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Connective 'Alt-Right' Action on Reddit

The next speaker in this AoIR 2017 session is Alex Hogan, whose focus is on the impact of online political communities in politics. There is still considerable debate on whether online action promotes or retards other forms of collective action offline; the recent rise of the 'alt-right' adds another chapter to this discussion.

Bots in the U.K.'s Brexit Referendum

The next speaker in this AoIR 2017 session is Marco Bastos, whose focus is on the Brexit referendum. He notes that a substantial number of bots were active in the Brexit debate on Twitter, yet many of these accounts disappeared immediately after the referendum. But it is also important to distinguish between different bots: there are legitimate bot developers that offer such accounts, while genuine, highly active users are sometimes also misidentified as bots.

Gender and Technology in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

The final speaker in this AoIR 2017 session is Elizabeth Losh, whose interest is in the role of devices in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Barack Obama was seen as associated with a broad range of constructive as well as destructive devices, from personal mobile phones to impersonal drones, while Donald Trump is associated mostly with the tweets sent from his mobile phone. But what about Hillary Clinton?

Different Bots in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

The next speaker at AoIR 2017 is Olga Boichàk, who begins by highlighting the role of social media platforms in structuring specific forms of human sociality. But this also means that automated accounts – specifically, bots – can imitate and affect genuine human interactions in these spaces. What does this mean for online discussions in the context of the 2016 U.S. election campaign, then?

Topic Dynamics in the Right Wing during the 2016 U.S. Election

The second presenter in this AoIR 2017 session is Adrian Rauchfleisch, who begins by highlighting the highly combative and complex nature of the 2016 U.S. election campaign. Counterpublics played an important role here, too; new actors – especially on the right – were able to make their voices heard during the campaign, through some more established actors (Fox News, and Trump himself) also claimed not to be part of the mainstream.

Facebook Commenting during the 2016 U.S. Presidential Debates

The second day at AoIR 2017 starts with a panel on the U.S. elections in 2016, and Patrícia Rossini is the first speaker. She notes the limited focus in the past on how voters interact with election campaigns; much of the research has paid attention simply to the campaigning strategies themselves. But there is also evidence that users encounter a good deal of campaigning in their social networks, though they do not necessarily like doing so – in part because the discourse can be heated, emotional, and uncivil. Further, reactions to some discourse differ based on whether users agree or disagree with the uncivil statements being made.

Donald Trump's Campaign and the Hybrid Media System

The first keynote at AoIR 2017 is by Andrew Chadwick, who explores what the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign means for our understanding of the hybrid media system. Political communication is in the middle of a chaotic transitional period, due in good part to the disruptions brought by newer, digital media; some older media have also been renewed by integrating the logics of newer media. This then represents a systemic perspective that examines forces while they are in flow.

The hybrid media system is built on the interactions of older and newer media logics in the reflexively connected field of media and politics. Actors in this field tap and steer information flows in ways that suit their goals, enable or disable the agency of others, across various older and newer media settings. 'Hybrid' here shifts our conceptualisation from 'either/or' to 'not only, but also'; it foregrounds complexity, interdependence and transition. We pay more attention to boundaries, flux, and liminal spaces, where practices intermeshing and co-evolve.

'Post-Truth' in the 1994 South African Election

The final speaker in this Future of Journalism 2017 session is Bernadine Jones, who takes us back to the 1994 South African 'miracle election', with a particular focus on global north television reporting of the election.

Using Social Media to Represent 'Public Opinion'

The third presenter in this Future of Journalism 2017 session is Shannon McGregor, whose interest is in the role of social media in the construction of public opinion by the political press. There's an increasing tendency for journalistic coverage to claim that 'Twitter' or even 'the Internet' responded in a particular way to specific political issues and controversies, and social media certainly play a role in how public opinion is shaped, but how might we think about the type of public opinion that can be observed on social media?

Letters to the Editor during the U.K. EU Referendum

The next speakers at Future of Journalism 2017 are Iñaki Garcia-Blanco and Lucy Bennett, whose focus is also on the Brexit referendum. There is a long history of anti-European discourse in British politics, and the EU has been framed by the British press in a negative light; eventually this resulted in the 2016 EU referendum, with fault lines running right through the major British parties.


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