Today we have an abundance of information resources undreamed of in past centuries, but are exposed via the Internet to more disinformation than any previous generation. Digital media technologies are being massively leveraged to spread propagandistic messages designed to undermine trust in all forms of information, and to stimulate strongly affective responses and an entrenchment of political, cultural, and social divisions. The critical demands of the digital age have outpaced development of a corresponding information literacy. Meanwhile journalists are accused by authoritarian leaders of being “enemies of the people” while facing layoffs from newsrooms no longer supported by a sustainable business model. Short of reinvention, professional journalism will be increasingly endangered and the relevance of news organizations will continue to decline. In this paper I propose a new collaborative model for news production and curation combining the expertise of librarians, journalists, educators, and technologists, with the objectives of addressing today’s information literacy deficit, bolstering the credibility and verifiability of news, and restoring reasoned deliberation in the public sphere.
Annotation – A Bundle of Open Source Resources for Social Media Data Mining and Analysis
We've reached the final annotation in our series on "Social Media Data Collection, Processing, and Use in Research, Marketing, and Political Communication." Toward the end of the project my research drifted from traditional academic sources to investigative journalism. We now veer further off-track into blog posts and GitHub repos. Some videos and a course syllabus on Data Science for Social Systems. Tools, documentation, and related sources that don't fit neatly into any particular box. This isn't so much an annotation as a grab bag of annotated links. I apologize in advance.
Annotation – Cambridge Analytica: Undercover Secrets of Trump’s Data Firm
In the third and final part of their undercover investigation, Channel 4 News captures chief executives from Cambridge Analytica explaining how the firm used social media analytics to win the 2016 U.S. presidential election for Donald Trump. After this report was aired in March, Cambridge Analytica executives denied using social media analytics to win the election for Donald Trump. In earlier parts of this report, they claim to always tell the truth, while adding that actually people may not know or care what's true and what isn't. Anyway if people were misled it's not their fault. Also, these are not the 'driods you're looking for.
Annotation – Cambridge Analytica Uncovered: Secret filming reveals election tricks
The Cambridge Analytica story is what inspired me to pursue research on the details and methods of data processing that form the technical basis of using social media metadata for psychographic purposes, and the role of programming in accessing, collecting, processing, and using social media data, and the specific tools and workflow that enable this work. But I believe we can't fully understand the technical story without the political and social context. Technology isn't neutral, and our values are embedded in every tool we build.
London's Channel 4 News discovered the values held by senior executives of Cambridge Analytica, as they detail in part two of their investigative report.
Annotation – Channel 4 News Report – Cambridge Analytica: Whistleblower reveals data grab of 50 million Facebook profiles
So far in this project I've been annotating traditional academic sources. These sources explore methods of machine learning, Natural Language Processing, sentiment analysis, and the tools used to mine social media for research purposes. But the literature hasn't kept pace with the news, and social media data is being used for things other than academic research. Like maybe stealing elections. Here begins a series of three annotations of investigative reports by London's Channel 4 News. These are video stories about Cambridge Analytica and its methods and role in political campaigns in the U.S., Africa, Europe and beyond. These are of course non-traditional annotations. But I consider the source credible, and given the subject important to include.