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SXSW 2020

Social Listening: Turning "Likes" into Policy

Cambridge Analytica and Russia’s interference in the 2016 Election, twitter bots before Brexit.
While most news focus on the negative, there are significant upsides to utilizing social media input to make policy. Only 56% of eligible Americans vote in elections, but 72% of Americans have at least one social media account. This gap emphasizes the value of utilizing direct user input.
We focus on the application of social media tools to make government more responsive. Prof Greenberg researches the adoption of social media by legislators. Dr. Ikizler leads a federal project utilizing ~1M Yelp/Google reviews to evaluate occupational licensing regulations. Asst Attorney General Drew Harris advocates AI to make the bureaucratic process more efficient while highlighting the legal challenges.

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  1. How are researchers and policy makers currently using social media measurement to analyze and improve policy outcomes?
  2. What are potential downsides of using social listening as a tool for policy? What can be done to mitigate these pitfalls?
  3. What are the biggest challenges for efficient use and adoption of social media tools for policy making and evaluation?



Devrim Ikizler, Founder / Lecturer, Intelligent Analytics and Modeling / University of Texas at Austin

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Government & Politics
  • Level: Advanced
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