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  1. T4iD: Social Media and Activism Idil Ali, Elena Gutierrez, UmerHumayun, SaqibRasheed

  2. Overview • Introduction • Definition • Forms of Online Activism • Technologies for ID • Twitter • Ushahidi for Social Data Mining • Social Network Mapping • Face Recognition Technologies • Concluding remarks

  3. T4iD: Social Media and Activism Idil Ali, Elena Gutierrez, UmerHumayun, SaqibRasheed

  4. Overview • Introduction • Definition • Forms of Online Activism • Technologies for ID • Twitter • Ushahidi for Social Data Mining • Social Network Mapping • Face Recognition Technologies • Concluding remarks

  5. T4iD: Social Media and Activism Idil Ali, Elena Gutierrez, UmerHumayun, SaqibRasheed

  6. Overview • Introduction • Definition • Forms of Online Activism • Technologies for ID • Twitter • Ushahidi for Social Data Mining • Social Network Mapping • Face Recognition Technologies • Concluding remarks

  7. T4iD: Social Media and Activism Idil Ali, Elena Gutierrez, UmerHumayun, SaqibRasheed

  8. Overview • Introduction • Definition • Forms of Online Activism • Technologies for ID • Twitter • Ushahidi for Social Data Mining • Social Network Mapping • Face Recognition Technologies • Concluding remarks

  9. Definition • “Online Activism is a politically motivated movement relying on the Internet.” (SandorVegh) • “Cyberactivismis the use of electronic communication technologies, such as email, the World Wide Web, and podcasts for various forms of activism to enable faster communications by societal movements and the delivery of local information to a large audience.” (Ayers and McCaughey) • Cyberactivismis “the extensive use of the Internet to provide counterhegemonic information and inspire social mobilizations” (Langman, Morris, & Zalewski)

  10. Forms of Online Activism • Awareness/Advocacy • Organization/Mobilization • Action/Reaction

  11. 1. Awareness/Advocacy • Objectives: • Provide alternative news and information source when mainstream media is biased. (BurmaNet) • Create information-distribution networks that can be used for building up, organizing, coordinating or activating movements. • Reach thousands of people easily and at a low cost. • How do you advocate to generate awareness? • Making people access information that is relevant for the cause (webpage, email distribution lists)

  12. 2. Organization/Mobilization • Objectives: • Call for offline action (demonstration) • Call for offline action to be done online (petition) • Call for online action (coordinated sharing campaign) • How do you organize to generate mobilization? • Set up a website, provide information, make readers adopt your cause and prompt them to take action. • Start an e-mail list to discuss the issues among a larger public.

  13. 3. Action/Reaction (Hacktivism) • Objectives: • Use the Internet in an aggressive and proactive way to achieve a goal (Anonymous) • Gain dominance by causing damage • Express disapproval • Ultimately, cyberwar • How do you act to generate reaction? • Defacement, e-mail bombs, ping storms, virus, cybergraffiti, etc.

  14. Discussion • Can you think of examples that could fit this classification? • Are these forms of online activism exhaustive?

  15. What is the purpose of social media?

  16. Twitter Overview

  17. Twitter Overview

  18. Twitter Overview

  19. What else can Twitter be used for?

  20. Propaganda and Hyperadvocacy • Using tweets to appeal to emotion to create partiality • Using ‘extreme publishing behavior’ to increase visibility of a certain topic • Collusion with others to publish ‘seemingly unrelated’ yet ‘similar’ content at the same time

  21. Comparison of Two Topics

  22. Terrorism • Report released by the U.S. Army – ‘included a chapter entitled “Potential for Terrorist Use of Twitter” ’ • Most likely scenario: terrorists can send and receive instantaneous updates and news on troop movements • However – important to note: Terrorists tend to stay away from most social networking sites, aside from utilizing social media for propaganda and recruitment

  23. Al Shabaab: Activity on Twitter • Twitter Handle: #HSMPress • Description: Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen is an Islamic movement that governs South and Cen. Somalia & part of the global struggle towards the revival of Islamic Khilaafa • Usage of Twitter to publish false information

  24. Discussion Break

  25. Ushahidi How can we interpret huge amounts of social media information?

  26. How to help disaster hit area? • How to alleviate the miseries of people affected by humanitarian crisis? • Can the integration of technology, passion for volunteerism and social media resources help improve lives thousands of miles away? • Any real life examples?

  27. Ushahidi • Technological platform used for: • information collection • visualization and • interactive mapping • Combination of social activism, citizen journalism and geospatial information • Platform for submitting reports through cell phone or internet

  28. Ushahidi: Origin • An Open source project originated in the aftermath of post election crisis in Kenya in 2007 • Mapping of violence hit areas through reports submitted through SMS, Twitter and online news • Ushahidi means witness or testimony • 100s of volunteers from around the world process and convert information

  29. Ushahidi: Post Kenya activism • 2010 earthquake in Haiti shot it to prominence • Located trapped people for emergency aid • Infinite potential uses even in rich nations • Flood mapping in Queensland in 2011 • Site mapping such as blocked roads in 2010 winter storms in DC

  30. Ushahidi: Resources • Human Resource • Volunteers and paid employees • Financial Resources • 80% of budget from foundations • Supporters include: • The Knight Foundation • Omidyar Network • 20% of the budget comes from fee-based consulting projects

  31. Network Mapping Another way of visualizing social media data for activism.

  32. Network Mapping and Analysis for Social Media Activism (Garrido & Halavais) • The Zapatista Movement in Mexico and its context: • It’s the most cited example of how the new dynamic of social interactions play. • On January 1, 1994, the National Liberation Zapatista Army occupied seven towns in Chiapas, Mexico. They protested against poverty, ethnic discrimination, and exclusion. • Renowned for its extensive use of the Internet as a tool for global mobilization in favor of their cause and against NAFTA. First act of net warfare (Ronfeldt, et al.)

