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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Sunday, July 30 • 11:01 - 12:30
#DistractinglySexy: How Social Media Was Used As A Counter Narrative On Gender In STEM [FULL]

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Authors: Ann Pegoraro, Emily Tetzlaff, Emily Jago and Tammy Eger

Abstract: On June 8th, 2015, Nobel laureate Sir Tim Hunt freely expressed his opinion on mixed-gender labs, while attending a President's lunch at the World Conference of Science Journalists:
“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab: You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them they cry.”
In the days following his statement, the hashtag #DistractinglySexy trended on Twitter. The purpose of this study was to investigate how Twitter users interpreted the Tim Hunt speech, and how they represented their message through visual media on Twitter. The software program Hashtracking was used to gather 58,969 tweets that contained an image from the #DistractinglySexy hashtag. Content analysis was used to analyze the images collected and a codebook was developed through an adaptation of the ‘Draw-a-Scientist Test’ (DAST), a test initially designed to reveal children’s attitudes and beliefs about science through the use of stereotypical features. To enable human coding of such a large data set, a purposeful sample of 3,648 images was extracted for analysis. Intercoder reliability scores ranged from 0.84 to 1.0, all within the acceptable range. The results of this study indicated that users of the hashtag predominately portrayed themselves posed in personal protective equipment, in a laboratory setting. This study contributes to social media literature, by illustrating how this medium was utilized to create counter narratives that combat and highlight the challenges women in STEM face.

Sunday July 30, 2017 11:01 - 12:30 EDT
TRS 1-073 - 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4