AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research <p>Selected Papers of Internet Research (SPIR) is the open access online collection of papers presented at the annual international conferences of the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR).</p> en-US (AoIR Staff) (AoIR Association Coordinator) Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 OJS 60 GEOLOCATION: LOCATING TRUST IN DIGITAL PLATFORMS AND ECONOMIES <p>Digital location—or geolocation—is a fixture of digital platforms and economies, figuring as an organizational logic for content and user experience (e.g., map-based interfaces), native technical affordance (e.g., locational functionalities of GPS-enabled smartphones), and core enabling agent behind the rise of ‘disruptive’ platform enterprises (e.g., Uber, Deliveroo, and Waze all rely on geolocation for service delivery). Despite its inextricability from contemporary media, data productions, and digital practices, geolocation’s role in fostering mis/trust in digital systems has to date been unaddressed. The papers in this panel identify and theorize the ways in which geolocation functions as simultaneously a key ‘technology of trust’ (sociotechnical agent through which mis/trust is bred and/or secured in digital ecosystems), and a social relation of trustworthiness in digital platforms and economies, exploring the role geolocation plays form the perspectives of both securing trust and breeding mistrust in digital systems.</p> Peta Mitchell, Agnieszka Leszczynski, Matthew Zook, Joe Blankenship, Caitlin McGrane, Larissa Hjorth, Julian Thomas, Rowan Wilken Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 TRUST IN TAIWAN’S MEDIA ECOLOGY, AUDIENCE AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT: 2018 TAIWANESE LOCAL ELECTIONS AND NATIONAL REFERENDA AS A CASE STUDY <p>This panel presents four papers aiming to examine the significance of the 2018 elections and referenda to Taiwan from the perspectives of instant news, social media, the relationship between online and offline behaviors of citizens, and socially mediated activism. The authors explored media ecology, trust issues toward the audience and civic engagements of these elections and referenda. The research methods of studies presented in this panel are also diverse, ranging from computational methods, national survey, to in-depth semi-structured interview.</p> <p>The first paper investigates how the online news media construct “liquid reality” in the election-related contents by analyzing instant news from five major online news media outlets in Taiwan. The second paper analyzes the election-related Twitter data by topic modeling and identifies issues, in which “fake news” was in play, and how social trust influence fake news sharing on social media was further discussed. The third paper characterize how the election-related information on social media influenced the offline behavior of the political participants by conducting a nation-wide survey to examine correlation between the online political information consumption behavior and the motivation to participate in real-life political activities. The fourth paper focuses on the relationship among socially mediated activism, fake news, and trust in social media in the referenda of same-sex marriage issues. By interviewing advocacy groups, third-party fact-checking organizations, governmental authorities, and social media platforms, the response strategies to the negative influence of fake news on social activism and vulnerable groups are explored.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Pai-Lin Chen, Yu-Chung Cheng, Wen-Cheng Fu, Trisha T.C Lin Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 BLIND SPOTS OF INFORMATION OPERATIONS: OF MICRO PROPAGANDA, ALGORITHM GAMING & HOW TO PROFIT FROM IT <p>Techniques designed to manipulate public opinion and undermine information ecosystems are rapidly evolving while research lags behind technological innovation and strategic expertise. As a more sophisticated generation of information operations is fast to mature, the papers in this panel shed light on some of the blind spots of scholarly inquiry making visible new thematic strategies, technical infrastructures and both political and economic incentives.</p> <p>The first two papers examine the progression from general political propaganda geared towards influencing elections to highly issue-specific micro-propaganda. The first paper presents an analysis of anti-Semitic disinformation campaigns and harassment during the 2018 US midterms on Twitter and offers rich evidence from interviews with Jewish American opinion leaders about their impact. Drawing on data from Twitter’s Election Integrity Initiative, the second paper examines the gender dimensions of foreign influence operations and how hostile state actors frame and discuss gender identity &amp; politics. The third paper presents an analysis of search engine optimization strategies that extremist YouTubers use in an attempt to game the algorithm and increase their visibility in the network. The fourth paper investigates the relationship between partisan bias associated with Google Search results and the success of political candidates associated with the search queries during elections and finds that partisan search media is a predictor for election outcomes. The fifth paper examines the emergence of a global political economy for manipulation and offers a grounded typology of the vendors, marketplaces, services, and products that are designed to turn a profit from swaying public opinion.