Hashtags as online communities with social support: A study of anti-sexism-in-science hashtag movements
First Monday

'Hashtags as online communities with social support: A study of anti-sexism-in-science hashtag movements by Jennifer Golbeck, Summer Ash, and Nicole Cabrera



Abstract
In the face of many cases of sexism within the sciences, scientists have turned to Twitter with hashtags to address the issue. Popular hashtags include #distractinglySexy, #iLookLikeAnEngineer, and #girlsWithToys. In this study, we set out to investigate why people were reading and using these hashtags and what impact it had on them. We administered a survey, which contained multiple choice and free response questions, to 83 people who had read or used these hashtags. We found that the hashtags ended up serving as an ad hoc online community in which participants found a space of social support. Building an improved sense of awareness was also an important reason for and outcome of participation. We examine the role of hashtags as ad hoc online communities on Twitter and the affects that they have for participants.

Contents

1. Introduction
2. Related work
3. Methodology
4. Results
5. Discussion
6. Conclusions

 


 

1. Introduction

In June of 2015, Nobel Prize winner Tim Hunt discussed the “trouble with girls” in the lab at a science journalism conference. “Three things happen when they are in the lab,” he said, “you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them they cry.” [1]

The comments caused an uproar in the scientific community as an example of a pervasive bias against women that was endemic in many labs and universities. In response, women took to Twitter posting pictures of themselves in their lab gear with the hashtag #distractinglySexy. It was a lighthearted response that showed women actively doing science and refuting the notion that they were a distraction.

This was one of a flurry of hashtags in 2015 that arose around sexism problems in science. Others include #girlsWithToys and #iLookLikeAnEngineer.

This set of hashtags is different from other protest-related hashtags that are popular now. The most prominent of these is #blackLivesMatter, which was created as a call-to-action [2]. It also contrasts with #YesAllWomen, a hashtag highlighting the pervasive sexism and harassment women face in daily life. #YesAllWomen (obviously from the name) includes all women whereas the anti-sexism-in-science hashtags are restricted to a much smaller group of female scientists.

We were motivated to understand what impact these hashtags had on both readers and authors. We specifically wanted to find what differences were there between groups and how each group reacted to the hashtags.

We administered a survey to scientists of both genders across a variety of fields that asked about their reasons for participation and their reaction to the tweets. Analyzing multiple choice answers and coding free text responses, we found two major themes. First, and somewhat unsurprisingly, the tweets helped (by design) to raise awareness about sexism in the sciences. Second, both readers and authors found a supportive online community centered around the tweets. In both the multiple choice and free text parts of our survey, community was a prominent reason for engaging and positive outcome from it.

In this paper, show how these hashtags created to foster awareness among the general public can also become ad hoc online communities that offer social support.

 

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2. Related work

There is an extensive body of research on the social support offered by online communities. Much of this research is health-focused, but the underlying premise is that people “participate in supportive communication within a network of individuals dealing with similar issues.” [3]. Research has found that these online communities primarily offer moral and informational support [4], and that this support improves members’ sense of well being [5].

Ad hoc communities arising around social media have been documented on various platforms. Blogging in times of conflict has been shown to create a virtual community and safe space for interaction [6]. Similarly, Facebook has been a platform in crisis environments for people who find community and provide support to others [7].

Twitter has specifically been studied as a place for building online communities. It is a place where personal communities can form [8]. In a more ad hoc space, much work has centered around events which have hashtags that bring part of a community together both physically and online. Conferences are one manifestation of this, and Twitter can play a role creating and building online communities among those who attend [9]. These hashtag backchannels also support expanded conversations among attendees [10]. In crisis situations, people outside the crisis area have found Twitter as an effective platform for ad hoc organization of online communities that act to volunteer or offer support [11].

