Politics and communication in the big data era
Crossing Elon's Land. What to do in the face of the collapse of Twitter?
The panel discussion «Crossing Elon's Land» addresses the chaos generated by recent changes on Twitter, which increasingly resemble an impending collapse. The platform suffers from malfunctioning and a loss of trust from its users. Timelines are flooded with irrelevant content, and after the dismissal of many moderators, the spread of hate speech goes unchecked.
The changes in verified accounts, now requiring payment and available to anyone, have made it difficult to identify official and reliable sources. Under Elon Musk's control, the platform has experienced a series of controversies, including the granting of the blue checkmark to popular accounts and the modification of the content prioritization algorithm to favor Musk's posts. Furthermore, access to the Twitter API, including academic access introduced by @Jack in 2021, is being restricted, complicating the study and combat of misinformation.
Project Una and Heurística will explore this problematic scenario and discuss possible solutions and alternatives:
- The consequences of the loss of trust in Twitter and how this affects the digital public sphere.
- Alternatives to Twitter: Mastodon and other spaces, considering their advantages and challenges in content prioritization and the need for technological infrastructure.
- Adapting to the new reality of verified accounts and avoiding misinformation and rumors in the post-Twitter era.
- The impact of restrictions on access to the Twitter API, including academic access, and how this affects research on the dissemination of misinformation, particularly in the European context.
- The responsibility of platforms and governments in regulating and protecting the digital public sphere, in the face of the spread of hate speech and misinformation.
- Technological and infrastructural challenges in maintaining a network like Twitter and implementing effective and ethical content prioritization algorithms.
This panel discussion aims to generate a debate about the issues arising from the collapse of Twitter and the future of online communication. We will attempt to address the challenge of envisioning a digital ecosystem that ensures a more democratic, pluralistic, and resilient public sphere while tackling the complexities of content prioritization, source reliability, and technological and infrastructural challenges.
We will dedicate the morning to the presentation of quantitative and qualitative studies and projects on online political communication. The workshop is specifically aimed at young researchers who are currently conducting their doctoral thesis or master's thesis. The objective of the workshop is to provide an active and constructive forum for discussion. Participants will have the opportunity to share their research projects and receive feedback from a multidisciplinary panel of experts in the form of suggestions, alternative theoretical and methodological approaches, or relevant bibliography.
- 10:15 - 10:45: Model d'opinió de tres estats amb agents mòbils | Irene Ferri, UBICS-UB
- 10:45 - 11:15: Social Operative System: The use of Technology to develop new forms of Governance | Joan Huerva Subirachs, UB
- 11:45 - 12:15: Entendre l'activisme feminista en xarxa: proposta de marc d'anàlisi | Marta Roqueta-Fernàndez, UOC
- 12:15 - 12:45: Polarització estructural i discurs d'odi a Twitter durant campanyes electorals | Joan Massachs, UBICS i Eurecat
- 12:45 - 13:45: Micro obert per a estudiants de Treball de Fi de Grau i Treball de Fi de Màster i debat.
After lunch, we propose three participatory workshops:
- Workshop 1, The latest Twitter data: Racism (from 15:30h to 18:00h).
- Workshop 2, The latest Twitter data: Climate crisis and denialism (from 15:30h to 17:30h).
- Workshop 3, Experimenting with opinion dynamics using ChatGPT (from 18:00h to 19:30h).