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Session 4B [clear filter]
Wednesday, July 13
 

10:45

Session 4B: Facebook
Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
Campus Map 


Moderators
avatar for Stefanie Haustein

Stefanie Haustein

Assistant professor, University of Ottawa
I am an assistant professor at the School of Information Studies at the University of Ottawa. My research focuses on social media in scholarly communication, bibliometrics, altmetrics and open science. I am also co-directing the #scholcommlab and am an associate member of the Centre... Read More →

Wednesday July 13, 2016 10:45 - 12:15
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01 Goldsmiths University, Building 2

10:46

Differentiated Facebook use in the context of digital inequality
Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
Campus Map 

Contributor: Fanny Ramirez, Rutgers University, United States

Background:

Studies on Internet use tend to cast a wide net and examine how different social groups use the web at large rather than how they use specific websites or applications. Such research has been very valuable in establishing how social inequalities, broadly, are carried over online, but they do not tell us where on the Internet user practices are more likely or less likely to be influenced by sociodemographic factors. 

Objective:

This paper addresses this gap in knowledge by examining the sociodemographic factors (sex, race, and socioeconomic status) that predict the likelihood of using Facebook for: 1) Keeping up with the news and current events: 2) receiving updates and comments from the people in one’s network; and 3) receiving support from the people in one’s network. The paper focuses on what factors predict whether individuals identify one or more of these uses as a major reason for why they use the social network site. Looking at the reasons why different social groups use Facebook is important because many studies have linked social media use to benefits such as increased social capital, greater social involvement, political awareness, and opportunities for democratic deliberations (Ellison, Vitak, Gray, & Lampe, 2014; Gil de Zúñiga, 2012; Halperm & Gibbs, 2013; Ledbetter, Mazer, DeGroot, Meyer, Mao, & Swafford, 2011; Warren, Sulaiman, & Jaafar, 2014). 

Methods:

The data for this study were collected in 2013 as part of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Random digit dialing was used to obtain a nationally representative sample of 1,800 Americans. The relationship of sex, race, and socioeconomic status on the importance of using Facebook to keep up with the news and current events, receive updates and comments, and receive support is assessed through multivariate logistic regression analyses. Age, frequency of Facebook use, number of Facebook friends, and political engagement are used as control variables. 

Results:

Contrary to the findings from previous studies about the relationship between race, socioeconomic status, and online news consumption, results indicate that blacks are more likely than whites to claim that accessing news is a major reason for why they use Facebook. Additionally, individuals with a higher socioeconomic status were found to be less likely than individuals with only a high school education to report using Facebook for this purpose. These findings suggest that Facebook appeals to less privileged groups and racial minorities and that the website is helping bridge the digital divide in online news consumption. As for using Facebook to stay in touch with family and friends, results show that sex is not a predictor of citing receiving updates and comments as a major reason for using Facebook. However, consistent with findings on gendered social support practices online and in interpersonal contexts, results show that women have much higher odds than men of reporting that receiving support is a major reason for why they use Facebook. Although no significant gender differences were found in people’s motivation for using Facebook to get updates and comments from friends and family members, results indicate that receiving support is one form of online activity where gender differences persist. 

Future Work:

The finding that African Americans are much more likely than whites to cite keeping up with the news as a major reason for why they use Facebook raises interesting questions about the current state of the digital divide. Future research should look at how sociodemographic factors influence user practices across multiple websites and applications to see where and how certain patterns of inequality emerge and disappear. 

References 

Ellison, N., Vitak, J., Gray, R.., & Lampe, C. (2014). Cultivating social resources on social network sites: Facebook relationship maintenance behaviors and their role in social capital processes. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 19, 855-870. doi:10.1111/jcc4.12078 
Gil de Zúñiga, H. (2012). Social media use for news and individuals' social capital, civic engagement and political participation. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 17, 319-336. doi:10.1111/j.1083-6101.2012.01574.x 
Halpern, D., & Gibbs, J. (2013). Social media as a catalyst for online deliberation? Exploring the affordances of Facebook and YouTube for political expression. Computers in Human Behavior, 29, 1159-1168. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2012.10.008 
Ledbetter, A. M., Mazer, J. P., DeGroot, J. M., Meyer, K. R., Mao, Y., & Swafford, B. (2011). 
Attitudes toward online social connection and self-disclosure as predictors of Facebook communication and relational closeness. Communication Research, 38, 27-53. 
Warren, A. M., Sulaiman, A., & Jaafar, N. I. (2014). Facebook: The enabler of online civic engagement for activists. Computers in Human Behavior, 32, 284-289. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2013.12.017  

