How Social Media Can Predict Instability
Multi Source Assessment of State Stability
The Project on Multi source assessment of state stability led by Carnegie Mellon University raises a number of questions about how access and usage of social media (compared to traditional media) can be used to promote change in the Middle East and North Africa; in particular, the project examines how social media can be used to: 1) enable the diffusion of new ideas and actions that promote violence, 2) support new agendas, 3) maintain or forge new alliances, 4) forge or break trust, 5) stabilize or destabilize political situations, 6) alter lines of power, and 7) change an actor’s degree of influence. This research lays the groundwork for a media-based state stability modeling system from open source data that is adaptable to different socio-cultural environments. In particular in 2016-17 Bloom’s team will contrast social media by violent extremist groups like the Islamic State (contrasting social media in English vs. Arabic or French) to deduce whether differences in propaganda exist based on language with a particular focus on the role of women as recruiters and propagandists for groups like Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, and ISIS.