Twitter hashtags and feminism has been addressed specifically in the literature. Hashtag feminism, as it has been called, uses hashtags to create a space — even a community — where women can communicate about the issues they face [12]. That can be purely supportive within the community, but may include discussions and debates within the feminism community [13]. These hashtags are also leveraged to bring attention to feminist issues in the broader community [14].

Our work presented here looks at a related question of how hashtags created in response to an event and to raise awareness become ad hoc online communities.

 

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3. Methodology

As our basic methodology, we created a survey that we administered to a convenience sample of Twitter users who were part of the scientific community. We restricted our study to Twitter because these anti-sexism-in-science hashtags were popular primarily on this platform. We asked them how and why they engaged with hashtags designed to fight sexism in science. We did not require use of any specific hashtag.

3.1. Subjects

The authors, all scientists in different fields, recruited subjects using their own social media accounts. Thus, people who responded to this survey are far from a representative sample of Twitter users. The convenience sample is drawn from a group dominated by working scientists in industry and academia. At the same time, we believe this is appropriate because these scientists are the target audience for these hashtags, and area drawn from diverse followers in astronomy, computer science, math, engineering, physics, and STEM education.

These hashtags were widely used on Twitter. For example, archival searches show #distractinglySexy was used roughly 5,000 times, #ILookLikeAnEngineer close to 10,000. Analytics are difficult to come by on how widely shared, retweeted, and viewed these tweets were, but over 200 news articles were written about #distractinglySexy alone, indicating they reached a wide audience.

 

An example #distractinglySexy tweet from user ameliacervera (used with permission)
 
Figure 1: An example #distractinglySexy tweet from user ameliacervera (used with permission).

 

Subjects were recruited for their use of anti-sexism-in-science hashtags broadly. We asked them to “Tell us about your experiences with anti-sexism-in-science hashtags like #distractinglySexy, #iLookLikeAnEngineer, #thatothershirt, etc.” We did not require use of any specific hashtag because certain scientific fields had popular hashtags that were not necessarily used by the broader scientific community. A wordcloud showing the various hashtags used by our subjects is shown in Figure 2.

 

Word cloud of frequently used anti-sexism in science hashtags as reported by our subjects
 
Figure 2: Word cloud of frequently used anti-sexism in science hashtags as reported by our subjects.

 

We had 83 people respond to our survey. Of those, all had read tweets with anti-sexism hashtags and 56 (67.5 percent) had used one of these hashtags themselves.

3.2. Survey

We created a survey to understand why people read tweets that used these anti-sexism hashtags and, if applicable, why they created tweets with those hashtags. We offered a set of options that users could select, which were adapted from [15]. We asked “What drew you to read the tweets associated with the anti-sexism in science hashtags?” and, if subjects indicated they had authored tweets with those hashtags, “What drew you to create tweets associated with the anti-sexism in science hashtags?” For both, subjects saw the following options and could choose as many as applied:

  • To find others in a similar situation
  • To share experiences
  • To share information with others
  • To find emotional support
  • To offer support to others
  • Because I was feeling isolated
  • To understand the issues better
  • To express anger
  • Because I was experiencing harassment or sexism myself
  • I needed to get something off my chest
  • For entertainment

There was also an “Other” option that allowed subjects to enter their own reasons, though no one selected this option for either question.

We then asked subjects to answer questions about their participation. These were free-text answers and were optional, though only seven subjects declined to answer all of these questions:

  • What do you think are the main advantages of using these hashtags?
  • What do you think are the main disadvantages of using these hashtags?
  • How have these related tweets affected your feelings about sexism in science?

 

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4. Results

Figure 3 shows the summary of subject responses to the questions about why they read and created tweets with these hashtags. For those who read the tweets, understanding issues better was the most important factor (selected by 64 percent of subjects), followed by supporting others (60 percent), and sharing experiences (46 percent). Among those who created tweets. Supporting others (73 percent) and sharing experiences (70 percent) were dominant factors, followed by sharing information with others (57 percent).

