[Marxism] Ecosystem or Echo-System? Exploring Content Sharing across Alternative Media Domains

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Apr 25 15:31:13 MDT 2018

Abstract: This research examines the competing narratives about the
role and function of Syria Civil Defence, a volunteer humanitarian
organization popularly known as the White
Helmets, working in war-torn Syria. Using a mixed-method
approach based on seed data collected from Twitter, and
then extending out to the websites cited in that data, we examine
content sharing practices across distinct media domains
that functioned to construct, shape, and propagate
these narratives. We articulate a predominantly alternative
media “echo-system” of websites that repeatedly share content
about the White Helmets. Among other findings, our
work reveals a small set of websites and authors generating
content that is spread across diverse sites, drawing audiences
from distinct communities into a shared narrative.
This analysis also reveals the integration of government-funded
media and geopolitical think tanks as source content
for anti-White Helmets narratives. More broadly, the analysis
demonstrates the role of alternative newswire-like services
in providing content for alternative media websites.
Though additional work is needed to understand these patterns
over time and across topics, this paper provides insight
into the dynamics of this multi-layered media ecosystem.


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