Dr. Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia, joins the podcast to discuss his new book “Anti-Social Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy” (Oxford University Press). We discuss the impact of Facebook, Google, and other tech platforms on politics and society. We also examine the ideologies of Silicon Valley executives, how their technologies are used around the globe, and look ahead to why smart speakers are increasingly becoming the battleground for FANG companies.
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.
#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.
Dr. Anamaria Dutceac Segesten, Assistant Professor in European Studies and Lund University, returns to the podcast to recap the biggest trends in social media and politics from 2017. We discuss social media’s transnationalization potential, the most shared content this year on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as phishing cyberattacks and chatbots.
Dr. Daniel Kreiss, Associate Professor at the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, joins the podcast to discuss the role of data, social media, and technology in contemporary electoral campaigning. We discuss Dr. Kreiss’ recent book, Prototype Politics, and dig into how Republicans and Democrats have built up their data infrastructures over time. We talk about the relationships between campaigns and representatives at tech firms like Facebook, Google, and Twitter, Russian intervention in US democracy, and whether regulation from governments is needed in this space moving forward.
Dr. Thore Husfeldt, Associate Professor in computer science at IT University of Copenhagen and Professor in computer science and Lund University, is an algorithms theorist who joins the show to discuss the implications of algorithms for politics and society. We discuss how the algorithms of Facebook and Google have developed over time, how machine learning works, the upcoming European General Data Protection Regulation, and what all this means for democracy, politics, and society.
Check out the CAST IT podcast, hosted by Dr. Husfeldt.
Dr. Husfeldt’s talk on algorithms mentioned in the episode.
Johan Farkas, Lecturer and Researcher at the IT University of Copenhagen, joins the show to discuss his research on “cloaked Facebook pages” that spread propaganda through false identities. We talk about how cloaked Facebook pages have been used in Denmark to spread hate speech about Muslims, how a Facebook group of activists formed to combat these accounts by reporting them to Facebook, and what Facebook’s response to the reports actually was. We also get into fake news and post-truth democracy in the age of social media, and why these terms might not best describe the current media environment.
#35: Character Assassination, Reputation Politics, and Social Media in Russia, with Sergei Samoilenko
Sergei Samoilenko, co-founder of the Character Assassination and Reputation Politics (CARP) Research Lab at George Mason University, shares his insights on how social media is used as a tool for defamation and crisis communication. We also discuss the state of the internet and social media in Russia, bots and trolls, and the Ukranian crisis.
Check out their report: Character Assassination in Theory and Practice.
Dr. Nico Carpentier, Professor at the Department of Informatics and Media at Uppsala University, guests on the podcast this week to discuss media, participation, and conflict in Cyprus. We discuss deliberative versus participatory democracy, as well as Dr. Carpentier’s new book, “The Discursive-Material Knot: Cyprus in Conflict and Community Media Participation”.
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Dr. Scott Wright, Senior Lecturer in Political Communication at the University of Melbourne, joins the pod to discuss what citizens’ everyday political talk on social media and other online forums means for democracy. D.r Wright shares findings from his research that the design of online forms, and the level of moderation on them, have a demonstrable impact on the quality of democratic debate that occurs within these online, ‘Third Spaces.’ Tune in to find out more!