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Debate: The ‘gilets jaunes’ movement is not a Facebook revolution

In less than a month, France’s gilets jaunes (yellow vests) have gone from being a celebrated example of Facebook’s ability to power a spontaneous revolution to a cautionary tale of how social networks can be manipulated by outsiders to provoke outrage and sow dissent. But in both of these extreme scenarios, the central actors lie [...]

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The false media focus on violence: If it bleeds it still leads

On Sunday, August 27, in downtown Berkeley, I witnessed thousands of protesters raising their voices against a planned white supremacist “Patriot Prayer” rally. In my decades as a documentary filmmaker of activism and now an academic studying movements and media, it was one of the most positive, diverse and unifying gatherings I ever observed. While [...]

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Is Facebook just another paperboy with bad aim?

“Facebook Is a Bigger Source for Political News than CNN, Fox” headlined a Mashable article last week. Oh, really? This provocative phrase kept showing up on my Twitter feed. The article was one of many that splashed news headlines after the Pew Research Journalism project issued a report on the news habits of Americans. But [...]

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Do independent and activist bloggers see themselves as journalists in the digital era?

From the IMC at the WTO to the PPL at the DNC Pundits claim that the Internet has changed everything about this election – from Big Bird/Binder/Bayonet memes to Big Brother Data on your voting habits. But what about how independent and activist bloggers see themselves as journalists in the digital era? One of the [...]

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