Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Research Report for “Beware the Smart Campaign”

“Beware the Smart Campaign” is an opinion article written for the New York Times by Zeynep Tufekci.  This relatively short article talked about the technology that political candidates for president had for identifying voters and how to appeal to them through advertisements and social media.   For this report, we will focus on Zeynep Tufekci and this article by examining who she is, why this article was in the New York Times, and the responses to this article about its creditability.

Zeynep Tufekci gained her PH.D at the University of Texas in Austin in sociology.  She tends to be curious about society and technology and how they interact, hence many people and places calling her a “technosociologist”.  She currently works at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill as an assistant professor in the School of Information and Library Science as well as the Department of Sociology.  She is also a fellow for the Information Technology Policy at Princeton University.  Before this, she was an assistant professor at the University of Maryland – Baltimore County in the Department of Sociology.  She has taught a few classes in sociology and technology and has written various articles for different publications, such as the New York Times and the Washington Post.  She also has her own blog site where she writes about various articles for discussion.  Besides being trained to be an expert in the field, she also says that she talks and writes about these subjects because in is what she enjoys.  

As mentioned before, this article was posted in the New York Times.  As it is commonly know, the New York Times tends to have a more liberal approach on various topics and ideas.  As such, the article itself tends to focus more on the success of the Obama campaign for reelection rather than on Romney.  However, the article itself tends to take a more objectionable approach, showing how and why President Obama won through the ad campaign through technology.  In the article, she mainly focuses on how Obama’s campaign was effectively able to convince voters to pick him through the use of technology and not political issues.  Therefore, even though the audience may have been a bit biased, Tufekci was able to be objective as possible in her own writing.

In the comment section of her article posted, there were 114 comments made by people.  In most of the posts, comments tended to state how they knew this information already and how this was one of the many ways President Obama was able to win the campaign.  While some comments criticized Tufekci for her critical position on the Obama campaign, most were relatively positive about the content of the article as true and fair.

In the end, “Beware the Smart Campaign” is from an intelligent author and has a clear objective stance to it.  This article can be well trusted and use for analysis in the studies for this class.   

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