Adrian Rauchfleisch

Adrian Rauchfleisch
National Taiwan University | NTU · Graduate Institute of Journalism

PhD

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55
Publications
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Publications

Publications (55)
Article
Full-text available
Online harassment is increasingly applied as a form of information control to curb free speech and exert power in online public spheres. In recent years, states have appeared to be particularly invested in weaponizing information against dissidents in an attempt at dominating social and political discourses. Reports by prominent human rights instit...
Article
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Public sphere theory has come to an epistemic crossroads. The rise of right-wing movements in Europe and the U.S., for example, pose a challenge to public sphere theorists. This holds especially true since they make use of social media to articulate their messages, network, recruit, dissent or attack. In this conceptual paper we suggest a functiona...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, several instances of political actors who created fake grassroots activity on the Internet have been uncovered. We propose to call such fake online grassroots activity digital astroturfing, and we define it as a form of manufactured, deceptive and strategic top-down activity on the Internet initiated by political actors that mimics...
Article
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Taiwan’s exceptionally high Internet penetration and social media adoption rates, combined with the growing centrality of digital tools and networks in shaping national politics, make it an interesting case for Internet researchers. This essay considers Andrew Chadwick’s notion of The Hybrid Media System in the context of recent political events in...
Article
In times of crisis, the spread of conspiracy myths increases since people seek answers to complex questions. Besides societal aspects, social media platforms, especially messenger services, have been identified as a positive driver for spreading conspiracy myths. Much research focused on whether right-wing populist attitudes correlate with belief i...
Article
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Issues continuously compete for attention in the news media and on social media. Climate change is one of the most urgent problems for society and (re)gained wide public attention in 2019 through the global climate strike protest movement. However, we hypothesize that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 challenged the role of climat...
Article
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Inequities in China are reflected within state-run media coverage due to its specific role “guiding public opinion,” and with our study we contribute to the geographic turn in the Chinese context with regard to media and journalism. As a subject of a spatial study, China is unique due to several factors: geographic diversity, authoritarian control,...
Article
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In modern democracies, large societal crises like the COVID-19 pandemic are accompanied by intensified public discourse about which policies and strategies are adequate to fight the crisis. In such times, the public sphere switches to crisis mode with fundamentally different communicative dynamics compared to routinised periods. Data from social me...
Article
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This study focuses on misinformation about the Zika virus on YouTube in Brazil. Whereas most studies in health communication have so far conducted manual content analysis to understand the scope of health-related misinformation, we use a computational approach to understand the formation of information clusters via YouTube's video recommendation al...
Chapter
Absichtlich verbreitete Falschinformationen, kurz als «Desinformation» bezeichnet, sind ein ernst zu nehmendes Problem für die Gesellschaft. Sie sind eine grosse Herausforderung für Demokratien und damit auch für den Informationsjournalismus. Vor allem über Social-Media-Plattformen und Messenger-Dienste können sich desinformative Inhalte rasch und...
Article
Full-text available
Absichtlich verbreitete Falschinformationen, kurz als «Desinformation» bezeichnet, sind ein ernst zu nehmendes Problem für die Gesellschaft. Sie sind eine grosse Herausforderung für Demokratien und damit auch für den Informationsjournalismus. Vor allem über Social-Media-Plattformen und Messenger-Dienste können sich desinformative Inhalte rasch und...
Article
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Algorithms and especially recommendation algorithms play an important role online, most notably on YouTube. Yet, little is known about the network communities that these algorithms form. We analyzed the channel recommendations on YouTube to map the communities that the social network is creating through its algorithms and to test the network for ho...
Article
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In digitized media environments, users can access news from all over the world. The internationalization of news consumption is intensified by social media like Twitter, as users share news from different countries. In our study, we combine the two strands of research about media repertoires as well as transnational news consumption. Switzerland is...
Article
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The identification of bots is an important and complicated task. The bot classifier "Bot-ometer" was successfully introduced as a way to estimate the number of bots in a given list of accounts and, as a consequence, has been frequently used in academic publications. Given its relevance for academic research and our understanding of the presence of...
Article
Full-text available
In Krisen sind Social Media wie Twitter wichtige Informationskanäle für die Bevölkerung. Welche Informationen zirkulieren und welche Akteure ihre Meinungen verbreiten können, beeinflusst, wie die Krise von den Nutzerinnen und Nutzern wahrgenommen wird. Diese Studie untersucht auf Basis von rund 1,8 Millionen Tweets des Projekts «Twitter Listener»,...
Chapter
Full-text available
