Mikhail Fedorov, Chief Digital Strategist for Vladimir Zelensky, joins the podcast to discuss digital campaigning ahead of the 2019 Ukrainian Presidential Elections. We discuss how Zelensky, the election’s frontrunner, is using tools like Facebook, YouTube, and Telegram to grow a support base and coordinate volunteers’ canvassing efforts. We also talk about bots, trolls, and fake news in Ukraine ahead of the election, and how the Zelensky campaign is working to avoid information pollution on their online channels.
Bill Ottman, Founder and CEO of Minds, discusses how decentralized social media platforms may be the response to privacy concerns surrounding big platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. We talk about Minds’ peer-to-peer cryptocurrency model, how blockchain technology is used on the platform, and online censorship.
Ray Serrato, Social Media Analyst at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, discusses how social media data is used in the context of human rights violations. Ray breaks down the attacks against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar, and we discuss the role of social media in these attacks. Lastly, we talk about what the closing down of social media APIs means for future human rights work.
Dr. Alice Marwick, Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, guests to discuss the findings of her research report: Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online. Dr. Marwick breaks down how far-right groups use the internet and social media to promote their ideologies. We also talk about radicalization, conspiracy theories, and differences in online activity between the far-right and far-left.
Check out the report here!
Dr. Rachel Gibson, Professor of Politics at the University of Manchester, discusses British political parties’ digital campaigning from websites to social media. We take a longitudinal dive into the development of digital campaigning in the UK, and compare it to campaigning practices in the US. Then, we examine how citizens’ political participation is evolving through their use of digital communication technologies.
Dr. Paul Reilly, Senior Lecturer in Social Media and Digital Society at the University of Sheffield, shares his research on the role of social media in protests in Northern Ireland. We first discuss the “Irish Border Question” in relation to Brexit, and then hone in on two demonstrations in Northern Ireland: the union flag protests in 2013 and the Ardoyne parade dispute in 2014. The discussion highlights how much of the contemporary debates around Facebook and Twitter (e.g., disinformation, propaganda, and user privacy) have roots much earlier than the 2016 US election.
The two articles covered in the episode are:
Marta Albertini, Digital Strategist at GPLUS, joins the podcast to share her experiences in digital campaigning across private and public sectors. We discuss differences in using social media in a B2B environment versus an institutional one, some of the challenges in running pan-European campaigns, and how generational differences matter when communicating policy online. Marta also shares her insights on what’s changed in the (social) media landscape between the 2014 and 2019 European Parliament Elections.