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New publication: "'Livejournal Libra!' The influence of politicalblogosphere on political mobilisation in Russia in 2011-12."

The results of LINIS Laboratory Head Olessia Koltsova and LCSR Senior Researcher Andrey Shcherbak recent collaboration were published in the New Media&Society journal; the paper title is “'Livejournal Libra!' The influence of political blogosphere on political mobilisation in Russia in 2011-12."

The paper reviews the role of the political blogosphere and fills a gap in understanding its importance for communication between citizens who support the opposition.

To demonstrate this, the researchers analyzed the content of blogs on a leading Russian blogosphere platform LiveJournal, namely posts from top-2000 bloggers (according to LiveJournal rankings) that had been selected with topic modeling techniques (specifically, LDA) intended to automatically extract relevant topics from a large text corpus.

An important empirical finding of this study is quantitative evidence for the fact that the most influential blogs in Russia are the pillars of strength for the opposition.

Strong correlation has been found between pre-election ratings of opposition parties and presidential candidates and the indicators of political activity in the blogosphere; these correlations have led the authors to the conclusion that political activity on the Internet can provoke political activity in real life.

This not only confirms numerous statements on the overall penetration of the Internet into people's lives but also provides an opportunity to measure such influence on the political activity of citizens and thereby bring us closer to understanding of the dynamics of political transformations.

The full text of the article can be found on the Center for New Media and society website. The center also sponsored this research.