In Krisen sind Social Media wie Twitter wichtige Informationskanäle für die Bevölkerung. Welche Informationen zirkulieren und welche Akteure ihre Meinungen verbreiten können, beeinflusst, wie die Krise von den Nutzerinnen und Nutzern wahrgenommen wird. Diese Studie untersucht auf Basis von rund 1,8 Millionen Tweets des Projekts «Twitter Listener»,...
Article
Full-text available
This study focuses on the formation of far-right online communities on YouTube and whether the rise of three new actors (Pegida, Identitarian movement, AfD) can also be observed with user behavior on YouTube. We map the network of far-right, conspiracy and alternative media channels in the German-language YouTube sphere, how this network evolves ov...
Article
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Twitter has already become one of the most important social media platforms for political communication. Concerning the use of Twitter in politics, two possible developments have been at the core of the theoretical discussion – equalization and normalization. As normalization seems to be the case in most western countries about politicians’ Twitter...
Article
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The 2016 US election and the victory of Donald Trump are closely connected to a perceived rise of the far-right in the United States. We build upon public sphere and alternative media theory to discuss the relevance of alternative media for the US (far-)right and whether the election period and the candidate Trump allowed far-right alternative medi...
Preprint
We propose a definition of post-factual political discourse as a discursive attitude that consists of three components: Motivated reasoning, conspiratorial epistemology, and bullshit. Motivated reasoning means that any piece of new information will never weaken pre-existing beliefs; it is a form of confirmation bias. Conspiratorial epistemology occ...
Chapter
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Wissenschaftliches Wissen steht heute für mehr und mehr Bereiche des Lebens zu Verfügung. Es kann herangezogen werden für individuelle Entscheidungen zu Themen wie Gesundheit, Ernährung oder Kindererziehung (Schäfer, Kristiansen & Bonfadelli, 2015 a). Es ist ebenso verfügbar für institutionelle und gesellschaftliche Entscheidungen, etwa zu Fragen d...
Preprint
Population policy in the sense of the active and targeted reduction of future life years is a potential mitigation strategy for global risks. We argue that even though population policy is almost certainly effective in principle, it is not necessarily practically viable or desirable, for three reasons. First, in order to be as effective as possible...
Article
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Since the early 1990s, there has been a considerable increase in the number of scientific studies on science communication, and this increase has been accompanied by a diversification of the research field. This study focuses on one aspect of this development: it analyses how citation network structures within the field have developed over time, an...
Preprint
Humankind is facing major challenges in the short-term, medium-term, and long-term future. Those challenges will have a profound impact on humankind’s future progress and wellbeing. In this whitepaper, we outline our understanding of humankind’s future challenges, and we describe the way in which we work towards identifying as well as managing them...
Article
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In China today, the idea of “soft power” has become important in various realms of society. We analyze the nexus between climate change and soft power with specific emphasis on China. First, we will discuss the concept of soft power, its role in the Chinese context, and the reasons why China has had difficulties to gain soft power up to now. Second...
Article
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Die NoBillag-Initiative bewegte in den vergangenen Monaten die Schweiz. Auf Twitter waren besonders die Befürworter der Initiative aus der rechten Community aktiv. Obwohl sie nur 17% der User ausmachen, waren sie für 39% aller Tweets verantwortlich. Sie liefern sich dabei einen offenen Schlagabtausch mit den Gegnern und setzen Twitter dazu ein, die...
Article
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As social media sites have become significant arenas for political debate in recent years, this paper investigates the political debate that took place on Twitter in the wake of the Swiss referendum on the Nuclear Withdrawal Initiative, which was conducted in November 2016. Using Twitter data of 3000 users, we could identify 7 distinct communities...
Article
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Few studies have assessed whether populations can be divided into segments with different perceptions of science. We provide such an analysis and assess whether these segments exhibit specific patterns of media and information use. Based on representative survey data from Switzerland, we use latent class analysis to reconstruct four segments: the “...
Preprint
Ending natural biological death through rejuvenation means overcoming one particular biological limitation. In that sense, ending death is not much different than many other technological advances that overcome some part of our limited biology. The benefits of ending natural biological death are potentially immense. However, even though rejuvenatio...
Article
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Social Media treiben die globale Verbreitung von Medieninhalten an. Auch Schweizer Medien erreichen über Twitter Communities im Inund Ausland. Leitmedien wie die NZZ und Le Temps nehmen dabei eine wichtige Rolle ein. Mit der richtigen Themensetzung erreichen aber auch regionale Medien ein grosses Publikum. Wie zum Beispiel die BaZ: Zusammen mit der...
Article
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In this study, we analyze whether the mere volume of presence in mass media and the mere volume of activity on social media convey advantages to candidates in parliamentary elections. Based on the theoretical model of bounded rationality, we call these potential effects brute force effects. During the last month of the election campaign of the Swis...