To analyze the free-text responses to our other questions, we used an open coding approach to develop a set of thematic categories that described the subjects’ responses. Three researchers read the tweets and categories emerged from the text itself. Categories were developed separately for each question.

 

Percentage of subjects who selected each option for why they read tweets with science anti-sexism hashtagsPercentage of subjects who selected each option for why they created tweets with science anti-sexism hashtags
 
Figure 3: Percentage of subjects who selected each option for why they read and created tweets with science anti-sexism hashtags.

 

What do you think are the main advantages of using these hashtags?

Of the 83 people who took our survey, 69 (83.1 percent) provided an answer to this question. Two major themes emerged for this topic: creating awareness/visibility for sexism issues in science, and creating and finding community.

The theme of creating awareness and visibility was focused on making other people aware of sexism in the sciences. Overall, of the 69 people who provided answers to this question, 31 (44.9 percent) gave an answer that met with this theme. Example comments include the following (respondents are indicated as ‘R’ followed by a number):

Raise awareness of just how widespread the problem is — R1
The [sic] highlight the prevalence of sexism — R9
Making the often ignored sexism in science visible. — R76

Finding a community or support was another popular theme, offered by 39 (56.2 percent) of respondents. Their comments include:

Builds a community of like-minded individuals — R6
Tapping in to a sense of community — R7
Realizing a community dealing with issues — R49

Some users (n=10, 14.5 percent) captured both of these themes in their responses:

Enlightenment (especially for men) on a mass scale; frees many from isolation in a passive/anonymous way — R11
Visibility, potential support network — R25
Allows sharing of experiences, find support, and inform others — R41

A less popular theme, but one we saw repeated was related to being a role model. Three commenters raised this issue in different ways:

I think that some of them are particularly positive for children and teens (both male and female), in challenging the imagery of everyday sexism. The imagining that dinos are for boys, cupcakes are for girls, and science is done by old men. — R34
Showing women of the younger generation that women scientists, techs, mathematicians, etc. exist EVERYWHERE! — R53
People need to see role models — R76

What do you think are the main disadvantages of using these hashtags?

Trolling dominated the disadvantages people listed. Among the 65 people who provided responses, roughly 70 percent listed the potential for harassment as the main disadvantage. The word “trolls” appeared in 27 responses, and 16 additional subjects described harassment as a problem. These concerns were very explicit:

Trolls. Author opens themselves to attacks. — R10
In a word, trolls. — R23
Can be used by offensive trolls. — R30

These disadvantages capture not only consequences users faced for using the tags, but also reasons some people avoided using them in the first place.

There were no other cohesive themes that emerged for this question. As examples of other replies, there were single comments about concerns that the message might become diluted, marginalizing male allies, and the ephemeral nature of the hashtag movements.

How have these related tweets affected your feelings about sexism in science?

Sixty-eight people responded to this question. Five major themes emerged in the answers to this question:

  1. Increased awareness of the problem and its scope
  2. Feeling less alone
  3. Hopeless/discouraged/angry
  4. Encouraged/Supported
  5. The need to work toward a solution

Increased awareness was the most popular theme, occurring in 28 (41.2 percent) of answers. Some statements were very straightforward (“Made me more aware of the problem” — R1) and others included personal reflection on the awareness (“Made me far more aware of how systemic it is and that I need to be mindful of it” — R10).

Eleven respondents (16.2 percent) said that the hashtag made them feel less alone. Many of these were accompanied by feelings of relief (“I’m just relieved to feel that I’m not alone” — R2) and mentions of how sexism or harassment can lead to isolation (“Reduced feelings of isolation” — R41).

Feelings of hopelessness and discouragement (n=10, 14.7 percent) were basically as common as feelings of encouragement and support (n=9, 13.2 percent). Discouragement came in the form of disappointment that the problem was so widespread (“Makes me feel dejected that it’s such a big problem.” — R34) and also seeing the people that were supporting the problem (“Made me angry, and disappointed. Opened my eyes to the MRA [Men’s Rights Activist] /anti-SJW [Social Justice Warrior] brigade and how they operated. Made twitter a little less fun for me.” — R55).