</p> Lisa-Maria Neudert, Samantha Bradshaw, Rebecca Lewis, Leon Yin, Samuel Woolley, Katie Joseff, Danaë Metaxa, Alexander Hogan Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 THE VISCERAL EMBODIMENT OF DIGITAL PLEASURES <p>This panel explores digital pleasures that arise through the entanglement of bodies and digital technologies. Focusing on the digital structures and affordances that facilitate seeking, receiving and giving pleasure we analyse the ways in which intimacy is not only interactive, but also profoundly embodied. Haraway’s work in particular highlights the importance of taking seriously the nexus of human bodies and technologies and attending to the ways in which technologies not only deliver and mediate pleasure, but potentially expand upon our capacity to experience it. This panel explores how mediated practices engage the body as a site of pleasure and embodied affective intensity. Within this frame, we suggest that digitally mediated pleasures, while widely consumed, still have a hint of the ‘fringe’ or ‘subversive’. As well as proposing a theoretical framework for understanding embodied digital pleasures, this panel also examines specific examples of digital pleasure from sex to drugs and sound. To date the research corpus has largely focused upon the micro-social interactions of digital intimacies. This emphasis on relational intimacy puts the body into the background of the digitally mediated encounter and limits the ways in which we can talk about embodiment, sex and pleasure online. Embodied pleasure is intrinsic to the human condition, and digital media is deeply embedded in contemporary life. How these intersect is a key piece of the puzzle of what it means to be human in contemporary society.</p> Naomi Smith, Jenny Davis, Alexia Maddox, PJ Patella-Rey Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 DATA SELVES: TRUST, CONTROL AND SELF-REPRESENTATION IN DIGITAL SOCIETY <p>A considerable amount of personal data is now collected on and by individuals: footsteps on Fitbits, screen time in Apple’s iOS, conversations on dating apps, sleeping patterns in baby tracker apps, and viewing habits on Netflix and YouTube. What value do these data have, for individuals but also for corporations, governments, and researchers? When these data are provided back to users, how do people make sense of it? What ‘truth claims’ do quantified personal data make? How do we navigate anxieties around datafied selves, and in what ways are bodies rendered visible or invisible through processes of datafication in digital society?</p> <p>In this panel we explore these questions through four papers centered on the notion of the “data-selfie.” Data-selfies take different forms, including but not limited to:<br>- Visuals that reference the “status” or “progress” of a user’s physical body, as in 3-D scans, or charts generated by self-monitoring apps for health and fitness.<br>- Visuals that reference the remapping of photographic self-expression to biometric, corporate and state surveillance, such as airport facial recognition check points that ask flyers to pose for a selfie, or sex offender databases that now contain images first posted to hook up apps by consenting teenagers.<br>- Representations of the embodied or commoditized self, produced not as stand-alone expression, but as conversational prompts that encourage qualitative, “story-driven” data, in the interests of pedagogy, therapy, activism, etc.<br>- Profiles that reference users as “targets” whose chief value is the metadata they generate. Using proprietary algorithms, platforms mine this metadata—which can include information about a users’ device, physical location, and their activities online—categorizing it for internal use, and selling it to third parties interested in influencing the consumer, social and/or political preferences of the “targets” in question.</p> <p>In Paper 1, Authors 1, 2, and 3 develop a new conceptualisation for understanding how individuals reveal themselves through their own quantified personal data. They call this the ‘confessional data selfie’. Drawing on a sample of 59 examples from the top posts in subreddit r/DataIsBeautiful, they argue that the confessional data selfie represents an aspect of one’s self, through visualisations of personal data, inviting analysis, eliciting responses and personal story-telling, and opening one’s life up to others.</p> <p>In Paper 2, Authors 4, 5, and 6 take a political economy of communication approach to analyse the data markets of dating apps. They consider three cases: Grindr, Match Group (parent company of Tinder), and Bumble. Drawing on trade press reportage, financial reports, and other materials associated with the apps and publishers in question, they point to the increased global concentration in ownership of dating app services and raise questions about the ways in which dating apps are now in the ‘data business’, using personal data to profile users and monetise private interactions.