  33. Network Mapping and Analysis for Social Media Activism (Garrido & Halavais) • The Zapatista Movement and its impact: • There is no Internet in the jungle, but they attracted moral and financial support from Italy and Spain through indirect advocacy of more technologically capable groups. • They mobilized thousands of activists to attend the International Encounter for Humanity and Against Neoliberalism in Chiapas, Mexico. • Global support strengthened their position vis-à-vis the Mexican government. They ultimately achieved a constitutional reform (Art. 2) and gained autonomy and self-determination of ethnic groups.

  34. Network Mapping and Analysis for Social Media Activism (Garrido & Halavais) • Mapping a network is a useful tool for understanding roles, ties, strategic alliances and relative power of each actor supporting the movement. • A map of network connections is a map of social and organizational relationships. It can be used for: • creating awareness of your cause • advancing your advocacy efforts • organizing and mobilizing supporters • exerting changes

  35. Network Mapping and Analysis for Social Media Activism (Garrido & Halavais)

  36. Network Mapping and Analysis for Social Media Activism A circle graph visualization of who mentions whom during a debate, extracted from presidential debate transcripts, from The New York Times.

  37. What the network shows is that Gates serves as a broadcaster (see the star network on the left side around Gates Twitter account), but does not help to encourage the community to actively connect with each other. Ties are not reciprocated and there are very little interactions among the overall community. http://inesmergel.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/gates-foundation-twitter-network-graph-shows-disconnectedness-among-global-public-health-community/ Network Mapping and Analysis for Social Media Activism

  38. Network Mapping Resources • http://mentionmapp.com • https://gephi.org/

  39. Discussion • Can you think about ID issues could be improved by using this technology?

  40. Facial Recognition in Social Media Can social media data be used against activists?

  41. FBI's Facial Recognition Program • $1 billion Next Generation Identification (NGI) program, a surveillance initiative. • Test in 2010 found that facial recognition tools correctly identified individuals from a pool of 1.6 million mug shots with 92% accuracy. • According to Professor Alessandro Acquisti at Carnegie Mellon, face detection is mature enough for primetime.

  42. What risk does this technology pose to the advocates of online activism?

  43. Raises the concern that this technology presents Big Brother with a large chunk of identifiable data. • NGI could be used to track activists within crowds.

  44. Can online activism be counter productive?

  45. Social Media & Unrest in #Egypt

  46. Cyber Activism: merits & demerits • Steady development of cyber activism & regulation simultaneously • Emergence of formal studies on the relationship between internet and politics • “Campaigning and organizing for political and social change in cyberspace, an alternative virtual world composed of interactive online communities and immersive experiences”. (Can be positive or negative) • A few examples of cyber activism: • Managing logistics for protests online. • Mobilizing masses for a cause • Organizing virtual sit-ins, hacking/defacing websites

  47. Questions?

  48. Sources • http://www.informationweek.com/government/security/fbis-facial-recognition-program-better-s/240007101 • http://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/the-history-of-social-media-and-impact-on-society • 16 Brown J. World Aff. 47 (2009-2010) • Terror on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube; Weimann, Gabriel. Accessed 7 November 2012. • Smith, David. "Al-Shabaab in War of Words with Kenyan Army on Twitter." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 13 Dec. 2011. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/13/al-shabaab-war-words-twitter>. • Ramaiah, Gabrielle. "Four Ways Social Media Could Transform Conflict in Africa." CNN – Global Public Square. CNN, 16 July 2012. Web. 08 Nov. 2012. <http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/16/fours-ways-social-media-could-transform-african-conflicts/>. • "New Research Reveals How Africa Tweets." NoteBook. Portland, 1 Feb. 2012. Web. 08 Nov. 2012. <http://notebook.portland-communications.com/2012/02/new-research-reveals-how-africa-tweets/>. • #bias: Measuring the Tweeting Behavior of Propagandists • CristianLumezanu, Nick Feamster, Hans Klein. 20 May 2012. Accessed 1 Nov 2012.

  49. Definition • “Online Activism is a politically motivated movement relying on the Internet.” (SandorVegh) • “Cyberactivismis the use of electronic communication technologies, such as email, the World Wide Web, and podcasts for various forms of activism to enable faster communications by societal movements and the delivery of local information to a large audience.” (Ayers and McCaughey) • Cyberactivismis “the extensive use of the Internet to provide counterhegemonic information and inspire social mobilizations” (Langman, Morris, & Zalewski)