Episodes

#14: The 2017 Dutch Elections and Political Campaigning on Social Media in the Netherlands, with Dr. Kristof Jacobs

Dr. Kristof Jacobs, Assistant Professor at Radboud University, joins the podcast ahead of the upcoming Dutch national elections to share his research on how political parties and strategists in the Netherlands use social media to campaign. We discuss the major role that Twitter plays in Dutch politics but also how parties are adopting newer social media platforms, like Instagram and Snapchat. We also talk about the difference between individual politicians’ social media use versus party communication more broadly. Dr. Jacobs outlines the major themes of this election, the Dutch attitudes towards fake news, Geert Wilder’s social media use, and the media’s coverage of the campaign.

You read more about his Kristof’s research in the book “Social Media, Parties, and Politics Inequalities.

#13: “Last Night in Sweden”: Responding to Donald Trump while Branding a Nation on Social Media, with Emma Randecker

Emma Randecker from the Swedish Institute discusses how the organization responded to Donald Trump’s ‘Last Night in Sweden’ comment, which sparked a media frenzy on both traditional and social media. Emma outlines how SI launched a fact checking campaign on Facebook and tried to clear up some misconceptions about immigration and refugees in Sweden. We also discuss the Curators of Sweden project, which gives selected Swedes control of the @Sweden Twitter account for one week, and how the Curator in charge of the account reacted to Trump’s comments. Emma also shares her insights about how SI uses social media for digital marketing and how they conceptualize branding a nation.

#12: The YouTube Algorithm and its Implication for Politics, with Matt Gielen

Matt Gielen, founder of Little Monster Media Co and former Director of Audience Development at Frederator, joins the podcast to share is research and insights about how the YouTube algorithm works. Matt explains some of the factors that YouTube’s algorithm takes into account when suggesting content to users, and we discuss the implications this filtering might have on public opinion and political campaigning during elections. Other topics touched upon are YouTube monetization, digital advertising, the importance of being authentic on YouTube to build an audience, and the future of live video streaming on social media like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

#11: Social Media and Nonprofit Organizations Serving Immigrants in the United States, with Dr. Heath Brown

Dr. Heath Brown, Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the City University of New York Graduate Center, joins the show to share his research on the political activity of nonprofit organizations serving immigrants and their communities. We discuss how these immigrant serving NGO’s use – or shy away from – political action and the role that social media plays in their communication strategy. Dr. Brown highlights that the low resources of these NGO’s, the diversity of their communities, and perceptions of authenticity as key factors motivating their social media adoption and strategy. You can read more about Dr. Brown’s research on this topic in his new book, Immigrants and Electoral Politics: Nonprofit Organizing in a Time of Demographic Change.

#10: Bots on Social Media and How They Impact News and Politics, with Samuel Woolley

This episode is all about bots on social media with guest Samuel Woolley, Director of Research of the Computational Propaganda Project at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford. We discuss exactly how users make bots, and the ways they are deployed on Facebook and Twitter to influence politics through, for example, spreading fake news or disrupting protests. Sam explains how bots are difficult to trace, since they are often geotagged in misleading locations or used for digital marketing. We also talk about bots in the latest 2016 US Presidential campaign between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, as well look forward a bit into how bots might evolve in the future.

You can follow Sam on Twitter @Samuelwoolley, and check out the Computational Propaganda Project at www.politicalbots.org.

#9: Twitter, ISIS, and Sentiment Analysis: Using Big Data to Measure Public Opinion about Terrorism, with Dr. Luigi Curini

Dr. Luigi Curini, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Milan, discusses how big data from social networks can be used to estimate public opinion about ISIS and terrorism. Dr. Curini shares his research using Twitter data to uncover how the Arabic community discusses the Islamic State on social media. He and his colleagues find that closing down Twitter accounts of ISIS supporters may lead to them becoming foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq, and that Islam is a major factor in generating both positive and negative sentiment about ISIS. We also discuss Dr. Curini’s upcoming book, Politics and Big Data: Nowcasting and Forecasting Elections with Social Media, which looks at how social media data can be used by researchers to more accurately predict election outcomes than traditional polling methods.

#8: 2016 Year in Review: Bots, Fake News, and Campaigning on Snapchat, with Dr. Anamaria Dutceac Segesten

Dr. Anamaria Dutceac Segesten, Assistant Professor of European Studies at Lund University, and host Michael Bossetta discuss some of the hottest topics and controversies surrounding social media and politics from 2016. This year in review, Christmas episode tackles some of the key challenges facing policy makers and contemporary societies, from the explosion of political bots on Twitter to the spreading of fake news on Facebook. The two discuss how Snapchat was used as a digital marketing tool during the 2016 United States Presidential election, as well as what Donald Trump’s Twitter use might mean for future diplomacy. Other topics include the impact of live video streaming on social media for protest movements like Black Lives Matter and whether new social media platforms can compete alongside traditional giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

You can follow Dr. Segesten on Twitter @anamariadutceac.

#7: Social Media and Political Youth Organizations in Denmark, with Emilie Demant

Emilie Demant, social media coordinator for Venstres Ungdom, shares her insights into how a Danish political youth organization is using social media to engage young voters with politics. We discuss how Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter are each used differently to communicate politics with young Danes, as well as what types of user-generated content Emilie receives when managing these social media accounts. Emilie highlights the visual element of social media by stressing that memes, GIFs, and videos drive the most engagement on social media, and here digital marketing and graphic design play a key role. We also discuss the differences between a youth political organization and the parent political party, Venstre, and what that means for their social media use. Although exhibiting different rules of political communication on social media (especially on Snapchat), interestingly, both Venstre and Venstres Ungdom work together to strategically share content across their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter social networks.

#6: Digital Marketing on Social Media for Political Campaigns, with Chasen Campbell

Chasen Campbell, VP of Client Strategy at Harris Media, shares his knowledge about how major US politicians use social media for digital campaigning. We discuss how political campaigns use big data to micro-target voters on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as what it’s like to run a digital marketing campaign for politicians with big budgets. Chasen also weighs in on how new social media platforms, like Snapchat and Periscope, stack up to giants like Facebook and Google. We also discuss what works and what doesn’t in driving engagement online, and Chasen emphasizes that short, easy to understand, and entertaining messages are key to capturing voters’ attention.

Find out more about Chasen and Harris Media at www.harrismediallc.com