To be honest, I was not active in 2017 on the site – in fact, I have not updated it for more than a year.
Meanwhile, many things have happened, including the launch of the second online course on social media, my focus on defending digital rights and promotion of internet freedom, my public talks, my input to the book “Words and Wars. Ukraine Facing Kremlin Propaganda”. Finally, 2017 was a year when Financial Times nominated me to New Europe 100.
In 2018 I will collect and publish all important updates and continue researching technology, social media, Internet freedom and digital rights.
On March 4, 2015, Brookings published a special report targeting the issue of ISIS social media presence. The authors have identified 40,000 ISIS supporters on Twitter. How does it work? What does it mean in the conflicts of 21 century?
The core findings by the researchers are the following:
- In October through November 2014, at least 46,000 Twitter accounts were used by ISIS supporters.
- A sample of 20,000 confirmed ISIS supporters was examined to extract demographics data, with a plurality of users apparently residing in the territories controlled by the Islamic State. The second-most common location for ISIS supporters was Saudi Arabia.
- Nearly one in five ISIS supporting accounts designated English as their primary language. Almost three quarters selected Arabic, and one in 20 selected French.
- Thousands of accounts have been suspended by Twitter since October 2014, measurably degrading ISIS’s ability to project its propaganda to wider audiences.
Note: last year I published the research on the role of social media in popular protests in Ukraine
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Information war against Ukraine run by Kremlin-backed media is supported by pro-Russian puppets, employed by Russian strategists. The recent evidence of this scheme leads to Dragana Trifkovic, a 38-year old woman from Serbia, who joined other foreigners on so-called LNR and DNR elections in Lugansk and Donetsk temporary occupied regions on November 2, 2014. As a Serbian citizen, Trifkovic left many traces of her visit to Donbass via social media – she was posting photos of her meetings with Russian terrorists in Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Known as a supporter of Russia, Trifkovic was linked to neo-Nazi Russian groups and was heavily commented in Twitter.
On November 9, 2014 she deleted her Twitter account – @DrTrifkovic. Nevertheless, Google cache kept screenshots of her profile:
While her Twitter account is deleted, her Facebook profile is active. A supporter of terrorists exrpesses her love to Russian President Vladimir Putin:
Serbian “expert” might have different reasons to love Putin, but her links to neo-nazi groups in Russia question self-proclaimed good intentions of so called LNR and DNR authorities.
Anton Shehovtsev analyses in his blog.
Kremlin will employ puppet “election monitors” that will “observe” and legitimise the “elections” held by the terrorists. Evidence suggests that two “election monitoring organisations” have been in charge of setting up the “election observation missions” for the DNR/LNR: the Eurasian Observatory of Democracy and Elections (EODE) run by Belgian fascist Luc Michel and the European Centre for Geopolitical Analysis (ECGA) run by Polish far right politician Mateusz Piskorski – both have been in the service of the Kremlin’s foreign policy since 2005-2006.
Trifkovic describes herself as a Director General of Center for Geostrategic Studies in Belgrade and claims she is an author at some Serbian sites, such as Fond Slobodan Jovanović, Geopolitika and Novi Standard. Seems, the intellectual level of Serbian elites is quite low if such experts represent Serbian think tanks.
Hashtag #russiainvadedukraine was suggested by a student from Belarus who writes by the name @belamova in Twitter. As a result of awareness campaign by Twitter users to inform international community about Russian direct military invasion into Ukraine, the hashtag appaared in Twitter world trends.
According to Topsy data, almost 500,000 tweets with #russiainvadedukraine have been published between August 26-28, 2014. Ukrainian politicians, such as Prime Minister Yatsenyuk and Minister of Foreign Affairs Klimkin used the hashtag in their tweets.
Here is a link to the article about the user – http://www.belaruspartisan.org/politic/278304/
21 червня 2014 року у Вільнюсі активісти з Німеччини, Литви та України поклали вінок та квіти під посольство РФ у Вільнюсі в пам’ять загиблих українців, загинувших під час російської агресії в Україні.
Охорона посольства у грубій формі почала вимагати забратися від посольства і невдовзі викликала поліцію. Литовські поліцейські дружелюбно поставилися до учасників акції і виконали формальність – переписали паспортні дані двох учасників акції.
