Social Media: Threat to or Tool of Authoritarianism? (Harvard International Review)

Harvard International Review: Social Media: Threat to or Tool of Authoritarianism?. “Given the growing weight of social media’s influence on society, the key question is whether social media will become a sentinel against systematic oppression and injustice, effectively posing a serious challenge to authoritarian regimes. In the case of China, while social media may not have the power to cause a regime change, it will, in coming years, challenge the government’s ironclad authority and lack of accountability to its people. This clearly manifests in times of crisis, most recently, with the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.”

State of the Planet, Columbia University: New Website Maps and Models the Science of Peace

State of the Planet, Columbia University: New Website Maps and Models the Science of Peace. “A new website … centering on recent research on sustainably peaceful societies has just been launched at The Earth Institute at Columbia University. The website presents an interactive introduction to the findings and outputs of the work of a multidisciplinary team of scholars that began studying peaceful societies in 2014. It showcases a global map of peaceful societies, findings from hundreds of empirical studies, and peace tech visualizations and simulations from the Sustaining Peace Project at the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity (AC4), which seeks to advocate for more a more comprehensive understanding of how peace is sustained with local stakeholders, policymakers, and academics.”

Conviction politics: How convicts shaped Australian democracy (Monash University)

Monash University: Conviction politics: How convicts shaped Australian democracy. “Convicts aren’t often celebrated for their contribution to the nation’s progressive political traditions, and that’s something Associate Professor Tony Moore, Monash historian and head of Communications and Media Studies, is trying to change…. Dr Moore has received an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant of $757,205, together with cash contributions from industry partners of $310,000, to raise awareness of our convict legacy. The work partly involves coding, analysing and visualising recently digitised convict archives.”

ThePrint: Not just Modi’s museum for PMs, Indian MPs need archives and oral histories too

ThePrint: Not just Modi’s museum for PMs, Indian MPs need archives and oral histories too. “Nearly 500 Members of Parliament have passed away in the last fifteen years, 25 of them belonged to India’s first Lok Sabha. That is loss of history, not just human lives. An old African saying goes: When an old person dies, a whole library burns too. Members of Parliament negotiate, debate and decide on issues that shape our country and are an invaluable part of India’s legislative and deliberative history. With each death, Indians lose valuable institutional history of Parliament and personal memories of their leaders.”

Endangered Archives Blog: United National Independence Party of Zambia Archive Online

Endangered Archives Blog: United National Independence Party of Zambia Archive Online. “International Archives Day is celebrated annually on the 9 June – and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to give an update on the archives of the United National Independence Party of Zambia (EAP121), a project that was funded in 2007.”

The Verge: 12 new projects will finally show us how Facebook is changing democracy

The Verge: 12 new projects will finally show us how Facebook is changing democracy. “Ever since the 2016 US election, some of the most urgent questions in tech have been about the impact of social media — Facebook, in particular. How much does fake news influence people’s opinions? Do filter bubbles lead to more polarized views? Why are people so inclined to share outrageous stories? Researchers have been looking at those questions for years, but actual experimental data has been hard to come by. But this summer, select researchers will get access to some of the most insightful social media data we have, direct from Facebook.”

Futuris: archiving popular dissent against communism (Euronews)

Euronews: Futuris: archiving popular dissent against communism. “A new European research project is working to preserve historical material related to cultural resistance from the communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe. But how are they achieving that?”

Pew Global: International Publics Brace for Cyberattacks on Elections, Infrastructure, National Security

Pew Global: International Publics Brace for Cyberattacks on Elections, Infrastructure, National Security. “As the pace and magnitude of cyberattacks have increased around the world, a new survey shows that people in multiple countries think it is likely that government data, public infrastructure and elections will be targeted by future hacks. Opinion is mixed, however, on whether their nations are prepared for such events.”

TechCrunch: The nation-state of the internet

TechCrunch: The nation-state of the internet. “The internet is a community, but can it be a nation-state? It’s a question that I have been pondering on and off this year, what with the rise of digital nomads and the deeply libertarian ethos baked into parts of the blockchain community. It’s clearly on a lot of other people’s minds as well: when we interviewed Matt Howard of Norwest on Equity a few weeks back, he noted (unprompted) that Uber is one of the few companies that could reach ‘nation-state’ status when it IPOs. Clearly, the internet is home to many, diverse communities of similar-minded people, but how do those communities transmute from disparate bands into a nation-state?”

Schneier on Security: Information Attacks against Democracies

Schneier on Security: Information Attacks against Democracies. “Democracy is an information system. That’s the starting place of our new paper: ‘Common-Knowledge Attacks on Democracy.’ In it, we look at democracy through the lens of information security, trying to understand the current waves of Internet disinformation attacks. Specifically, we wanted to explain why the same disinformation campaigns that act as a stabilizing influence in Russia are destabilizing in the United States.”

TechCrunch: Now eight parliaments are demanding Zuckerberg answers for Facebook scandals

TechCrunch: Now eight parliaments are demanding Zuckerberg answers for Facebook scandals . “Facebook’s founder is facing pressure to accept an invite from eight international parliaments, with lawmakers wanting to question him about negative impacts his social network is having on democratic processes globally. Last week Facebook declined a invitation from five of these parliaments.”

New Yorker: Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy?

New Yorker: Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy?. “If Facebook were a country, it would have the largest population on earth. More than 2.2 billion people, about a third of humanity, log in at least once a month. That user base has no precedent in the history of American enterprise. Fourteen years after it was founded, in Zuckerberg’s dorm room, Facebook has as many adherents as Christianity.”

Brookings: Views of American democracy based on internet search data

Brookings: Views of American democracy based on internet search data. ” Critics complain that President Donald Trump has eroded democracy by violating norms of civility and undermining news organizations by accusing them of being purveyors of ‘fake news.’ Yale Law Professor Amy Chua has noted the rise of political tribalism that pits group against group and erodes common bonds… In this paper, we look at views of U.S. democracy using internet search data. We examine public interest in democracy, fake news, money in politics, ethics concerns, the rule of law, and major political institutions in order to gauge how Americans are reacting to recent developments.”