Wilson’s “Detecting Mass Protest Through Social Media” Homework Essay Sample

The introduction

In the era of new technologies, the number of new gadgets and various social networks is increasing daily. Few people think, but based on an understanding of the dynamics of protests, one can track possible cases of their appearance using data from social networks. Just as social networks influence the development of mass protests, mass protests leave their mark on social networks, that is, posts or personal messages. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the main issues of the article, analyze the results, and identify the problem.

Summary of the core issues

The presented article is about a new and relevant topic in our time, which involves determining the geo-position of possible mass protests using social networks. Wilson (2017) finds “strong evidence of mass protest in a state being associated with an increase in social media activity nationwide” (p.7). Thus, there is a decrease in any social activity in the venue of the protest, but at the same time, its scale is increasing. The purpose of the article is to study how social networks geospatially respond to protests using Twitter data.

Research of Twitter data obtained before, during, and after the events of Euromaidan in Ukraine in 2014 are used as an example. The author also reflects on the impact of social networks on mass protests and gives two concepts of this influence. The article explores the approach to geocoding posts on Twitter, which does not depend on the availability of media or the content in it. Besides, this approach studies how important the user is for the entire social network and how active it is in the network. Thus, more engaged users have a more considerable influence on the occurrence of mass protests.

The problem

A protest is a strong objection to something, and a mass demonstration is a group objection. Often such events cause negative consequences; moreover, they can cost someone’s life. Over time, it has become much easier to find out about such protests with the help of the media (Lee & Chan, 2010). However, most often, they describe the process rather than trying to prevent it. The author of the article cites theories that explain the relationship between protests and social networks or the media.

Years earlier, this task was accomplished by manually coding newspaper newsletters from regions and cities of the country or by the census of specific people who had previously attended such protests. The problem of measuring the dynamics of cases of mass protests is a long-standing one in the social sciences (Wilson, 2017). However, over the past few years, more new technologies have appeared that simplify the encoding of information. Mainly due to the latest software for recognizing faces and images of people who may be involved in holding mass protests. Computers analyze new posts by keywords, for example, “violence” and use contextualization technology; that is, they determine the location, gender, and age of the user, the number of “likes” on this post, etc.

This approach has several limitations since it entirely depends on the availability of electronic versions of geographic locations that are of most interest to users. The author claims that authoritarian states that control social networks can become an obstacle to this approach since, without their permission, it is impossible to obtain these networks fully (Wilson, 2017). Another problem in the theory of this study is the adaptation of context algorithms to a specific language. This method requires not simple dictionary translations, but a complete understanding of information about possible events in different languages ​​of the world, including slang. In this case, the technique cannot provide reliable information contained in the post.

The article discusses two main theoretical concepts of the impact of social networks and the internet on mass protests. The first hypothesis states that the internet, social networks, and applications are the “organizer” of riots, so they are discussed before the event. The second hypothesis suggests that social networks are exclusively informative; they describe an event that has already occurred. The author claims that in practice, the differences between the two theories are difficult to verify (Wilson, 2017). Both concepts are correct, since the organization of the protest before it can take place, as well as its description after the event, complicates the process of data for research.


To study the influence of protests on social networks described earlier by the method, two data sets are needed; that is, data from social networks and data about mass protests. The author also points out that it is necessary to study their scale and time frame. An example of such a study is Euromaidan in Ukraine in 2014, and data are collected on its conduct from October 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014, that is, the situation is covered before, during, and after Euromaidan.

Based on the obtained statistical results for every day for six months, it can be concluded that the largest number of encoded channels was from November to February, that is, during the most massive protests on Euromaidan. The author also provides a research map that describes the number and mass of demonstrations in different areas of the city. Thus, people in the periphery used social networks much more than those who were in the city center and directly participated in the mass protest (Wilson, 2017). Users who were in the city center during this period posted much fewer publications.

The author found that the mass protests in Kyiv were associated with a decrease in activity on social networks in the center of the city and its increase on the outskirts (Wilson, 2017). Thus, the existence of this phenomenon can be verified in other cities and countries to find out whether this is an exceptional feature of Euromaidan. A similar study is also being conducted in Belarus and Russia, and in Lviv, the same regularity has already been identified, which may indicate that the method is universal.


To summarize, the article highlighted the main aspects of the impact of mass protests on social networks and the media; also, it studied how the internet geospatially responds to protests using Twitter data. The author gave theoretical hypotheses about the differences of this influence, that is, organizational and describing. The main argument is the ratio of the geo-location of the user who posted the picture or video and the publication time.

