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Regime change often exacerbates ethnic conflict. This article examines the curious case of Myanmar, where a 2021 military coup was met, on the surface, with broad-based resistance across a divided society. An important question that therefore arises is whether, below the surface, this unity also took a more positive form of national solidarity. Were deep ethnic cleavages intensified or alleviated by the 2021 coup? This question bears theoretical relevance for the study of ethnic conflict and has social relevance for a nation marked by a long history of civil war and a recent experience of genocide against Rohingya Muslims. The article engages in a systematic examination of 180 social media posts uploaded in Burmese by key opinion leaders both before and after the coup. A qualitative analysis of major positive and negative themes indicates a shift in attitudes. The quantitative analysis shows that ethnic relations, measured by a change in themes, ratings and virality, improved significantly in the immediate aftermath of Myanmar's 2021 coup.
Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention monitor unplanned school closure (USC) reports through online systematic searches (OSS) to assist public health emergency responses. We counted the additional reports identified through social media along with OSS to improve USC monitoring.
Facebook and Twitter data of public-school districts and private schools in counties affected by California wildfires in October and December of 2017 and January of 2018 were retrieved. We computed descriptive statistics and performed multivariable logistic regression for both OSS and social media data.
Among the 362 public-school districts in wildfire-affected counties, USCs were identified for 115 (32%) districts, of which OSS identified 104 (90%), Facebook, 59 (52%), and Twitter, 37 (32%). These data correspond to 4622 public schools, among which USCs were identified for 888 (19.2%) schools, of which OSS identified 722 (81.3%), Facebook, 496 (55.9%), and Twitter, 312 (35.1%). Among 1289 private schools, USCs were identified for 104 schools, of which OSS identified 47 (45.2%), Facebook, 67 (64.4%), and Twitter, 29 (27.9%). USC announcements identified via social media, in addition to those via OSS, were 11 public school districts, 166 public schools, and 57 private schools.
Social media complements OSS as additional resources for USC monitoring during disasters.
This chapter builds on the understanding of fuzzy logic regulatory practice, but re-focuses on the main topic of the book: the policy contradictions between the emergence of a seemingly more restrictive cyber regime in China since 2014 and simultaneous announcements of new top-down policies for encouraging entrepreneurial activity. It argues that China’s data and cyber security laws cannot be understood without first understanding both the Chinese government’s Informatisation drive (which includes the Internet Plus policy) and the concept of Network Sovereignty. The chapter is also necessary to understand China’s unique system of governance that is well suited to promote innovations proposed by private Chinese tech companies.
Chapter 1 sets the scene, highlighting the rise of US dual-class stock success stories in recent years, before contrasting it with the rules of the FCA, which prohibit dual-class stock from the London Stock Exchange’s most prestigious listing segment, the premium tier. Regulators fear that dual-class stock incentivises controllers to extract personal benefits to the detriment of shareholder value. However, there has been a significant decline of UK IPOs in recent years, with a severe dearth of large tech company listings, with high-growth companies and unicorns seeking private finance options instead. The United Kingdom is subject to disproportionate levels of takeover activities, and thriving British businesses are regularly being purchased by foreign acquirors. Dual-class stock could, though, encourage and promote the listing of high-growth companies, enabling founders to divest of equity and generate further equity finance for growth, while insulating the management team, and its pursuit of the founder’s long-term, idiosyncratic vision, from removal by public shareholders and takeovers if short-term profits are low. Although the standard tier listing of The Hut Group was a success, it entailed certain compromises which emphasise the importance of the premium tier, and dual-class stock could be the shot-in-the-arm to resuscitate what has become a moribund IPO market.
