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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 3C [clear filter]
Saturday, July 29
 

15:30

Session 3C: Politics II
Moderators
avatar for Jill Hopke

Jill Hopke

Assistant Professor, DePaul University
I am an Assistant Professor of Journalism in the College of Communication at DePaul University in Chicago. My work explores the interface of people, the environment, new technologies and social movements.

Saturday July 29, 2017 15:30 - 17:00
TRS 1-147 - 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C9

15:31

Facebook Escapism And Online Political Participation [WIP]
Author: Christian Pieter Hoffmann, Christoph Lutz, Severina Müller and Miriam Meckel

Abstract: Recently, much scholarship has investigated how social media affect citizens’ political participation, online and offline. In general, social media use has a positive but weak effect on participation. However, different use types exert a differentiated influence. While information-rich and active uses result in more participation, entertainment-oriented and passive uses lead to less participation. In this contribution, we introduce the concept of escapist Facebook use. We argue that Facebook might activate users to participate politically through what we call accidental political engagement, even if used in escapist ways. Based on a survey of 762 Facebook users in Germany and using linear regression, we test the influence of three Facebook use types on online political participation: consumptive, participatory and productive. Consumptive use has a negative and productive use a positive effect on online political participation. Escapism has a small positive effect. It moderates consumptive use negatively and productive use positively, strengthening existing tendencies.

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

15:31

Is No Election News Good News? The 2015 Canadian Election And Locally Relevant News On Twitter [WIP]
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
TRS 1-147 - 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C9

15:31

Social Media, U.S. Presidential Campaigns, and Public Opinion Polls: Disentangling Effects [WIP]
Authors: Patricia Rossini, Jeff Hemsley, Sikana Tanupabrungsun, Feifei Zhang, Jerry Robinson and Jennifer Stromer-Galley

Abstract: The use of digital technologies by political campaigns have been a topic of scholarly concern for over two decades. However, these studies have been mostly focused on analyzing the use of digital platforms without considering contextual factors of the race, like public opinion polling data. However, polling data is an important information source for both citizens and candidates, and provide the latter with information that might drive strategic communication. In this paper, we explore the relationship between the use of social media in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections and candidates' standing in public opinion polls focusing on the surfacing and primary stages of the campaign. We are also interested in understanding whether candidates use Twitter and Facebook in similar ways. We use automated content analysis to categorize social media posts from all 21 Republican and Democratic candidates that ran for president in 2016. Specifically, we are interested in observing whether a candidate's performance in the polls drives certain communicative strategies, such as the use of attacks and messages of advocacy, as well as the focus on personal image or policy issues.

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

15:31

Strategic Temporality On Social Media During The General Election Of The 2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign [FULL]
Authors: Feifei Zhang, Sikana Tanupabrungsun, Jeff Hemsley, Jerry Robinson, Bryan Semaan, Lauren Bryant, Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Olga Boichak and Yatish Hegde

Abstract: To date, little attention has been paid to the temporal nature of campaigns as they respond to events or react to the different stages of a political election--what we define as strategic temporality. This article seeks to remedy this lack of research by examining campaign Facebook and Twitter messaging shifts during the 2016 U.S. Presidential general election. We used supervised machine-learning techniques to predict the types of messages that campaigns employ via social media and analyzed time-series data to identify messaging shifts over the course of the general election. We also examined how social media platforms and candidate party affiliation shape campaign messaging. Results suggest differences exist in the types of campaign messages produced on different platforms during the general election. As election day drew closer, campaigns generated more calls-to-action and informative messages on both Facebook and Twitter. This trend existed in advocacy campaign messages as well, but only on Twitter. Both advocacy and attack tweets were posted more frequently around Presidential and Vice-Presidential debate dates.

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