|KEYNOTE 1 "Online Activist Fields on Web 1.0 and Twitter" by Robert Ackland
This presentation provides an overview of network approaches to studying online social movements, highlighting how social movement actors are adapting to social media such as Twitter, and the consequent need for social movement scholars to develop new research approaches. I first summarise social movement hyperlink network (Web 1.0) research, where hyperlink networks have been conceptualised as evidence of collective identity and information public goods, and actor behaviour analysed using statistical network models (ERGM). I then discuss how the advent of Twitter has led to new challenges and opportunities for social movement scholars, involving both the conceptual shift from organisations to individuals as the unit of observation, and practical issues relating to how to collect and analyse social media data. I also provide an overview of new research into online activist fields - social arenas in which participants vie for the definition of the most urgent cause or risk issue. In this research, Web 1.0 and Twitter data are used to examine two aspects of field theory: the behaviour of incumbents and new entrants in response to a new issue or frame, and the dynamics of field formation. The presentation concludes by suggesting that the three core challenges that underlie network research into social movements using Web 1.0 data are still present in the Twitter era: how to handle large-scale digital trace data (the need for sampling), how to collect and analyse longitudinal/historical data, and how to interpret and ascribe value to the existence of online ties between social movement actors.
Download presentation: Ackland R. Online Social Movements
|Robert Ackland, Professor at Australian National University, Lead the Virtual Observatory for the Study of Online Networks project, which is known internationally for the VOSON software for hyperlink network analysis.
He has degrees in economics from the University of Melbourne and Yale University (where he was a Fulbright Scholar), and was awarded a PhD in economics from the ANU in 2001. Research interests: e-research, webmetrics. Research Associate at Oxford Internet Institute, 2008 - 2011.
|KEYNOTE 3 "Social Media and Protest Participation" by Maria Petrova
How advances in information technologies affect public policies is a big open question in social science. In particular, it is not clear if there is causal effect of social media on political participation, or if third factors play role in determining both. In this talk I examine the effect of social media penetration on participation in political protest activities, and consider different mechanisms that can drive these effects based on an on-going collective research project. In this research, we use a specific example of protests activities in Russia in 2011-2012. We use early penetration of VKontakte, Russian dominant social network, at the city level as a variable orthogonal to protest determinants. We first show that early VKontakte penetration is not correlated to observable characteristics that affect the incidence of protests, and explain why early VKontakte penetration matters. We then demonstrate that early VKontakte penetration positively affects incidence of protests, both in reduced form model and in IV specification. In addition, in a placebo specification we show that early VKontakte penetration is not correlated with incidence of protests in USSR, last large protest demonstrations in the region before emergence of social media. Finally, we try to separate between different mechanisms behind the link between social network and protests, by using earlyVKontakte penetration as instrument for different network characteristics, including fractionalization of networks (VKontakte vs Facebook), city-level network cohesion, and the number of people pre-registered to participate in protest events.
|Maria Petrova, ICREA Research Professor at the Barcelona Institute for Political Economy and Governance (IPEG), Adjunct Professor of Economics at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Affiliate Professor at Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, and the UBS Associate Professor of Economics at the New Economic School. Maria Petrova is also a non-resident Research Fellow at the Center for New Media and Society. She received PhD from Harvard University in 2008. She spent 2012 - 2013 as a Visiting Associate Research Scholar at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University. In 2012-2013, she have also been Research Director at the Center for New Media and Society. Her research interests include political economy, mass media economics, and Internet Economics.
KEYNOTE of practice: "The End of Dreams About Media Revolution: From Bastille Storming to Color Revolutions" by Andrey Bystritsky
|Andrey Bystritsky is a top Russia’s media manager with more than 20 years of experience at the leading positions in various Russian media. Between 2000 and 2013 he was the vice-president and the member of the Board of Directors at Euronews international broadcasting company and one of the founders of its Russian-language version. Until early 2014, he also served as the vice-director of the Voice of Russiaradio company broadcasting in 44 languages. Currently, he holds the positions of the Dean at the Faculty of Communications, Media and Design at the Higher School of Economics, Moscow, and the Head of the Public Council advising to the Ministry of Mass Media and Communication.