The Berkman Center for Internet & Society is preparing to release a series of working papers and research results based on our three-year study of the Russian Internet. This research is generously supported by the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
We welcome feedback on these materials. Comments are welcome on the Internet & Democracy blog or can be sent directly to the authors. We will be releasing a variety of different material over the coming months so please stay tuned.
Exploring Russian Cyberspace: Digitally-Mediated Collective Action and the Networked Public Sphere
Public discourse in the Russian blogosphere: Mapping RuNet Politics and Mobilization
Mapping Russian Twitter
Salience vs. Commitment: Dynamics of Political Hashtags in Russian Twitter
April 10, 2012
Social media sites like Twitter enable users to engage in the spread of contagious phenomena: everything from information and rumors to social movements and virally marketed products. In particular, Twitter has been observed to function as a platform for political discourse, allowing political movements to spread their message and engage supporters, and also as a platform for information diffusion, allowing everyone from mass media to citizens to reach a wide audience with a critical piece of news. Previous work suggests that different contagious phenomena will display distinct propagation dynamics, and in particular that news will spread differently through a population than other phenomena. We leverage this theory to construct a system for classifying contagious phenomena based on the properties of their propagation dynamics, and apply our system to a dataset of news-related and political hashtags diffusing through the population of Russian users of Twitter. Our results show that news-related hashtags have distinctive propagation dynamics, but that political hashtags have many different dynamic signatures.
Media Cloud: A tool and automated method for identifying agendas in blogs and mainstream media
Do Blogs Represent an Alternative Public Sphere in Russia? Findings from Russian Media Cloud
Based on data from thousands of Russian blogs, mainstream media, the government and TV Web sites, we use Media Cloud to determine if blogs actually do represent an alternative political discussion space. We identify the large stable structure of the ecosystem and also investigate a range of political topics.
Comparing political issue salience and dynamics in Russian Twitter and the Blogosphere
We identify and then track over one year the popularity of a series of pro-government, oppositional and big news stories occurring between March 2010 and March 2011.
Last updated July 10, 2012