Guests: Jennifer Pan, Alexandra Siegel. We talk about their research paper titled “How Saudi Crackdowns Fail to Silence Online Dissent” which was published in American Political Science Review. They studied the effects of well-known Saudi activists, religious leaders and journalists being imprisoned for online dissent. They analyzed tweets and Google search data from 2010 to 2017 using automated analysis of text and crowd-sourced evaluation of content to draw conclusions about the behavior of their peers and followers. Their research showed that it did not suppress online dissent overall.
Jennifer Pan is an Assistant Professor Dept. of Communication Stanford University. Her research focuses on political communication and authoritarian politics, political censorship, propaganda, and information manipulation in the digital age. She uses experimental and computational methods with large-scale datasets on political activity in China and other countries. Website: http://jenpan.com
Alexandra Siegel is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University Immigration Policy Lab and a Research Associate at NYU Social Media and Political Participation Lab.
In her research she studies mass and elite political behavior in the Arab World including intergroup conflict, extremism and disinformation. Her analysis involves large datasets from social media, text and networks, machine learning methods and experiments. Website: https://alexandra-siegel.com