First Monday 2020-04-02T09:09:08-05:00 Edward J. Valauskas Open Journal Systems <p><em>First Monday</em> is one of the first openly accessible, peer–reviewed journals solely devoted to resarch about the Internet. <em>First Monday</em> has published 1,930 papers in 287 issues, written by 2,720 different authors, over the past 23 years. No subscription fees, no submission fees, no advertisements, no fundraisers, no walls.</p> Influencers and targets on social media: Investigating the impact of network homogeneity and group identification on online influence 2020-04-02T09:08:58-05:00 Sanna Malinen Aki Koivula <p>This study identifies social media users who aim to influence others and those who have experienced influencing behavior targeted at them. It investigates how influential users and targets of influence differ with respect to their demographic backgrounds and how the perceived group identification, network homogeneity, and size of the social network affect online influence. The data was based on a large-scale survey of Finnish people (<em>N</em>=2,761). We find that young and highly educated men were more likely to be targets of influence, but the demographic differences were less obvious with regard to influencing behavior. Moreover, group identification was a significant factor underpinning online influence for both influencing behavior and target experiences. The network homogeneity and the size of the network increased the likelihood of influencing behavior. Our main contribution is to shed light on people who are targets of online influencing on social media. By comparing influential users and their targets, this study extends the previous research, which has mostly focused on detecting influential people.</p> 2020-03-25T18:54:20-05:00 Copyright (c) 2020 First Monday Who bypasses the Great Firewall in China? 2020-04-02T01:36:42-05:00 Chong Zhang <p>The blockage of foreign Web sites, which is often called the “Great Firewall (GFW)”, serves an important part of the Internet censorship in mainland China. This study investigated the inequality of bypassing the GFW in mainland China, and the possible difference in some “capital-enhancing” uses of the Internet (using the Internet for work, learning and political expression) between GFW-bypassing netizens and those still suffer from strict Internet censorship. This study used data from the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS). Although there is no direct measurement of netizens’ GFW bypassing, a variable measuring the ownership of Facebook accounts was used as a proxy of the status of GFW bypassing. Firstly, the results of bivariate analyses and multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) suggest that mainland Chinese netizens who can bypass Internet censorship and access blocked foreign Web sites are more socio-economically better off (higher social class, well-educated and urban residing) and younger. Moreover, the results of ordinary least squares (OLS) regression and logistic regression models tell that in general bypassing the GFW is related to more activeness in using the Internet for learning and political expression. After controlling socio-economic and demographic characteristics, GFW bypassing is no longer found to be related to online learning, but is still related to an expression of political views online.</p> 2020-03-22T13:27:37-05:00 Copyright (c) 2020 First Monday Tweet with a smile: The selection and use of emoji on Twitter in the Netherlands and England 2020-04-02T09:09:08-05:00 Maximilian Roele Janelle Ward Max van Duijn <p>Emoji, colourful pictographs showing faces, creatures and objects, have seen a surge in popularity and number in recent years. This exploratory study strives to answer the following question: how and why are emoji used on Twitter in the Netherlands and England? By combining quantitative and qualitative methods, we identified three important factors explaining emoji usage: the individual’s purpose on Twitter, the perceived functionality of emoji and the individual’s selection criteria for emoji. Overall, emoji play an important role in online communication and their use is more complex than their light-hearted appearance may suggest.</p> 2020-03-07T08:54:08-06:00 Copyright (c) 2020 First Monday Of commissars, cults and conspiratorial communities: The role of countercultural spaces in “democracy hacking” campaigns 2020-04-02T09:09:07-05:00 Christopher Whyte <p align="center">The goal of this article is to place the cultivation of virtual conspiratorial communities by prosecutors of influence operations within a theoretical structure of information warfare as “democracy hacking.” We join emerging scholarship in describing democracies as information systems wherein maintaining high standards for the quality, origination, credibility and perceived freedom of information in discourse is necessary for ensuring the moderating function of the whole. While the cyber attacks, data leaks and bot manipulation of social media that are the common focus of much analysis constitute the most visible efforts to spoof the function of mechanisms that ensure these standards, the success of each nevertheless depends on a strong foundation from which disruptive narratives can gain credibility in the public eye. Closed, conspiratorial communities are an essential part of this foundation. Such spaces are commonly characterized by cult-like discursive practices that discourage critical thought, “meme-ify” controversial content and encourage hostile rebuttal of external criticism. At the same time, platform and cross-platform opportunities for information dissemination without violation of the insular boundaries of such spaces provide unique possibilities for the spread of community narratives. Taken together, these dynamics amount to a dramatically improved ability to combat the moderating features of democratic systems. The study examines these dynamics with specific reference to the case of r/The_Donald and finds strong validity for the suggested framework.</p> 2020-03-11T15:45:06-05:00 Copyright (c) 2020 First Monday Approaching media as socio-technical assemblages in a datafied age 2020-04-02T09:09:05-05:00 Emma Dahlin <p>In times when new means of communication are emerging, it becomes increasingly relevant to revisit and reconsider media studies’ main concerns, and how contemporary media can be understood and studied. This paper draws attention to how the presumption of characteristics belonging to certain entities may elevate problems in a datafied age when streaming services, texts, content, producers, audiences, social media sites, and television are always intensely entangled. Here, the paper argues that it might no longer make sense, or even be possible, to make clear-cut distinctions between such entities. The paper further elaborates on the relevance and possibilities for media studies to draw upon actor-network theory (ANT). The paper argues that ANT, through its ideas of approaching objects as situated and local, can be a useful alternative theoretical approach when studying media phenomena in a datafied age.</p> 2020-03-15T10:46:32-05:00 Copyright (c) 2020 First Monday Journalists as end-users: Quality management principles applied to the design process of news automation 2020-04-02T09:09:03-05:00 Laurence Dierickx <p>ISO 9000 refers to a family of three standards related to quality management. It defines the concept of quality as the features and characteristics of a product, a process, or a service that bears on its ability to satisfy needs explicitly or implicitly expressed. Standards provide guidance and tools to ensure that products or services will meet users’ requirements. It means that quality must be consistently improved and that risks must be evaluated to be anticipated. The seven principles of the ISO 9000 are here examined through the lenses of a case study conducted within a Belgian newsroom, where an automated news system was developed to support the daily routines of financial journalists. As end-users, they have been actively involved within the design process, which can be considered as the first form of use.</p> 2020-03-22T20:12:43-05:00 Copyright (c) 2020 First Monday Behind the music: How labor changed for musicians through the subscription economy 2020-04-02T09:09:01-05:00 Saskia Mühlbach Payal Arora <p>Subscription services for users with low or no cost access to vast libraries of music has initiated a decrease in revenue for musicians. The growing evidence of exploitation of creative workers in the subscription economy and the sparse scientific coverage of the artist perspective motivated this paper. Through in-depth interviews with musicians, it examines how labor changed for artists in the music industry through the rise of streaming platforms, specifically in the context of Germany. The findings show that the non-creative process takes up more of the artist’s time. Artists perceive their music as less of an artistic product and more as a marketing tool for their own brand. To support the non-creative tasks, artists leverage on data that platforms provide. We witness a re-intermediation in the music market as well as an increase in competition. This paper pushes the conversation on labor and precarity in the music industry that is fast becoming platformized.</p> 2020-03-23T19:32:26-05:00 Copyright (c) 2020 First Monday