This paper investigates the link between social media and hate crime. We show that anti-refugee sentiment on Facebook predicts crimes against refugees in otherwise similar municipalities with higher social media usage. To establish causality, we exploit exogenous variation in major Facebook and internet outages, which fully undo the correlation between social media and hate crime. We further find that the effect decreases with distracting news events; increases with user network interactions, and does not hold for posts unrelated to refugees. Our results suggest that social media can act as a propagation mechanism between online messages and violent crime.
1/13/2020, 9:28:53 PM
1/13/2020, 9:28:53 PM
· Hate in the Machine: Anti-Black and
Anti-Muslim Social Media Posts as Predictors of Offline Racially and
Religiously Aggravated Crime
Matthew L Williams, Pete Burnap,
Amir Javed, Han Liu, Sefa Ozalp
National governments now recognize online hate speech as a pernicious social problem. In the wake of political votes and terror attacks, hate incidents online and offline are known to peak in tandem. This article examines whether an association exists between both forms of hate, independent of ‘trigger’ events. Using Computational Criminology that draws on data science methods, we link police crime, census and Twitter data to establish a temporal and spatial association between online hate speech that targets race and religion, and offline racially and religiously aggravated crimes in London over an eight-month period. The findings renew our understanding of hate crime as a process, rather than as a discrete event, for the digital age.
1/13/2020, 10:03:19 PM
1/13/2020, 10:03:19 PM
· Political Effects of the Internet and Social
Maria Petrova, Ekaterina
Zhuravskaya, Ruben Enikolopov
Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina and
Petrova, Maria and Enikolopov, Ruben, Political Effects of the Internet and
Social Media (August 15, 2019). Forthcoming, Annual Review of Economics.
DOI/10.1146/annurev-economics-081919-050239. Available at SSRN:
https://ssrn.com/abstract=3439957 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3439957
How do the internet and social media affect political outcomes? We review empirical evidence from the recent political economy literature focusing especially on the work that considers those features that distinguish the internet and social media from traditional offline media, such as low barriers to entry and reliance on user-generated content. We discuss the main results about the effects of the internet, in general, and social media, in particular, on voting, street protests, attitudes toward government, political polarization, xenophobia, and politicians’ behavior. We also review evidence on the role of social media in the dissemination of false news and summarize results about the strategies employed by autocratic regimes to censor the internet and to use social media for surveillance and propaganda. We conclude by highlighting the key open questions about how the internet and social media shape politics in democracies and autocracies.
1/13/2020, 9:43:11 PM
1/13/2020, 9:43:11 PM
· Social Media Mechanisms for Right-Wing
Political Violence in the 21st Century: Discursive Opportunities, Group
Dynamics, and Co-Ordination
This article maps mechanisms by which online social media activities may contribute to right-wing political violence. High-impact studies on the wave of right-wing and racist violence in the 1990s and early 2000s established that mass media discourse on immigrants and previous violent incidents had a significant influence on the prevalence of radical-right violence. This link was captured by Koopmans’s and Olzak’s notion of discursive opportunities. However, this was before the dominance of online social networks and social media, which changed the media landscape radically. We argue for broadening and refining the operationalization of the concept of discursive opportunities in social movement studies as well as including in our theoretical models new mechanisms brought about by the new online media. In relation to radical right and anti-immigrant mobilizations in Sweden in the 2010s, we elaborate and exemplify three mechanisms through which activities on social media may affect the incidence of violence: a) having an increasingly co-produced discursive opportunity structure, b) making inter-group dynamics in movement groups and networks trans-local, and c) sharing (rare) practical information and co-ordinating activities.
1/14/2020, 5:37:14 PM
1/14/2020, 5:37:14 PM
° Online news media and propaganda influence on radicalized individuals: Findings from interviews with Islamist prisoners and former Islamists
This study is the first to explore the twin influences of
online propaganda and news media on Islamists. We conducted 44 in-depth
interviews with cognitively and behaviorally radicalized Islamist
prisoners in Austria as well as former Islamists in Germany and Austria.
We found that online propaganda and news media had interdependent
influences on Islamists’ rejections of non-Muslims and Western politics,
as well as on their willingness to use violence and commit suicide.
Cognitively radicalized individuals were influenced by propaganda that
blamed non-Muslims for opposing Islam; this was reinforced by online
mainstream news reports of right-wing populism and extremism that
propagandists selectively distributed via social media. Among
behaviorally radicalized individuals, exposure to propaganda and news
reports depicting Muslim war victims contributed to the radicalized
individuals’ willingness to use violence. Moreover, propaganda and media
reports that extensively personalized perpetrators of violence
strengthened radicalized individuals’ motivations to imitate the use of
1/20/2020, 5:28:17 PM
1/20/2020, 5:28:17 PM
° Christchurch Terrorist Attack, The Far-Right and Social Media: What can we learn?
