A blog concerning citizen media and democracy in the digital age


  • Contemporary Citizenship

    In-order to contextualise future investigations, a reasonable starting point for a blog entitled ‘Digital citizens’ would be to first establish some definitions of citizenship. This will be discussed in relation to more classical considerations before considering the impacts of the internet, and digital cultures.

  • Finding civic discussions on Twitter

    As explored in the previous article, academic literature has conceived of citizenship in many ways, differentiating its dimensions and discourse. This article will seek examples of these conceptions in practice, exploring their possible manifestation within the online social platform Twitter. Computational methods will be used to explore a small dataset of around 150,000 tweets collected over two separate time periods. Trying to uncover types of discussions that occur within the site will serve as the starting point for further investigations.

  • Mark Zuckerberg personality insights

    Considering the attention drawn to data privacy after the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica fiasco, it seems relevant to explore some available tools for gathering insights on online publics. This article will experiment with IBM’s off the shelf personality insights tool to example the kinds of features that can be constructed from user data. It will use Mark Zuckerberg’s response to Cambridge Analytica’s apparent miss-use of Facebook data as a sample source.

  • Notes on Digital Methods

    The following article notes some considerations of social research within digital environments.

  • Visualising Topics

    This post experiments with different ways of visualising topics within a dataset.

  • Twitter Spam and Ham

    Noting the wrangling needed to make Twitter data more useable and some make do solutions employed. This was supposed to be part of an upcoming post but has been separated to make the rest of the original article flow better.

  • Data, politics and democracy part 1: Introduction

    Presenting a series of forthcoming posts related to the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, an introduction is made to the investigation whilst recording its aims ahead.

  • Data, politics and democracy part 2: Twitter reactions to Facebooks so called ‘data leak’

    Using data collected whilst the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica story was first gaining momentum, this post looks at the responses made to it via Twitter. Experimenting word embeddings and other computational methods, it aims to map key dimensions that highlight the contextual relationships between different sentiments across the dataset.

  • Data, politics and democracy part 3: Analysis of The Guardian's content

    Here will detail investigations into content created by the Guardian, a key player in the dissemination of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica story. It will use computational methods such as keyword extraction, also making comparisons with the previously collected data from Twitter.

  • Data, politics and democracy part 4: Reflections

    Investigations here have predominantly focused on what has been shared, not how, or by which individuals specifically. This is translated into analysis of both the initial news coverage from the Guardian and the posts made via Twitter. Now this event in will be discussed in relation theories on digital privacy, also reviewing the regulatory conditions for Facebook and the underlying logic of web 2.0. It will finish by assessing some normative implications for democracies and the roles different forms of media play in addressing such issues.

  • Content analysis of YouTube comments on Zuckerberg's congressional hearing

    Noting the complete reliance of this project on computational methods, this post details steps taken in working with more traditional forms of content analysis. Staying with the theme of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal it looks at comments made on YouTube in response to Mark Zuckerberg’s Live hearing with congress.

  • Finishing summary

    This final article will conclude by summarising the project discussing some of the overarching issues and processes that have been concerned with along the way.

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