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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 6A [clear filter]
Sunday, July 30
 

15:30

Session 6A: Self Brand
Moderators
avatar for Ravi Vatrapu

Ravi Vatrapu

Director & Professor, Centre for Business Data Analytics, Copenhagen Business School

Sunday July 30, 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

Idols Of Promotion: The Triumph Of Self-Branding In The Social Media Age [WIP]
Authors: Brooke Erin Duffy and Jefferson Pooley

Abstract: YouTube stars, Instagram influencers, and other social media personalities have achieved an elevated status in the popular imagination. This work-in-progress situates the valorization of digital fame in a socio-historical context, invoking critical theorist Leo Lowenthal’s [1] “mass idols” framework. Examining the content of magazine biographies in the decades preceding World War II, Lowenthal identified a marked shift in cultural exemplars of success: from self-made entrepreneurs, politicians, and other “Idols of Production”—to the stars of cinema and sports, “Idols of Consumption.” As an extension of Lowenthal’s analysis, we examine contemporary magazine biographies (in People and Time) and self-authored social media bios (on Instagram and Twitter). Based on a preliminary analysis of the magazine content and social-media profiles—including the crucial shift to self-authorship—we outline a new generation of what we call “Idols of Promotion.” These digitally networked public figures, we argue, straddle the realms of production and consumption as they labor to create and project a distinctive self-brand. We identify three key tropes that shape narrativizations of idols in the social media age: (1) a spirit of self-enterprise that crosses industry boundaries; (2) a promise of meritocracy; and (3) a call to express oneself authentically. After examining these tropes, we conclude with an examination of their ideological function: such mediated hero-worship, we contend, indexes larger anxieties about the individualization of work amidst a precarious economy.

Sunday July 30, 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

Platform-Specific Self-Branding: Imagined Affordances Of The Social Media Ecology [FULL]
Authors: Brooke Erin Duffy, Urszula Pruchniewska and Leah Scolere

Abstract: Despite the recent uptick in literature on self-branding across the fields of internet studies, business/marketing, and media/cultural industries, the ways in which the digital self-brand gets reproduced across a sprawling social media ecology remains comparatively under-theorized. Our paper draws upon in-depth interviews with 42 creative workers—including designers/artists, bloggers/writers, online content creators, and marketers/ publicists—to understand how independent professionals present themselves and their work in the digital economy. We show that despite the common refrain of maintaining a “consistent” online persona, creative workers continuously negotiate their self-presentation activities through a logic we term platform-specific self-branding. The platform-specific self-brand, we contend, is based upon the “imagined affordances” [43] of individual platforms and their placement within the larger social media ecology. Such imaginations are constructed through the interplay between: 1). platform features; 2) assumptions about the audience; and 3). and the producer’s own self-concept. We conclude that creative workers’ incitement to incessantly monitor and re-fashion their digital personae in platform-specific ways marks an intensification of the “always on” laboring subjectivity required to vie for attention in a precarious creative economy.

Sunday July 30, 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

When Private And Professional Lives Meet: The Impact Of Digital Footprints On Employees And Political Candidates [WIP]
Authors: Riham Mohamed, Thais Bardini Idalino and Sonia Chiasson

Abstract: We present the results of a between-subjects survey with 459 participants to gather opinions of privacy and how such online content should impact job candidates and political candidates, respectively. Our analysis explores differences between the two scenarios, and whether demographic characteristics influence users’ perspectives towards politicians and/or employees. Overall, respondents were less tolerant of the online activities of political candidates. We conclude the paper with a discussion of how the concept of online privacy is evolving in this age of social media.

Sunday July 30, 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