NextGov story: “Some of the same social media analyses that have helped Google and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spot warning signs of a flu outbreak could be used to detect the rumblings of violent conflict before it begins, scholars said in a paper released this week.
Kenyan officials used essentially this system to track hate speech on Facebook, blogs and Twitter in advance of that nation’s 2013 presidential election, which brought Uhuru Kenyatta to power.
Similar efforts to track Syrian social media have been able to identify ceasefire violations within 15 minutes of when they occur, according to the paper on New Technology and the Prevention of Violence and Conflict prepared by the United States Agency for International Development, the United Nations Development Programme and the International Peace Institute and presented at the United States Institute of Peace Friday.”
From Peter Welsch at the White House: “On the first weekend in June, civic activists, technology experts, and entrepreneurs around the country will gather together for the National Day of Civic Hacking. By combining their expertise with new technologies and publicly released data, participants hope to build tools that help others in their own neighborhoods and across the United States”.
“Datafication refers to the fact that we’re looking at more aspects of life that we never actually understood as being informational before. And finding out that that in fact there is an informational quality to it that we can render into a data format. So what we’re seeing with social media companies is they’re actually datafying aspects of the life that we never really saw that could be datafied. So for example Facebook datafies our friendships. Twitter datafies our whispers or maybe our stray thoughts. And LinkedIn datafies our professional contacts. And more and more and more are we seeing that we’re able to take the daily interactions of living, things that we never really saw that can be rendered into a data format and we’re putting it into data formats.”
Potential of datafication for re-imagining governance? Kenneth:
“you can just use your imagination and think of some of the extraordinary uses. One way that we’re doing it is looking at who contacts whom on Twitter and who’s one’s followers are. And we’re able to identify that, and we never known this before that subpopulations exist that are either immunized for the flu or are not. Now it’s a public health issue. The whole point of vaccinations is that you take a broad population, you vaccinate many but not all and everyone is covered. What we’ve just now learned with Twitter is that this idea of herd immunity might not be the case because there’s whole subgroups of the population that all don’t get vaccinated yet they all hang out together. They do virtually and we’re seeing that those virtual ties are also physical ties. I want to stress this sounds like it might be an intuitive thing. It’s not. It sounds like this might just be a nice thing to know, it’s deadly important. It’s very serious.”