Taking on a contemporary topic of pervasive importance, Francesco Sinatora examines in detail linguistic heterogeneity and identity construction as they impact Arabic Facebook and YouTube discourse. Key issues of identity, positioning, performance, and multimodality are embedded in Arabic speakers’ use of discourse strategies that convey meaning in multiple ways and on multiple levels. ‘Social media’, states Sinatora, ‘provides a platform for the emergence of more hybrid practices, including the mixing of the vernaculars with MSA, as well as the localization of multilingual forms and global pop culture references.’ Sinatora reviews concepts of intertextuality and indexicality as they pertain to the use of language both written and spoken in Arabic-based social media. He connects these concepts to the idea of ‘vernacular globalization’, which refers to the linguistic construction of identities through diverse and multimodal formulation of powerful and appealing text messages. The second part of his paper documents how dissent is expressed through close examination of postings on Facebook and on YouTube. Through both written and spoken text analysis and face-to-face interviews with authors, Sinatora takes steps toward creating a new methodology for analysing variation in Arabic.
Postdigital Gothic describes a mode of narrative and critical enquiry that evokes the unsettling nature of human and nonhuman actors interwoven within technological assemblages. This represents a turn away from the ‘Cybergothic’ fascination with the ghostly, immaterial aspects of digital media. Instead, Postdigital Gothic calls attention to hidden architecture undergirding the virtual. From sound and image compression formats to the secret algorithms that fuel social media, the digital realm is not an empty portal for ghosts, but rather a vault of manuscripts buried beneath familiar interfaces. The unspeakable manifests itself through the noise of computer glitches, compression artefacts and sonic disruptions. Those unwelcome disturbances signify our human entanglement with the nonhuman. This chapter begins and ends by highlighting cinematic examples of Postdigital Gothic narratives, first, in found footage horror, and then, in the computer screen horror movies Unfriended (2014) and Unfriended: Dark Web (2018). In addition to those readings of cinematic texts, a Postdigital Gothic interpretation of popular compression formats for music (MP3) and images (JPEG) suggests the usefulness of the Gothic as tool for understanding the interpretive work of machinic speech.
INTRODUCTION Facebook is the world’s leading social network with 2,449 million users. Around 22 million of those users are registered in Spain, and 30% of them are aged between 16 and 31. Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia pages have found a space to promote Eating Disorders (ED) as a ‘lifestyle’ using their own code.
OBJECTIVE To study the characteristics of Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia Facebook profiles in Spanish.
METHODS A non-computerized research of Facebook pages related to ED advocacy was conducted. The opened time, publications, photos, type of profiles (public/private) and link to a WhatsApp group of 58 Facebook pages were analyzed. A qualitative and descriptive analysis was carried out.
RESULTS From Facebook profiles: 62.07% contained ‘Ana’ in their profile name; 18.97% had been opened for more than 3 years; 79.31% had been shared; 48.28% mentioned Whatsapp groups; 91.38% were public profiles; 50% named other social networks; 75.86% added text to their publications; 25.86% had shared more than 20 photos on their profiles.
CONCLUSIONS On platforms like Facebook, people with ED can: advocate for their disease, set up networks, share tips/tricks and encourage other users to become part of their community. Technological developments have made it easier to access to this type of resources. Despite the platform’s policy, there are still these kind of profiles that make a case for ED.
Chapter 6 discusses how past paths play a role in present-day questions related to the digital economy. This chapter examines how past legal and other institutions have influenced the diffusion of digital economy technologies and the tension between such technologies and existing institutions. This is an issue of global concern. African countries, however, have significant issues related to colonial legal and institutional overhang that cast a shadow over digital economy laws and policies.
One of the biggest, newest and most exciting assessment and research opportunity to occur since the millennium has been the exploitation of Big Data, which is the ‘electronic footprint’ that we all leave when using credit and other cards as well as the web, through a variety of social networks. Assessment, selection and recruitment experts have not been slow in seeking Big Data as a way of collecting a wide variety of pieces of information about targeted individuals. There have also been some high-profile scandals using Big data. This chapter looks at the five Vs of Big data: Volume (how much data on individuals is potentially available), Variety (the wide range of data on behaviours available), Velocity (the sheer speed of data accumulation and possibilities of analysis), Veracity (the all-important point of the accuracy and truthfulness of the data) and Value (whether it is uniquely valuable or not). Studies on Facebook profiles are discussed in detail. It is perhaps the most exciting prospect for person assessment, but the promises, perils and problems are also discussed. Finally, half a dozen experts report on how they see Big Data as offering opportunities for person assessment.