Wednesday July 13, 2016 10:46 - 12:15
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01 Goldsmiths University, Building 2

10:46

Shut up and like it: the spiral of silence on Facebook.
Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
Campus Map 

Contributor: Marilia Pereira, PPGCOM ESPM, Brazil

Background: 

Besides all Web 2.0 facilities for sharing self-content and SMS gratifications for this practice, this study aims to discuss if Facebook users are stuck by self-censorship and silence. Many scholars argue how issues such as context collapse, privacy management, surveillance awareness and illiteracy could be related to self-information disclosures restrictions, bringing side effects to performances online. Combining a set of desk research and analysis of empirical studies on the topic, we could propose users fell less comfortable to talk about themselves and are more likely to perform their identity by consuming, liking and sharing third parties performances. In fact, a 21% decline in original personal sharing (from mid-2014 to mid-2015) was recently reported on Facebook[1]. Our contribution is to analyse why people decide to like and share the things they do through the Spiral of Silence theory and dynamics (NOELLE-NEUMANN, 2001). Relating public opinion to friends opinion and how Facebook make it visible, actors' choices could be defined not only by affinity or admiration, but also under the influence of these performances' audience measures. As described in the spiral of silence model, because some content seems to spread among their social network, actors could assume that they reflect the majority opinion. Thus, the fear of being isolated could motivate their endorsements and consumption. This hypothesis drives us to the majority illusion phenomena (LERMAN, YAN, WU, 2015) and how Facebook might transform visibility into silence.

Objective: 

Verify if the Spiral of Silence phenomenon can be observed on Facebook and how is it impacts on users self-censorship and self-presentation. 


Results: 

As a work-in-progress paper, we do not allow conclusive results. However, based on the desk research carried out, we found out that:   

• 44% of Facebook users “like” content posted by their friends at least once a day, with 29% doing so several times per day. 31% comment on other people’s photos on a daily basis, with 15% doing so several times per day. 19% send private Facebook messages to their friends on a daily basis, with 10% sending these messages multiple times per day. 10% change or update their own status on Facebook on a daily basis, with 4% updating their status several times per day. Some 25% of Facebook users say that they never change or update their own Facebook status[2] (transcription from original text). 

• 71% of the 3.9 million users in this sample self-censored at least one post or comment over the course of 17 days, confirming that self-censorship is common. Posts are censored more than comments (33% vs. 13%). Also, we found that decisions to self-censor content strongly affected by a user’s perception of audience[3] (transcription from original text).

• 20% of Facebook users like pages because they see friends already did it[4]. 

Future Work: 

Apply a survey to observe: a) the effect of "opinion climate" over Facebook users likes and shares; b) the influence of friends' reputation over the consumption and interactions made online.

Conduct indeep interviews with some of the survey participants to deepen the discussion why people like and share what they do on Facebook.

References:

LERMAN, K., YAN, X., WU, X. (2015). The Majority Illusion in Social Networks. USC Information Sciences Institute. http://arxiv.org/abs/1506.03022

NOELLE-NEUMANN, E. (2013). La espiral del silencio - Opinión pública: nuestra piel social. Barcelona: Editora Vozes.

[1] Bloomberg Technology (2016). Facebook wants you to post more about yourself. <http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-07/facebook-said-to-face-decline-in-people-posting-personal-content?platform=hootsuite>. Acess on Access on 04/11/16. 

[2] Pew Research Center (2014). http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/02/03/6-new-facts-about-facebook/. Access on 09/28/15.

[3] DAS, Sauvik and KRAMER, Adam (2003). Self-Censorship on Facebook. Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (www.aaai.org). http://sauvik.me/system/papers/pdfs/000/000/004/original/self-censorship_on_facebook_cameraready.pdf?1369713003. Access on 09/28/15.

[4] Synapse.com (2013). Why consumers become brand fans. http://www.syncapse.com/why-consumers-become-brand-fans/#.Vg7UfHvDaOX. Access on 10/02/15.


