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Analytic ActivismDigital Listening and the New Political Strategy$
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David Karpf

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190266127

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190266127.001.0001

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What Is Left Undone

What Is Left Undone

(p.159) 6 What Is Left Undone
Analytic Activism

David Karpf

Oxford University Press

The final chapter offers a broader assessment of what analytic activism is and is not currently capable of, with a focus on raising a cautionary flag about its potential misuse. The chapter highlights four concluding themes: (1) the loss of beneficial inefficiencies, (2) the limitation of listening without conversation, (3) the danger of perverse measurement incentives, and (4) the potential threat of analytic astroturf. Each theme illustrates some of the implications— both positive and negative—that analytic activism holds for society as a whole. Analytic activism is still a developing field, and the chapter poses a challenge to activist leaders and political technologies to steer it in a healthy direction. The chapter then concludes with final thoughts on its implications for academics, practitioners, and interested citizens.

Keywords:   beneficial inefficiencies, astroturf politics, digital listening, political identities, digital campaigns

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