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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Online Discourse


The abstract:
This research explores the alternative media ecosystem through a Twitter lens. Over a ten-month period, we collected tweets related to alternative narratives—e.g. conspiracy
theories—of mass shooting events. We utilized tweeted URLs to generate a domain network, connecting domains shared by the same user, then conducted qualitative analysis to understand the nature of different domains and how they connect to each other. Our findings demonstrate how alternative news sites propagate and shape alternative narratives, while mainstream media deny them. We explain how political
leanings of alternative news sites do not align well with a U.S. left-right spectrum, but instead feature an antiglobalist (vs. globalist) orientation where U.S. Alt-Right sites look similar to U.S. Alt-Left sites. Our findings describe a subsection of the emerging alternative media ecosystem and provide insight in how websites that promote
conspiracy theories and pseudo-science may function to conduct underlying political agendas.
From Pew:
In recent years, prominent internet analysts and the public at large have expressed increasing concerns that the content, tone and intent of online interactions have undergone an evolution that threatens its future and theirs. Events and discussions unfolding over the past year highlight the struggles ahead. Among them: