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Facts and figures or prayers and hugs: how people with different health conditions support each other online

Online support groups are being used increasingly by individuals who suffer from a wide range of medical conditions. OII DPhil Student Ulrike Deetjen‘s recent article with John Powell, Informational and emotional elements in online support groups: a Bayesian approach to large-scale content analysis uses machine learning to examine the role of online support groups in the healthcare process. They categorise 40,000 online posts […]

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What explains the worldwide patterns in user-generated geographical content?

How do we explain the significant inequalities in the geography of user-generated information? Mark Graham, PI of a project Mapping and measuring local knowledge production and representation in the Middle East and North Africa, shows that a large part of the country-level variation can be explained by just three factors. Read the full paper: Graham, M., Hogan, B., Straumann, R.K., and Medhat, A. (2014) Uneven Geographies of User-Generated Information: Patterns of Increasing Informational Poverty (Annals Assoc. Amer. Geog.).

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What is stopping greater representation of the MENA region?

There are obvious gaps in access to the Internet, particularly the participation gap between those who have their say, and those whose voices are pushed to the periphery. Despite the rapid increase in Internet access, there are indications that people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remain largely absent from websites and services that represent the region to the larger world. Mark Graham, PI of a project Mapping and measuring local knowledge production and representation in the Middle East and North Africa, explores the potential barriers faced by Wikipedia editors from the MENA region.

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How well represented is the MENA region in Wikipedia?

There are obvious gaps in access to the Internet, particularly the participation gap between those who have their say, and those whose voices are pushed to the periphery. OII Research Fellow Mark Graham, PI of a project Mapping and measuring local knowledge production and representation in the Middle East and North Africa, shows the MENA region tends to be massively underrepresented on Wikipedia — not just in major world languages, but also in its own: Arabic. Despite Wikipedia’s openness, it may simply be reproducing worldviews and knowledge created in the Global North at the expense of the Global South.

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The sum of (some) human knowledge: Wikipedia and representation in the Arab World

There are obvious gaps in access to the Internet, particularly the participation gap between those who have their say, and those whose voices are pushed to the periphery. There are indications that people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remain largely absent from websites and services that represent the region to the larger world. OII Research Fellow Mark Graham, PI of a project Mapping and measuring local knowledge production and representation in the Middle East and North Africa, explores this phenomenon through one of the region’s most visible and most accessed sources of content: Wikipedia.

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Mapping the Local Geographies of Digital Inequality in Britain

The Internet has fundamentally reorganised economic, social and political actions and relationships around the world, and yet we know surprisingly little about the geography of Internet use and participation at sub-national scales. OII Fellow Grant Blank discusses how by combining data from the 2013 Oxford Internet Survey (OxIS) and the 2011 UK census, small area estimation techniques can be used to estimate Internet use at the local level in Britain, offering a never-before seen look at the local geographies of Internet usage.

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How easy is it to research the Chinese web?

By 2015, the proportion of Chinese language Internet users is expected to exceed the proportion of English language users. But how easy is it for researchers to find or request content and traffic data from the major Chinese websites for research? Han-Teng Liao discusses the issues of government control and intervention, public opinion monitoring, language and data tools (and the challenges of processing Chinese language texts), narratives and propaganda, and how to identify geographic information from Chinese Web data. With some robots thrown in too…

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Mapping collective public opinion in the Russian blogosphere

Blogs are becoming increasingly important for agenda setting and formation of collective public opinion on a wide range of issues — particularly in countries like Russia where the Internet is not technically filtered, but where the traditional media is tightly controlled by the state. Olessia Koltsova, author (with Sergei Koltcov) of the Policy and Internet paper Mapping the public agenda with topic modeling: The case of the Russian livejournal discusses how topic modeling and sentiment analysis techniques can be used to monitor self-generated public opinion.

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Edit wars! Measuring and mapping society’s most controversial topics

Wikipedia is more than just an encyclopaedia; it is also a window into convergent and divergent social-spatial priorities, interests and preferences: aka Edit Wars. In his chapter (with Anselm Spoerri, Mark Graham, and János Kertész) The most controversial topics in Wikipedia: A multilingual and geographical analysis, the OII’s Taha Yasseri uses a quantitative measure to locate and analyse the similarities and differences between the most controversial topics identified in 10 language versions of Wikipedia, finding that a quarter relate to politics.

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