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#Cyberculture agenda: “These nine companies are snapping up almost all the AI startups” AND PEW report on Digital Activism…

In the current acquisition binge around artificial intelligence, tech behemoths with deep pockets lead the way, including Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Intel, Microsoft, Twitter, and Salesforce. The only one with a limited consumer-facing presence is social monitoring firm Meltwater.

Activism in the Social Media Age

This month marks the fifth anniversary of the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, which was first coined following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin. In the course of those five years, #BlackLivesMatter has become an archetypal example of modern protests and political engagement on social media: A new Pew Research Center analysis of public tweets finds the hashtag has been used nearly 30 million times on Twitter – an average of 17,002 times per day – as of May 1, 2018.

1. Public attitudes toward political engagement on social media

Social media use has grown rapidly over the last decade. Today, Americans use a range of social media sites and are increasingly turning to these platforms to get news and information. Social networking sites have also emerged as a key venue for political debate and discussion and at times a place to engage in civic-related activities.

Along with conducting a survey of public attitudes toward political engagement and activism on social media, the Center also performed a separate analysis of several Twitter hashtags. First, it examined the volume of tweets using the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag and other hashtags related to issues, causes or news events to see how usages differ over time and across issue areas. Second, it conducted a content analysis of the topics that are most often mentioned in conversations around the #BlackLivesMatter, #BlueLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter hashtags during major news events.

The #BlackLivesMatter hashtag has been a relatively consistent presence on Twitter for the last five years, with periodic increases in usage around key events

A number of these experts wrote about both sides of the story, taking the time to point out some of the ways in which digital life is a blessing and a curse. A selection of these mixed-response anecdotes follows.

Full coverage

 

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