Акцію в Литві ініціював Тобіас Вейхманн, громадянин Німеччини, що проживає в Вільнюсі, створивши подію у Фейсбуці. Задля безпеки учасників, організатор не визначив точний час акції – учасникам пропонувалося приходити під посольства РФ в Литві у зручний для них час 21 червня 2014.
Вільнюс приєднався до глобальної акції покладання вінків до посольств РФ, яка відбувалася у багатьох країнах світу.
Тобіас замовив вінок напередодні акції і заплатив власні гроші аби підтримати Україну. Фото – Віталій Мороз
Активісти поклали вінок під ворота посольства РФ в Литві. Фото – Віталій Мороз
Alongside the work of professional journalists, the events in Ukraine showed a huge involvement of Internet users and media activists in reporting on the developments in the protests and the conflict with Russia. With the help of modern technologies, such as Twitter, Facebook, Ustream and YouTube, users provided evidence, shared impressions, helped in news gathering and distribution, coordinated efforts, and mobilized supporters for these causes. Social media became a hub for hundreds of grassroots initiatives that mobilized hundreds of thousands of active citizens across Ukraine and worldwide, interested in the Ukrainian events. The scale of such media activism could not be ignored by professional news organizations, and step-by-step they were accepting social media as a source in newsgathering.
The rise of social media use regarding the events in Ukraine showed remarkable numbers. Twitter, an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read short, 140-character text messages called “tweets”, was the fastest way to learn news about the recent events in Ukraine. In the period of February 10-March 12, 2014, 3,785,648 tweets with the hashtag #ukraine were written by users of Twitter. With the outbreak of the Crimean crisis, the interest in Ukraine on Twitter was comparable to the interest in the 86th Academy Awards ceremony. Continue reading
Anastasiya Dmytruk, a Ukrainian poet, wrote a poetry in which she emotionally explained why Ukrainians will never treat Russians as “brothers” after Crimea invasion. The notion of “Slavic brotherhood” has been of the strongest myths in among Russians who claimed the unity among Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
The original poetry was published in YouTube on March 19 and since then it received 1,712,000 views (as of May 20, 2014). Another version with a song performed by Lithuanian singers Virgis Pupšys,Jaronimas Milius,Kęstutis Nevulis,Gintautas Litinskas got 2,278 million views.
Russian users were outraged since the poetry affected their nationalistic feelings. Dozens of replies were published in YouTube, but none of them did not get more views as original one.
Anastasiya Dmytruk has recently published a book of poetries. Find her updates in Facebook – siadmytruk
On May 30, 2014, at Emerson College, Boston, I have defended my thesis titled Agenda setting in newsgathering during anti-government protests 2013-2014 in Ukraine. The impact of social media on news organizations. Chair – Prof. Melinda Robins, Ph.D., Graduate Program Director of Journalism Department at Emerson College.
I plan to publish it on this blog soon, now, please find the abstract:
Following the Orange revolution in 2004, popular protests of Ukrainian citizens in 2013-2014 for the second time in the last ten years altered the political regime in the country. In the battle against the corrupt government, protesters have demonstrated a sophisticated use of the Internet and social media tools in news dissemination and mobilization of activism. This study investigates another dimension of the protests – the media effects of social media on news organizations within the framework of agenda setting theory. How user-generated content influenced media coverage of the protests by professional news sites and which issues have been perceived as important for public awareness. Based on a case study of one of the leading news sites and a popular Facebook page initiative, I research the agenda setting on the mainstream media.
