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Session 5A [clear filter]
Wednesday, July 13
 

13:45

Session 5A: Dark Side of Social Media
Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG02, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
Campus Map 


Moderators
Wednesday July 13, 2016 13:45 - 15:15
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG02 Goldsmiths University, Building 2

13:46

Non-public eParticipation in social media spaces
Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG02, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
Campus Map 

Contributors:
  • Ella Taylor-Smith, Edinburgh Napier University, United Kingdom
  • Colin Smith, Edinburgh Napier University, United Kingdom

This paper focuses on the importance of non-public social media spaces in contemporary democratic participation at the grassroots level, based on case studies of citizen-led, community and activist groups. The research pilots the concept of participation spaces to reify online and offline contexts where people participate in democracy. Participation spaces include social media presences, websites, blogs, email, paper media, and physical spaces. This approach enables the parallel study of diverse spaces (more or less public; on and offline). Participation spaces were investigated across three local groups, through interviews and participant observation; then modelled as Socio-Technical Interaction Networks (STINs) [1]. 
This research provides an alternative and richer picture of social media use, within eParticipation, to studies solely based on public Internet content, such as data sets of tweets. In the participation spaces studies most communication takes place in non-public contexts, such as closed Facebook groups, email, and face-to-face meetings. Non-public social media spaces are particularly effective in supporting collaboration between people from diverse social groups. These spaces can be understood as boundary objects [2] and play strong roles in democracy.  

Wednesday July 13, 2016 13:46 - 15:15
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG02 Goldsmiths University, Building 2

13:46

When status updates become evidence of gang involvement: The prosecutorial affordances of social media use in New York City courtrooms.
Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG02, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
Campus Map 

Contributors:
  • Jeffrey Lane, Rutgers University, United States
  • Fanny Ramirez, Rutgers University, United States 

Background: 

Police departments across the United States have started to use social media for investigative purposes. A recent report from the International Association of Chiefs of Police found that 88.7% of law enforcement agencies use social media for criminal investigations (IACP, 2015). As policing extends online, questions arise about how social media content functions as evidence in criminal court proceedings and what leverage it provides in relation to other forms of evidence.


Objective: 

This paper uses data from seven New York City gang indictments to analyze how the District Attorney’s (DA) office translates communication on social media (e.g., Facebook messages, Tweets, photos on MySpace) by urban youth into acts of gang conspiracy. The goal of this paper is to highlight the affordances of social media as an operational tool for law enforcement and prosecutors.


Methods: 

Indictments in the Criminal Branch of the New York County Supreme Court are typically matters of public record. The seven indictments examined in this paper were collected through the Clerks’ Office or the DA’s office website. Each indictment consists of a series of overt acts - any behavior or action that advances the overall charge of conspiracy. All overt acts were coded by type and content based on the description of the activity in the document.


Results: 

Across the seven indictments, the prosecution alleged a total of 1,281 overt acts of gang conspiracy, 617 (or 48%) of which were acts on social media. Our examination of the indictments led to the identification of six distinct ways in which prosecutors use evidence gleaned from social media to define and prosecute New York City youth gangs: 1) Communication on social media is seen as an active behavior that can be attributed to a defendant 2) Social media content allows prosecutors to establish associations between defendants  3) Social media posts allow prosecutors to redefine cases and charges 4) Social media evidence is used to show that defendants self-identify as gang members 5) Social media content (in the form of photos , status updates, and private messages) is used by the prosecution to tie defendants to particular presentations of the self 6) Social media posts function as time-stamped admissions of guilt. The most over-arching prosecutorial affordance was the conflation of saying and doing. This conflation took two forms. First, because communication took place on social media—where it was visible and persistent—prosecutors treated all communication as action. By communicating over social media, the defendants were alleged to have acted in furtherance of a crime. Second, saying was also doing insofar as the prosecutors weighted social media communication as admissions of guilt. Any communication was taken at face value as a statement that one was going to or had done something.