Many feelings of encouragement came from feeling support of others experiencing these problems (“They’ve made me more confident in identifying it, and more able to laugh at it” — R7) and feelings of openness about a problem that is sometimes hidden (“Mostly for the positive. Feel better when things are more open” — R66).

Some people expressed both feelings at once:

“It’s very discouraging because it means my experience isn’t isolated. But it’s oddly encouraging because at least I’m not alone. Regardless, we need to f*cking fix this. And by we, I mean scientists. Men too. Because you can’t, as an outsider, make changes to the in-group.” — R14

“I felt support from a network of mostly silent or whispered suffering I didn’t realize existed, and at first that was great — and then the trolls showed up and I felt isolated again, like they took over the narrative and made me want to just tune out.” — R18

Finally, 10 respondents (14.7 percent) expressed a need or desire to start fixing the problem:

“They have made me more of an activist, and less willing to turn a blind eye to inappropriate behavior.” — R51

“Keeps me fighting against sexism, racism, etc.” — R43

 

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5. Discussion

Women from a wide range of scientific fields participated in our survey, and the majority cited the benefits of increased community as a reason for using the hashtags. Since sexism is not a discipline-specific problem, the hashtags were able to bring together women (and some men) who shared frustrations with the state of women in science who might not otherwise been aware of one another. The emotional support offered by strangers who had also been affected by sexism was mentioned by a number of subjects as a reason that a feeling of community emerged around the use of the hashtags.

Taken together, this analysis shows that hashtags, designed to speak to a broad audience, can serve as a form of online community offering social support. In our multiple-choice questions about why people read and used these hashtags, support and sharing experiences were among the top answers. In the free-text answers, the benefits of finding community and support and reducing isolation were popular themes. This is in line with previous work that has discussed Twitter hashtags as a mechanism for creating online community [16]. Our respondents’ comments also echo research on so called “hashtag feminism” where “victims of inequality can coexist together in a space that acknowledges their pain, narrative, and isolation.” [17]

Responses from our subjects reported these community feelings both in the use of the hashtags an in reading them. Those who used them described feeling supported by the responses and they appreciated connecting with like-minded people. From reading others’ tweets, subjects felt a sense of community in that they were not alone in facing sexual discrimination or harassment they faced. This ad hoc community can be seen more deeply in the tweets themselves. Likes, shares, and retweets are known to serve as a form of social support [18], and tweets using these hashtags frequently have reply-based conversations connected with them that illustrate this sense of ad hoc community. While analysis of those replies is beyond the scope of this paper, we believe this is an important area of future work for studying these types of hashtag-based communities.

We believe this kind of online, supportive community is likely to arise among active users of many hashtags, even when those hashtags are not designed to bring a community together. The related work described above shows many ways community can arise with hashtags, but we believe it is an interesting space of future work to more deeply explore when supportive community arises among a large majority of participants who use hashtags not designed to promote community. What are the features of these hashtags? Must they be related to a relatively small community (such as active, working female scientists)? Will they arise around hashtags that are not responsive to an external event? Can that community exist among people without a shared hardship? Understanding how these supportive ad hoc communities form will improve our understanding of the new, varied ways that community manifests in social media platforms.

Future work in this area would also benefit from network analysis and tracking the spread of these hashtags and the new relationships that form around them on social media. This is not possible to do after the fact without insider access to social media data; APIs do not provide time stamps on relationship formation, and API limits make it time-prohibitive to reconstruct the spread of very popular hashtags. However, snapshotting in real time as such a hashtag movement takes off could yeild valuable insights on how communities form and connections are made across existing groups online.