Wednesday July 13, 2016 10:46 - 12:15
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01 Goldsmiths University, Building 2

10:46

User-generated counter-hegemonic discourse in social media: The case of the Hong Kong Police Force Facebook page
Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
Campus Map 

Contributors:
  • Michael Chan, Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Cicy Tong, Community College of City University

Background:

In recent years there has been increasing scholarly interest on the use of social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) by law enforcement agencies to reach out to and engage with citizens, such as in the United States (Brainard & Edlins, 2015), Canada (Schneider, 2014), and United Kingdom (Crump, 2011). These efforts are part of strategic efforts to engage in police “image work” so as to reinforce perceptions of authority, legitimacy, and credibility.

This study focuses on the Facebook group page of the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF), established in October 5th, 2015. The launch came one week after the one- year anniversary of the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong where the HKPF was widely criticized for the firing of teargas on protesters. Moreover, citizen’s satisfaction with the police, dubbed as “Asia’s finest”, has fallen from 81% in 2007 to 50% in 2015 (HKUPOP, 2015). Most of the Umbrella Movement protesters were young, a demographic that is also the heaviest users of social media. Thus, the prospects for civil and rational discourse on the HKPF Facebook page did not appear promising. In fact, it may even become a site of discursive contestation and a “critical-reflexive space” for counter discourses to be disseminated by users against those in power (Dahlberg, 2011). This is especially the case for Hong Kong, where protests for greater democracy have in recent years become more confrontational and provocative (Garrett & Ho, 2014). 

Objective:

This study examines: 

  • The presentational strategies adopted by the HKPF in terms of the types of posts it desseminates on its Facebook page
  • Users’ responses to such posts and the types of discourse they adopt 

Thus, this study takes a step further in the literature by actually examining the content of the messages. 

Methods:

The study uses a hybrid approach that combines big data with discourse/content analysis (Lewis, Zamith, & Hermida, 2013). First, all HKPD Facebook posts is extracted using Facepager (Keyling & Jünger, 2013). Then, systematic concordance analyses using AntConc (Anthony, 2014) are conducted in order to quantity the most common words/phrases and qualitatively classify the different genres of discourse. This study examines the prevalence and sustainability of counterdiscourses derived from the ten ‘statement’ posts. The rationale is that these posts generally have the highest level of user engagement and comprise 40% of all user comments. They are the most authoritative in the sense that they represent the ‘voice’ of the HKPF leadership. The negatively of user comments in the first two days of the HKPF Facebook page was widely reported by the Hong Kong media. 

Results: 

Preliminary concordance analyses of key words and subsequent qualitative categorizing and analyses led to some findings: 

  • Prevalence of a vocal minority users. Such users post frequently and are generally negative towards the police. They are more likely to post external comment (e.g. URL links, videos etc.).
  • Counter-hegemonic intertextual political discourse. User comments often had no relation to the actual HKPF posts. Rather, many user posts were critical of police actions during the umbrella movement.
  • Political culture jamming. Such posts constituted a form of “rhetorical sabotage” (Harold, 2004) and ‘political jams’ that challenge dominant discourse with counter-hegemonic discourse (Cammaerts, 2007).
  • Use of diverse text genres. Many genres were utilized, from insults to mockery, and satire to humour.
  • Visual siege. Some posts focused on dominating the ‘visual space’ of the comment area, such as repeated iterations of “black police” that filled up the whole message section. Others embedded anti-police YouTube video 
Future Work: 

The longer-term goals of the project are to analyze the messages longitudinally to have a better understanding of the posts, user types, and related intertextual political discourse. 

References:

Anthony, L. (2014). AntConc (Version 3.4.3). Tokyo, Japan: Waseda University. Retrieved from http://www.laurenceanthony.net/

Brainard, L., & Edlins, M. (2015). Top 10 U.S. Municipal Police Departments and Their Social Media Usage. American Review of Public Administration, 45(6), 728-745.

Cammaerts, B. (2007). Jamming the Political: Beyond Counter-hegemonic Practices. Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 21(2), 71-90.

Crump, J. (2011). What Are the Police Doing on Twitter? Social Media, the Police and the Public. Policy & Internet, 3(4).

Dahlberg, L. (2011). Re-constructing digital democracy: An outline of four ‘positions. New Media & Society, 17(1), 855-872

Garrett, D., & Ho, W.-c. (2014). Hong Kong at the brink: Emerging forms of political participation in the new social movement. In J. Y. S. Cheng (Ed.), New trends in Hong Kong's political participation (pp. 347-384). Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press.

