Bots in the Twittersphere

Bots in the Twittersphere: An estimated two-thirds of tweeted links to popular websites are posted by automated accounts – not human beings. Pew Research Center.  Stefan Wojcik et al. April 9, 2018

 The role of so-called social media “bots” – automated accounts capable of posting content or interacting with other users with no direct human involvement – has been the subject of much scrutiny and attention in recent years. These accounts can play a valuable part in the social media ecosystem by answering questions about a variety of topics in real time or providing automated updates about news stories or events. At the same time, they can also be used to attempt to alter perceptions of political discourse on social media, spread misinformation, or manipulate online rating and review systems. As social media has attained an increasingly prominent position in the overall news and information environment, bots have been swept up in the broader debate over Americans’ changing news habits, the tenor of online discourse and the prevalence of “fake news” online. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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2016 Law Enforcement Use of Social Media Survey

2016 Law Enforcement Use of Social Media Survey: A Joint Publication by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Urban Institute. KiDeuk Kim, Ashlin Oglesby-Neal, Edward Mohr. March 3, 2017

A national scan of practice among law enforcement agencies across the United States reveals that they use social media to notify the public of safety concerns, manage public relations, and gather evidence for criminal investigations. The Urban Institute and the International Association of Chiefs of Police partnered to develop a comprehensive understanding of law enforcement’s use of social media. A total of 539 agencies representing 48 states participated in the survey and answered questions regarding their use of social media, the management of social media engagement activities, barriers to success, and their future social media needs. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 22 pages, 410.63 KB].

Covering Politics in a Post-Truth America

Covering Politics in a Post-Truth America. Brookings Institution. Susan B. Glasser. December 2, 2016

Coverage of American politics, and the capital that revolves around it, is in many ways much better now than ever before—faster, sharper, and far more sophisticated. There are great new digital news organizations for politics and policy obsessives, political science wonks, and national security geeks. We get more reporting and insight live from the campaign trail in a day than we used to get in a month, thanks to Google and Facebook, livestreaming and Big Data, and all the rest. Access to information—by, for, and about the government and those who aspire to run it—is dazzling and on a scale wholly unimaginable when Donald Trump was hawking his Art of the Deal in 1987. And we have millions of readers for our work now, not merely a hyper-elite few thousand.
The media scandal of 2016 isn’t so much about what reporters failed to tell the American public; it’s about what they did report on, and the fact that it didn’t seem to matter. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Social Media Update 2016

Social Media Update 2016. Pew Research Center. Shannon Greenwood, Andrew Perrin and Maeve Duggan. November 11, 2016.

Over the past decade, Pew Research Center has documented the wide variety of ways in which Americans use social media to seek out information and interact with others. A majority of Americans now say they get news via social media, and half of the public has turned to these sites to learn about the 2016 presidential election. Americans are using social media in the context of work (whether to take a mental break on the job or to seek out employment), while also engaging in an ongoing effort to navigate the complex privacy issues that these sites bring to the forefront. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 19 pages, 500.6 KB].

Social Media Conversations About Race

Social Media Conversations About Race. Pew Research Center. Monica Anderson and Paul Hitlin. August 15, 2016.

Americans are increasingly turning to social media for news and politcal information and to encourage others to get involved with a cause or movement. Social media also can serve as an important venue where groups with common interests come together to share ideas and information. And at times, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites can help users bring greater attention to issues through their collective voice. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 35 pages, 944.72 KB].

Social Media and the Workplace

Social Media and the Workplace. Pew Research Center. Kenneth Olmstead et al. June 22, 2016.

Social media influences and permeates many aspects of daily life for Americans today, and the workforce is no exception. These digital platforms offer the potential to enhance worker productivity by fostering connections with colleagues and resources around the globe. At the same time, employers might worry that employees are using these tools for non-work purposes while on the job or engaging in speech in public venues that might reflect poorly on their organization. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 15 pages, 611.92 KB].

Parents, Teens and Digital Monitoring

Parents, Teens and Digital Monitoring. Pew Research Center. Monica Anderson. January 7, 2016.

The widespread adoption of various digital technologies by today’s teenagers has added a modern wrinkle to a universal challenge of parenthood, specifically, striking a balance between allowing independent exploration and providing an appropriate level of parental oversight. Digital connectivity offers many potential benefits from connecting with peers to accessing educational content. But parents have also voiced concerns about the behaviors teens engage in online, the people with whom they interact and the personal information they make available. Indeed, these concerns are not limited to parents. Lawmakers and advocates have raised concerns about issues such as online safety, cyberbullying and privacy issues affecting teens. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 34 pages, 880.75 KB].