August 5th, 2016

Politics by Numbers: How Social Media Shape Collective Action

By: Helen Margetts    Source: University of Oxford Podcasts   Date: 28/7/2016

Professor Helen Margetts, Director of the Oxford Internet Institute and Professor of Society and the Internet, University of Oxford gives a talk on social media and how it can shape collective action.

The internet and social media bring political change, allowing ‘tiny acts’ of political participation which can scale up to large-scale mobilisation of millions – but mostly fail.These new forms of mobilisation increase instability and uncertainty in political systems, challenging policy-makers in both democratic and authoritarian regimes. But they also generate new sources of large-scale data.

Drawing on research carried out for the new book Political Turbulence: How Social Media Shape Collective Action (Margetts, John, Hale and Yasseri, 2015, Princeton University Press), this lecture discussed how social media is changing political systems – and how data science tools and methodologies might be used to understand, explain and even predict the new ‘political turbulence’.