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
Investigating The Patterns And Prevalence Of UK Trade Unionism On Twitter [WIP]

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Authors: Wil Chivers and Helen Blakely

Abstract: This paper reports on on-going exploratory research into the prevalence and patterns of social media use by trade unions in the United Kingdom. Social media platforms, like Twitter, are used by unions to organise and mobilise existing and potential members by communicating relevant content, which often engages politicians and the news media. However, there is little empirical research examining how trade unions use social media in practice. This research addresses this gap by employing digital methods to analyse trade union activity on Twitter: exploring key characteristics of Twitter use by UK unions; and mapping dynamic networks of associations around labour movement issues. Findings are discussed in the context of collective and connective action. The methodological implications for studying civil society organisations online are also considered.

Sunday July 30, 2017 11:01 - 12:30 EDT
TRS 1-077- 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C19