Article
Full-text available
Social media, and Twitter in particular, have become important sources for journalists in times of crises. User-generated content (UGC) can provide journalists with on-site information and material they otherwise would not have access to. But how they source and verify UGC has not yet been systematically analyzed. This study analyzes sourcing and v...
Article
Full-text available
Social media, and Twitter in particular, have become important sources for journalists in times of crises. User-generated content (UGC) can provide journalists with on-site information and material they otherwise would not have access to. But how they source and verify UGC has not yet been systematically analyzed. This study analyzes sourcing and v...
Article
Full-text available
Auf Twitter nimmt der politisch-mediale Mainstream, bestehend aus Meinungsführern und Massenmedien, eine zentrale Orientierungsfunktion ein. Diese Accounts haben am meisten Follower und erreichen User in unterschiedlichen politischen Communities. Doch gemessen an seinem Potential konnte er in der Debatte zur Energiestrategie 2050 auf Twitter nur we...
Article
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The public sphere was both one of the most popular and most debated concepts in political philosophy in the 20th century. It is one of the few concepts that has attracted attention from a wide range of disciplines. Despite the already rich intellectual history of the concept, many scholars still disagree over its proper use and definition. The purp...
Preprint
In recent years, several instances of political actors creating fake grassroots activity on the Internet have been uncovered. We propose to call such fake online grassroots activity digital astroturfing. In this paper, we lay out a conceptual map of the phenomenon of digital astroturfing. To that end, we first define digital astroturfing as a form...
Preprint
In this study, we analyze whether the mere volume of presence in mass media and the mere volume of activity on social media convey advantages to candidates in parliamentary elections. Based on the theoretical model of bounded rationality, we call these potential effects brute force effects. During the last month of the election campaign of the Swis...
Article
Full-text available
Many politicians as well as journalists are using Twitter regularly and are connected on the microblogging platform. We use the agenda-building approach as conceptual background because political tweets can serve as information subsidies if they are used by journalists, indicating an agenda-building influence by politicians. It has not yet been sys...
Chapter
Full-text available
Viele Politiker und Journalisten nutzen Twitter inzwischen regelmäßig und sind über die Microblogging-Plattform miteinander vernetzt. Daher ist es im Sinne des Agenda-Building-Ansatzes für Politikerinnen und Politiker potenziell möglich, zu versuchen, über Twitter die Berichterstattung der Journalisten zu beeinlussen. Der Beitrag analysiert vor die...
Article
Full-text available
We analyse the use of Twitter in political communication in Switzerland because, in comparison with other democracies, Switzerland with its strong federalism, fragmented party system, small country size and semi-professional politicians can be seen as the least-likely critical case, thus creating unique conditions for the use of social media. The s...
Article
Full-text available
Almost since the advent of the Internet, there has been great interest in analyzing and understanding online communication from the perspective of public sphere theory. The question of whether the properties of the Internet and, specifically, social media actually contribute to the public sphere is the matter of ongoing and somewhat heated scientif...
Article
Full-text available
Many politicians as well as journalists are using Twitter regularly and are connected on the microblogging platform. We use the agenda-building approach as conceptual background because political tweets can serve as information subsidies if they are used by journalists, indicating an agenda-building influence by politicians. It has not yet been sys...
Article
Full-text available
We analyse the use of Twitter in political communication in Switzerland because, in comparison with other democracies, Switzerland with its strong federalism, fragmented party system, small country size and semi-professional politicians can be seen as the least-likely critical case, thus creating unique conditions for the use of social media. The s...
Chapter
Full-text available
Ein junger Mann im Rollstuhl fährt am Abend des 20. Juli 2013 in den größten Flughafen der chinesischen Hauptstadt, den Beijing International Capital Airport. Aus einer braunen Tasche holt er Flugblätter und beginnt, sie an vorbeilaufende Passanten zu verteilen. Schnell werden Sicherheitskräfte auf ihn aufmerksam und versuchen, ihn an der Verteilun...
Article
Full-text available
The advent of online media, and particularly social media, has led to scholarly debates about their implications. Authoritarian countries are interesting in this respect because social media might facilitate open and critical debates that are not possible in traditional media. China is arguably the most relevant and interesting case in this respect...
Chapter
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Die öffentliche Meinung im Internet gewann für staatliche Akteure in China in den letzten Jahren stark an Bedeutung. Der Staat versucht mittels direkter Regulierung sowie indirekt über Sina Einfluss auf die öffentliche Meinung zu nehmen. Dabei steht der kommerziell geführte Microblogging-Dienst Sina Weibo zwischen den Nutzerinteressen und den Inter...
Article
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This article investigates the content and effects of political humor on late-night television. Besides conducting a systematic content analysis of a Swiss late-night show, this article examines the effects of late-night political parody on competence evaluations of politicians. An experiment manipulated the televised parody of a politician and meas...

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