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  1. Framing the Frontlines: Great Power Narratives on Facebook in India about the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

    Small, Chase
    June 6, 2023

    Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine not only initiated a devastating ground war, it also ignited a competition on social media over foreign audiences' perceptions of the frontlines. India, which is officially neutral and has the world’s largest number of Facebook users, is a prime battleground for this competition. This thesis examines how actors from Russia, the United States, and China influenced narratives on Facebook in India leading up to and immediately after the invasion. By analyzing roughly 300,000 Facebook posts in India, it uses thematic analysis to identify dominant narratives from actors from each state and a topic classifier built on a state-of-the-art language model to measure the alignment of narratives between states. Actors from India overwhelmingly drove Facebook conversations, and, despite India’s neutral stance, discussed narratives that frequently aligned with those propagated by US-based actors while rarely aligning with narratives from China- or Russia-based actors. Chinese state-controlled media targeted India with narratives that closely resembled those from users in Russia. However, this thesis finds no evidence of state-controlled media from Russia or the United States targeting India on Facebook. Policymakers should be cautious about overstating the role of Russian or Chinese state-controlled media on Facebook and should focus on understanding the diverse foreign policy interests of the Indian public in shaping narratives around international conflicts such as the 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

  2. My Heart Loves the Army: An Investigation into a Jordanian Disinformation Campaign on Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter

    Grossman, Shelby
    January 5, 2022; July 8, 2021

    On July 8, 2021, Facebook announced the removal of a domestic Jordanian disinformation network. The network included 35 Pages, 3 Groups, 89 profiles, and 16 Instagram accounts. Facebook attributes the network to “individuals in Jordan including those associated with the Jordanian military.“ It suspended the network not due to the content of the posts, but rather for coordinated inauthentic behavior. We believe this is the first time a social media platform has publicly suspended a disinformation network operating in Jordan. Facebook shared a portion of this network’s activity with the Stanford Internet Observatory on June 23, 2021. Key takeaways: • The network posted content supportive of Jordan’s King Abdullah II and the Jordanian military. • The activities of the network included leveraging discussions from Clubhouse (the audio-only social media platform) and creating accounts on TikTok; we believe this is the first instance of such behaviors with these newer platforms. The TikTok portion of this network was very small, attracted little engagement, and primarily shared other accounts’ videos. • The network’s Facebook Pages shared professionally produced videos that claimed Prince Hamzah – arrested in April 2021 on sedition charges – was willing to sacrifice control over Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem in exchange for growing his personal power. One video shared across many Pages presented a recording from Clubhouse about Prince Hamzah, accusing foreigners of using Clubhouse as part of “fourth generation social media warfare.” • The network shared religious videos criticizing ISIS’s interpretation of Islam that may have been designed to reduce support for the group in Jordan.

  3. Chasing shadows : Santu Mofokeng : thirty years of photographic essays

    Mofokeng, Santu, 1956-2020
    Munich ; New York : Prestel, c2011.

    One of South Africa's most acclaimed and prolific photographers, Santu Mofokeng came of age during Apartheid. While his early work depicted the cruel injustices of the Apartheid era, Mofokeng has continued to expand his documentation of the human experience, on scales both large and small. Chasing Shadows takes an unflinching look at the South African society and beyond: night vigils, torture cells, tenant farming, urban neighbourhoods, and industrial landscapes. This volume features the finest examples of Mofokeng's black and white as well as colour images. The book also includes essays, related archival documents that bring the photographs into historic context, and an extensive interview with the photographer, making this volume the definitive book on Mofokeng's eloquent and timely work.

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