</p> <p>In Paper 3, Author 7 reports on experiences of ‘data anxiety’ among older people in Australia. Author 7 draws on data literacy workshops, home-based interviews and focus groups with older internet users, that led to discussions of control over personal data, control over social interactions, and the resulting implications for exposure, openness, and visibility. Also key to this study was the taking and sharing of selfies in a closed Facebook group, serving as the starting point for reflections on these various experiences of control. Many of these older participants questioned whether or not ongoing participation in social media and broader data structures were ‘worthwhile’. This raises broader questions about the extent to which users are willing to sacrifice control over personal data - or the feeling of control - in order to participate and be visible.</p> <p>Finally, in Paper 4, Author 8 asks: when is the face data? Moving from examples of ‘deepfake’ video exhibitions to Google Art as a repository of ‘face-data’ as cultural and social capital, Author 8 goes on to examine how notions of face-as-data apply to individuals living with the neurological condition of autism. Can facial recognition apps help people with autism to read and decode human expressions?</p> <p>Taken together, these four papers each engage with questions about the relationship between personal data and broader structures of power and representation: from corporations like Grindr and Tinder using dating app data to profile users, to Google using uploaded selfies to train facial recognition algorithms; through to re-purposing and narrativising personal data as part of practices of self-representation; and the feelings of anxiety, unease or creepiness that accompany the increased datafication of personal identity. Self-representation is also a key recurrent thread in these papers, from confessional data selfies as acts of revelation through personal quantified data, through to the photographic selfie as a research exercise that prompts discussions of control and data privacy.</p> Brady Robards , Benjamin Lyall, Claire Moran, Jean Burgess, Kath Albury, Rowan Wilken, Anthony McCosker, Terri Senft Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 CULTURAL COSMOLOGIES OF THE INTERNET: SITUATING DIGITAL NETWORKED TECHNOLOGIES IN DIVERSE MORAL UNIVERSES <p>In this panel we consider how social actors situate uses of technologies within systems of moral norms and values while at the same time compelling the creation of new ones. Popular discourse tends to present dualistic thinking of the positive and negative impacts of technologies. Scholars have engaged with the internet and digital media, emphasising emancipatory subcultures (Coleman 2014; Gehl 2016, 2018) or presenting a critical view of the constraining aspects of networked technologies (Fish &amp; Follis 2019; Fuchs 2014; Lovink 2016). These approaches are complimented by scholarship that considers technological practices and how they are embedded in social and cultural cosmologies (Burrell 2012; Horst &amp; Foster 2018; Miller et. al. 2016). We argue for a closer integration of these bodies of scholarship through an examination of the contentious moral economies operating in emergent social spaces. The panel interrogates the relationship that social, political and economic actors have between their own ideas about what is good, appropriate and right and the diversity of orientations towards trust in techno-bureaucratic systems. We draw attention to immaterial systems and consider the social relationships and individual and collective imaginations that shape the production and experience of networked technologies. Through the papers, we articulate the forms of negotiation, resistance and refusal that occur when diverse moral universes, techno-regulating systems, and the conditions in which people find themselves collide.</p> Alexia Maddox, Jolynna Sinanan, Marcus Carter , Heather Horst, Michaela Spencer, Gerhard Wiesenfeldt Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 ONLINE TRUST IN THE CONTEXT OF GLOBAL MIGRATION: MOBILITY, SOCIALITY, AND THE PRODUCTION OF CHINESE DIASPORIC SUBJECTIVITY IN AUSTRALIA <p>In light of the conference theme, Trust in the system, this panel brings together three papers that explore the (trans)formation of Chinese diasporic subjectivity through the intellectual lens of online dis/trust. As Gidden (2010) argues, trust is a shared social reality. Such a sense of collectively is being ‘stretched’ across national borders and cultural boundaries. Fewer explore the dis/trust and the associated concepts of authenticity and credibility against a transnational and cross-border environment. By transnationality, we refer to the increased level of mobility of the material goods, financial capitals and social networks of contemporary migrants. In other words, they live a life that is constantly ‘transiting’ between national, social and cultural borders rather than having to choose a static sense of belonging.</p> <p>The three papers are then, organised to explore the transnational characters of Chinese migrants’ lives in Australia, from financial and economic survival to dating and socialisation, and the re-exploration of selfhood and belonging at later life. The three papers draw on different research methods range from ethnographic interviews and participant observation to the online walkthrough method and interface studies, and to the researcher embedded approach, to form critical inquiries about the production of trust in a digital era from the perspective of transnational migrations.