Social Media and Politics
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Social Media and Politics is a podcast bringing you innovative, first-hand insights into how social media is changing the political game. Subscribe for interviews and analysis with politicians, academics, and leading industry experts to get their take on how social media influences the ways we engage with politics and democracy.

Social Media and Politics is hosted by Michael Bossetta, political scientist at the University of Copenhagen. Feedback, comments, and suggestions for future episodes are welcome to

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    Algorithms, Social Media, and Society, with Dr. Thore Husfeldt [SMP038]

    Dr. Thore Husfeldt, Associate Professor in computer science at IT University of Copenhagen and Professor in computer science and Lund University, is an algorithms theorist who joins the show to discuss the implications of algorithms for politics and society. We discuss how the algorithms of Facebook and Google have developed over time, how machine learning works, the upcoming European Data Protection Regulation, and what all this means for democracy, politics, and society.

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    The Dark Web: Social Networks on Tor, with Ciphas [SMP037]

    Ciphas, an anonymous web blogger who writes about the dark web, joins the podcast to discuss what types of social networks are on the dark web. We discuss what type of social media are on the Tor browser, as well as why they might not be as popular as social networks on the clearnet. We also share experiences about being on the dark web, as well as where political discussions might be taking place.

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    Cloaked Facebook Pages, Hate Profiles, and Propaganda, with Johan Farkas [SMP036]

    Johan Farkas, Lecturer and Researcher at the IT University of Copenhagen, joins the show to discuss his research on "cloaked Facebook pages" that spread propaganda through false identities. We talk about how cloaked Facebook pages have been used in Denmark to spread hate speech about Muslims, how a Facebook group of activists formed to combat these accounts by reporting them to Facebook, and what Facebook's response to the reports actually was. We also get into fake news and post-truth democracy in the age of social media, and why these terms might not best describe the current media environment.

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    Participation, Social Media, and the Cyprus conflict, with Dr. Nico Carpentier [SMP034]

    Dr. Nico Carpentier, Professor at the Department of Informatics and Media at Uppsala University, guests on the podcast this week to discuss participation, media, social media, and conflict in Cyprus. We discuss deliberative versus participatory democracy, as well as Dr. Carpentier's new book, "The Discursive-Material Knot: Cyprus in Conflict and Community Media Participation".

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    Policing through Facebook: Social Media and Law Enforcement, with Kenneth Hampton [SMP033]

    Kenneth Hampton, former Chief of Police in Tchula, Mississippi, joins the podcast to discuss his style of law enforcement, which draws heavily on the use of Facebook. Kenneth discusses how he's used Facebook successfully to curb crime, the controversy he faced surrounding his social media use, and how important his Facebook community is to his job.

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    Radicalization and Foreign Fighters: The Story of Lukas, with Karolina Dam [SMP032]

    Karolina Dam, founder of the NGO Sons and Daughters of the World, joins the podcast this week to tell the story of her son, Lukas. Lukas is a Danish citizen who became radicalized in Copenhagen, fled to Syria, and joined ISIS. We discuss how Facebook groups are used to recruit potential terrorists, the role that social media can play in deradicalization, and the types of communication that take place between a foreign fighter and his mother.

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    Political Talk on Social Media: Helping or Hurting Democracy?, with Dr. Scott Wright [SMP031]

    Dr. Scott Wright, Senior Lecturer in Political Communication at the University of Melbourne, joins the pod to discuss what citizens' everyday political talk on social media and other online forums means for democracy. D.r Wright shares findings from his research that the design of online forms, and the level of moderation occurring within hem, have a demonstrable impact on the quality of democratic debate that occurs in these online, 'Third Spaces.' Tune in to find out more!

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    Gab: The Free Speech Social Network, with Utsav Sanduja [SMP030]

    Gab is an upstart social network with over 200,000 users that does not censor its users' content. Utsav Sanduja, Gab's Chief Communications Officer and Global Affairs Director, joins the podcast to discuss what this social media is all about and addresses some of the recent controversies surrounding it. We discuss how Twitter and Facebook have been censoring users' content, the role of Gab in supporting free speech online, and what Gab's position is on bots and fake news on the platform. Utsav also talks about the choices made in developing the site's features, what's next for the Gab, and the social network's ambitions to go foster a global community.

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    Citizen Marketers and the Bernie Sanders Campaign on Social Media, with Dr. Joel Penney [SMP029]

    Dr. Joel Penney, Associate Professor in the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University, guests this week to discuss his new book "The Citizen Marketer: Promoting Political Opinion in the Social Media Age." The book explores how everyday citizens actively assist in the promotion of political messages through their social media activity, following logics of viral marketing to enact persuasion at a peer-to-peer level.

    Dr. Penney then shares his research on the Bernie Sanders campaign and the role that citizens played on social media, and Facebook in particular, to help the campaign get out its message through official and unofficial channels.

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