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

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 […]

How do the mass media affect levels of trust in government?

There is much evidence to suggest that the more complex aspects of the relationship between openness and trust in government go unaccounted for in current attempts by public sector organizations to become more open and transparent. Greg Porumbescu discusses his article Assessing the Link Between Online Mass Media and Trust in Government: Evidence From Seoul, South Korea, published in Policy & Internet (5, 4), which finds evidence of a positive indirect relationship between citizens’ use of online mass media outlets and their levels of trust in government.

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Will China’s new national search engine, ChinaSo, fare better than  “The Little Search Engine that Couldn’t”?

Users and critics remain skeptical of state-run search engines. The 2011 launch of Jike, the Chinese state-run search engine, received a mixed response; and the jury is still out for its 2014 successor ‘SoChina’. Min Jiang and Kristen Okamoto discuss the politics and symbolism of national search engines in their article National identity, ideological apparatus, or panopticon? A case study of the Chinese national search engine Jike, published in Policy and Internet 6 (1) 89-107.

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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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Crowdsourcing translation during crisis situations: are ‘real voices’ being excluded from the decisions and policies it supports?

International NGOs and government actors have embraced crowdsourcing to manage the flood of information produced during crisis. However, when crowdsourced material crosses the language barrier into English, it often becomes inaccessible to the original contributors. Gwyneth Sutherlin is a doctoral student at the University of Bradford, where she writes about the intersection of foreign policy, language and technology. Her paper “A Voice in the Crowd: Broader Implications for Crowdsourcing Translation during Crisis” which looks at the policy implications of recent crisis mapping efforts, is published in the Journal of Information Science.

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