The Social Media Research Lab (SMRL) can be found here: http://socialmediaresearchlab.wordpress.com/
The SMRL encompasses several research teams focusing on different regions, social media, and current movements. SMRL will also host a Social Media Research Symposium on March 23rd, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Social Media Research Symposium on March 23 at American University, Washington, DC, will explore current research on how social media is being used worldwide for cultural and political transformation. Participants across all panels will include representatives from major technology companies, government officials from the US and abroad, academic researchers, and research teams involved in the Social Media Research Laboratory here at American University. The Symposium will take place in the new School of International Service building Founders Room on the main campus of American University.
The Symposium program will be posted soon. Please stay tuned for more details.
Lunch will be provided and a reception will follow at 5 p.m.
The SMRL can also be followed on Twitter @SocialMediaProg
Mexico: Social Media & Citizen Security
Throughout the semester, we will post findings from various social media platforms as they relate to individual and societal security in Mexico. With the rise of drug-related violence, citizens are using social media to warn fellow citizens on a daily basis. Traditional media outlets are intimidated into silence, which is pushing people toward alternative communication methods. This shift is transforming the way the government reacts to reports of violence as well as its policy on social media usage.
Europe: Social Media and the Anti-Putin Movement
“Notes from Матерская”
After Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party couldn’t even win a simple majority in rigged parliamentary elections last December, his opponents took to the streets. Some of those first protesters, thirsty for camaraderie, met just steps from the Kremlin in a bar called Masterskaya—”the workshop”—to plan an uprising the likes of which hadn’t been seen since just before the fall of the Soviet Union. Their guns were Twitter and facebook; their bullets tweets and blog posts. We have dedicated this, our own Masterskaya, to tracking and researching the Russian movement against Putin on these and other social media platforms.
Our research team focuses on the April 6 youth movement in Egypt and its use of social media tools to accomplish its political and social objectives
North America: The Net Neutrality Movement
“Digital Process: Web 2.0 & the Open Internet in USA”
In many parts of the world, the Internet is closely monitored and the flow of information is tightly controlled. Network Neutrality explores the idea that the information provided on the Internet should not be censored and be readily available to all. We will analyze the role that social media has played in the fight for network neutrality and how it has helped amplify the entire movement for equality and freedom of information. Similarly, we will explore how social media has contributed to increased civic engagement and contributed to the protests and opposition movements throughout the United States. We will explore both the negative and positive effects of social media on network neutrality and how it has helped shape both the political and cultural atmosphere in the United States.