Archive of ‘social media’ category
Using Social Media for Research – November 16
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
1314 Social Sciences
Professor Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch (Writing Studies) and Michael Beckstrand (Mixed-Methods Research Associate, LATIS) will discuss how to retrieve, prepare, and analyze social media data for research projects. Using two case studies, Lee-Ann will share examples of a grounded theory analysis of blog, Twitter, and Facebook data. Michael will speak about the technical aspects of retrieving and managing social media data. Pizza will be provided. Learn more and register here.
This event is part of the 2018-19 Research Development Friday Roundtable Series organized by the CLA Research Development Team.
Social media and Data Visualization
Number of participants: 10
Duration: 2 days
- Facepager, version 3.5 (https://github.com/strohne/Facepager)
- HTTrack: https://www.httrack.com/
- Open Refine (http://openrefine.org/download.html)
- Gephi, version 0.9.1 (https://gephi.org/users/download/)
- Altas.ti (For UMN CLA faculty: http://latis.umn.edu/services-and-programs/research-support/data-analysis/connect-to-qualitative-tools)
- Google Docs/TAGS: https://mashe.hawksey.info/2013/02/twitter-archive-tagsv5/
- Voyant Tools: http://www.voyant-tools.org/
- Scraper Chrome extension: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/scraper/mbigbapnjcgaffohmbkdlecaccepngjd?hl=en
All workshop sessions will take place 9:00 a.m. – noon, with lab time and office hours 1:30 -3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, August 22
- Introduction to web-scraping
- Introduction to APIs
- Work & get help on your own projects
Wed, August 23
- Introduction to OpenRefine
- Cleaning social media data with OpenRefine
- Analyzing/Visualizing the social media data
more on social media for research in this IMS blog
Russian Influence Operations on Twitter
Summary This short paper lays out an attempt to measure how much activity from Russian state-operated accounts released in the dataset made available by Twitter in October 2018 was targeted at the United Kingdom. Finding UK-related Tweets is not an easy task. By applying a combination of geographic inference, keyword analysis and classification by algorithm, we identified UK-related Tweets sent by these accounts and subjected them to further qualitative and quantitative analytic techniques.
There were three phases in Russian influence operations : under-the-radar account building, minor Brexit vote visibility, and larger-scale visibility during the London terror attacks.
Russian influence operations linked to the UK were most visible when discussing Islam . Tweets discussing Islam over the period of terror attacks between March and June 2017 were retweeted 25 times more often than their other messages.
The most widely-followed and visible troll account, @TEN_GOP, shared 109 Tweets related to the UK. Of these, 60 percent were related to Islam .
The topology of tweet activity underlines the vulnerability of social media users to disinformation in the wake of a tragedy or outrage.
Focus on the UK was a minor part of wider influence operations in this data . Of the nine million Tweets released by Twitter, 3.1 million were in English (34 percent). Of these 3.1 million, we estimate 83 thousand were in some way linked to the UK (2.7%). Those Tweets were shared 222 thousand times. It is plausible we are therefore seeing how the UK was caught up in Russian operations against the US .
Influence operations captured in this data show attempts to falsely amplify other news sources and to take part in conversations around Islam , and rarely show attempts to spread ‘fake news’ or influence at an electoral level.
On 17 October 2018, Twitter released data about 9 million tweets from 3,841 blocked accounts affiliated with the Internet Research Agency (IRA) – a Russian organisation founded in 2013 and based in St Petersburg, accused of using social media platforms to push pro-Kremlin propaganda and influence nation states beyond their borders, as well as being tasked with spreading pro-Kremlin messaging in Russia. It is one of the first major datasets linked to state-operated accounts engaging in influence operations released by a social media platform.
This report outlines the ways in which accounts linked to the Russian Internet ResearchAgency (IRA) carried out influence operations on social media and the ways their operationsintersected with the UK.The UK plays a reasonably small part in the wider context of this data. We see two possibleexplanations: either influence operations were primarily targeted at the US and British Twitterusers were impacted as collate, or this dataset is limited to US-focused operations whereevents in the UK were highlighted in an attempt to impact US public, rather than a concertedeffort against the UK. It is plausible that such efforts al so existed but are not reflected inthis dataset.Nevertheless, the data offers a highly useful window into how Russian influence operationsare carried out, as well as highlighting the moments when we might be most vulnerable tothem.Between 2011 and 2016, these state-operated accounts were camouflaged. Through manualand automated methods, they were able to quietly build up the trappings of an active andwell-followed Twitter account before eventually pivoting into attempts to influence the widerTwitter ecosystem. Their methods included engaging in unrelated and innocuous topics ofconversation, often through automated methods, and through sharing and engaging withother, more mainstream sources of news.Although this data shows levels of electoral and party-political influence operations to berelatively low, the day of the Brexit referendum results showed how messaging originatingfrom Russian state-controlled accounts might come to be visible – on June 24th 2016, we believe UK Twitter users discussing the Brexit Vote would have encountered messages originating from these accounts.As early as 2014, however, influence operations began taking part in conversations aroundIslam, and these accounts came to the fore during the three months of terror attacks thattook place between March and June 2017. In the immediate wake of these attacks, messagesrelated to Islam and circulated by Russian state-operated Twitter accounts were widelyshared, and would likely have been visible in the UK.The dataset released by Twitter begins to answer some questions about attempts by a foreignstate to interfere in British affairs online. It is notable that overt political or electoralinterference is poorly represented in this dataset: rather, we see attempts at stirring societaldivision, particularly around Islam in the UK, as the messages that resonated the most overthe period.What is perhaps most interesting about this moment is its portrayal of when we as socialmedia users are most vulnerable to the kinds of messages circulated by those looking toinfluence us. In the immediate aftermath of terror attacks, the data suggests, social mediausers were more receptive to this kind of messaging than at any other time.