He also used the method of content analysis, that is, the search for the posts necessary for research by keywords. Thus, having obtained statistics on the study of Euromaidan, we can conclude that the number of jobs in the place where the protest takes place decreases. This article may be useful to statisticians who study the dynamics of mass protests, as it describes a new method for studying the interdependence of social networks and protests.


Wilson, S. (2017). Detecting mass protest through social media. The Journal of Social Media in Society, 6(2), 5-25.

Lee, F. L., & Chan, J. M. (2010). Media, social mobilization and mass protests in post-colonial Hong Kong: The power of a critical event. New York, NY: Routledge.

Violence And Conflict For Children And Women


The problem of domestic violence is a relatively newly recognized social problem in the Western community – it began to be debated only in the last three to four decades of the 20th century. Domestic violence, according to platform 4 of the UN World Conference on Women (Beijing, September 14–15, 1995), is recognized as an “epidemic” in most countries of the world (Hattery & Smith, 2016). There are certain features of psychological work with women and children who have suffered from violence. First of all, it is important for psychologists who intend to work with victims of violence to be aware of their ideas and beliefs regarding understanding the causes of violence and related problems, to develop an appropriate strategy and tactics for counseling based on recognized and well-established theories and best practices. One of such theories is the behavioral theory, aspects of which are discussed below, including in the context of the use of counseling for victims of violence.

Behavior Theory: Origin and Key Characteristics

In general, behaviorism is a direction in psychology that emerged at the beginning of the 20th century, representing the theoretical basis for behavior psychotherapy. The methodological prerequisites of behaviorism were the principles of the philosophy of positivism, according to which science should describe only what is accessible to direct observation. Behavior theory is associated with the development of the ideas of Pavlov, as well as Watson, Skinner, Volpe, and Eysenck. Watson (1878-1958) was the founder of an approach to psychology that aimed to study behavior and called behaviorism (Shea, 2015). Volpe and Eysenck made the most significant contribution to the development and popularization of the area currently known as behavioral therapy and counseling. Behavioral therapy is based on the theory of learning and sees the cause of human difficulties and problems in the fact that in certain adverse environmental conditions, the subject has learned the “wrong” and non-adaptive forms of behavior that bring suffering to him/her and people around.

Behavioral therapists believe that problematic behavior can be unlearned using special procedures based on the laws of learning (Antony & Roemer, 2011). The goal of behavior therapy is to eliminate inappropriate behavior (for example, excessive anxiety) and to teach adaptive behavior (skills of social interaction and confident behavior). The emphasis is made not on self-understanding, but exercises and the development of certain skills. The main goals of behavioral counseling can be formulated as part of the main theories of behaviorism: eliminating deficits in behavioral repertoires; enhancing adaptive behavior; weakening or eliminating inappropriate behavior; eliminating debilitating anxiety reactions; developing the ability to relax; acquiring effective social skills; developing the ability of self-regulation.

Application in Counseling

Behavioral counseling begins with a behavioral assessment, which is carried out to determine the goals and methods of treatment. Assessment includes the collection of data that can be obtained both from the interview with a client and other sources, for example, from the client’s self-observations. At the same time, progressive relaxation, which includes tension and relaxation of various muscle groups, can be either an independent treatment method or an element of more complex methods. Other types of relaxation are also used: short-term relaxation, differentiated relaxation, verbal relaxation, and mental relaxation (Farmer & Chapman, 2015). It should be noted that the use of relaxation techniques at the initial stage of counseling is important in working with victims of violence, especially such vulnerable groups of clients as children.

At the next stage, rehearsal of behavior implies the participation of a consultant in the formation and repetition of client behavior in various situations. Assertive training, or teaching to accurately convey positive and negative feelings without inhibition or aggression, is a key element in rehearsing behavior (Kabir, 2017). Reinforcement methods in this process aim to modify behavior by changing its consequences. Counseling can be seen as a process of social influence or reinforcement; ways to identify where customers find reinforcement are considered. A consultant can help clients by increasing the number of reinforcing incentives available and making these incentives more diverse. This approach is effective in treating people who are depressed due to violent experiences (Farmer & Chapman, 2015). In addition, counselors can teach clients how to manage incentives related to adaptive and inappropriate responses and use positive and negative self-reinforcement (Farmer & Chapman, 2015). This approach can be described as a direction that uses the principles of learning to help clients solve their behavioral problems. The result of behavioral analysis is the precise definition of goals, which makes it easier for consultants to choose the most appropriate methods to achieve them.

In the practice of behavioral counseling for women victims of violence, the consultant may offer the client to play a difficult conflict situation that threatens with violence that she may face in the future (Shea, 2015). Various scenarios are played with different people, to select the optimal behavioral strategy. The purpose of the technique is to test new ways of interaction that reduce the risk of violence, and, in addition, to abandon inappropriate stereotypes.

