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
The Collaborative Construction And Evolution Of Pseudo-Knowledge In Online Conversations [FULL]

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Authors: Joshua Introne, Luca Iandoli, Julia Decook, Irem Gokce Yildirim and Shaimaa Elzeini

Abstract: Misinformation has found a new natural habitat in the digital age. Thousands of forums, blogs, and alternative news sources amplify inaccurate information to such a degree that it impacts our collective intelligence. Widespread misinformation is troubling not just because it is wrong, but also because it can persist in the face of attempts to correct it, becoming part of a larger culture of community-based pseudoknowledge (PK). Prior work has focused on the motivations and psychology of those who create and maintain PK but has eschewed inspection of the dynamics of collective PK production itself. In this exploratory case study, we illustrate how the active participation of multiple collaborators adapts PK over time through a process we liken to participatory storytelling. We argue that the Internet provides a uniquely well-suited environment for evolving PK that is “more fit” in that it is more engaging, easier to defend, and possibly easier to spread.

Sunday July 30, 2017 11:01 - 12:30 EDT
TRS 1-075 - 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C9