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  • 1. Bastos, Marco
    et al.
    Farkas, Johan
    Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), School of Arts and Communication (K3).
    “Donald Trump Is My President!”: The Internet Research Agency Propaganda Machine2019In: Social Media + Society, E-ISSN 2056-3051, Vol. 5, no 3, article id 2056305119865466Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article presents a typological study of the Twitter accounts operated by the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a company specialized in online influence operations based in St. Petersburg, Russia. Drawing on concepts from 20th-century propaganda theory, we modeled the IRA operations along propaganda classes and campaign targets. The study relies on two historical databases and data from the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to retrieve 826 user profiles and 6,377 tweets posted by the agency between 2012 and 2017. We manually coded the source as identifiable, obfuscated, or impersonated and classified the campaign target of IRA operations using an inductive typology based on profile descriptions, images, location, language, and tweeted content. The qualitative variables were analyzed as relative frequencies to test the extent to which the IRA’s black, gray, and white propaganda are deployed with clearly defined targets for short-, medium-, and long-term propaganda strategies. The results show that source classification from propaganda theory remains a valid framework to understand IRA’s propaganda machine and that the agency operates a composite of different user accounts tailored to perform specific tasks, including openly pro-Russian profiles, local American and German news sources, pro-Trump conservatives, and Black Lives Matter activists.

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  • 2.
    Rieder, Bernhard
    et al.
    Univ Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands..
    Borra, Erik
    Univ Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands..
    Coromina, Òscar
    Malmö University, Faculty of Technology and Society (TS), Department of Computer Science and Media Technology (DVMT).
    Matamoros-Fernandez, Ariadna
    Queensland Univ Technol, Brisbane, Australia..
    Making a Living in the Creator Economy: A Large-Scale Study of Linking on YouTube2023In: Social Media + Society, E-ISSN 2056-3051, Vol. 9, no 2, article id 20563051231180628Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article explores monetization and networking strategies within the consolidating creator economy. Through a large-scale study of linking practices on YouTube, we investigate how creators seek to build their online presence across multiple platforms and widen their income streams. In particular, we build on a near-complete sample of 153,000 "elite" YouTube channels with at least 100,000 subscribers, retrieved at the end of 2019, and investigate the URLs found in 137 million video descriptions to analyze traces of these strategies. We first situate our study within relevant literature around the creator economy, the role of platforms, and issues such as social capital building and economic precarity. We then outline our data and analytical approach, followed by a presentation of our findings. The article finishes with a discussion on how monetization and networking strategies via placing URLs in video descriptions have become more important over time, but also differ substantially between channel sizes, content categories, and geographic locations. Our empirical analysis shows that YouTube, as a highly unequal platformed media system, thrives on the economic pressures it exerts on its creators.

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