more on cybersecurity in this IMS blog
The three types of WhatsApp users getting Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro elected
Opinion | Fake News Is Poisoning Brazilian Politics. WhatsApp …
Facebook’s WhatsApp flooded with fake news in Brazil election
Viral WhatsApp Hoaxes Are India’s Own Fake News Crisis
Misinformation and political propaganda in the world’s largest democracy often go undetected — until they have brutal real-world impact.
WhatsApp fights fake news with Indian newspaper ads
The push follows the lynching of five men over fake messages.
How to Easily Design Social Media Images: 4 Free Tools
Andrew Kunesh October 3, 2018 https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/social-media-images-free-tools
Preview Text Styles With One Touch via Adobe Spark
- Adobe Spark is part of Adobe’s suite of creative products, bringing social media image and video creation to the web.
remove the Adobe Spark watermark with a paid Adobe Spark plan or Creative Cloud subscription, both starting at $9.99 a month.
Design Basic Social Media Images Quickly With Pablo
Pablo by Buffer is a no-frills online image editor that lets you make basic social media images in seconds. So while it doesn’t have some of the features of other image editors on this list, it works in a pinch. This tool is free to use without registration, making it perfect for when you or your team needs to create a quick image. My note: not on mobiles yet, only desktop
Design Automatically Resizable Social Media Images With Snappa
Snappa is a user-friendly online image maker that has templates for every social media network. In addition to social post templates, it offers banner, story, and infographic templates. This makes Snappa your one-stop shop for creating all sorts of social media content.
- Add Simple Data Visualization Charts to Social Media Images in CanvaCanva is a free online image editor with a huge library of free templates and royalty-free images. The app has built-in templates for all of the major social networks, and you can even post directly to your social media accounts from the app.
more on social media images in this IMS blog
Parallel running of two social media from different countries: WeChat and blog for international students
Our work with Chinese students from the Confucius Institute (CI) at St. Cloud State University (SCSU) shed light on an interesting development: in the last several years, the popular Chinese social media platform WeChat dominates the social life of Chinese people, Chinese students in particular.
WeChat, like WhatsApp in Europe, Vkontakte in Russia, Weibo in China, or before its 2014 Orkut in Brazil (http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2014/07/05/social-media-orkut-the-and-of-an-era/ seeks to create its own users’ momentum, and no differently from Facebook, expand that membership momentum from the host country to a global dominance (http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2017/08/06/psychology-of-social-networks/; more citation comes here).
Based on the WeChat affinity of the Chinese students at the SCSU CI program, the program organizers faced difficulty applying other social media platforms, as part of the curricula of the host country. Namely, blog, as one of the widely used SM platform for creative writing (citation comes here), was contemplated as a SM platform for the Chinese students to journal their experience at the SCSU CI program. Since WeChat behaves rather like Facebook and Snapchat, the lack of opportunity to utilize widely available platform for rather lengthy narration (versus SMS/texting abilitis of Twitter and WeChat) convince the SCSU CI program organizers to seek the buy in by Chinese students into the blog initiative.
Pang (2018) builds a theory based on Ellison (2007) theory of “maintained social capital,” namely the ability of individuals to maintain values of social ties when geographically disconnected. Ping (2018) further narrows her research on Chinese students in Germany using Li and Chen (2014) findings about Ellison’s theory on students in a foreign environment and the necessity for these students to build a new circle of friends in the host country. According to Basilisco an Cha (2015), such environment was provided for Filipino students by using Facebook and Twitter.
