CUNY Thesis: Explaining Animosity Towards the Roma: A Case Study of Twitter Communication in Italy during the Refugee Crisis. “Italy is known for hostile treatment of the Roma, one of the largest ethnic minority groups in Europe. This paper seeks to understand what is causing Italians to talk negatively about the Roma on Twitter. Statistical analysis is performed utilizing the data mined from Twitter along with other variables. The study finds that Roma population, foreign population, and number of refugees all have significant effects on the total number of tweets or the average negative sentiment of tweets. The results indicate that native Italians may group minority groups all together and regard them as “others”. Although the research design has some flaws in the data mining and sentiment analysis process, the study shows promise. I suggest that social scientists utilize social media data to analyze social or cultural phenomena.” This thesis is embargoed and will not be available for download until May 30.
Arizona State University: How do we amend Arizona’s archives?. “Arizona State University archivist Nancy Godoy begins her ‘Archival and Preservation’ workshop with a startling statistic: Minority communities constitute 42 percent of Arizona’s population, but their photographs and documents only make up 2 percent of materials in state archives. The workshop, led by ASU archivists, looks at methods of organizing family archives. The series, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, aims to teach archival methods to underrepresented communities in Arizona.”
CBS News: “Technology is like a bomb”: Social media weaponized in Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis. “The utopian dream of internet and social media pioneers — the idea that connecting millions of people in cyberspace would make the world a better place — has run into a darker reality as invisible armies of trolls, bots and propagandists use the technology to sway public opinion and poison debate. Perhaps nowhere has that impact been more malign than in Myanmar, where social media has been weaponized against the vulnerable Rohingya minority as the regime carries out what one U.N. official calls ‘a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.'”
New York Times: For Russian ‘Trolls,’ Instagram’s Pictures Can Spread Wider Than Words. “The enduring popularity of a provocative post on Instagram, created by a company with connections to the Kremlin, demonstrates why fighting propaganda on social media will be an uphill battle. The photograph in the post, of a smiling woman wearing a black hijab, seems innocent. But the text around it was crafted to push buttons. This is a woman, readers are warned, who hates everything from Jews and Christians to lesbians and wine — yet she ‘complains about Islamophobia.'”
Washington Post: Fake news on Facebook fans the flames of hate against the Rohingya in Burma. “Burma was long closed off by a military regime, with centuries-old tensions between its Buddhist and Muslim communities leashed by strict control over traditional media.As the country transitions into democracy, those constraints have loosened and access to the Internet has expanded rapidly, most notably through a Facebook program called Free Basics that has catapulted the platform into prominence as a major source of news in Burma. But the sudden proliferation of recently available technologies has accelerated the spread of ethnic hatred in Burma, stoking tensions amid a violent military crackdown that has sent more than 600,000 Rohingya fleeing across the border into Bangladesh.”
Stanford: New database allows Stanford researchers to find disparities in officers’ treatment of minority motorists. “…These findings are based on a nationwide database – which the Stanford researchers created – of state patrol stops. The database contains key details from millions of records collected from 2011 to 2015 and is part of an effort to statistically analyze police practices. Along with the findings they are sharing today, the researchers are releasing their entire dataset, complete with online tutorials, so that policy makers, journalists and citizens can do their own analyses through this new Stanford Open Policing Project.”
It should come as no surprise that Facebook is being sued for offering advertisers the ability to exclude audiences based on “ethnic affinity.” “A lawsuit seeking class action status filed in California federal court on Thursday alleges that Facebook’s ad targeting options violate federal fair housing and civil rights laws, which make it illegal to show a preference for certain groups of people in housing and employee recruitment advertisements.”