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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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Session 3A [clear filter]
Saturday, July 29
 

15:30

Session 3A: Health & Well-Being
Moderators
avatar for Lisa Given

Lisa Given

Associate Dean, Research and Development, Swinburne University of Technology

Saturday July 29, 2017 15:30 - 17:00
TRS 1-073 - 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4

15:31

Benefits And Drawbacks Of Using Social Media To Grieve Following The Loss Of Pet [FULL]
Authors: Jessica Vitak, Pamela Wisniewski, Zahra Ashktorab and Karla Badillo-Urquiola

Abstract: As social media becomes more deeply embedded into our daily lives, researchers are examining how previously private disclosures and interactions are manifesting in semi-public spaces. This study evaluates how sites like Facebook may help users grieve following the loss of a family pet. Through an empirical study of Facebook users, we evaluate survey responses (N=396) and users’ actual Facebook posts related to pet loss (N=190) to better understand how individuals use (or do not use) social media as part of the grieving process. We find that users weigh several benefits and drawbacks before making these sensitive disclosures on Facebook, including whether they think posting will mitigate or perpetuate their emotional pain, the privacy of the experience vs. the public nature of sharing, and whether their disclosures will be met with support or dismissal (i.e., disenfranchised grief). We conclude by discussing implications for theory around grief and social support as well as the design of social media interfaces that support grieving processes for the loss of a loved one.

Saturday July 29, 2017 15:31 - 17:00
TRS 1-073 - 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4

15:31

Examining Sentiments And Popularity Of Pro- And Anti-Vaccination Videos On Youtube [FULL]
Authors: Melodie Yun-Ju Song and Anatoliy Gruzd

Abstract: Vaccine misinformation on social media poses significant drawbacks to the efforts of vaccine coverage rates. This research studies the interlinkages between pro- and anti-vaccine YouTube Videos to help public health professionals explore new ways to reach anti-vaccine and vaccine-hesitant audiences. Using YouTube’s API, we retrieved 9,489 recommended videos from 250 seeds using keywords such as “vaccines” and its derivatives. We then manually identified 1,936 videos directly related to vaccination and then categorized their vaccine sentiment into pro-, anti-, and neutral. Results show that 66.6% of the videos were anti-vaccine, and only 21.3% are pro-vaccine, 13.1% are neutral. Anti-vaccine videos were significantly more prevalent in the “News & Politics” and “People & Blogs” video category; while pro-vaccine videos were more prevalent in the “Education” and “Science & Technology” categories. Results also show that anti-vaccine sentiment videos have higher values of closeness centrality (p

Saturday July 29, 2017 15:31 - 17:00
TRS 1-073 - 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4

15:31

Promoting Hook-Ups Or Filling Sexual Health Information Gaps? Exploring Young People’s Sex Talk On Facebook [WIP]
Authors: Tien Ee Dominic Yeo and Tsz Hang Chu

Abstract: Social media hold enormous potential for sexuality education and sexual health promotion among young people given the audience reach and interactive functions that could be adapted for intervention delivery. This paper reports the preliminary findings of an ongoing research project on the use of social media as a platform for peer sexual communication. To explore the nature of content posted on Facebook confession pages, which host semi-anonymous peer exchanges, 2186 original posts in a Facebook “sex secrets” page popular with college students in Hong Kong were analyzed. Conventional sexual activities within the context of romantic heterosexual relationships were most frequently mentioned in the posts. Problematic or risky sexual activities such as hook-ups (spontaneous casual sex) and sexting that are common among American college students were not salient. Nevertheless, the sexual culture of Hong Kong college students was not without peculiarities. Fetish or roleplay, for instance, was mentioned thrice as often as sexting. Findings on intimate concerns illuminate the needs and gaps in sexuality education and sexual health knowledge.

Saturday July 29, 2017 15:31 - 17:00
TRS 1-073 - 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4

15:31

The Cognitive Benefits Of Social Media Use In Later Life: Results Of A Randomized, Controlled Pilot Study [WIP]
Author: Kelly Quinn

Abstract: Research on the effects of social media use at older ages has largely been focused on social benefits. Yet, participation in these new media forms may result in other favorable outcomes, such as improved cognitive functioning. Using a wait list control design, this study examines the effects of social media engagement among adult social media non-users, aged 65 and older, in four cognitive domains: attention, processing speed, working memory, and inhibitory control. Baseline and multiple post-tests indicate improvement of intervention participants in processing speed and inhibitory control. These findings demonstrate that the benefits of social media use at older ages extend beyond mere social engagement, and into other domains of everyday well being.

Saturday July 29, 2017 15:31 - 17:00
TRS 1-073 - 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4