Over the years, there has been more and more research to test the validity of personnel assessment methods, an area which is far from easy. This book compares traditional practices against new techniques, including social media analytics, wearables, mobile phone logs, and gamification. Researchers and businesses alike know the importance of making good, and avoiding bad, selection decisions, but are unsure of how to proceed effectively. This book maps out the viable options and advises on best practice. The author combines both practical applications and academic, psychological research to explain how each method works, the theory behind it, and the extent of the evidence that supports it.
When agents insert technological systems into their decision-making processes, they can obscure moral responsibility for the results. This can give rise to a distinct moral wrong, which we call “agency laundering.” At root, agency laundering involves obfuscating one’s moral responsibility by enlisting a technology or process to take some action and letting it forestall others from demanding an account for bad outcomes that result. We argue that the concept of agency laundering helps in understanding important moral problems in a number of recent cases involving automated, or algorithmic, decision-systems. We apply our conception of agency laundering to a series of examples, including Facebook’s automated advertising suggestions, Uber’s driver interfaces, algorithmic evaluation of K-12 teachers, and risk assessment in criminal sentencing. We distinguish agency laundering from several other critiques of information technology, including the so-called “responsibility gap,” “bias laundering,” and masking.
This chapter establishes a basis for the book's meta-narrative in a present-day context, highlighting the importance of intellectual property - particularly patents - for the foundation of Facebook. The chapter emphasizes the weaving together of formality and substantive rationality in contemporary patents, which are theorized as instruments of legal power. By showing how patents were important in the founding of Facebook, the chapter emphasizes the role that instruments of legal power - like patents - can play in linking people together into social groups, classes, and networks. Michael Mann's IEMP model for social power helps us to understand the dynamics of exclusivity, as seen in contemporary intellectual property, particularly in patents.
Violence has long been a feature of the exercise and contestation of rule in Kenya. This chapter explores how publics reflect the threat and presence of public violence. In the early 2010s, violence, both online and on the streets, became increasingly frequent and present. Throughout early 2014, there were repeated clashes between Muslim youth and security forces, and between street hawkers and the county government in the city. Chapter 9 asks if and how experiences of violence either defended or threatened publics. Violence was, in many ways, silencing. Still, acts of violence and the fear of violence did not simply silence debate. Public discussion on Facebook transgressed boundaries, showing how the issues that were beyond the scope of the street parliaments were present online, bringing emotion and more intimate concerns into public discussion. At the same time, in opening up discussion to consider these acts of violence, Facebook gave rise to new threat to open and plural discussion in the form of personal insult and attacks.
Chapter 7 unpacks the conditions of place on Facebook. It highlights contingencies in convening in Facebook-mediated spaces tied to physical infrastructure, group administration, algorithmic and corporate controls, and state oversight. This chapter makes the case that on Facebook, experiences have not matched the actual – and potential – conditions of ownership over digital infrastructure and space. Public discussion on social media obscured, rather than removed, unequal ownership structures and physical dependencies. Participants experienced discussion on Facebook as open and unpredictable, but this was premised upon a limited view of underlying structures and controls. This raises a critical question about the nature of publics online: if spatial configurations of publics mask their constraints, resulting in experiences that seem unpredictable but are not necessarily so, what does this mean for the actual scope of unpredictability of the interactions?
