mentioned in the episode.
ForaChange: Craig’s digital campaigning toolkit.
Simon Day, co-founder of Apptivism, discusses how chatbots are used to increase civic engagement. By interacting with a chatbot on Facebook Messenger, citizens can give their opinion on policies from their computers or smartphones. Policymakers can then analyze the data from chatbot interactions to better shape policy. Simon breaks down how these chatbots work and describes how Apptivism is helping governments use this new technology.