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Computational Propaganda around the World

I arrived late to the final AoIR 2017 session on computational propaganda, and I think it's Samantha Bradshaw speaking at the moment. She's presenting the overall Computational Propaganda project at the University of Oxford, which from secondary source research identified some 23 countries that were known to be using some kind of informational warfare online at this stage.

Towards e-Privacy by Design in European Union Legislation

The second keynote at AoIR 2017 is by Marju Lauristin, who is both a professor at the University of Tartu and the rapporteur on e-privacy at the European Parliament, where she also represents Estonia as an MEP; indeed she has been named one of the most influential Estonian women in the world. This week the Parliament voted on new EU privacy regulations which Marju has been instrumental in developing.

Her focus here is on the impact of algorithms on deliberative democracy, and the short summary of the situation is that algorithms will severely affect democracy if the companies that utilise them remain unchecked, and that they will prevented from doing so only if effective legislation is enacted to protect democratic processes.

YouTube's Disruptive Effect on the Saudi Mediasphere

The second speaker in this AoIR 2017 session is Omar Daoudi, whose interest is in the Saudi government's reactions to YouTube content. This work covers the period of time between 2010 and 2016, after which there were also considerable changes in government policy.

The Discursive Institutionalisation of 'Fake News' in Germany

The third speaker in this AoIR 2017 session is Kirsten Gollatz, whose focus is on the institutionalisation of the 'fake news' controversy in Germany. The debate on 'fake news' there continues, and the term itself is controversial; it has now entered the German dictionary, but nonetheless remains ill-defined. There is an ongoing renegotiation of the norms, rules, and responsibilities of the various relevant actors in this context.

New Approaches to Regulating Internet Intermediaries

The morning session on this second day at Future of Journalism 2017 starts with Leighton Andrews, who begins by highlighting the role of Internet intermediaries as gatekeepers for news; over the last year we've also seen the early signs of a regulatory turn that has seen lawmakers take a greater interest in addressing the implications of their role.

UNESCO and the Future of Journalism

The final keynote at Future of Journalism 2017 today is by Guy Berger, Director of Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO, who asks the perfectly innocent question "Does Journalism Have a Future?" The challenges it now faces include questions about the authority and objectivity of legacy news organisations, social media, 'fake news', political satire, automation, sourcing and expertise, scrutiny and accountability, and journalism education, to name just a few; each one of these is considerable.

Yet another issue for journalists is their personal safety, as journalists are regularly abused and threatened via social media and other channels. There are too many such messages to report and seek retribution for; the social media platforms respond only reluctantly to such reports; and any attempts to stop the trolls only tend to produce more trolling.

From Talk-Back to Facebook Live: Politicians' Strategies for Bypassing Journalistic Scrutiny

The final paper in this ANZCA 2017 session is presented by Caroline Fisher, whose focus is on Australian politicians' approaches to bypassing the scrutiny of the parliamentary press gallery. This is based on a set of 87 interviews with key media actors from the Howard era, including the former Prime Minister himself, as well as on an analysis of the social media activities of five Australian political leaders and interviews with their press secretaries.

How the #notmydebt Campaign Played Out on Twitter

The next paper in this ANZCA 2017 session is by my colleagues Brenda Moon, Ehsan Dehghan, and me, and I'm presenting it, so I won't liveblog it, of course. Below are the slides, though:

Everyday Political Talk about Housing Affordability on Facebook Pages

The next paper in this ANZCA 2017 session is presented by Ariadne Vromen, whose focus is on debates of housing affordability on Facebook. Social media are of course being used for everyday political talk, but the private pages of individuals are very difficult to observe effectively, and for good reason. But the Facebook pages of mainstream media outlets serve as a kind of intermediary, semi-public spaces for such talk; here, it is possible to observe engagement, interactions, and sentiment, as well as reactions to media framing of current issues.

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