rvenkat + media_studies   60

Fake News as Discursive Integration: An Analysis of Sites That Publish False, Misleading, Hyperpartisan and Sensational Information: Journalism Studies: Vol 0, No 0
After the 2016 US presidential election, the concept of fake news captured popular attention, but conversations lacked a clear conceptualization and used the label in elastic ways to describe various distinct phenomena. In this paper, we analyze fake news as genre blending, combining elements of traditional news with features that are exogenous to normative professional journalism: misinformation, sensationalism, clickbait, and bias. Through a content analysis of stories published by 50 sites that have been labeled fake news and the engagement they generated on social media, we found that stories employed moderate levels of sensationalism, misinformation and partisanship to provide anti-establishment narratives. Complete fabrications were uncommon and did not resonate well with audiences, although there was some truth-stretching that came with genre blending. Results suggest that technocentric solutions aimed at detecting falsehoods are likely insufficient, as fake news is defined more by partisanship and identity politics than misinformation and deception.

-- Finally, a concrete potentially measurable definition of fake of news. If reframed, a potential hypothesis on content virality.
journalism  media_studies  misinformation  disinformation  natural_language_processing  text_mining  via:nyhan 
january 2019 by rvenkat
The Backbone Structure of Audience Networks: A New Approach to Comparing Online News Consumption Across Countries: Political Communication: Vol 0, No 0
Measures of audience overlap between news sources give us information on the diversity of people’s media diets and the similarity of news outlets in terms of the audiences they share. This provides a way of addressing key questions like whether audiences are increasingly fragmented. In this article, we use audience overlap estimates to build networks that we then analyze to extract the backbone—that is, the overlapping ties that are statistically significant. We argue that the analysis of this backbone structure offers metrics that can be used to compare news consumption patterns across countries, between groups, and over time. Our analytical approach offers a new way of understanding audience structures that can enable more comparative research and, thus, more empirically grounded theoretical understandings of audience behavior in an increasingly digital media environment.
media_studies  network_data_analysis  network_inference  for_friends  via:duncan.watts 
december 2018 by rvenkat
The Effect of Media Coverage on Mass Shootings | IZA - Institute of Labor Economics
Can media coverage of shooters encourage future mass shootings? We explore the link between the day-to-day prime time television news coverage of shootings on ABC World News Tonight and subsequent mass shootings in the US from January 1, 2013 to June 23, 2016. To circumvent latent endogeneity concerns, we employ an instrumental variable strategy: worldwide disaster deaths provide an exogenous variation that systematically crowds out shooting-related coverage. Our findings consistently suggest a positive and statistically significant effect of coverage on the number of subsequent shootings, lasting for 4-10 days. At its mean, news coverage is suggested to cause approximately three mass shootings in the following week, which would explain 55 percent of all mass shootings in our sample. Results are qualitatively consistent when using (i) additional keywords to capture shooting-related news coverage, (ii) alternative definitions of mass shootings, (iii) the number of injured or killed people as the dependent variable, and (iv) an alternative, longer data source for mass shootings from 2006-2016.

--Is it really this easy?
crime  contagion  social_influence  econometrics  causal_inference  i_remain_skeptical  media_studies 
november 2018 by rvenkat
Fake images: The effects of source, intermediary, and digital media literacy on contextual assessment of image credibility online - Cuihua Shen, Mona Kasra, Wenjing Pan, Grace A Bassett, Yining Malloch, James F O’Brien, 2018
Fake or manipulated images propagated through the Web and social media have the capacity to deceive, emotionally distress, and influence public opinions and actions. Yet few studies have examined how individuals evaluate the authenticity of images that accompany online stories. This article details a 6-batch large-scale online experiment using Amazon Mechanical Turk that probes how people evaluate image credibility across online platforms. In each batch, participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 28 news-source mockups featuring a forged image, and they evaluated the credibility of the images based on several features. We found that participants’ Internet skills, photo-editing experience, and social media use were significant predictors of image credibility evaluation, while most social and heuristic cues of online credibility (e.g. source trustworthiness, bandwagon, intermediary trustworthiness) had no significant impact. Viewers’ attitude toward a depicted issue also positively influenced their credibility evaluation.
media_studies  misinformation  disinformation  online_experiments  amazon_turk  judgment_decision-making  political_psychology  via:nyhan 
october 2018 by rvenkat
Network Propaganda - Paperback - Yochai Benkler; Robert Faris; Hal Roberts - Oxford University Press
Is social media destroying democracy? Are Russian propaganda or "Fake news" entrepreneurs on Facebook undermining our sense of a shared reality? A conventional wisdom has emerged since the election of Donald Trump in 2016 that new technologies and their manipulation by foreign actors played a decisive role in his victory and are responsible for the sense of a "post-truth" moment in which disinformation and propaganda thrives.

