Dividing social networks: Facebook unfriending, unfollowing, and blocking in turbulent political times
It has been argued that by allowing users to unfriend, unfollow, and block political and cultural ‘others,’ Facebook facilitates the discouragement of dialog between those holding different views on political issues. Using a case study of a civil confrontation in Ukraine, the paper analyzes the reasons for unfriending political ‘others’ reported by 699 respondents of a qualitative survey. Its findings are in line with researchers who have also found that the likelihood of selective avoidance is higher among people who are more politically active, emotionally involved, and who have more online friends. The paper also discusses an interesting discovery that has not been previously considered. The respondents often shunned political ‘others’ out of suspicion that they were trolls. As this paper suggests, whether real or imagined, trolling has turned out to be a real force influencing people’s decisions to withdraw from communication on the most important issues of public life.
Language policy and usage in the post-communist region have continually attracted wide political, media, and expert attention since the disintegration of the USSR in 1991. How are these issues politicized in contemporary Estonia, Latvia, and Ukraine? This study presents a cross-cultural qualitative and quantitative analysis of publications in leading Russian-language blogs and news websites of these three post-Soviet states during the period of 2004–2017. The most notable difference observed between Ukraine and the two Baltic countries is that many Russian-writing users in Ukraine’s internet tend to support the position that the state language, i.e. Ukrainian, is discriminated against and needs special protection by the state, whereas the majority of the Russian-speaking commentators on selected Estonian and Latvian news websites advocate for introducing Russian as a second state language. Despite attempts of Ukraine’s government to Ukrainize public space, the position of Ukrainian is still perceived, even by many Russian-writing commentators and bloggers, as being ‘precarious’ and ‘vulnerable’. This became especially visible in debates after the Revolution of Dignity, when the number of supporters of the introduction of Russian as second state language significantly decreased. In the Russian-language sector of Estonian and Latvian news websites and blogs, in contrast, the majority of online users continually reproduce the image of ‘victims’ of nation-building. They often claim that their political, as well as economic rights, are significantly limited in comparison to ethnic Estonians and Latvians. The results of Maksimovtsova’s research illustrate that, notwithstanding differences between the Estonian as well as Latvian cases, on the one hand, and Ukraine, on the other, there is an ongoing process of convergence of debates in Ukraine to those held in the other two countries analyzed in terms of an increased degree of ‘discursive decommunization’ and ‘derussification’.
The paper is focused on intertwinement of moral issues and massive protests in Ukraine labeled as Euromaidan. It questions whether it is correct to regard Euromaidan as a “moral revolution”, grounding on a popular in Ukraine name of the protests “Revolution of Dignity”. Emphasis is made upon the protests of Euromaidan influencing and being influenced by moral issues which are interpreted both as external triggers and internal characteristics of the protests. Six basic moral domains characterize “basic” and “advanced” moral issues in different periods of Euromaidan. It is proved that the moral triggers of the protest were connected to the domains of harm, community and freedom, while community, purity and hierarchy shaped the internal structure of Euromaidan. Appeal to reciprocity appeared along with the transformation of Euromaidan from a peaceful to more forceful protest.
The article analyses birthday greetings in the social net «Facebook» from ecological language perspective with the focus on the nature and function of language as a means of living system (society) organization and its role in the development of thinking, psyche, and consciousness. According to this approach language is a result-oriented action within the framework «organism – environment». The analysis of greetings highlights the specific features of e-discourse niche. The author singles out different psycholinguistic and cultural aspects of verbal greetings in the timeline by Russian, English, German, French users of the social net in terms of holistic and analytical types of critical thinking.
The efficiency approach, as advocated by the Chicago School in particular, only provides a very narrow approach to competition law analysis that relies on the preferences of consumers. This approach remains especially insufficient for the regulation of firms that provide citizens with politically relevant news and information. In times of digitisation, citizens increasingly rely on news disseminated by Internet intermediaries such as Facebook, Twitter or Google for making political decisions. Such firms design their business models and their algorithms for selecting the news according to a purely economic rationale. Yet recent research indicates that dissemination of news through social platforms in particular has a negative impact on the democratic process by favouring the dissemination of false factual statements, fake news and unverifiable conspiracy theories within closed communities and, ultimately, leads to radicalisation and a division of society along political and ideological lines. Experience based on the Brexit referendum in the UK and the recent presidential elections in the US highlights the ability of populist political movements to abuse the business rationale of Internet intermediaries and the functioning of their algorithms in order to win popular votes with their ‘post-truth politics’. This article relies on competition law principles to discuss future approaches to regulating the market for political ideas at the interface of competition law and media law in the new digital age. Based on constitutional considerations the article rests on the assumption that media markets should not only provide news that responds best to the psychological predispositions and subjective beliefs of the individual citizen, but also provide correct information and diversity of opinion as a basis for making informed democratic decisions.