 

References

International Association of Chief of Police. (2015). 2015 IACP Social Media Survey. [PDF file]. Retrieved from http //www.iacpsocialmedia.org/Resources/Publications.aspx



Wednesday July 13, 2016 13:46 - 15:15
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG02 Goldsmiths University, Building 2

13:46

[CANCELLED] What frustrates you? An empirical analysis of negative emotional consequences of social media use.
Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG02, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
Campus Map 

Contributor:
 Dr. Anne Suphan, Hohenheim University, Germany

Background:
Social media allow users to keep and share social information and up-to-date news via pictures, posts, comments and messages. The minority of users are involved on interactive communication (Wise et al., 2010). Most of them consume non-interactive social content. These information, both interactive and non-interactive, are also a basis for social comparison, which in turn produces emotional consequences: positive and negative (Krasnova et al. 2013). Recent studies on social media use focus more and more on the negative outcomes like loneliness, jealousy, frustration and envy (e.g. Krasnova et al. 2013, Burke et al. 2010) and showed that these consequences in turn decreases life satisfaction. However, researchers have not treated the underlying reasons of negative emotional outcomes of social media use empirically in much detail.

Objective:
The aim of this study is to explore the causes of a decrease in mood after using social media. The studies of Sagioglou and Greitemeyer (2014) show that the length of social media use determines negative mood. However, they do not investigate the underlying social content that results in negative outcomes of social comparison. Further, much uncertainty still exists about the relationship between interactive versus non-interactive social media use and emotional consequences. One explanation for that striking research gap – and perhaps the most important challenge of empirical investigations on that question – is caused by the biasof self-reporting measurement in the context of negative emotions.

Methods:
To examine the sources of negative emotional outcomes of social media use 658 under-graduate and graduate participated in an online questionnaire. They were asked how likely they were to experience negative emotions. Students who state that they are likely to feel envious or frustrated were asked for particular reasons (e.g. When on social media Icatch myself envying how much of the world others have seen). On the other side, students who state that they are unlikely to feel envious or frustrated were asked if they could think of reasons (e.g. Many users report feeling frustrated and exhausted after using social media. What do you think cause these feelings? They notice how much of the world others haveseen.) Further, items of motives of social media use and use behaviour were asked.

Results:
Conducting descriptive and multivariate analysis, the results show that (as expectedby social desirability) only the minority of participants state to experience negative emotions after using social media. The results indicate that both envious and not envious users state the notice how successful others are as main cause of envy. In contrast, there are significant differences concerning the explanations of causes of negative outcomes between students who report to feel likely frustrated and those who are unlikely. Those who are frustrated state the waste of time as the most likely reason for the emotional outcome - others state that it is caused by envy. Last but not least, both emotional outcomes and their explanations correlate with motives for using social media and the specific use behaviour – especially people how use social media for social grooming activities are likely to have negative outcomes.

Future Work
:
The research design of this study is a first step to develop measurements in the context of negative emotions that overcome the bias of self-reporting. Further, it should be a first approach for a scale development measuring issues of social content that causes a decrease in negative mood.

References:
  • Burke, M., Marlow, C., & Lento, T. (2010). Social network activity and social well- being. InProceedings of the 28th international conference on Human factors in computing systems.New York, NY: ACM, 1909-1912.
  • Krasnova, H., Wenninger, H., Widjaja, T., & Buxmann, P. (2013). Envy on Facebook : AHidden Threat to Users ’ Life Satisfaction ?, (March), 1–16.
  • Sagioglou, C., & Greitemeyer, T. (2014). Facebook’s emotional consequences: WhyFacebook causes a decrease in mood and why people still use it. Computers in HumanBehavior, 35, 359-363.
  • Wise, K., Alhabash, S., & Park, H. (2010). Emotional responses during social informationseeking on Facebook. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 13, 555–562.

