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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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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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Digital Disconnect: Parties, Pollsters and Political Analysis in #GE2015

Digital data generated during election campaigns are a valuable – but underused – source of information for political parties, pollsters and political analysts alike. They contain signals of what political parties are doing, how they are being received, and what people are thinking and talking about. The OII’s Helen Margetts and Scott Hale discuss how use of digital tools and social media by the two largest parties both, in different ways, illustrate a disconnect between the tightly controlled party campaigns, and the electorate on social media. These differences could lend a clue to why the opinion polls throughout the UK’s GE2015 campaign got it so wrong, and provide signposts for parties seeking to rebuild their relatioship with their supporters after this surprising election.

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Political polarization on social media: do birds of a feather flock together on Twitter?

Is social media democratizing and empowering, or simply a new platform for tighter messaging and control? As social media usage widens and deepens across much of the world, its impacts on politics and democracy are becoming incontestable, but whether these impacts ultimately prove positive remains an open question. Anatoliy Gruzd (Ryerson University) and Jeffrey Roy (Dalhousie University) discuss their Policy and internet article: Investigating Political Polarization on Twitter: A Canadian Perspective, which investigates the extent to which Twitter users cluster around shared political interests.

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