Perhaps the most typical dynamics in the development of relationships built on violence is that a man asserts his undivided power and secures the complete impotence of a woman, thus affecting critically her self-esteem. The consultant can strengthen the woman’s belief that she can manage her life, and it is valuable to her. It is necessary to support her at the time of making a decision and to express confidence in her ability to act effectively, to identify her strengths and positive qualities (Afdal et al., 2017). It is advisable to invite her to make a list of positive statements about herself. When she begins to underestimate herself again, it will be useful for her to re-read this list.

It should be emphasized that the definitions of behavioral counseling differ depending on whether the consultant places the emphasis mainly on the principles of learning based on classical and operant conditioning, or emphasizes the importance of cognitive change. However, the goals of behavioral counseling should be formulated so that they can be stated differently when working with various clients. In addition, the goals should be such that the degree of their achievement could be judged by external manifestations.


Social conditions, causes, and risk factors for the occurrence, the spread of the consequences of family violence, leading to a violation of the social security of the victim of violence (micro-level), family members and close associates (meso-level), and society as a whole (macro-level) can be combined into a single conceptual model with identification of direct and indirect effects on the likelihood of violence. At the same time, the provision of psychological assistance to victims of violence proceeds from the nature of the psychogenic impact of adverse environmental factors on the mechanisms of psychological response, which are significant in the formation of both behavioral stereotypes and various types of psychological and psychosomatic disorders. However, for the effective provision of psychological assistance to victims of domestic violence, the counselor must have a good understanding of the socio-psychological, personal, and behavioral characteristics of such clients. The behavior theory of counseling is based on behavioral assessments, understanding, and acceptance of the foundations of adaptive behavior by the client, and strengthening such types of behavior can be an effective tool for a systemic understanding of the situation and condition of the client and the provision of appropriate psychological assistance.


Afdal, A., Alizamar, A., Ifdil, I., Erlamsyah, E., Taufik, T. (2017). Guidance and counseling services for women victims of domestic violence. Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, 118, 935-939.

Antony, M., & Roemer, L. (2011). Behavior therapy. American Psychological Association.

Farmer, R. F., & Chapman, A. L. (2015). Behavioral interventions in cognitive behavior therapy: Practical guidance for putting theory into Action. American Psychological Association.

Hattery, A., & Smith, E. (2016). The social dynamics of family violence. Westview Press.

Kabir, S. (2017). Essentials of counseling. Abosar Prokashana Sangstha.

Shea, D. (2015). Cognitive behavioral approaches for counselors. SAGE Publications.

“Kinky Boots” By Jerry Mitchell And Brett Sullivan

Kinky Boots is a show by Jerry Mitchell and Brett Sullivan about the shoe factory owner and a drag queen, who joins him and helps to save his business. Noteworthy is the fact that the Broadway show is based on real events. Despite the bright colors and songs in very unexpected moments, Kinky Boots makes us think about the importance of self-acceptance.

The show tells the story of Charlie, the owner of a shoe factory who is trying to save the business of his father, and Lola, drag queen, an incredible and explosive character (S47 E10: Kinky Boots | Great Performances, 2019). At first glance, these people have nothing in common; however, the couple learns to perceive themselves and creates unique high-heeled boots. Although the show is family-friendly, I believe that children may not understand some ideas.

The show begins with Charlie’s childhood when his father shows Charlie the shoe factory as his future. Having matured, Charlie moves to London, but almost immediately receives the news of his father’s death. Later, Charlie meets Lola and pays attention to her expensive, but poor-quality shoes. Things are going bad at the factory, and Charlie gives his employees notices. Lauren, his employee, suggests finding a new niche in the shoe market. Inspired by the idea, Charlie creates the first boot for Lola, but she does not like it, she insists that buyers need sex and creates new shoe designs. In Milan, Lola rescues Charlie and the presentation by participating with her dancers in the show. Lauren and Charlie kiss, Charlie changes the name of his factory, and the team celebrates success.

To create a bright and warm atmosphere, as well as to convey the mood of the characters, the director actively uses light and costumes. For example, the light goes out after the death of Charlie’s father, personifying Charlie’s sadness and depression. Lola, a bright person, dances in a club in a red dress against a background of red lighting. Through light and costumes, the director shows the character’s nature and emotions.

Kinky Boots amazed me with its dynamism, vivid images of heroes, and a sense of joy, optimism, and acceptance of others and self. The play is aimed at an adult audience because it contains concepts that may be difficult for children to understand. The show leaves a pleasant feeling of the integrity and positive emotions because of the quality work with lighting and costumes.


S47 E10: Kinky Boots | Great Performances. (2019). [Video]. PBS SoCal. Web.

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