Harold, C. (2004). Pranking rhetoric: "culture jamming" as media activism. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 21(3), 189-211.

HKUPOP. (2015). People's Satisfaction with the Performance of the Hong Kong Police Force. Retrieved Jun 27, 2013, from https://www.hkupop.hku.hk/english/popexpress/hkpolice/halfyr/hkpolice_halfyr_char t.html

Keyling, T., & Jünger, J. (2013). Facepager. An application for generic data retrieval through APIs. from https://github.com/strohne/Facepager

Lewis, S. C., Zamith, R., & Hermida, A. (2013). Content Analysis in an Era of Big Data: A Hybrid Approach to Computational and Manual Methods. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 57(1), 34-52.

Schneider, C. J. (2014). Police presentational strategies on Twitter in Canada. Policing and Society. 


Wednesday July 13, 2016 10:46 - 12:15
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01 Goldsmiths University, Building 2

10:46

Yarn makes / strong ties
Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
Campus Map 

Contributor: Alison Mayne, Sheffield Hallam University


Background:

The paper reflects on aspects of a larger PhD. study exploring perceptions of wellbeing in female amateur knit and crochet crafters, focusing specifically on the ways that participants share their experiences of making in a virtual social community on Facebook. It seeks to highlight the ways that participants seek wellbeing through knit or crochet practice and in sharing their making in a digital space. Amateur makers weaving both tactile object and social connections through online media are significantly under-researched. This is despite the fact that yarn-based digital communities such as Ravelry have memberships in the millions (Orton-Johnson, 2014) and participants involved in Facebook knit and crochet groups number in hundreds of thousands (Mayne, in press). 

Objective: 

The use of an online community to engage and communicate with participants as well as a platform from which to collect data is a deliberate response to calls from the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council to explore the 'ethics and ontologies of participation and collaboration… via digital networks' (Armstrong et al., 2014, p.58). It seeks to promote the value of what may be learned from qualitative, ‘small data’ study of an online community, rather than its more popular, large-scale counterpart. Moreover, questions regarding the ways social media research may be conducted ethically are an integral part of the research conversation with participants. 

Methods: 

This qualitative study has been facilitated through the creation in early 2015 of a closed Facebook community – the ‘Woolly Wellbeing Research Group’ - which was designed to engage participants in sharing their views. Participants are drawn from a pragmatic and purposive sample of women initially invited through Twitter and Facebook crafting groups. There are over 400 participants representing over 20 countries. With the researcher working as participant-observer, data has been gathered from thousands of ephemeral ‘chat’ posts, extended reflections in response to research questions and images of completed textiles or works in progress. 

Results: 

The situation of this work, at the intersections of digital ethnography and the tactile experiences of textile craft-making, is beginning to explore motivations in contributing to a small community online. Thematic analysis is being used to explore participants’ experience of navigating the haptic in tactile making and its presentation in a digital space and the ethical implications of being part of a research community on social media. 
Participants reflect that their engagement in an online knit and crochet group has provided an outlet for a sense of agency and a vehicle through which to enhance their perceptions of self-esteem. These aspects of wellbeing are being fixed in time through sharing on Facebook, where participants are curating a digital record of their own making. 

Future Work:

The next stage of the study is a digital journaling project, where participants track their experiences of wellbeing through making with yarn over several months. Here, it is anticipated that a more nuanced understanding of participants’ motivations for sharing tactile hand-craft in through an online community may be gained. 

References: 

Armstrong, L., Bailey, J., Julier, G. and Kimbell, L. (2014). Social design futures: HEI 
research and the Arts and Humanities Research Council . Brighton: University of Brighton and Victoria and Albert Museum. 
Mayne, A. (in press). Virtually ethical: Ethnographic challenges in researching textile crafters 
online. In Daniels, J., Gregory, K. and McMillan Cottom, T., (eds.) Digital sociologies. Bristol: Policy Press. (Accepted for publication September, 2015) 
Orton-Johnson, K. (2014). DIY citizenship, critical making and community. In Ratto, M. and 
Boler, M. (eds.) DIY citizenship: Critical making and social media. (pp.141-155). Cambridge MA: MIT Press. 

Wednesday July 13, 2016 10:46 - 12:15
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG01 Goldsmiths University, Building 2