About Scott Hale

I am a Data Scientist at the Oxford Internet Institute of the University of Oxford. I develop and apply techniques from computer science to research questions in both computer science and the social sciences. I am particularly interested in the area of human-computer interaction, the spread of information between speakers of different languages online, and the roles of bilingual Internet users. I am also interested in collective action and politics more generally. I maintain my personal website and blog at http://scott.hale.us/.

Awarded Political Studies Association book prize

Professor Helen Margetts, Professor Peter John, Dr Scott Hale, and Dr Taha Yasseri have won the W. J. M. Mackenzie Book Prize at the Political Studies Association (PSA)’s Annual Awards in Westminster on 5 December 2017. Now in its 16th year, the PSA Awards pays tribute to those that have made outstanding contributions to politics in the past year. Political Turbulence: How Social Media Shape Collective Action investigates political mobilization in a digital world. As people go about their daily lives using social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, they are invited to support myriad political causes by sharing, liking, [...]

8th December 2017

Publication: Rapid rise and decay in petition signing

Our journal article entitled, "Rapid rise and decay in petition signing" has been published in EPJ Data Science. Contemporary collective action, much of which involves social media and other Internet-based platforms, leaves a digital imprint which may be harvested to better understand the dynamics of mobilization. Petition signing is an example of collective action which has gained in popularity with rising use of social media and provides such data for the whole population of petition signatories for a given platform. This paper tracks the growth curves of all 20,000 petitions to the UK government petitions website (http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk) and 1,800 petitions [...]

17th August 2017

How Social Media Turn Political Mobilization Upside Down

Political Turbulence author Helen Margetts spoke at the "Society Through the Lens of the Digital" conference organised by The Volkswagen Foundation at the end of May 2017. The conference website includes an audio recording of Helen's talk, which drew upon findings presented in the book and subsequent research. Her talk was entitled "Political Turbulence: How Social Media Turn Political Mobilization Upside Down". In a digital world, Helen Margetts (University of Oxford) noted, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat are where we acquire political information, discuss politics, and make decisions on whether to participate in politics and increasingly where we "do" [...]

1st June 2017

Review in Political Studies Review

Rhys Crilley reviewed Political Turbulence in "Political Studies Review" One of the major strengths of Political Turbulence includes the authors' ability to make complex concepts from a variety of disciplines easily understandable and applicable to analysing social media. They manage to navigate the reader deftly through disciplinary borders and a deep ocean of data while never losing sight of the political significance of their findings. Indeed, such an inter-disciplinary perspective is exactly what is needed when making sense of politics in the age of social media. ...more The full review appears in Crilley, R. (2017). Book Review: Helen Margetts, Peter [...]

7th March 2017

Helen on politics and social media in German

Author Helen Margetts spoke to Hendrik Lehmann of Digital Present on the opportunities and risks for politics in the age of social media. The article, in German, is available on the website of Digital Present. Für eine bessere Politik müssen wir Forderungen an Facebook und Twitter stellen Die Oxford-Professorin Helen Margetts spricht im Interview über Chancen und Risiken von Politik im Zeitalter von Social Media. Frau Margetts, in Ihrem Buch »Political Turbulence« argumentieren Sie, dass sich politische Systeme, ähnlich wie das Wetter, immer chaotischer verhalten. Warum? Zum einen generieren politische Systeme heute in einer Art Daten, wie sie es vorher [...]

16th December 2016