 

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6. Conclusions

We administered a survey to 83 people who created or read tweets using hashtags designed to fight sexism in science. We found that respondents consistently cited raising awareness of the issues and finding community as reasons for their engagement. While is is somewhat expected that awareness was a main motivator, the emergence of hashtags as ad hoc online communities where people find social support is is a novel finding related to how Twitter is used. While we do not claim this is the first time such a phenomenon has occurred, this warrants further study as a manifestation of online community in a way largely unaddressed in the literature. End of article

 

About the authors

Jennifer Golbeck is Associate Professor in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland.
E-mail: jgolbeck [at] umd [dot] edu

Summer Ash is the Director of Outreach for the Department of Astronomy at Columbia University.
E-mail: summer [dot] a [dot] ash [at] gmail [dot] com

Nicole Cabrera is a NSF Graduate Fellow at Georgia State University.
E-mail: nicole [dot] e [dot] cabrera [at] gmail [dot] com

 

Notes

1. Quoted in Rebecca Ratcliffe, 2015. “Nobel scientist Tim Hunt: female scientists cause trouble for men in labs,” Guardian (10 June), at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jun/10/nobel-scientist-tim-hunt-female-scientists-cause-trouble-for-men-in-labs, accessed 19 August 2017.

2. Alicia Garza, 2014. “A herstory of the #blacklivesmatter movement” (7 October), at http://www.thefeministwire.com/2014/10/blacklivesmatter-2/, accessed 19 August 2017.

3. Neil S. Coulson, 2005. “Receiving social support online: an analysis of a computer-mediated support group for individuals living with irritable bowel syndrome,” CyberPsychology & Behavior, volume 8, number 6, pp. 580–584; doi: https://doi.org/10.1089/cpb.2005.8.580, accessed 19 August 2017.

4. Coulson, 2005, op. cit.; Neil S. Coulson, Heather Buchanan, and Aimee Aubeeluck, 2007. “Social support in cyberspace: A content analysis of communication within a Huntington’s Disease online support group,” Patient Education and Counseling, volume 68, number 2, pp. 173–178, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2007.06.002, accessed 19 August 2017; Patricia Obst and Jana Stafurik, 2010. “Online we are all able bodied: Online psychological sense of community and social support found through membership of disability-specific websites promotes well-being for people living with a physical disability,” Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, volume 20, number 6, pp. 525–531, doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/casp.1067, accessed 19 August 2017; KevinO. Hwang, AllisonJ. Ottenbacher, AngelaP. Green, M.Roseann Cannon-Diehl, Oneka Richardson, ElmerV. Bernstam, and EricJ. Thomas, 2010. “Social support in an Internet weight loss community,” International Journal of Medical Informatics, volume 79, number 1, pp. 5–13, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2009.10.003, accessed 19 August 2017.

5. Obst and Stafurik, 2010, op. cit.

6. Ban Al-Ani, Gloria Mark, and Bryan Semaan, 2010. “Blogging in a region of conflict: Supporting transition to recovery,” CHI ’10: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 1,069–1,078; doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/1753326.1753485, accessed 19 August 2017.

7. Bryan Semaan and Gloria Mark, 2012. “‘Facebooking’ towards crisis recovery and beyond: Disruption as an opportunity,” CSCW ’12: Proceedings of the ACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, pp. 27–36; doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/2145204.2145214, accessed 19 August 2017.

8. Anatoliy Gruzd, Barry Wellman, and Yuri Takhteyev, 2011. “Imagining Twitter as an imagined community,” American Behavioral Scientist, volume 55, number 10, pp. 1,294–1,318; doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764211409378, accessed 19 August 2017.

9. Martin Ebner and Wolfgang Reinhardt, 2009. “Social networking in scientific conferences — Twitter as tool for strengthen a scientific community,” Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Science 2.0 for TEL at the Fourth European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (ECTEL’09), volume2, pp. 1–8; Martin Ebner, Herbert Mühlburger, Sandra Schaffert, Mandy Schiefner, Wolfgang Reinhardt, and Steve Wheeler, 2010. “Getting granular on Twitter: Tweets from a conference and their limited usefulness for non-participants,” In: Nicholas Reynolds and Márta Turcsányi-Szabó (editors). Key competencies in the knowledge society. Berlin: Springer, pp. 102–113; doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-15378-5_10, accessed 19 August 2017.