Network Propaganda challenges that received wisdom through the most comprehensive study yet published on media coverage of American presidential politics from the start of the election cycle in April 2015 to the one year anniversary of the Trump presidency. Analysing millions of news stories together with Twitter and Facebook shares, broadcast television and YouTube, the book provides a comprehensive overview of the architecture of contemporary American political communications. Through data analysis and detailed qualitative case studies of coverage of immigration, Clinton scandals, and the Trump Russia investigation, the book finds that the right-wing media ecosystem operates fundamentally differently than the rest of the media environment.

The authors argue that longstanding institutional, political, and cultural patterns in American politics interacted with technological change since the 1970s to create a propaganda feedback loop in American conservative media. This dynamic has marginalized centre-right media and politicians, radicalized the right wing ecosystem, and rendered it susceptible to propaganda efforts, foreign and domestic. For readers outside the United States, the book offers a new perspective and methods for diagnosing the sources of, and potential solutions for, the perceived global crisis of democratic politics.

-- Open Access Title
book  yochai.benkler  misinformation  disinformation  media_studies  social_networks  political_science 
september 2018 by rvenkat
now publishers - Does Rape Culture Predict Rape? Evidence from U.S. Newspapers, 2000–2013
We offer the first quantitative analysis of rape culture in the United States. Observers have long worried that biased news coverage of rape — which blames victims, empathizes with perpetrators, implies consent, and questions victims' credibility — may deter victims from coming forward, and ultimately increase the incidence of rape. We present a theory of how rape culture might shape the preferences and choices of perpetrators, victims and law enforcement, and test this theory with data on news stories about rape published in U.S. newspapers between 2000 and 2013. We find that rape culture in the media predicts both the frequency of rape and its pursuit through the local criminal justice system. In jurisdictions where rape culture was more prevalent, there were more documented rape cases, but authorities were less vigilant in pursuing them.

--very strong latent causal claims, especially using an intangible variable which is really a gender studies concept. Given the status of such *found data* research, a more subdued claim should have been made.
causal_inference  gender_studies  media_studies  contemporary_culture  i_remain_skeptical  via:nyhan 
september 2018 by rvenkat
Fanning the Flames of Hate: Social Media and Hate Crime by Karsten Müller, Carlo Schwarz :: SSRN
This paper investigates the link between social media and hate crime using Facebook data. We study the case of Germany, where the recently emerged right-wing party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) has developed a major social media presence. We show that right-wing anti-refugee sentiment on Facebook predicts violent crimes against refugees in otherwise similar municipalities with higher social media usage. To further establish causality, we exploit exogenous variation in major internet and Facebook outages, which fully undo the correlation between social media and hate crime. We further find that the effect decreases with distracting news events; increases with user network interactions; and does not hold for posts unrelated to refugees. Our results suggest that social media can act as a propagation mechanism between online hate speech and real-life violent crime.
media_studies  social_influence  platform_studies  violence  mediation_analysis  ?  causal_inference  i_remain_skeptical 
august 2018 by rvenkat
Causal language and strength of inference in academic and media articles shared in social media (CLAIMS): A systematic review
The pathway from evidence generation to consumption contains many steps which can lead to overstatement or misinformation. The proliferation of internet-based health news may encourage selection of media and academic research articles that overstate strength of causal inference. We investigated the state of causal inference in health research as it appears at the end of the pathway, at the point of social media consumption.
causal_inference  sociology_of_science  critique  meta-analysis  media_studies  epidemiology_of_representations 
june 2018 by rvenkat
News Attention in a Mobile Era | Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication | Oxford Academic
Mobile access to the Internet is changing the way people consume information, yet we know little about the effects of this shift on news consumption. Consuming news is key to democratic citizenship, but is attention to news the same in a mobile environment? We argue that attention to news on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones is not the same as attention to news for those on computers. Our research uses eye tracking in two lab experiments to capture the effects of mobile device use on news attention. We also conduct a large-scale study of web traffic data to provide further evidence that news attention is significantly different across computers and mobile devices.
media_studies  dmce  teaching 
march 2018 by rvenkat
Spectrum of Trust in Data || Data & Society
-- Interesting, people(here parents) don't trust institutions but rely of peer networks to search for knowledge and information. It is not clear whether the people have an implicit awareness of a peer reputation score through which they are able to delineate the reliable from the unreliable. I notice a similar reliance on Stack Exchange, podcasts and blogposts among my peers.
distrust_of_elites  institutions  social_epistemology  education  agnotology  media_studies  inequality  via:boyd  dmce  teaching 
march 2018 by rvenkat
Misinformation and Mass Audiences Edited by Brian G. Southwell, Emily A. Thorson, and Laura Sheble
Lies and inaccurate information are as old as humanity, but never before have they been so easy to spread. Each moment of every day, the Internet and broadcast media purvey misinformation, either deliberately or accidentally, to a mass audience on subjects ranging from politics to consumer goods to science and medicine, among many others. Because misinformation now has the potential to affect behavior on a massive scale, it is urgently important to understand how it works and what can be done to mitigate its harmful effects.

