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Episodes

#65: The Logics of Datafication, Algorithms, and Artificial Intelligence, with Dr. Jakob Svensson

11/25/2018
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Dr. Jakob Svensson, Associate Professor in Media and Communication at Malmö University, guests to share his research on the logics that drive digital media. We discuss how algorithms and datafication are shaped by developers, and the types of biases that can occur as a result. We also talk about the political implications of artificial intelligence.

Duration:00:41:14

#64: Platform API Lockouts, Occupy Wall Street, and Transnational Activism, with Dr. Dan Mercea and Dr. Shawn Walker

11/18/2018
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Dr. Dan Mercea, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at City University of London, and Dr. Shawn Walker, Assistant Professor in Social and Behavioral Sciences in the New College at Arizona State University, guests to discuss the current state of social media research in an environment where researcher are "Locked Out" of access to platform APIs. We also talk about how social media is used in protest movements, particularly Dr. Walker's work on Occupy Wall Street and Dr. Mercea's work on...

Duration:00:43:28

#63: Brexit Botnets and Hyperpartisan News Sharing on Twitter, with Dr. Marco Bastos

11/4/2018
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Dr. Marco Bastos, Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications at City University of London, discusses his research on Twitter bots and botnets in the 2016 Brexit Referendum. We talk about how to identify bots on Twitter, what these bots were sharing, and how the content they share on social media relates to the activity of human users. Later in the episode, we discuss the ethics behind researching bots and whether recent automated account crackdowns by Facebook and Twitter will improve...

Duration:00:39:49

#62: P2P Texting for Democrats in the 2018 Midterm Elections, with Naseem Makiya

10/28/2018
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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...

Duration:00:23:14

#61: Inoculating Fake News and Disinformation on Social Media, with Ruurd Oosterwoud

10/21/2018
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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.

Duration:00:31:04

#60: Political Polarization, Social Media, and News Use in the United States, with Dr. Galen Stocking

10/14/2018
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Dr. Galen Stocking, Computational Social Scientist at Pew Research Center, discusses political polarization and how it relates to social media use. We take a deep dive into how Pew Research Center measures polarization empirically, how polarization has changed over time, and how widening partisan gaps relate to citizens' traditional and social media habits. Dr. Stocking also discusses the role of computational methods in survey research, using one of his recent studies on media sources...

Duration:00:36:33

#59: Cybersecurity, the Internet of Things, and Social Media, with Bruce Schneier

9/30/2018
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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 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.

Duration:00:30:57

#58: Facebook's Political Ad Archive and Web Scraping to Improve It, with Søren Pedersen

9/16/2018
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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.

Duration:00:34:51

#57: The 2018 Swedish Elections and Social Media, with Dr. Anamaria Dutceac Segesten

9/10/2018
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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 the political campaigning leading up to the election. We break down the election results and talk about what it means for Sweden as well as the European Union.

Duration:00:58:26

#56: Facebook Ad Targeting in the 2017 British General Election, with Dr. Nick Anstead

9/2/2018
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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...

Duration:00:33:19

#55: Anti-Social Media: Does Facebook Undermine Democracy?, with Dr. Siva Vaidhyanathan

8/26/2018
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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...

Duration:00:53:37

#54: P2P Texting for Political Campaigns in the Midterm Elections, with Thomas Peters

8/19/2018
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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...

Duration:00:37:29

#53: Computational Social Science and Digital Methods in the Post-API Age, with Dr. Deen Freelon

8/12/2018
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Dr. Deen Freelon, Associate Professor in the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, discusses how researchers 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.

Duration:00:42:06

#52: Paid Media and Political Advertisements for Campaigns, with Anson Kaye

7/29/2018
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Anson Kaye, Partner at GMMB, discusses how a political advertisement for a campaign is crafted from concept to implementation. Anson has designed paid media for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Harry Reid, and he shares his insights into how the rise of social media platforms has influenced his work. We also look ahead into how the advertising landscape might look like in the 2018 U.S. Congressional midterm elections.

Duration:00:32:59

#51: Email Programs and Digital Campaigning for the Democratic Party, with Matt Compton

7/15/2018
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Matt Compton, Director of Advocacy and Engagement at Blue State Digital, discusses how email programs are used for political campaigns and advocacy. Matt also shares his experience in working in digital communications for the Obama White House and the Democratic National Committee. We look ahead to the 2018 U.S. midterm elections and discuss trends in how the Democratic Party is using social media to campaign.

Duration:00:54:08

#50: Platforms and News Publishers: Digital Journalism in the Facebook-Google Duopoly, with Rameez Tase

7/1/2018
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Rameez Tase, Vice President of Audience Development and Insights at Axios, discusses news publishing in a digital environment dominated by Facebook and Google. Rameez outlines the challenges and opportunities of being a digitally native news outlet, how Axios crafts content to fit contemporary news consumption patterns, and how the organization uses native advertising to sustain a business model in a crowded media environment.

Duration:00:42:38

#49: Advocacy for the Tech Industry, with Matt Schruers

6/17/2018
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Matt Schruers, Vice President of Law and Policy at the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), discusses the work that CCIA does as a link between the tech industry and legislators. The CCIA represents the interests of large tech firms such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Netflix. We chat about the tech industry's position on GDPR, ePrivacy, and other regulations; the role of competition in tech; and how regulation might affect the Internet of Things.

Duration:00:42:22

#48: Cyberattacks on Social Media: Spear Phishing, Trolling, and Disinformation, with Dr. Arun Vishwanath

6/3/2018
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Dr. Arun Vishwanath, Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Buffalo, shares his expertise on how social media are used to conduct cyberattacks. We discuss the three key tactics that state-sponsored actors use to undermine trust in American democracy: spear phishing, trolling, and disinformation. We delve into Dr. Vishwanath's research exploring what factors predict users' likelihood to accept a false friend request on Facebook, what implications these types of attacks have...

Duration:00:36:57

#47: GDPR and Political Campaigning, with Brendan Tobin

5/18/2018
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Brendan Tobin, Head of Growth at Ecanvasser, discusses how the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will affect political campaigning in the European Union. We talk about what GDPR is, how it will be enforced by legislators, and what the implications of this new regulation are for democracy. Given the multi-level governance structure of the EU, it will take some time to see how GDPR will influence how campaigns engage with companies like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube....

Duration:00:35:16

#46: Mobilizing the Pack for Political Campaigns and Advocacy, with Tom Lillywhite

5/6/2018
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Tom Lillywhite, founder of Wilder Digital and the digital campaigning tool 'Pack', joins the podcast to discuss how political campaigns and organizations can mobilize supporters to increase organic reach on social media. We discuss how crowdsourcing ardent supporters can increase organic reach on Facebook and Twitter, as well as how Pack is currently being used for advocacy groups and the Camden Labour Party.

Duration:00:34:09