Social media and social movements: the rise of the European Far Right
Anti Dystopians #7: A Conversation with Julia Rone
We’ve got another great episode for you this week! I talk to Julia Rone, a post-doc at the Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy at Cambridge University, about the rise of the European far-right. What's the relationship between online disinformation and political mobilization? Why is the far-right so much better at mobilizing online than the far-left? Can platforms or content moderation policies really stop them? And is any of this about “social media” or is it just about social movements?
As always, you can listen to it here or subscribe here (Spotify) or here (Apple Podcasts).
Meme of the Week
Mentioned in This Week’s Podcast
Publications by Julia Rone:
On the Minderoo Centre’s blog Power-Switch: Democratizing digital sovereignty: an impossible task? and Public networks instead of social networks?
On the London School of Economics blog: Collateral Damage: How algorithms to counter “fake news” threaten citizen media in Bulgaria and Why talking about ‘disinformation’ misses the point when considering radical right ‘alternative’ media
Academic Articles: Far right alternative news media as ‘indignation mobilization mechanisms’: how the far right opposed the Global Compact for Migration and The people formerly known as the oligarchy: the cooptation of citizen journalism
More from our wonderful colleagues at the Minderoo Centre:
Josh Simons on why Google and Facebook algorithms are political (and should be regulated as public utilities): Utilities for Democracy: Why the Algorithmic Infrastructure of Facebook and Google must be Regulated
Jennifer Cobbe on the issues surrounding algorithmic reach and recommendations: Regulating Recommending: Motivations, Considerations, and Principles
John Naughton’s excellent Observer column on why the Facebook Oversight Board is just some corporate theatre masquerading as political theatre
Alina Utrata (me!) on Should you have a right to a Facebook account?
Rene DiRiesta’s famous phrase “free speech is not the same as free reach”
Kristoffer Holt on the definition of alternative news media
Leonie De Jonge on different media models and their affect on the radical right in Europe
Google threatening to leave Australia altogether over proposed legal changes—would they become a “Bing” country?
French President Sarkozy on “civilizing” the internet and Macron’s IGF speech on the need for more state involvement in Internet governance and regulation
Michael Sandel’s excellent book the Tyranny of Meritocracy, and a wonderful Talking Politics episode with him (in case you don’t have time to read the full thing!)
The Real Cyber War: The Political Economy of Internet Freedom by Shawn M. Powers and Michael Jablonski
What I’ve Been Reading
Xiaowei Wang (who wrote the excellent book Blockchain Chicken Farm that I reviewed here) on The Great Shopping Mall: The market nationalist logic of Chinese social media.
The woman who continued her online Zumba class at the Myanmar coup unfolded behind her. (More on the situation in Myanmar here and Facebook’s role in the ongoing genocide against the Rohingya.)
Matt Stoller on the GameStop drama and why the populist argument “everyone should be able to cheat” ignores the wider economic issues the saga reveals.
In honor of LGBT+ history month, some very gay excerpts from my favorite historical queer Eleanor Roosevelt to her girlfriend, the trailblazing journalist Lorena Hickok. More on their relationship from the New York Times.
We Want to Hear From You!
If you have any recommendations or ideas for topics we should cover or folks we should interview, please get in touch to let us know! Also, we’re hoping to have a repository with episode transcripts up soon.