Misinformation and Mass Audiences brings together evidence and ideas from communication research, public health, psychology, political science, environmental studies, and information science to investigate what constitutes misinformation, how it spreads, and how best to counter it. The expert contributors cover such topics as whether and to what extent audiences consciously notice misinformation, the possibilities for audience deception, the ethics of satire in journalism and public affairs programming, the diffusion of rumors, the role of Internet search behavior, and the evolving efforts to counteract misinformation, such as fact-checking programs. The first comprehensive social science volume exploring the prevalence and consequences of, and remedies for, misinformation as a mass communication phenomenon, Misinformation and Mass Audiences will be a crucial resource for students and faculty researching misinformation, policymakers grappling with questions of regulation and prevention, and anyone concerned about this troubling, yet perhaps unavoidable, dimension of current media systems.
book  misinformation  disinformation  media_studies  public_sphere  contagion  social_psychology  journalism  dmce  networks  teaching 
november 2017 by rvenkat
The Technological Origins of Protestantism, or the Martin Luther Tech Myth | L.M. Sacasas
-- mentions of new books on the reformation
-- McLuhan-ian take on Protestant faith (embodied theology?)
media_studies  history  religion  theology  16th_century  via:noahpinion 
november 2017 by rvenkat
The Changing Norms of Racial Political Rhetoric and the End of Racial Priming: The Journal of Politics: Vol 0, No 0
We explore the conjecture that norms of racial rhetoric in US campaigns have shifted over the last several years. Prior work suggests that the way politicians talk about race affects the power of racial attitudes in political judgments. Racial priming theory suggests that explicit racial rhetoric—messages overtly hostile toward minorities—would be rejected. When race is cued subtly, however, the power of racial attitudes on issues is significantly enhanced. Replication attempts have recently failed. We identify two historically related shifts that lead us to expect that the effective distinction between explicit and implicit racial rhetoric has declined in recent years. Four nationally representative survey experiments strongly support our predictions: regardless of whether political messages are racially explicit or implicit, the power of racial attitudes is large and stable. Finally, many citizens recognize racially hostile content in political communications but are no longer angered or disturbed by it.
public_opinion  media_studies  race  polarization  democracy  historical_sociology  norms  us_politics 
october 2017 by rvenkat
Do Anti-Immigrant Laws Shape Public Sentiment? A Study of Arizona’s SB 1070 Using Twitter Data: American Journal of Sociology: Vol 123, No 2
Scholars have debated whether laws can influence public opinion, but evidence of these “feedback” effects is scant. This article examines the effect of Arizona’s 2010 high-profile anti-immigrant law, SB 1070, on both public attitudes and behaviors toward immigrants. Using sentiment analysis and a difference-in-difference approach to analyze more than 250,000 tweets, the author finds that SB 1070 had a negative impact on the average sentiment of tweets regarding immigrants, Mexicans, and Hispanics, but not on those about Asians or blacks. However, these changes in public discourse were not caused by shifting attitudes toward immigrants but by the mobilization of anti-immigrant users and by motivating new users to begin tweeting. While some scholars propose that punitive laws can shape people’s attitudes toward targeted groups, this study shows that policies are more likely to influence behaviors. Rather than placating the electorate, anti-immigrant laws may stir the pot further, mobilizing individuals already critical of immigrants.
law  public_opinion  mediation_analysis  causal_inference  ?  media_studies  twitter  political_psychology  us_politics  via:nyhan 
october 2017 by rvenkat
Pointing at the Wrong Villain: Cass Sunstein and Echo Chambers - Los Angeles Review of Books
--interesting and meaty critique but some of his arguments about limitations __enlightenment ideals_ need more careful reading....
book_review  democracy  collective_cognition  media_studies  internet_culture  political_science  public_opinion  21st_century 
august 2017 by rvenkat
How the Chinese Government Fabricates Social Media Posts for Strategic Distraction, not Engaged Argument | GARY KING
The Chinese government has long been suspected of hiring as many as 2,000,000 people to surreptitiously insert huge numbers of pseudonymous and other deceptive writings into the stream of real social media posts, as if they were the genuine opinions of ordinary people. Many academics, and most journalists and activists, claim that these so-called ``50c party'' posts vociferously argue for the government's side in political and policy debates. As we show, this is also true of the vast majority of posts openly accused on social media of being 50c. Yet, almost no systematic empirical evidence exists for this claim, or, more importantly, for the Chinese regime's strategic objective in pursuing this activity. In the first large scale empirical analysis of this operation, we show how to identify the secretive authors of these posts, the posts written by them, and their content. We estimate that the government fabricates and posts about 448 million social media comments a year. In contrast to prior claims, we show that the Chinese regime's strategy is to avoid arguing with skeptics of the party and the government, and to not even discuss controversial issues. We show that the goal of this massive secretive operation is instead to distract the public and change the subject, as most of the these posts involve cheerleading for China, the revolutionary history of the Communist Party, or other symbols of the regime. We discuss how these results fit with what is known about the Chinese censorship program, and suggest how they may change our broader theoretical understanding of ``common knowledge'' and information control in authoritarian regimes.
china  media_studies  attention_economy  causal_inference  social_media  political_economy  gary.king 
june 2017 by rvenkat
The 2016 U.S. Election: Can Democracy Survive the Internet? | Journal of Democracy
The 2016 presidential election represents the latest chapter in the disintegration of the legacy institutions that had set bounds for U.S. politics in the postwar era. It is tempting (and in many ways correct) to view the Donald Trump campaign as unprecedented in its breaking of established norms of politics. Yet this type of campaign could only be successful because established institutions—especially the mainstream media and political-party organizations—had already lost most of their power, both in the United States and around the world. The void that these eroding institutions left was filled by an unmediated populist nationalism tailor-made for the Internet age.