Searching for a New Kenya analyses public discussion in urban Kenya, focusing on the gatherings of citizens, both in-person and online, where people discuss issues of common concern to shed light on the role public discussion plays in politics and how social media affects political movements. Through rich ethnographic study of politics on the ground and online in Mombasa, Stephanie Diepeveen brings a fresh perspective on the wider challenges and dynamics of negotiating political narratives across protracted historical debates and changing digital media. Based on a critical revision of Hannah Arendt's ideas about action and power, this study explores the different dynamics of public talk in practice. It contributes to wider debates about the place and limitations of the Western canon in relation to the study of politics elsewhere, while also offering a nuanced view of why and how certain terms of debate persist in Kenya, and where the potential for change lies for public talk across changing media.
Chapter 4 compares the street parliaments explored in Chapter 3 with gatherings convened in civil society and on Facebook. It first interrogates a youth parliament that was registered as a civil society organisation, and, second, examines a youth parliament that was convened on Facebook. The Facebook group was formed as a reaction to some participants’ dissatisfaction with the civil society group’s hierarchical structure. With Chapter 3, it argues that, while limited, the conditions for open and plural discussion were evident across diverse gatherings, whether in the streets or on Facebook. This chapter also identifies an important exception to this: an overly fabricated gathering in civil society, which, in using hierarchy and protocol to create a disciplined and non-partisan public discussion, ended up compromising its creativity and dynamism.
Despite older people's increasing use of social media (SM), there is relatively little research investigating the impact of SM use on wellbeing in the ageing population. This study investigates the relationship between SM use and life satisfaction, a key dimension of wellbeing, in three age groups. We focus on the Italian case, which is particularly relevant because Italy is one of the countries both with the highest incidence of older people and the lowest uptake of SM in Europe. Applying linear regression modelling techniques, we analyse data from the 2018 Multipurpose Survey – Aspects of Everyday Living, a large probability-based household survey. For two age groups, we find a positive relationship between SM use and life satisfaction which weakens after controlling for older people's demographic and socio-economic characteristics, health conditions and social network characteristics. Given the grey digital divide that still exists in some European countries, we conclude with a call for urgent interventions to remove the hurdles that prevent frail older people from enjoying the benefits of an active ageing, fully exploiting the potential of SM use.
In June 2019, Google announced plans to connect Africa to Europe through an undersea internet cable project named Equiano. As a techno-commercial platform, Google’s gesture warrants scrutiny and propels this essay’s analyses of the political connections of Internet spaces that also enable a visual turn in the scholarship of African history. Using the Google search engine and Facebook, Yékú and Ojebode stress the embeddedness of digital technologies in cultural meanings that include visual narratives that visibilize government’s ahistoricism. They conclude by foregrounding the digital labors of Nigerian digital subjects who deploy historical photographs on Facebook as expressions of performative nostalgia.
Widespread use of social media platforms has generated an explosion of data available for use by political scientists. This chapter will outline the possibilities of social media data for experimental research in all domains. At a basic level, social media data can be useful for improving measurement and design in the study of classic theories. It also facilitates research into questions about politics and the internet itself. Using a large Twitter field experiment as a running example, I will illustrate how social media platforms can be used to (1) recruit experimental subjects, (2) deliver treatments, and (3) collect outcomes. I suggest that these possibilities are especially promising for scholars interested in studying political mobilization and media effects. Finally, I discuss challenges and opportunities for using these techniques to explore peer effects and other network dynamics.
This chapter continues our exploration of language as symbolic power in the digital age. It explains first what the digital revolution is about and what Vaidhyanathan meant by the phrase “the googlization of everything.” We then consider the nature and the role of Facebook and Twitter in providing platforms for the exercise of symbolic power. How are we to conceive of social media and the Internet as symbolic systems? I discuss the importance of taking into account algorithms and the algorithmic control of information and knowledge as we use the Internet to teach language and language-mediated knowledge. The digital revolution is also clearly a social and cultural revolution. I discuss the current spread of what Rieffel has called “connected individualism” and the hunger for attention that accompanies the pressure to participate on social media. Finally, I reflect on the current phenomena of post-truth and disinformation in the information age, and on the potential and risks involved in Google Translate.