Wednesday July 13, 2016 13:46 - 15:15
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG02 Goldsmiths University, Building 2

13:46

“Not your personal army”: vigilantism as a rhetorical figure among citizens who solve crimes online
Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG02, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
Campus Map 

Contributors:
  • David Myles, Université de Montréal, Canada
  • Chantal Benoit-Barné, Université de Montréal, Canada
  • Florence Millerand, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada

Background:

The recent increase in the use of the Internet, social media, and surveillance technologies among citizens contributes to redefining the roles of the latter in policing matters. According to some authors, citizens went from being passive consumers of police protection to active public safety co-producers (Bayley and Shearing, 1996; Williamson, 2008). Today, new forms of spontaneous collaboration among citizens in order to solve crimes by using online data and tools have emerged on the Internet (Huey et al., 2013). Researchers in the social sciences and humanities have often conceptualized these citizen initiatives as forms of online vigilantism or "digilantism" (Byrne, 2013). Johnston (1996) defines "vigilantism" as any crime control activities performed by a group of individuals who use or threaten to use force to restore order, and for whom this premeditated and voluntary commitment constitutes an exercise of citizenship. Online vigilantism would rely on a logic of shaming (Williams and Wall, 2007) and revenge (Sharp et al., 2008), and, for some authors, could even constitute a crime comparable to terrorism (Vander Ende, 2014). Yet, these crime-solving practices have seldom been studied empirically (Huey et al., 2013), and few citizens who fight crime online actually identify themselves as vigilantes (Wareham and Chua, 2004). Thus, the relevance of vigilantism used by researchers as a definitional tool to study citizen crime-solving practices should be questioned.

Objective:

To explore whether vigilantism is indeed relevant to the study of citizen crime- solving practices, this research aims to document some of the investigative strategies used by citizens and to understand how these relate to vigilantism.

Methods:

To do so, we studied a Reddit sub-forum entitled Reddit Bureau of Investigation (RBI). With nearly 30,000 members, the RBI’s main objective is to “solve crimes and mysteries”. A non-participant and exploratory observation phase was conducted within 121 discussion threads over a period of two months in 2014 and 2015.

Results:

Our first finding points out that the activities taking place within the RBI have little in common with the vigilante’s characteristics listed above. Indeed, among the investigative strategies that were documented, the use of force, vengeance, and shaming were almost never observed, while often being explicitly condemned. Our second finding points to the frequent mobilization of the "vigilante figure" among RBI members as a rhetorical argument for negative identity construction purposes. While the expressions "not your personal army" and "no witch hunts" were clearly publicized on the RBI homepage, the vigilante figure also transcended investigative and posting practices. Thus, the vigilante figure did not appear relevant as a definitional tool, but rather in its propensity to provide RBI members with a rhetorical object against which they could define who they are (not) and what they do (not).

Future Work:

Rather than applying the vigilante figure in order to define crime solving practices among citizens in a deductive fashion, future research should develop comprehensive models to understand the logic that underlies these specific practices. Future research should also document the collaborative processes on which these online citizen practices rely, as well as how citizens negotiate a criminal investigation ethic through interaction.

References:

Bayley, D. H., & Shearing, C. D. (1996). The future of policing. Law and society review, 585-606.

Byrne, D. N. (2013). 419 Digilantes and the Frontier of Radical Justice Online.Radical History Review, 2013(117), 70-82.

Chua, C. E. H., & Wareham, J. (2004). Fighting internet auction fraud: An assessment and proposal. Computer, 37(10), 31-37.

Huey, L., Nhan, J., & Broll, R. (2012). ‘Uppity civilians’ and ‘cyber-vigilantes’: The role of the general public in policing cyber-crime.Criminology and Criminal Justice, 1748895812448086.

Johnston, L. (1996). What is vigilantism?. British Journal of Criminology, 36(2), 220-236.

Sharp, D., Atherton, S., & Williams, K. (2008). Civilian policing, legitimacy and vigilantism: Findings from three case studies in England and Wales.Policing & Society, 18(3), 245-257.

Wall, D. S., & Williams, M. (2007). Policing diversity in the digital age Maintaining order in virtual communities. Criminology and Criminal Justice,7(4), 391-415.

Williamson, T. (Ed.). (2008). The Handbook of Knowledge Based Policing: Current Conceptions and Future Directions. John Wiley & Sons. 


Wednesday July 13, 2016 13:46 - 15:15
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG02 Goldsmiths University, Building 2