democracy  media_studies  internet  political_science  us_elections  us_politics  2016 
april 2017 by rvenkat
Social media and political discussion: when online presence silences offline conversation: Information, Communication & Society: Vol 20, No 7
This paper explores the relationship between the use of social media, attitudinal strength, perceived opinion agreement with social ties, and willingness to discuss a political issue in different online and offline contexts. Unlike the anonymous environment of some Internet forums, social media are closely tied to the relationships and activities of everyday life. Social media increasingly make ties from offline contexts persistent online, and, because of the ambient nature of these technologies, awareness of the opinions, interests, and activities of social ties has become pervasive. As such, the use of social media is likely to affect everyday conversation about political issues in on- and offline contexts, including the home, workplace, social gatherings with friends, community meetings, and on social network sites (SNSs). Based on a national probability survey, we find that the use of SNSs (i.e., Facebook and Twitter) has a direct, negative relationship to deliberation in many offline settings. Some uses of these platforms are associated with having a lower, perceived opinion agreement with social ties. As part of a spiral of silence, this further reduces the willingness of social media users to join political conversations in some offline settings. Only those with the strongest attitudes on an issue are immune.
media_studies  social_media  social_networks  networked_life  opinion_formation  collective_action  political_psychology  social_movements  dmce  teaching  via:zeynep 
april 2017 by rvenkat
Is the Internet Causing Political Polarization? Evidence from Demographics
We combine nine previously proposed measures to construct an index of political polarization among US adults. We find that the growth in polarization in recent years is largest for the demographic groups least likely to use the internet and social media. For example, our overall index and eight of the nine individual measures show greater increases for those older than 75 than for those aged 18–39. These facts argue against the hypothesis that the internet is a primary driver of rising political polarization.