10. Claire Ross, Melissa Terras, Claire Warwick, and Anne Welsh, 2011. “Enabled backchannel: Conference Twitter use by digital humanists,” Journal of Documentation, volume 67, number 2, pp. 214–237; doi: https://doi.org/10.1108/00220411111109449, accessed 19 August 2017.

11. Kate Starbird and Leysia Palen, 2011. “‘Voluntweeters’: Self-organizing by digital volunteers in times of crisis,” CHI ’11: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 1,071–1,080; doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/1978942.1979102, accessed 19 August 2017.

12. Kitsy Dixon, 2014. “Feminist online identity: Analyzing the presence of hashtag feminism,” Journal of Arts and Humanities, volume 3, number 7, at http://www.theartsjournal.org/index.php/site/article/view/509, accessed 19 August 2017.

13. Susana Loza, 2014. “Hashtag feminism, #solidarityisforwhitewomen, and the other #femfuture,” Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, number 5, at http://adanewmedia.org/2014/07/issue5-loza/, accessed 19 August 2017.

14. Shenila Khoja-Moolji, 2015. “Becoming an ‘intimate publics’: Exploring the affective intensities of hashtag feminism,” Feminist Media Studies, volume 15, number 2, pp. 347–350; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14680777.2015.1008747, accessed 19 August 2017.

15. Neil S. Coulson, 2013. “How do online patient support communities affect the experience of inflammatory bowel disease? An online survey,” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (JRSM) Open, volume 4, number 8; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2042533313478004, accessed 19 August 2017.

16. Axel Bruns and Jean E Burgess, 2011. “The use of Twitter hashtags in the formation of ad hoc publics,” Proceedings of the Sixth European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) General Conference 2011, at http://snurb.info/files/2011/The%20Use%20of%20Twitter%20Hashtags%20in%20the%20Formation%20of%20Ad%20Hoc%20Publics%20%28final%29.pdf, accessed 19 August 2017.

17. Kitsy Dixon, 2014, op. cit.

18. Kate Starbird and Leysia Palen, 2011, op. cit.

 

References

Ban Al-Ani, Gloria Mark, and Bryan Semaan, 2010. “Blogging in a region of conflict: Supporting transition to recovery,” CHI ’10: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 1,069–1,078.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/1753326.1753485, accessed 19 August 2017.

Axel Bruns and Jean E Burgess, 2011. “The use of Twitter hashtags in the formation of ad hoc publics,” Proceedings of the Sixth European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) General Conference 2011, at http://snurb.info/files/2011/The%20Use%20of%20Twitter%20Hashtags%20in%20the%20Formation%20of%20Ad%20Hoc%20Publics%20%28final%29.pdf, accessed 19 August 2017.

Neil S. Coulson, 2013. “How do online patient support communities affect the experience of inflammatory bowel disease? An online survey,” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (JRSM) Open, volume 4, number 8.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2042533313478004, accessed 19 August 2017.

Neil S. Coulson, 2005. “Receiving social support online: an analysis of a computer-mediated support group for individuals living with irritable bowel syndrome,” CyberPsychology & Behavior, volume 8, number 6, pp. 580–584.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1089/cpb.2005.8.580, accessed 19 August 2017.

Neil S. Coulson, Heather Buchanan, and Aimee Aubeeluck, 2007. “Social support in cyberspace: A content analysis of communication within a Huntington’s Disease online support group,” Patient Education and Counseling, volume 68, number 2, pp. 173–178.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2007.06.002, accessed 19 August 2017.

Kitsy Dixon, 2014. “Feminist online identity: Analyzing the presence of hashtag feminism,” Journal of Arts and Humanities, volume 3, number 7, at http://www.theartsjournal.org/index.php/site/article/view/509, accessed 19 August 2017.

