Episodes

#45: Facebook Ads Transparency in the Irish Abortion Referendum, with Craig Dwyer

Craig Dwyer, co-founder of the Transparent Referendum Initiative, discusses targeted Facebook advertising ahead of the Irish constitutional referendum about abortion on May 25th. The TRI collects “dark” Facebook posts and is building an openly accessible database of targeted political ads. We discuss some of the major issues surrounding the referendum, the difficulties in discerning when a Facebook ad is “political,” and targeted political advertising on other platforms like Google and Youtube.

The Medium post mentioned in the episode.

ForaChange: Craig’s digital campaigning toolkit.

#43: Mobile Apps for Political Campaigns and Advocacy, with Thomas Peters

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.

#42: WhatsApp-ening in the Netherlands? Social media, GroenLinks, and the 2018 Dutch Local Elections, with Hanneke Bruinsma

Hanneke Bruinsma, local politician for the green party GroenLinks in the Netherlands, joins the show to discuss how her party is using social media in the upcoming Dutch municipal elections. We discuss how GroenLinks party members in the Overbetuwe municipality are using Facebook and Twitter to campaign, and in particular we focus on WhatsApp as a new medium to encourage activism – or “Apptivism” – among local residents.

#41: Online Political Games: Corbyn Run and the 2017 British Elections, with James Moulding

James Moulding, co-founder of Games for the Many, joins the podcast to discuss the success of Corbyn Run, and online political game that went viral during the 2017 British elections. We discuss the development of the game, the role of social media in promoting it, and the potential for online games to spur political engagement in youth.

You can play Corbyn RunĀ here.

#40: 2017 Year in Review: Social Media and Politics, with Dr. Anamaria Dutceac Segesten

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.

Here are the year in review reports from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

#39: Data, Democracy, and the Role of Technology in Politics, with Dr. Daniel Kreiss

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.

#38: Algorithms, Social Media, and Society, with Dr. Thore Husfeldt

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.

 

#37: The Dark Web: Social Networks on Tor, with Ciphas

Ciphas, an anonymous web blogger who writes about the dark web, joins the podcast to discuss what types of social networks are on the dark web. We discuss what type of social media are on the Tor browser, as well as why they might not be as popular as social networks on the clearnet. We also share experiences about being on the dark web, as well as where political discussions might be taking place.

You can check out Ciphas blog as well as his reviews on various dark web services.

#36: Cloaked Facebook Pages, Hate Profiles, and Propaganda, with Johan Farkas

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.