CaSMa presenting POET at Social Media & Society 2016

SMSociety_poster_logoThe Social Media & Society conference series has been bringing together social media researchers annually since 2010. This year’s meeting in London (UK) was the first time it was held outside of Canada.  For CaSMa this offered an excellent opportunity to present the results of the work Andrew Moffat at the Horizon CDT did for our POET project. Follow these links for more information about Andrew’s project, poster he presented at SM&S 16 and the report he wrote about his work.

The first day of SM&S 16 was all about workshops discussing and teaching various tools for doing social media related research. Tools like SODATO, a SOcial Data Analytics TOol for Facebook and Twitter that is developed by the Center for Business Data Analytics at the Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.

The 2nd and 3rd day of the meeting consisted of talks and the poster session. Personal highlights on the 2nd day were:

Keynote by Susan Halford “exploring social media analytics as an emergent field of sociotechnical practice”. In which she presented a very nice analysis of the ways in which the technical proterties of social media platforms affect the social interactions and the data about that interactions that is used in social media analytics.

Prof Susan Halford presenting sociotechnicality of social media

The point about the strange ways in which social interactions are change by the technology of social media platforms was beautifully highlighted by the Facebook in Real life video.

Talk by Phillip Brooker presenting a ‘visual analytic’ approach to capturing and exploring the qualitative and subjective facets of Twitter data as a methodological strategy for handling social media data. Further details about this work were published in a 2016 paper in Big Data & Society by Brooker, Barnet & Cribbin.

The talk on Examining individual and collective factors affecting the adoption of social media by inter-institutional research teams by Audrey Laplante, Stefanie Haustein and Christine Dufour of  Université de Montréal, Canada, caught my attention because it was closely related to our work on the POET project on studying how scholars use social media at different stages of the research process. In contrast to our study that focuses on the possible for of social media for Impact or RRI related public engagement by scholars, the University of Montreal group is examining the possible role in supporting inter-institutional collaboration.

 Scholars’ Imagined Audiences and their Impact on Social Media Participation by George Veletsianos, of Royal Roads University, Canada, was also related to POET since the use of social media for public engagement also implies an imagined ‘public’ as audience.
In the afternoon of the 2nd day, our colleagues Marina Jirotka and Helena Webb from the Human Centred Computing group at University of Oxford co-hosted the panel session Digital Wildfire: examining the spread of provocative and inflammatory content on social media and exploring opportunities for the responsible governance of digital social spaces  during which each of the partners from the Digital Wildfires project gove an overview of their results in the project.
During the final parallel sessions of the day my interest went primarily to the session on Journalism & Propaganda since I was exploring possible grant application ideas relating to the impact of social media recommender algorithms on news dissemination by journalists. Among the talks in this session, the Information Visualization System to Assist News Topics Exploration with Social Media presented by Ching-Ya Lin of Computer Science Department, National Chengchi University, Taiwan, seemed very intriguing.
On the 3rd day my main interest went to the session on Privacy: Disclosure, Risk & Benefit, which was of course strongly related to our work at CaSMa on Privacy and on consent. Both the talks on Rethinking Social Media Information Disclosure: An Application of Users and Gratifications Theory by Kathryn Waite of Heriot Watt University and Watching me watching you: How observational learning affect self-disclosure on SNS by Tamar Ashuri, Department of Communication, Tel Aviv University, Israel looked at the reasons why people choose to share personal data on social media. While Kathryn chose the “perspective of Uses and Gratifications Theory to identify the motivations behind social media users’ engagement with brands and relate these motivations to differences in information disclosure”, Tamar focused on “understanding how users’ ability to view and traverse other users’ actions, as well as the rewards and snags they receive, impinge on their privacy-calculus and resulting self- disclosure behavior”.

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