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Five Pieces You Should Probably Read On: Fake News and Filter Bubbles

  This is the second post in a series that will uncover great writing by faculty and students at the Oxford Internet Institute, things you should probably know, and things that deserve to be brought out for another viewing. This week: Fake News and Filter Bubbles! Fake news, post-truth, “alternative facts”, filter bubbles — this […]

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Five Pieces You Should Probably Read On: The US Election

  This is the first post in a series that will uncover great writing by faculty and students at the Oxford Internet Institute, things you should probably know, and things that deserve to be brought out for another viewing. This week: The US Election. This was probably the nastiest Presidential election in recent memory: awash […]

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Of course social media is transforming politics. But it’s not to blame for Brexit and Trump

After Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, 2016 will be remembered as the year of cataclysmic democratic events on both sides of the Atlantic. Social media has been implicated in the wave of populism that led to both these developments. Attention has focused on echo chambers, with many arguing that social media users exist […]

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Can we predict electoral outcomes from Wikipedia traffic?

As digital technologies become increasingly integrated into the fabric of social life their ability to generate large amounts of information about the opinions and activities of the population increases. The opportunities in this area are enormous: predictions based on socially generated data are much cheaper than conventional opinion polling, offer the potential to avoid classic […]

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Is Social Media Killing Democracy?

This is the big year for computational propaganda — using immense data sets to manipulate public opinion over social media. Both the Brexit referendum and US election have revealed the limits of modern democracy, and social media platforms are currently setting those limits. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook now provide a structure for our political lives. We’ve […]

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Don’t Shoot the Messenger! What part did social media play in 2016 US e­lection?

Commentators have been quick to ‘blame social media’ for ‘ruining’ the 2016 election in putting Mr Donald Trump in the White House. Just as was the case in the campaign for Brexit, people argue that social media has driven us to a ‘post-truth’ world of polarisation and echo chambers. Is this really the case? At […]

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Rethinking Digital Media and Political Change

What are the dangers or new opportunities of digital media? One of the major debates in relation to digital media in the United States has been whether they contribute to political polarization. I argue in a new paper (Rethinking Digital Media and Political Change) that Twitter led to Donald Trump’s rise and success to date […]

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Brexit, voting, and political turbulence

Cross-posted from the Princeton University Press blog. The authors of Political Turbulence discuss how the explosive rise, non-normal distribution and lack of organization that characterizes contemporary politics as a chaotic system, can explain why many political mobilizations of our times seem to come from nowhere. On 23rd June 2016, a majority of the British public voted in a […]

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Back to the bad old days, as civil service infighting threatens UK’s only hope for digital government

Technology and the public sector have rarely been happy bedfellows in the UK, where every government technology project seems doomed to arrive late, unperform and come in over budget. The Government Digital Service (GDS) was created to drag the civil service into the 21st century, making services “digital by default”, cheaper, faster, and easier to use. […]

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