With Dr.Emmanuel Paraschos, Ph.D. and Prof. Melinda Robins, Ph.D., Graduate Program Director
While working on my research on agenda setting effects in Ukraine, I have collected The New York Times headlines featuring Ukraine during last three months. Through the analysis of The New York Times e-newsletter, sent to the readers on the daily basis, I have found that 45 headlines had appeared in Top News on the site of The New York Times. The period analyzed – January 25-April 24, 2014. The list includes the following headlines:
January 26 – Opposition Says No to Ukraine on Power Share
February 6 – Ukraine Chief Loses Support in Stronghold
February 7 – Russia Claims U.S. Meddling Over Ukraine
February 20 – Ukraine Leader Strains for Grip as Chaos Spreads
February 21 – Ukraine’s Forces Escalate Attacks Against Protesters
February 22 – Ukraine Has Deal, but Both Russia and Protesters Appear Wary
February 23 – Archrival Is Freed as Ukraine Leader Flees
February 24 – Ukraine Rushes to Shift Power and Mend Rifts
February 25 – Wary Stance From Obama on Ukraine
February 28 – Grab for Power in Crimea Raises Secession Threat
March 1 – With Military Moves Seen in Ukraine, Obama Warns Russia
March 2 – Kremlin Deploys Military in Ukraine, Prompting Protest by U.S.
March 2 – Making Russia Pay? It’s Not So Simple
March 5 – Putin, Flashing Disdain, Defends Action in Crimea
March 5 – No Easy Way Out of Ukraine Crisis
March 6 – U.S. Hopes Boom in Natural Gas Can Curb Putin
March 7 – Crimea Approves a Secession Vote as Tensions Rise
March 8 – For First Time, Kremlin Signals It Is Prepared to Annex Crimea
March 11 – Titans in Russia Fear New Front in Ukraine Crisis
March 14 – Russian Troops Mass at Border With Ukraine
March 15 – U.S.-Russia Talks on Ukraine Fail to Ease Tension
March 16 – Russia Seizes Gas Plant Near Crimea Border, Ukraine Says
March 17 – Obama’s Policy Is Put to the Test as Crises Challenge Caution
March 18 – Putin Recognizes Crimea Secession, Defying the West
March 19 – Putin Reclaims Crimea for Russia and Bitterly Denounces the West
March 19 – If Not a Cold War, a Return to a Chilly Rivalry
March 21 – Obama Steps Up Russia Sanctions in Ukraine Crisis
March 22 – Russia’s Shifting of Border Force Stirs U.S. Worry
March 22 – As Sanctions Start, Russia Feels a Sting
March 24 – 3 Presidents and a Riddle Named Putin
March 25 – Russia Is Ousted From Group of 8 by U.S. and Allies
March 27 – Obama Renewing U.S. Commitment to NATO Alliance
March 29 – Putin Calls Obama to Discuss Ukraine, White House Says
April 8 – In East Ukraine, Protesters Seek Russian Troops
April 14 – Ukraine Forces Storm a Town, Defying Russia
April 15 – Ukraine Falters in Drive to Curb Unrest in East
April 16 – Russia Is Quick to Bend Truth About Ukraine
April 16 – Ukraine Sends Force to Stem Unrest in East
April 17 – Russia Economy Worsens Even Before Sanctions Hit
April 18 – Deal is Reached to Ease Tension in East Ukraine
April 19 – Pro-Russian Insurgents Balk at Terms of Pact in Ukraine
April 20 – In Cold War Echo, Obama Strategy Writes Off Putin
April 21 – Photos Link Masked Men in East Ukraine to Russia
April 22 – Under Russia, Life in Crimea Grows Chaotic
April 22 – New Prowess for Russians
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On Easter’s night, April 20, a group of armed individuals attacked a barricade with separatists in Slovyansk, a city in Donetsk region. One separatist was killed during arm fire, three – wounded. In the morning separatists announced that attackers were those who came from Kiev and Western regions of Ukraine. Separatists claimed they had found o $100 banknotes, NATO fire guns and a business card of Dmytro Yarosh, a leader of Pravyi Sector, organization, the name of which is the main argument for Russian media in their propaganda. One of the Russian TV stations reported with accusations for Pravyi Sector, demonstrating the business card. The accusations are one of the techniques of propaganda explored by Russian TV. BBC Russian analyzed those methods of manipulation.
Internet users in Ukraine have immediately reacted to the bias of Russian propaganda machine and started mocking separatists and Russian media publishing in social media messages with hashtag #ВизиткаЯроша. The messages ironized that Yarosh’s business card caused the Titanic catastrophe, it was used during the Moon space mission or it was an attribute of many great painters.
Users have started publishing business cards and disseminating them offline. Data by Topsy shows (bellow), almost 50,000 tweets were published during two days. Articles about the situation were published across media in different countries, including Australia.