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/.

Political Turbulence one of the ‘best political books of 2016’

We are honoured Guardian columnist and former political editor of the Observer Gaby Hinsliff included Political Turbulence in her column on the best political books of 2016. For Westminster junkies, meanwhile, one of the most useful things I read all year was a dry tome by four academics on how social media interacts with politics to produce fast-growing but volatile grassroots movements. It’s no Boxing Day page-turner, but Political Turbulence: How Social Media Shape Collective Action (Princeton), by Helen Margetts, Peter John, Scott Hale and Taha Yasseri, sheds interesting light on the year’s great upheavals. ...Read more

1st December 2016

Computational Social Science Winter Symposium

Helen Margetts was a keynote at the 3rd annual Computational Social Science Winter Symposium in Cologne, Germany. Details of her talk are available on the conference website. The Computational Social Science of Turbulent Politics Widespread use of social media is changing politics, by allowing 'tiny acts' of political participation which can accumulate in large-scale mobilizations through a series of chain reactions, where each act sends a signal to other actors, influencing their decision to join. The vast majority of these political mobilizations fail, but the ones that succeed are unpredictable, unstable and often unsustainable. This talk will discuss how we [...]

30th November 2016

Social information and Trump

What role might social information have played in the Trump campaign? Political Turbulence Author Helen Margetts explores this issue in a blog post for the University of Oxford Commentators have been quick to ‘blame social media’ for ‘ruining’ the 2016 election in putting Mr Donald Trump in the White House. Just as was the case in the campaign for Brexit, people argue that social media has driven us to a ‘post-truth’ world of polarisation and echo chambers. Is this really the case? At first glance, the ingredients of the Trump victory — as for Brexit — seem remarkably traditional. ...Read more

9th November 2016

Podcast: Listen to Helen and Peter talk about Political Turbulence

Authors Helen Margetts and Peter John visited the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) on 27 October 2016 to talk about the unpredictability of politics and the influence of social media. A recording of the event is available below or on SoundCloud and more details are on website of the RSA. [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/290831727" params="color=ff5500&inverse=false&auto_play=false&show_user=true" width="100%" height="20" iframe="true" /]

27th October 2016