Karl Sims

Digital Citizens—Media Research Blog


Discrete research blog concerning citizen media and democracy in the digital age. Project was completed as part of my New Media MA.


Written at the same time as the Cambridge Analytica scandal (early 2018), a good portion of the project explored issues around data privacy and its translation into the civic realm.

Other key findings concerned the nature of civic discussions happening within Twitter. It was observed that, viewed through classical theories of civic discourse, discussions most resembled the liberal model of citizenship, i.e. the entitlement of rights. This was true across trends and political divides. Activity resembling the often contrasted republican model, which emphasizes civic responsibility, appeared far less often.

The project made use of a variety of natural language processing techniques such as word vector representations, topic modelling and keyword extraction algorithms. Inferences were successfully made which informed these studies of cultural phenomena comparatively across online platforms.