-- a really misleading version of the article here
democracy  media_studies  causal_inference  influence  polarization  political_science  us_politics  i_remain_skeptical 
april 2017 by rvenkat
Analytic Activism - Paperback - David Karpf - Oxford University Press
Among the ways that digital media has transformed political activism, the most remarkable is not that new media allows disorganized masses to speak, but that it enables organized activist groups to listen. Beneath the waves of e-petitions, "likes," and hashtags lies a sea of data - a newly quantified form of supporter sentiment - and advocacy organizations can now utilize new tools to measure this data to make decisions and shape campaigns. In this book, David Karpf discusses the power and potential of this new "analytic activism," exploring the organizational and media logics that determine how digital inputs shape the choices that political campaigners make. He provides the first careful analysis of how organizations like Change.org and Upworthy.com influence the types of political narratives that dominate our Facebook newsfeeds and Twitter timelines, and how MoveOn.org and its "netroots" peers use analytics to listen more effectively to their members and supporters. As well, he identifies the boundaries that define the scope of this new style of organized citizen engagement. But also raising a note of caution, Karpf identifies the dangers and limitations in putting too much faith in these new forms of organized listening.
book  social_movements  networked_life  social_media  media_studies  political_sociology  political_science  via:zeynep 
april 2017 by rvenkat
Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship - boyd - 2007 - Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication - Wiley Online Library
Social network sites (SNSs) are increasingly attracting the attention of academic and industry researchers intrigued by their affordances and reach. This special theme section of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication brings together scholarship on these emergent phenomena. In this introductory article, we describe features of SNSs and propose a comprehensive definition. We then present one perspective on the history of such sites, discussing key changes and developments. After briefly summarizing existing scholarship concerning SNSs, we discuss the articles in this special section and conclude with considerations for future research.
media_studies  social_media  social_networks  dana.boyd  review  networks  teaching 
january 2017 by rvenkat
Media Scandals Are Political Events - Jan 10, 2017
When political scandals erupt in the press, we usually blame misconduct by public officials, but these episodes are political events whose occurrence and severity also depend in part on the political and media context. Using data on U.S. governors, I show that several key factors affect the likelihood and intensity that alleged misconduct will be politicized by the opposition and publicized by the press. First, lower approval ratings, which decrease the cost of politicizing and publicizing an allegation, are generally associated with more frequent and intense media scandals. By contrast, competing news events can crowd potential scandals off the news agenda. However, no evidence is found that opposition control of state political institutions leads to more media scandal. These results suggest that the occurrence of media scandal depends more on circumstance than we typically assume.
brendan.nyhan  political_science  political_economy  public_opinion  media_studies  dmce  teaching 
january 2017 by rvenkat
US Election Analysis 2016 – Media, Voters and the Campaign
Featuring 83 contributions from leading academics and emerging scholars across the world, this publication captures the immediate thoughts and early research insights on the 2016 US Presidential Election from the cutting edge of media and politics research.

Published 10 days after the election, these contributions are short and accessible. Authors provide authoritative analysis of the campaign, including research findings or new theoretical insights; to bring readers original ways of understanding the election and its consequences. Contributions also bring a rich range of disciplinary influences, from political science to popular culture, journalism studies to advertising.

We hope this makes for a vibrant and engaging read
report  us_elections  21st_century  media_studies  political_science  political_psychology  for_friends 
november 2016 by rvenkat
Reading the Comments | The MIT Press
Online comment can be informative or misleading, entertaining or maddening. Haters and manipulators often seem to monopolize the conversation. Some comments are off-topic, or even topic-less. In this book, Joseph Reagle urges us to read the comments. Conversations “on the bottom half of the Internet,” he argues, can tell us much about human nature and social behavior.

Reagle visits communities of Amazon reviewers, fan fiction authors, online learners, scammers, freethinkers, and mean kids. He shows how comment can inform us (through reviews), improve us (through feedback), manipulate us (through fakery), alienate us (through hate), shape us (through social comparison), and perplex us. He finds pre-Internet historical antecedents of online comment in Michelin stars, professional criticism, and the wisdom of crowds. He discusses the techniques of online fakery (distinguishing makers, fakers, and takers), describes the emotional work of receiving and giving feedback, and examines the culture of trolls and haters, bullying, and misogyny. He considers the way comment—a nonstop stream of social quantification and ranking—affects our self-esteem and well-being. And he examines how comment is puzzling—short and asynchronous, these messages can be slap-dash, confusing, amusing, revealing, and weird, shedding context in their passage through the Internet, prompting readers to comment in turn, “WTF?!?”
anthropology  culture  social_media  social_construction_of_knowledge  cognition  book  via:cshalizi  media_studies 
may 2016 by rvenkat
Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus by Douglas Rushkoff | PenguinRandomHouse.com
-- another work that succumbs to the this_now_has_never_occurred_in_the_past fallacy. Can't see myself changing my mind after reading the book.
media_studies  technology  21st_century  misguided  ?  i_remain_skeptical 
march 2016 by rvenkat

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