2017 #SMSociety Theme: Social Media for Social Good or Evil

Our online behaviour is far from virtual–it extends our offline lives. Much social media research has identified the positive opportunities of using social media; for example, how people use social media to form support groups online, participate in political uprising, raise money for charities, extend teaching and learning outside the classroom, etc. However, mirroring offline experiences, we have also seen social media being used to spread propaganda and misinformation, recruit terrorists, live stream criminal activities, reinforce echo chambers by politicians, and perpetuate hate and oppression (such as racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic behaviour).

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Saturday, July 29 • 15:31 - 17:00
Is No Election News Good News? The 2015 Canadian Election And Locally Relevant News On Twitter [WIP]

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Authors: Jaigris Hodson and April Lindgren 

Abstract: This study uses the 2015 Canadian Federal election as a case study to examine whether Twitter is used to spread locally relevant political news in smaller communities in the month leading up to a collection. We examined eight smaller communities across Canada, each with differing levels of traditional local media access (television, radio, and print). We wanted to discover, particularly in communities underserved by terrestrial local media, whether Twitter would help to fill an information gap during election time by helping to spread locally relevant political information. Preliminary analysis has revealed that most information shared on Twitter accounts in our eight communities was national rather than local in scope. Influencers, as identified by the number of -@ mentions, tended to be national, rather than local, and general activity on Twitter did not reflect overall population of an area, or any specific locally important issue. Thus we conclude that despite its potential, Twitter is currently not a useful counterbalance for a declining local traditional.

Saturday July 29, 2017 15:31 - 17:00 EDT
TRS 1-147 - 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C9