The young and the digital: What migration to social-networking sites, games, and anytime, anywhere media means for our future, by S. Craig Watkins
p. 1 Digital Migration: young people’s historic move to the online world
p. 8 broadband adoption in 2005-6. p. 9 before broadband, Internet was more textual then visual. p. 11 broadband more then just expand technical capabilities paved the way for profund behavioral shifts and social transformation
Broadband did not create radically new online activities. But expand a relatively small collection of early adopting technophiles into a massive but highly differentiated public of netizens, world builders, blogger, gamers, social networkers, content creators
p. 19 Social Media 101 what schools are learning about themselves and young technology users.
p. 20 DOPA (the Delete Online Predators Act), p. 21 brought the elimination of most interactive web applications from public schools and libraries. Social-Web enthusiasts strongly opposed DOPA. ALA also.
p. 24 MacArthur Foundation’s white paper: Living and Learning with New Media”
p. 30 NTIA National Telecommunications and Information Administration
p. 36 mother allowed her teenage daughter to use Facebook. The one caveat: the mother would be able to access her daughter’s profile. A common practice. A mother of a fifteen year old boy who recently started using FB occasionally looks at his page. 2007 Pew writes that “41% of today’s teens believe that their parents monitor them after they’ve gone online.” This is not unusual.
p. 41 schools cannot punish for what happened at home. But what about what happened online? Referring to social media: when kids get into disagreements via FB, it often spills over into the schools.
p. 44 sexting.
p. 47 the very well connected: friending, bonding and community in the digital age
p. 52 Malcolm Wiley and Stuart Rice 1933 argued that technology such as the automobile and telephone hastened the unraveling of the social fabric of the American life.
p. 72 phatic exchanges. Vetere, Howward and Gibbs. Brief but sencere. Katz James E and Mark Aakhus call “perpetual contact.”
p. 75 Digital Gates
How race and class distinctions are shaping the digital world
dana boyd 2007 article “Viewing American Class Divisions through FB and MySpace.”
p. 77 Hargittai Facebook is more white then MySpace.
p. 99 television and social network sites represent two fundamentally different kinds of mediated experiences. Whereas television is about watching and consuming, SNS are primarily about doing and sharing.
p. 100 Paul Eastwick and Wendi Gardner There.com – the virtual world may not prove to be a perfect utopian gateway from the real world.
p. 103 We Play: the allure of social games, synthetic worlds and secnd lives.
p. 106 a growing number of young men are turning to interactive entertainment like games rather than television and movies as their first source for leisure and a desired choice for social interaction with their friends.
p. 131 heavy users of virtual worlds differ from the 68% of young people, who believe that online-only relationships can be as fulfilling as off-line relationships. Synthetic world users are much more likely to believe that online relationships can be just as fulfilling as off-line relationships.
p. 133 Hooked Rethinking the Internet addition debate
p. 134 valid mental disorder. Journal of American Psychiatry 2007 – Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) for DSM-IV. P. 136 some of the problems researchers
more about youth teenagers and social media in this IMS blog
How to Craft Useful, Student-Centered Social Media Policies
By Tanner Higgin 08/09/18
Whether your school or district has officially adopted social media or not, conversations are happening in and around your school on everything from Facebook to Snapchat. Schools must reckon with this reality and commit to supporting thoughtful and critical social media use among students, teachers and administrators. If not, schools and classrooms risk everything from digital distraction to privacy violations.
Key Elements to Include in a Social Media Policy
- Create parent opt-out forms that specifically address social media use.Avoid blanket opt-outs that generalize all technology or obfuscate how specific social media platforms will be used. (See this example by the World Privacy Forum as a starting point.)
- Use these opt-out forms as a way to have more substantive conversations with parents about what you’re doing and why.
- Describe what platforms are being used, where, when and how.
- Avoid making the consequences of opt-out selections punitive (e.g., student participation in sports, theater, yearbook, etc.).
- Establish baseline guidelines for protecting and respecting student privacy.
- Prohibit the sharing of student faces.
- Restrict location sharing: Train teachers and students on how to turn off geolocation features/location services on devices as well as in specific apps.
- Minimize information shared in teacher’s social media profiles: Advise teachers to list only grade level and subject in their public profiles and not to include specific school or district information.
- Make social media use transparent to students: Have teachers explain their social media plan, and find out how students feel about it.
- Most important: As with any technology, attach social media use to clearly articulated goals for student learning. Emphasize in your guidelines that teachers should audit any potential use of social media in terms of student-centered pedagogy: (1) Does it forward student learning in a way impossible through other means? and (2) Is using social media in my best interests or in my students’?
Moving from Policy to Practice.
Social media policies, like policies in general, are meant to mitigate the risk and liability of institutions rather than guide and support sound pedagogy and student learning. They serve a valuable purpose, but not one that impacts classrooms. So how do we make these policies more relevant to classrooms?
First, it forces policy to get distilled into what impacts classroom instruction and administration. Second, social media changes monthly, and it’s much easier to update a faculty handbook than a policy document. Third, it allows you to align social media issues with other aspects of teaching (assessment, parent communication, etc.) versus separating it out in its own section.
more on social media in education in this IMS blog
more on social media policies in this IMS blog
Twitter and Teargas
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