[Air-L] Arab spring & social media evidence

nativebuddha nativebuddha at gmail.com
Sat Sep 17 16:28:30 PDT 2011

here's a related (side-step) to the discussion:

Culturomics 2.0: Forecasting large-scale human behavior using global news
media tone in time and space

Kalev Leetaru

News is increasingly being produced and consumed online, supplanting print
and broadcast to represent nearly half of the news monitored across the
world today by Western intelligence agencies. Recent literature has
suggested that computational analysis of large text archives can yield novel
insights to the functioning of society, including predicting future economic
events. Applying tone and geographic analysis to a 30–year worldwide news
archive, global news tone is found to have forecasted the revolutions in
Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, including the removal of Egyptian President
Mubarak, predicted the stability of Saudi Arabia (at least through May
2011), estimated Osama Bin Laden’s likely hiding place as a 200–kilometer
radius in Northern Pakistan that includes Abbotabad, and offered a new look
at the world’s cultural affiliations. Along the way, common assertions about
the news, such as “news is becoming more negative” and “American news
portrays a U.S.–centric view of the world” are found to have merit.

Full text:


On Sat, Sep 17, 2011 at 7:02 PM, Murray Turoff <murray.turoff at gmail.com>wrote:

> There is a very interesting problem here.  The fundamental reasons might
> have little to do with the use of social media except as way of people
> being able to receive the information which in it self may explain the
> cause
> of
> these revolutions.
> I really think what is needed is a content analysis of Wikileaks.
> There was a news article i read which might have been in the NYTimes
> some time back which pointed out:
> A lot of material in the famous release of u.s. secret cables by various
> diplomats
> and officials confirmed in the mind of many Arabs, especially the young
> ones, the real
> extend of corruptions among the leaders and their accumulation of wealth as
> a result of
> their leadership positions.  While this was felt it was never really proved
> in the minds of
> these people until they could read it online or in circulated copies of
> materials downloaded
> by others.
> I did think this was a cause that was worth considering for the Arab
> Spring.   Given they
> already did not trust their regular news sources Wikileaks was considered a
> more trusted
> source.
> I would like to see a real content analysis of Wikileaks to compare to
> other
> explanations for
> the Arab Spring.
> --
> --
> *Distinguished Professor Emeritus
> Information Systems, NJIT
> homepage: http://is.njit.edu/turoff
> *
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