Type Journal Article Author Lowe, David URL http://eprints.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/5822/1/ChristchurchTerroristAttackAM-LOWE.pdf Publication Leeds Beckett Repository Date 02 May 2019 Abstract The Christchurch terrorist attack on the 15th March 2019 resulting in 50 deaths of men, women and children worshipping at their mosque resulted in global shock and revulsion. What makes this attack all the more shocking is the gunman attached a camera to himself and filmed the attack on a live Facebook feed. As he did so followers around the world with the same extreme far-right views encouraged and cheered him on. As a result a number of state governments have criticised social media companies and are looking to bring these companies to account when they allow extremist and violent content to remain on their sites. Another issue that appeared to surprise many was the terrorist threat the extreme far-right pose to state security. This article will discuss how the extreme far-right threat has increased over the last few years and how their impact can be minimised. Also examined are issues around the difficulties in regulating and bringing social media companies to account in relation to posts on their sites regarding extremist content that promotes violence and hate. Date Added 1/20/2020, 5:39:49 PM Modified 1/20/2020, 5:39:49 PM
· The Art of Is: Improvising as a Way of Life
Paperback April 9, 2019
A MASTERFUL BOOK ABOUT BREATHING LIFE INTO ART AND ART INTO LIFE “Stephen Nachmanovitch’s The Art of Is is a philosophical meditation on living, living fully, living in the present. To the author, improvisation is a co-creation that arises out of listening and mutual attentiveness, out of a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity. It is a product of the nervous system, bigger than the brain and bigger than the body; it is a once-in-a-lifetime encounter, unprecedented and unrepeatable. Drawing from the wisdom of the ages, The Art of Is not only gives the reader an inside view of the states of mind that give rise to improvisation, it is also a celebration of the power of the human spirit, which — when exercised with love, immense patience, and discipline — is an antidote to hate.” — Yo-Yo Ma, cellist Youtube presentations by the author: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xjcr0nCqdVs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZfgG8B0Y3Q https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVCZ0fBSBak
Paperback: 288 pages; quotation
1/16/2020, 10:10:13 PM
1/16/2020, 10:10:13 PM
Agent of Chaos? Or a Reflection of American Society? The Truth Behind Gotham’s Greatest Criminal – “Joker”
Agent of Chaos? Or a Reflection of American Society? The Truth Behind Gotham’s Greatest Criminal
Abstract Ever since his creation in 1939, the villain of the Batman comic series, the Joker, has had an unstated, yet very specific purpose (other than to be defeated by Batman); as this paper will demonstrate, he represents and reflects the fears and anxieties of American society at any given time period. What has been deemed ‘scary’ by society has changed throughout the decades, and the Joker’s repeated transformations follow these changes. Aside from being a villain mastermind in Gotham, Joker has been, among other things, a depression era-gangster, a post-war rebel, even the head of a modern-day terrorist group and a computer hacker. Each manifestation, while sharing the same name and a fondness for suits, exhibits different personalities, characteristics and desires, all of which change to reflect the darkest parts of American society, as they are perceived in the wider culture. In this way, the Joker becomes, for readers of this comic, a demonstration of the changing landscape of fear in America.
The General Brock University – Undergraduate History Journal 2019 edition
Setting the box office record for an October release, the new film Joker is a worldwide phenomenon. Before its release and since, discussion of the film has been obsessed with the debate over whether the portrayal of a disaffected white man violently lashing out at society might bleed over into real life by breeding copycats or if such suggestions are the overreach of woke culture. Major reviewers have judged the film to be “empty,” “foggy,” and a “bad movie,” that “leaves you numb.” But critics have missed what seems to me a central message of the story: the descent into madness begins with the breakdown of the family. Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a clown-for-hire and aspiring standup comic, and Robert De Niro as Murray Franklin, a late-night talk show host. Buoyed by Phoenix’s Academy-Award-meriting performance, the setting of the story is early 1980s Gotham. Dingy living spaces, trash-strewn, rat-infested streets, and random muggings call to mind the New York City of the 1970s – memorialized in films like Taxi Driver – and provide a general sense of dread. “Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?” Arthur asks his therapist. Arthur undergoes a series of unfortunate events, including loss of his job, failure to find a new career, romantic cowardice and unfulfillment, multiple physical attacks, declining mental health, and the loss of city-funded counseling. Arthur’s ultimate loss of sanity and turn to violence can thus be seen as the story of a man lashing out at a society whose uncaring indifference created the villain. Still, while a range of causes are certainly present, Arthur’s descent into madness is fundamentally a story about the breakdown of the family. (Spoiler alert: discussion of plot details follows.) Gotham as a Funhouse Mirror of our Society…
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