Nieman Journalism Lab: Is there really data that heavy Facebook use caused…erm, is correlated with…erm, is linked to real-life hate crimes?. “It’s a narrative that feels right — there’s a lot of hateful shit posted on Facebook, and that avalanche of content eventually whips up very engaged users into a hateful frenzy that pushes them over the edge in real life. The Times story has real anecdotes of people going through this transformation, and others witnessing these transformations in their communities. But it leans on this working paper to neaten the narrative, and reality is anything but neat.”
Poynter: Here’s how an anti-refugee hoax went viral across Europe. “It was one of the biggest hoaxes in Europe this week — and a prime example of how hyperpartisan groups regularly take footage out of context. A minute-long video, now removed from YouTube, shows a group of veiled women in the water and a production crew standing on the beach. In Czech, a male voice claims that a TV news crew is staging a scene of drowning migrants on a beach in Ierapetra, Crete, in late July.” Because I don’t want to be part of the problem, let me add that this was absolutely not what the video was about. Please read the story for more.
TechCrunch: Study ties Facebook engagement to attacks on refugees. “A study of circumstances and demographics attendant on attacks against refugees and immigrants in Germany has shown that Facebook use appears to be deeply linked with the frequency of violent acts. Far from being mere trolling or isolated expressions of controversial political opinions, spikes in anti-refugee posts were predictive of violent crimes against those groups.”
Berkeley News: New website amplifies refugee voices amid immigration crackdowns. “To humanize the growing refugee crisis, researchers at UC Berkeley and UC Davis have launched an interactive website that maps the perilous ordeals of thousands of displaced people from the Middle East, Africa and Asia through their own personal stories and social media posts.”
Government Executive: Citizenship Agency Removed Website Pages on Asylum Policy Training. “In the latest in its ongoing monitoring of Trump administration alterations of agency website content, a transparency group found that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services removed 26 website documents of training material for its officers dealing with asylum seekers.”
VPR: ‘Mediafugees’: New Website Invites Refugees From All Over To Share Their Own Stories. “The plights of people forced from their homes have been reported all over the world, but one journalist in Montreal has decided to tell these stories by creating a platform for the refugees to tell the stories themselves. ‘We are really into, you know, displaying stories from all around the world because we believe the refugee issue is a global issue,’ said journalist Camille Teste, co-founder of the new website Mediafugees.”
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.