Helen Margetts spoke with Deutsche Welle last week about the book and a range of topics from the role of social media in mobilizations to the (lack of) sustainability of social media campaigns. An article reporting their conversation is available at http://dw.com/p/1HpSV. Political Turbulence: we're 'dripping with data' and it may make democracy better Do social media shape collective action? Professor Helen Margetts, co-author of a new book called "Political Turbulence" says they do. By allowing us to make "micro-donations" it's easy to join a cause. ...Read more.
Ivor Gaber reviewed Political Turbulence on 21 January in Times Higher Education (THE). "Chaotic pluralism...a new kind of pluralism, highly decentred and chaotic" is what we're living through, if we are to believe the authors of Political Turbulence. The authors, whose disciplinary backgrounds range across political science, computational science and physics, argue that this new status quo has resulted from the intrusion, if that's the right word, of social media into the political sphere, an intrusion that they describe as "unstable, unpredictable and often unsustainable". ...Read more
William Armstrong reviewed Political Turbulence in the Hurriyet Daily News on 17 December 2015. Turkey's Gezi Park protests seem a long time ago. Back when they were still raging in the summer of 2013, parts of the western media were excitedly hailing them as the latest instance of global social media-driven anti-authoritarian unrest. Some optimistically hoped that social media would advance the cause of freedom everywhere, single-handedly helping people cast off regime-wrought chains. The reality, of course, is murkier. ...Read more.
Lead author, Helen Margetts, discussed Political Turbulence on BBC Radio 4 in October 2015. Listen to the interview or download an MP3 from the BBC website. On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe talks to the American writer Jonathan Franzen about his latest novel, Purity. One of Franzen's characters compares the Internet with the East German Republic and he satirises the utopian ideas of the apparatchik web-users. The head of the Oxford Internet Institute, Helen Margetts, counters with her research on the success and failure of political action via social media. The artist Tacita Dean laments the ubiquity of digital at [...]
An ongoing research programme at the Oxford Internet Institute Research has collected information on petitions and signature activity for various online platforms since 2009. The BBC covered some of our research about the previous UK government petition platform that was active from 2011-2015. Online petitions need to attract large numbers of signatures on their first day if they are to stand any chance of success, researchers have said. In a forthcoming book, a research team from Oxford University will show that 99.9% of e-petitions fail to reach the 100,000 signatures needed to trigger the prospect of a Commons debate....Read more [...]