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.
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.
#15: Social Media and Anti-Corruption Protests in Romania, with the Facebook Page ‘Corruption Kills’
Dr. Anamaria Dutceac Segesten guest hosts this episode and speaks with Mugur, an activist involved with running the Facebook page ‘Corruption Kills’, which helped carry out the largest protest in Romania since the fall of the Soviet Union. Dr. Segesten and Mugur discuss the role of social media in mobilizing and coordinating the protests, which were in response to an ordinance aimed at limiting the penalties for corruption by government officials. They discuss how the Facebook page was used as a medium for broadcasting fact-checked information to counter fake news, as well as a communication platform where citizens could coordinate activities in support of the protests.
#14: The 2017 Dutch Elections and Political Campaigning on Social Media in the Netherlands, with Dr. Kristof Jacobs
Dr. Kristof Jacobs, Assistant Professor at Radboud University, joins the podcast ahead of the upcoming Dutch national elections to share his research on how political parties and strategists in the Netherlands use social media to campaign. We discuss the major role that Twitter plays in Dutch politics but also how parties are adopting newer social media platforms, like Instagram and Snapchat. We also talk about the difference between individual politicians’ social media use versus party communication more broadly. Dr. Jacobs outlines the major themes of this election, the Dutch attitudes towards fake news, Geert Wilder’s social media use, and the media’s coverage of the campaign.
You read more about his Kristof’s research in the book “Social Media, Parties, and Politics Inequalities.“
#13: “Last Night in Sweden”: Responding to Donald Trump while Branding a Nation on Social Media, with Emma Randecker
Emma Randecker from the Swedish Institute discusses how the organization responded to Donald Trump’s ‘Last Night in Sweden’ comment, which sparked a media frenzy on both traditional and social media. Emma outlines how SI launched a fact checking campaign on Facebook and tried to clear up some misconceptions about immigration and refugees in Sweden. We also discuss the Curators of Sweden project, which gives selected Swedes control of the @Sweden Twitter account for one week, and how the Curator in charge of the account reacted to Trump’s comments. Emma also shares her insights about how SI uses social media for digital marketing and how they conceptualize branding a nation.
#8: 2016 Year in Review: Bots, Fake News, and Campaigning on Snapchat, with Dr. Anamaria Dutceac Segesten
Dr. Anamaria Dutceac Segesten, Assistant Professor of European Studies at Lund University, and host Michael Bossetta discuss some of the hottest topics and controversies surrounding social media and politics from 2016. This year in review, Christmas episode tackles some of the key challenges facing policy makers and contemporary societies, from the explosion of political bots on Twitter to the spreading of fake news on Facebook. The two discuss how Snapchat was used as a digital marketing tool during the 2016 United States Presidential election, as well as what Donald Trump’s Twitter use might mean for future diplomacy. Other topics include the impact of live video streaming on social media for protest movements like Black Lives Matter and whether new social media platforms can compete alongside traditional giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
You can follow Dr. Segesten on Twitter @anamariadutceac.