Gilad Lotan
Aug 4, 2014 · 10 min read

Israel, Gaza, War & Data

social networks and the art of personalizing propaganda

We’re not seeing different viewpoints, but rather more of the same.

Instagram co-tag graph, highlighting three distinct topical communities: 1) pro-Israeli (Orange), 2) pro-Palestinian (Yellow), and 3) Religious / muslim (Purple)

Media Constructs Reality

This illustration originally created by Carlos Latuff, a cartoonist, artist and activist based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was heavily shared amongst Israeli users on Facebook over the past month.

On social network sites

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/lan2lan.StatusHunter/photos/a.10150231898867176.371151.260689792175/10152745311962176/?type=1&permPage=1

Twitter

This network graph details the landscape of Twitter handles responding to the UNWRA school bombing.
The “pro-Palestinian” side.
https://twitter.com/paulmasonnews/status/494419938275524608
https://twitter.com/Channel4News/status/494430760942571521
The “pro-Israeli” side.

Instagram

The following tag cloud represents co-occurence of hashtags on Insragram posts. The larger a tag, the more times it appeared. The tighter-connected two tags are, the more times they appeared together.

Capitalism vs. democracy

Choosing to ‘like’ the Israeli politician Miri Regev produces a list of similar politicians.

The underlying algorithmics powering this recommendation engine help reinforce our values and bake more of the same voices into our information streams.

An Experiment:

Personalizing Propaganda

We used to be able to hold media accountable for misinforming the public. Now we only have ourselves to blame.

In Search of Sanity

https://www.secret.ly/p/xdiohtncmuyrkspsnxxrwdghdy

In closing,

i ❤ data

beautiful, insightful, touching, interesting stories with…

i ❤ data

beautiful, insightful, touching, interesting stories with data

Gilad Lotan

Written by

Head of Data Science @buzzfeed| previously @betaworks, @microsoft | Adjunct Professor @NYU | @globalvoices

i ❤ data

beautiful, insightful, touching, interesting stories with data