Renan Gonçalves Leonel da Silva and Larry Au share results of their SSRC-supported study that compares three countries whose response…
Toward Contextualizing Not Just Containing Right-Wing Extremisms on Social Media: The Limits of Walled Strategiesby Fenwick McKelvey
Fenwick McKelvey argues that the way we frame social problems, such as online extremism, shapes how we respond to them. The impulse to combat extremism through flawed content moderation strategies reflects a tendency to treat extremism as primarily a content problem. But in order to tackle online extremism, we must first understand and address how it is intertwined with the deep roots of bigotry and hate in our history and social structures.
Melody Devries and Noel Brett explore the ways in which human readers, like online systems, "authenticate" information they receive, checking it for trustworthiness and perceived truth, and how this interacts with notions of identity, homophily, and otherness.
The role of algorithms in promoting disinformation has received a great deal of attention in recent years, due in large part to the centrality of Facebook in the 2016 US presidential election and the UK Brexit campaign. However, David Nemer argues that in countries such as Brazil, where peer-to-peer messaging apps like WhatsApp are popular, more attention needs to be paid to the "human infrastructure" of coordinated disinformation campaigns.
Drawing on feminist scholarship and social media studies, Nelanthi Hewa discusses the fraught role authenticity plays in cases of sexual assault, where survivors are expected to perform transparency to massive public audiences in order to be believed.
Use of Personal Data in Tackling Covid-19 in East Asia: Establishing Robust and Reliable Data Governance for the Social Goodby Masaru Yarime
As the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the globe, experts used models to project future developments and to advise on effective policy choices to control the spread of disease. Here, Masaru Yarime discusses the role personal data plays in tracking and modeling Covid-19 projections in Asian countries, the regulations regarding data collection in different Asian countries, and the restrictions on sharing data across national borders. Though Yarime focuses on Asia, his examination of modeling processes and the clash between the need for vast volumes of data and the legitimate privacy expectations of individuals are not just an Asian concern but are broadly relevant.
It is often assumed that while extremist content online may result in offline violent behavior, the actual instances of such events are rare. However, in the latest essay from our “Extremism Online” series, Daniel Karell argues that this assumption is wrong, and reflects a misunderstanding of the mechanisms by which extremist content online shapes offline behavior. Indeed, new evidence suggests that online extremism, particularly from the right wing in the United States and Western Europe, results in offline, physical violence far more often than we think.
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, as pundits, politicians, and citizens all pored over data dashboards detailing infection rates and deaths, Heidi Tworek asked: What is the historical rationale for how statistics came to become the authentic mode to represent disease? Bringing historical insight to a contemporary problem of science communication, Tworek explores the power and limit of statistics to drive public health interventions.
Mackenzie Israel-Trummel’s SSRC Covid-19 rapid-response research grant focused on advocacy on behalf of the incarcerated, who are among those groups most at risk during the pandemic. Here Israel-Trummel reports on the sources of empathy and advocacy for prison inmates through experiments in perspective-taking. She finds that, when people are prompted to imagine themselves or a loved one as a prisoner, empathy and (potentially) political action are more likely to follow.