Martin Ebner and Wolfgang Reinhardt, 2009. “Social networking in scientific conferences — Twitter as tool for strengthen a scientific community,” Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Science 2.0 for TEL at the Fourth European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (ECTEL’09), volume2, pp. 1–8.

Martin Ebner, Herbert Mühlburger, Sandra Schaffert, Mandy Schiefner, Wolfgang Reinhardt, and Steve Wheeler, 2010. “Getting granular on Twitter: Tweets from a conference and their limited usefulness for non-participants,” In: Nicholas Reynolds and Márta Turcsányi-Szabó (editors). Key competencies in the knowledge society. Berlin: Springer, pp. 102–113.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-15378-5_10, accessed 19 August 2017.

Alicia Garza, 2014. “A herstory of the #blacklivesmatter movement” (7 October), at http://www.thefeministwire.com/2014/10/blacklivesmatter-2/, accessed 19 August 2017.

Anatoliy Gruzd, Barry Wellman, and Yuri Takhteyev, 2011. “Imagining Twitter as an imagined community,” American Behavioral Scientist, volume 55, number 10, pp. 1,294–1,318.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764211409378, accessed 19 August 2017.

KevinO. Hwang, AllisonJ. Ottenbacher, AngelaP. Green, M.Roseann Cannon-Diehl, Oneka Richardson, ElmerV. Bernstam, and EricJ. Thomas, 2010. “Social support in an Internet weight loss community,” International Journal of Medical Informatics, volume 79, number 1, pp. 5–13.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2009.10.003, accessed 19 August 2017.

Shenila Khoja-Moolji, 2015. “Becoming an ‘intimate publics’: Exploring the affective intensities of hashtag feminism,” Feminist Media Studies, volume 15, number 2, pp. 347–350.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14680777.2015.1008747, accessed 19 August 2017.

Susana Loza, 2014. “Hashtag feminism, #solidarityisforwhitewomen, and the other #femfuture,” Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, number 5, at http://adanewmedia.org/2014/07/issue5-loza/, accessed 19 August 2017.

Patricia Obst and Jana Stafurik, 2010. “Online we are all able bodied: Online psychological sense of community and social support found through membership of disability-specific websites promotes well-being for people living with a physical disability,” Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, volume 20, number 6, pp. 525–531.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/casp.1067, accessed 19 August 2017.

Rebecca Ratcliffe, 2015. “Nobel scientist Tim Hunt: female scientists cause trouble for men in labs,” Guardian (10 June), at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jun/10/nobel-scientist-tim-hunt-female-scientists-cause-trouble-for-men-in-labs, accessed 19 August 2017.

Claire Ross, Melissa Terras, Claire Warwick, and Anne Welsh, 2011. “Enabled backchannel: Conference Twitter use by digital humanists,” Journal of Documentation, volume 67, number 2, pp. 214–237.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1108/00220411111109449, accessed 19 August 2017.

Bryan Semaan and Gloria Mark, 2012. “‘Facebooking’ towards crisis recovery and beyond: Disruption as an opportunity,” CSCW ’12: Proceedings of the ACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, pp. 27–36.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/2145204.2145214, accessed 19 August 2017.

Kate Starbird and Leysia Palen, 2011. “‘Voluntweeters’: Self-organizing by digital volunteers in times of crisis,” CHI ’11: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 1,071–1,080.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/1978942.1979102, accessed 19 August 2017.

 


Editorial history

Received 27 February 2017; revised 17 August 2017; revised 18 August 2017; accepted 21 August 2017.


Creative Commons License
This paper is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Hashtags as online communities with social support: A study of anti-sexism-in-science hashtag movements
by Jennifer Golbeck, Summer Ash, and Nicole Cabrera.
First Monday, Volume 22, Number 9 - 4 September 2017
http://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/7572/6529
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v22i19.7572





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