Naseem Makiya, founder and CEO of Outvote, guests to discuss the peer-to-peer texting technologies available to Democrats ahead of the 2018 Midterm Elections. We break down the features of Outvote and what sets it apart from other P2P platforms. In particular, we focus on the “Swing District” feature, a focus on contacting friends, and the use of emojis to signify a friend’s previous voting history. We also talk about the results generated from the platform during the primaries, and the P2P landscape for political campaigning now as well as in the future.
Ruurd Oosterwoud, co-founder of DROG, guests to discuss inoculation techniques against disinformation on social media platforms. Ruurd shares the several initiatives DROG has been working on to educate the public about fake news and disinformation: the Bad News Game, student workshops to increase media literacy, and a one day event to create the “biggest Dutch troll army” ahead of the 2019 European Parliament elections.
Bruce Schneier, Chief Technology Officer at IBM Resilient, guests to discuss his new book, Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-connected World. We discuss how the Internet of Things (IoT) opens up new possibilities for catastrophes, how social media companies and governments follow a model of surveillance capitalism, and how the Internet can be made more secure moving forward.
Søren Pedersen, a Danish software developer working for Extra Bladet, joins the podcast to discuss his project uspolads.com. Søren used web scraping technology to build a website that presents data from the Facebook political ad archive ahead of the 2018 US midterm elections. We talk about Søren’s motivations in building uspolads, as well as discuss some his previous work using Facebook and Twitter data to reveal insights about politics and tech addiction.
Click here to check out the official Facebook Ad Archive.
Dr. Anamaria Dutceac Segesten, Senior Lecturer in European Studies at Lund University, guests to discuss the 2018 Swedish Elections and social media’s role in it. We break down the election results and talk about what it means for Sweden as well as the European Union.
Here are the links to the studies discussed in the episode:
Moe & Larsson’s 2014 study on Swedish politicians’ Facebook use
Jakob Svensson’s study on Swedish campaigning between elections
Kragh & Åsberg’s study on Russian disinformation via Facebook in Sweden
ComProp’s study of “junk news” during the Swedish election
Dr. Nick Anstead, Associate Professor in Media and Communications at the LSE, guests to discuss his new research on British parties’ Facebook ad targeting during the 2017 election. Using a data from the Chrome browser created by Who Targets Me, Dr. Anstead and his team compare the content, tone, personalization, and calls to action used in these ads. We discuss the findings of that study, as well as outline three challenges for academics studying Facebook ad targeting moving forward: the epistemological, the conceptual, and the systematic.
Read the full study here!
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.
Thomas Peters, CEO of uCampaign and RumbleUp, returns to the podcast to discuss his company’s new peer-to-peer texting platform: RumbleUp. Thomas shares his insights into how P2P texting (SMS and MMS) can be used by political campaigns to increase GOTV initiatives, polling, and fundraising. We talk about the differences between P2P texting and email, as well as some of the recent success RumbleUp has had in promoting Republican candidates. This includes a recent local primary election in Alabama, as well as drumming up support for Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.
Here’s the link the Medium post on RumbleUp we discuss in the episode.
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.