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Politics

Understanding the Uses of Political Bots

The final day of AoIR 2015 has dawned, and it begins with a paper by Samuel Woolley; his interest is in political bots. Bots are software tools that automate human tasks on the Web; political bots, then, are social bots that engage with human users, largely through social media, to promote specific political causes.

When Data Are Compromised by Politics

The next speaker at AoIR 2015 is Joanna Redden, another contributor to the Compromised Data: From Social Media to Big Data collection. She focusses especially on how data are being used by governments, and how this impacts particularly on issues of poverty and inequality. Her work is based on interviews with public servants and consultants in Canada, and builds a picture of how and where data are being used in the government.

Media Usage and Political Participation in Germany

The next AoIR 2015 speaker is Anna Sophia Kümpel, whose interest is in news usage patterns and their effects on political participatory behaviours. Mass media remain identified as a crucial determinant of political participatory behaviour, though their exact effects on participation remain disputed. One new factor which emerges in addition to this in more recent times is the question of which devices are being used.

Phases of Social Media Adoption in Italian Politics

The final presenter in this AoIR 2015 session is Luca Rossi, who shifts our attention to Italian politics. His interest moves beyond elections, too, as elections represent a very specific political moment. Internet and social media use in Italy is still relatively limited – in 2012, only 62% of the population were online, and the main source of information remains television.

Social Media Messaging Types by US Gubernatorial Candidates

Up next in this AoIR 2015 session is AoIR president Jenny Stromer-Galley, whose focus is on the social media use of US gubernatorial candidates. Their tweeting activities are linked of course to the very lengthy US electoral process from surfacing candidates through primaries and nominating conventions to the elections themselves.

Social Media in Australian Elections through the Years

The next AoIR 2015 paper is by Tim Highfield and me, and I'll add I've added our presentation slides below as soon as I can. The paper will also be a chapter in the forthcoming Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics, which my colleagues Gunn Enli, Eli Skogerbø, Anders Larsson, Christian Christensen and I have edited – and which will appear in early 2016.

Social Media and Elections in Sweden since 2010

The post-lunch session at AoIR 2015 is a panel on social media and elections that my colleague Tim Highfield and I are contributing to, but we begin with the excellent Anders Olof Larsson, whose focus is on recent Swedish elections. Sweden traditionally has a high level of election participation and substantial Internet and social media access, and social media have become increasingly visible in election campaigns, unsurprisingly this has increased over time.

Tweeting Styles of Candidate Accounts in US Gubernatorial Contests

The next speaker at AoIR 2015 is Sikana Tanupabrungsun, whose focus is on the use of Twitter by gubernatorial candidates in 36 state elections across the United States in 2014. The focus here is on @mentioning between candidates, and the analysis was conducted using automated content analysis approaches. This found that the most frequent mode of address was to attack other candidates.

#JeNeSuisPasCharlie: Critical Responses to the Charlie Hebdo Shooting

The first presenter at AoIR 2015 this morning is Fabio Giglietto, whose interest is in the Twitter response to the Charlie Hebdo attack. Very quickly, the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie emerged to express sympathy and support for the magazine; a negative #JeNeSuisPasCharlie also emerged, however, to critique the magazine's actions. Fabio's interest here is in how this hashtag was discursively positioned.

Does Humour Belong in Politics (on Twitter)?

The next speakers at AoIR 2015 are Kristen Guth and Alex Leavitt, who begin by highlighting Twitter's 2015 attempts to reduce the plagiarism of jokes by retweeting. Their real focus is on humour during the 2012 presidential debates in the US, though, and they focus on the three presidential debates during the campaign.

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