UK General Election 2015: dealing with austerity

Banner_issue_1Massimo Ragnedda and Maria Laura Ruiu (2017), UK General Election 2015: dealing with austerity SACS-o Working Papers, Newcastle University.

Abstract: This article investigates the nature of the conversation around austerity on Twitter during the 2015 general election in the UK. Specifically, it explores the kinds of messages referring to austerity, as well as the kinds of accounts involved (whether they referred to a private or public role on Twitter and in society) and their affiliation to politically or non-politically oriented organizations/bodies. The search on Twitter concerning the austerity topic (for the 39-day time period from 3 March to 8 May 2015) resulted in 16,015 tweets, which generally referred to austerity, and 11,146 tweets, which contained at least one relevant hashtag. While austerity was rarely mentioned by mainstream media accounts in the Twittersphere, this topic was widely discussed during the election campaign by private users. This could be seen as a limitation of agenda setting, since there is no correlation between the agenda set by the media on Twitter and the public discussion about it. However, we found a relationship between the offline mainstream media agenda and the discussion led by private users on Twitter, thus confirming, to some extent, the validity of intra-agenda setting. In fact, offline media events (talk shows, news articles and question times) seemed to trigger peaks in tweet-based discussions or mentions about austerity, showing that the agenda set by the offline media influenced the discussion in the Twittersphere. Finally, we found that, while austerity has clear implications for citizens’ daily life, it seems to be more of an “elitist” topic, mainly addressed by those who are already politically oriented and well informed on the topic.

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Social Networks and the Protection of Personal Information. When Privacy Is Not Perceived As a Right

ZIE54DAMassimo Ragnedda, Social Networks and the Protection of Personal Information. When Privacy Is Not Perceived As a Right, Monograph, Privacy and new Technologies, International Federation for Information Processing, 2013

Abstract. On Social Networking Sites (SNS), users freely and without anxiety give sensitive and private data about which they might previously have jealously guarded. The research that I conducted at the University of Sassari (n = 1047), suggests that students have a different approach to the protection of Personal Information: lascivious online and protectionist offline. Students seem to underestimate the risk of posting data because they are unaware of the phenomenon of dataveillance. In fact, 86% said that the main visitors of their personal profile are friends, so they do not worry about data because they have nothing to hide from friends. This makes the perception of SNS more familiar and intimate and lowers social and cultural defenses against the possible intrusion of strangers in their digital world. Only 29.4% said that they often or always heed the privacy policy before registering for a site, and 54% never or rarely read the privacy policy. The role of marketing agencies that scan, match and connect data of individual users with the goal of building an accurate e-profile profile of individual users, seems not be perceived by the students. In fact only 3% imagine that those who visit personal profiles are strangers.

Crisi del Medio Oriente: Nuove opportunità democratiche o fine dell’Impero?

Crisi del Medio Oriente: Nuove opportunità democratiche o fine dell’Impero? E’ il titolo dell’incontro che si è tenuto all’Università di Sassari l’8 aprile 2011. Sono intervenuti il giornalista Giulietto Chiesa, il direttore di Megachip Pino Cabras e Massimo Ragnedda, docente di Sociologia dei processi culturali a Sassari. 

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Informazione, giovani e Internet

uso TVCome si informano i giovani? Che rapporto hanno con la rete e con la TV? Da una recente indagine curata da prof. Ilvo Diamanti, Luigi Ceccarini e Fabio Bordignon con la collaborazione di Ludovico Gardani per la parte metodologica (LaPolis, Univ. di Urbino) e Filippo Nani (Medialab, Vicenza) per quella organizzativa, si evince come i giovani leggono meno degli adulti i giornali. Questo non significa che non si informino:  si informano lo stesso ma usando canali alternativi alla carta stampata. In primo luogo, come tutti si informano alla tv. Ma non solo.

Ciò che maggiormente li caratterizza è l’uso di Internet. I giovani dunque usano internet non solo per chattare o scaricare musica ma la usano anche per informarsi. Inoltre spesso i social network sono diventati dei veri e propri “luoghi” di informazione, con informazioni caricati sulla rete e che spesso riempie lacune che l’informazione televisiva non copre. I giovani sono dunque, oltre che internauti, anche info-nauti. Seguono più Internet che la Tv. Hanno più fiducia nella rete che non nella TV.

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