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[liberationtech] Cyber-sceptics wanted!

David Jandura djandura at ifes.org
Wed Mar 2 11:46:54 PST 2011


I would recommend academics, maybe some who specialize in transitions or civil society.   Overall, I've seen very little work even resembling an academic approach to the issue.  What is out there often fails to employ any quantitative test of social media's effectiveness

Sean Aday, Henry Farrell, Marc Lynch, John Sides, John Kelly and Ethan Zuckerman have published a paper exploring possible ways in which social media's democratic impact can be measured<http://www.usip.org/files/resources/pw65.pdf>.  I don't know if any of them are "social media experts" but I think in this paper they are looking at the correct way to analyze the issue.   A good academic would not necessarily be an opposing viewpoint, but would be able to point out when we don't have enough evidence to demonstrate what others are claiming/ suggests ways to go establish causal inference.

Best,

David Jandura | Research Associate| IFES (International Foundation for Electoral Systems)
1850 K Street NW, Fifth Floor | Washington, D.C. 20006 | * +1 202-350-6742 | Skype: david.jandura
www.ifes.org<http://www.ifes.org/> | www.electionguide.org<http://www.electionguide.org/>

IFES promotes democratic stability by providing technical assistance and applying field-based research to the electoral cycle worldwide to enhance citizen participation and strengthen civil societies, governance and transparency.



From: liberationtech-bounces at lists.stanford.edu [mailto:liberationtech-bounces at lists.stanford.edu] On Behalf Of Graham Webster
Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2011 2:01 PM
To: Collin Anderson
Cc: liberationtech at lists.stanford.edu
Subject: Re: [liberationtech] Cyber-sceptics wanted!

I agree with Collin. I said as much in a short screed a friend published at The Atlantic's site a few weeks ago.

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/02/the-twitter-revolution-debate-is-dead/71185/

The main point is that the discussion about technology and democracy, liberalization, regime change, etc., has gotten to a point where we no longer need to argue at the extremes and we can get to the difficult but important task of understanding what role technology plays in politics. ICTs alone do not single-handedly _cause_ revolution, but neither do revolutions these days happen without ICT.

Graham
On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 10:54 AM, Collin Anderson <collin at averysmallbird.com<mailto:collin at averysmallbird.com>> wrote:

The difference in the debate isn't necessarily between liberation tech and a negative argument. Rather, against a palpable lack of nuance in some of the more effusive views often expressed even on this esteemed list.

Not to speak for Evgeny, but I think his position and the larger debate has moved beyond yay/nay to efficacy and centrality.
On Mar 2, 2011 1:05 PM, "Alec Muffett" <alec.muffett at gmail.com<mailto:alec.muffett at gmail.com>> wrote:
>
> On 2 Mar 2011, at 16:46, Brie Rogers Lowery wrote:
>
>> I'm arranging a debate in Oxford, United Kingdom on the topic of 'Activism vs. Slacktivism' (currently scheduled for Monday 21st March) and am hoping that some of you on this list might be able to assist with some suggestions for speakers for it.
>
> Sometimes people have to go to extraordinary lengths in order to obtain an "opposing viewpoint" for the purposes of "balance" in a public debate.
>
> In such circumstances I often feel that there may be a lesson to be learned.
>
> -a
>
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