Disinformation and Data Lockdown on Social Platforms
- Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 27, 2021
This book addresses the question of how researchers can conduct independent, ethical research on mal-, mis- and disinformation in a rapidly changing and hostile data environment.
The escalating issue of data access is thrown into sharp relief by the large-scale use of bots, trolls, fake news, and strategies of false amplification, the effects of which are difficult to quantify due to a corporate environment favouring platform lockdowns and the restriction of access to Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). As social media platforms increase obstacles to independent scholarship by dramatically curbing access to APIs, researchers are faced with the stark choice of either limiting their use of trace data or developing new methods of data collection. Without a breakthrough, social media research may go the way of search engine research, in which only a small group of researchers who have direct relationships with search companies such as Google and Microsoft can access data and conduct research.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the journal, Information, Communication & Society.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: The disinformation landscape and the lockdown of social platforms
Shawn Walker, Dan Mercea and Marco Bastos
2. After the ‘APIcalypse’: social media platforms and their fight against critical scholarly research
3. Overcoming terms of service: a proposal for ethical distributed research
4. An end to the wild west of social media research: a response to Axel Bruns
5. Data craft: a theory/methods package for critical internet studies
Amelia Acker and Joan Donovan
6. Diverging patterns of interaction around news on social media: insularity and partisanship during the 2018 Italian election campaign
Fabio Giglietto, Augusto Valeriani, Nicola Righetti and Giada Marino
7. Algorithms and agenda-setting in Wikileaks’ #Podestaemails release
Nicholas Proferes and Ed Summers
8. Disinformation, performed: self-presentation of a Russian IRA account on Twitter
Yiping Xia, Josephine Lukito, Yini Zhang, Chris Wells, Sang Jung Kim and Chau Tong
Shawn Walker is Assistant Professor at Arizona State University.
Dan Mercea is Reader in the Department of Sociology at City, University of London.
Marco Bastos is the University College Dublin Ad Astra Fellow at the School of Information and Communication Studies.