Vanderbilt News: Vanderbilt University launches series on justice, healing with renowned artists and scholars. “Vanderbilt University is partnering with Fisk University, the Frist Art Museum and Millions of Conversations to host ‘Engine for Art, Democracy and Justice,’ a trans-institutional series of virtual conversations and artistic collaborations focused on healing at a time of significant social unrest.”
Phys .org: COVID-19 lockdowns could lead to social unrest, according to new research. “Written by Dr. Roxana Gutiérrez-Romero and published as part of Queen Mary’s Center for Globalization Research (CGR) working paper series, the findings are drawn from data incorporating 24 countries. The results show that the probability of riots, violence against civilians, food-related conflicts, and food looting has increased since lockdowns. The analysis used georeferenced data for 24 African countries with monthly local prices and real-time conflict data reported in the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) from January 2015 until early May 2020.”
University of Hawai’i at Manoa: From Facebook to the Streets: Russian Troll Ads and Black Lives Matter Protests. “Online trolling is typically studied in the IS literature as an uncoordinated, anarchic activity. Coordinated, strategic online trolling is not well understood despite its prevalence on social media. To shed light on this prevailing activity, the present study examines the proposition that coordinated online trolling is timed to leverage macro societal unrest. In testing this proposition, we analyzes the dynamics of the Russian State’s coordinated trolling campaign against the United States beginning in 2015. Using the May 2018 release of all Russian Troll Facebook advertisements, this study constructs a topic model of the content of these ads. The relationship between ad topics and the frequency of Black Lives Matter protests is examined. We argue that the frequency of Black Lives Matter protests proxies for civil unrest and divisiveness in the United States. The study finds that Russian ads related to police brutality were issued to coincide with periods of higher unrest. This work also finds that during periods of relative calm (evidenced by lower frequency of protests) Russian ads were relatively innocuous.” The entire paper is available as a PDF.
TechCrunch: Activists push back on Facebook’s decision to remove a DC protest event. “A number of activists and organizers in the Washington, DC area are disputing Facebook’s decision to remove a counter-protest event for a rally organized by Jason Kessler, the white nationalist figure who planned the deadly 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Va.”
Arab News: Iran cuts social media access as unrest turns deadly. “Iran cut access to social media on Sunday in a bid to head off further protests after days of unrest that saw two people killed and dozens arrested. The interior minister warned protesters will ‘pay the price’ as footage on social media showed thousands marching across the country overnight in the biggest test for the Islamic republic since mass demonstrations in 2009.”
ABC News: Ethiopia faces social media blackout after new ethnic unrest. “Ethiopia faces a social media blackout as clashes intensify between ethnic groups in various parts of the country. Facebook and Twitter are down Tuesday after reports emerged of killings on Monday by security forces in the Oromia region.”