Russia today is a fundamentally fragmented society, with four big milieus showing divergent patterns of media use and involvement into public deliberation within a hybrid media system. Our research upon media use patterns of participants of the 'For fair elections' protest rallies of 2011-2012 shows that there is a link between media use patterns in post-industrial urban 'public counter-sphere' and the protest spill-over, for which newlyformed media clusters have played a crucial role. As Russia is the 'world's top networking community' (as stated by Comscore in 2012), the research is expanded by search for echo chambers/opinion crossroads in Russian Facebook vs. its analogue Vkontakte.
[EN] Introduction. Features of political communication in Russian-speaking segment of the Facebook network are analyzed in the article. According to researchers unlike their counterparts in the U.S. and elsewhere, Russian bloggers prefer platforms that combine features typical of blogs with features of social network services like Facebook. Objectives. The objectives were: classification of actors in the political groups in the Russian-speaking segment of Facebook and analysis of their sociolinguistic behavior. Method. The interdisciplinary analysis based on scope of politically active groups (N 200) and actors (N 291) during January – May, 2014. Results. Actors were classified by politic opinions into mainstream, oppositional and nationalist Clusters and based on network activity into designers of communication space, manipulators, graphomaniacs and local cluster authors. Their communicative and speech behavior was also analyzed and shown shaped specific virtual identities, which demonstrate distinguished sociolinguistic behavior. Discussion and Conclusion. Today the analysis of communication processes in politically active communities in the network environment is of great importance as the virtual sphere becomes more and more significant for achieve of various political aims both in Russia and around the world. The prospect of an actual study is to identify the ratio of online and off-line communication activity of actors in the political sphere in the Russian segment of Facebook.
The idea of this paper appeared after the workshop on ‘Human Rights on the Internet: Legal Frames and Technological Implications’, organized by the Higher School of Economics on 7th Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum in Baku (Azerbaijan) on November 2012. This paper shows importance of the trilateral Internet Governance model in context of the example of governmental insufficiency to control the Internet.
Internet technologists contribute to the practical realization of human rights. First of all, they can improve effectiveness of existing institutions. Unfortunately in the same time Internet technologies give rise to new mechanisms of human rights violations. So we need to create new means, new technologies for human rights protection. We need new technological means, identification and classification of violations, based on predictive analytics. But to improve the situation, we should improve the existing means, and build new models of communication. Perhaps such models could be based on the concept of Web 2.0 and Web 3.0.
Nowadays social networks play a crucial rule in a company’s relationship with investors, requiring a stronger emphasis and more effort on the development of social media channels. We discuss a definition, classification and comparison for social media types. Then we consider the importance of social media for a company and investors, and provide evidence that social media use by firm can improve its stock price informativeness. A unique dataset was collected for an international analysis. Finally, an implementation plan is suggested for firms to maintain and manage social media.
The article is devoted to the problem of communicative features of the constructive structure of the font identity in the city branding sphere. This problem is considered in the framework of the nonlinearity of visual communication based on typology, comparative and structural analysis of the font identity of the world's cities. The article analyzes the brand identity of the city of Murmansk (2015) with the use of qualitative research methods: an expert interview with the designer of Murmansk identity.
This paper explores, mainly from a legal perspective, the extent to which the Russian regulations of traditional TV and online audiovisual media policies have been consistent with the Council of Europe (hereinafter CoE) standards. The study compares between the CoE and Russian approaches to specific aspects of audiovisual regulation including licensing, media ownership, public service media, digitalization, and national production. The paper first studies the CoE perspective through examining its conventional provisions related to audiovisual media, the case law of the European Court of Human Rights as well as the CoE non-binding documents. The paper then considers Russian national legislation governing audiovisual media and the Russian general jurisdiction courts’ practice on broadcast licensing. The paper suggests that the Russian audiovisual regulations are insufficiently compatible with the CoE standards and more in line with the Soviet regulatory traditions.
Systems Thinking in Museums explores systems thinking and the practical implication of it using real-life museum examples to illuminate various entry points and stages of implementation and their challenges and opportunities. Its premise is that museums can be better off when they operate as open, dynamic, and learning systems as a whole as opposed to closed, stagnant, and status quo systems that are compartmentalized and hierarchical. This book also suggests ways to incorporate systems thinking based on reflective questions and steps with hopes to encourage museum professionals to employ systems thinking in their own museum. Few books explore theory in practice in meaningful and applicable ways; this book offers to unravel complex theories as applied in everyday practice through examples from national and international museums.