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.
Thomas Peters, founder and CEO of uCampaign, discusses how mobile apps can be powerful tools to drive engagement for political campaigns and advocacy groups. uCampaign has developed apps for Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and the Brexit Leave campaign, and Thomas shares his insights into why smartphones are key channels for contemporary civic engagement. We discuss how the app integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and Google, what types of data are collected, and how gamification is used to encourage activism.
Gab is an upstart social network with over 200,000 users that does not censor its users’ content. Utsav Sanduja, Gab’s Chief Communications Officer and Global Affairs Director, joins the podcast to discuss what this social media is all about and addresses some of the recent controversies surrounding it. We discuss how Twitter and Facebook have been censoring users’ content, the role of Gab in supporting free speech online, and what Gab’s position is on bots and fake news. Utsav also talks about the choices made in developing the site’s features, what’s next for the Gab, and the social network’s ambitions to go foster a global community.
#28: The UK’s New Digital Left: Paid Social, Civic Tech, and Mobilizing the Youth Vote, with Samir Patel
Samir Patel, Managing Director at Blue State Digital London, guests this week to discuss how the recent success of the Labour Party in the 2017 British elections was aided by a huge push in digital by the British Left. We discuss the role that Facebook data targeting played in the election – not just from Labour but also advocacy groups. Samir also explains how social media was used to mobilize the British youth vote, how citizens built their own digital tools to campaign (i.e. civic tech), and some transnational differences (and similarities) between campaigning in the United States, United Kingdom, and other parts of the European Union. We also talk about how Brexit and the upcoming negotiations may affect data privacy laws and campaign regulations.
The article that I mention in the introduction can be found on Blue State Digital’s website here.
In this episode, Sam Jeffers, co-founder of Who Targets Me, joins the podcast to discuss how sponsored Facebook ads were used by political parties in the 2017 British General Election. Who Targets Me is a project collecting targeted Facebook ads via a Google Chrome extension, and its aim is to shed light on who’s posting political dark ads as well as who’s being targeted. We discuss the project and what the initial data shows from GE2017.
Matthew Oczkowski, (former) Head of Product at Cambridge Analytica, joins the show to discuss his experience heading digital strategy for the Scott Walker primary campaign and Donald Trump general election. We discuss how the candidates used Snapchat and other social media, the differences between primary and general election campaigning in terms of digital strategy and marketing, and we also discuss how microtargeting works in practice.
Eric Wilson, Digital Director for the Marco Rubio for President campaign, shares his expert insights into how the Rubio campaign used social media in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. We focus on Snapchat and discuss how the platform was used to reach voters, how the campaign crafted Snapchat stories, and where Snapchat fit into the campaign’s overall social media strategy. Eric also discusses how Snapchat was used to promote a ‘Vote Early Day’ initiative that set off media coverage and tweets from Donald Trump on Twitter, as well as how a Snapchat lens was used in the Australia federal elections the same year. You can follow Eric on Twitter, @EricWilson, and check out his weekly newsletter: www.learntestoptomize.com.
#19: World Leaders on Instagram: Governing through Photography, Selfies, and Live Stories, with Matthias Luefkens
Matthias Luefkens, Managing Director of Digital Strategy for EMEA countries at Burson-Marsteller, comes on the podcast to discuss his ‘World Leaders on Instagram 2017′ Twiplomacy study, which examines the ways governments and heads of state are using Instagram. We discuss some of the findings of the study, including who has the most followers and drives the most engagement, and we also chat about how politicians and institutions are using the Instagram Live Stories feature in the early stage of adoption. Matthias places world leaders’ use of Instagram in context by also sharing insights from his research on other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Periscope, and Vine.
You can find all these studies at www.Twiplomacy.com.