</p> <p>In examining the different stages of life and the plurality of Chinese migrants in Australia, this panel has the potential to contribute to the broader conversation in online trusts in a global, polymedia era.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Wilfred Yang Wang, Xinyu Zhao, Xu Chen, Yanan Jana Yang Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 CHEMSEX: DIGITAL, CHEMICAL AND COMMUNAL INFRASTRUCTURE OF DISINHIBITION <p>Since the early days of digital media studies, it has been widely understood that trust in digital technologies has been indispensable for the operation of queer communities. Attaining access to _disinhibition_ is central to queer world-making: not only through coming “out”; and dancing at the gay club, but also by chemically altering your state of mind through alcohol and drug consumption. This panel explores queer ‘digital infrastructures of disinhibition’ through a digitally mediated sexual practice that has attracted significant attention over the last decade: ‘chemsex’, when gay and bisexual men use locative social media such as hook-up apps to organise group sex encounters where certain recreational drugs are consumed.</p> <p>Chemsex is a socio-sexual practice that to an overwhelming degree is _constructed_, _negotiated_, _enacted_, _maintained_ and _critiqued_ via digital platforms. Hook-up apps are key to facilitating chemsex encounters because they allow for instant access to nearby subjects who can join the chemsex event; porn platforms and video conferencing tools lend their affordances to the visual culture and consumption of chemsex. At the same time as digital media intervenes in chemsex subjectivity, so do the recreational drugs.</p> <p>Instead of treating the “effects” of media and drugs on the participating bodies as separated elements, this panel explores what can be achieved analytically if we think of them as co-constituting chemsex. To do so we conceptualize contemporary gay culture as an emerging assemblage depending on _digital_, _chemical_, and _communal_ infrastructures and the ways they are practiced, experienced, policed and transformed.</p> <p>The panel explores both the emergence and practice of chemsex, as well as what kinds of queer futurity chemsex events might offer, what “ways of feeling” emerge, and the subjectivities it produces, including the extent to which they might be considered to disturb, disrupt or, conversely, consolidate homonormative sociabilities and realities.</p> Jamie Hakim , Kristian Møller, João Florêncio, Dean Murphy, Kane Race, Kiran Pienaar, Toby Lea Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 THE AFTERLIVES OF MEMORIAL MATERIALS: DATA, HOAX, BOT <p>The study of death online has often intersected with questions of trust, though such questions have evolved over time to not only include relations of trust between individuals and within online communities, but also issues of trust emerging through entanglements and interactions with the afterlives of memorial materials. Papers in this panel attend to the growing significance of the afterlives of digital data, the circulation of fake deaths, the care attached to memorial bots, and the intersection of robots and funerals.</p> <p>Over the last twenty years the study of death online developed into a diverse field of enquiry. Early literature addressed the emergence of webpages created as online memorials and focused on their function to commemorate individuals by extending memorial artefacts from physical to digital spaces for the bereaved to gather (De Vries and Rutherford, 2004; Roberts, 2004; Roberts and Vidal, 2000; Veale, 2004). The emergence of platforms for social networking in the mid-2000s broadened the scope of research to include increasingly knotted questions around the ethics, politics and economics of death online. Scholars began investigating issues like the performance of public mourning, our obligations to and management of the digital remains of the deceased, the affordances of platforms for sharing or trolling the dead, the extraction of value from the data of the deceased, and the ontology of entities that digitally persist (e.g. Brubaker and Callison-Burch, 2016; Gibbs et al., 2015; Karppi, 2013; Marwick and Ellison, 2012; Phillips, 2011; Stokes, 2012).</p> <p>Scaffolding this scholarship are a number of research networks, including the Death Online Research Network and the DeathTech Research Network, who encourage international collaboration and conversation around the study of death and digital media, including supporting this AoIR panel.</p> <p>This panel contributes to the growing field of research on death and digital media, and in particular poses challenges to focus on the commemoration of humans to encompass broader issues around the data and materiality of digital death. Digital residues of the deceased persist within and circulate through online spaces, enrolling users into new configurations of posthumous dependence on platforms, whilst at the same time digital afterlives now intersect with new technologies to create emergent forms of agency such as chatbots and robots that extend beyond the human, demanding to be considered within the sphere of digital memorialisation. Questions of trust emerge in this panel through various kinds of relationality formed with and through digital remains. These extend from relations of trust in the digital legacies now archived within platform architectures and how we might curate conversations differently around our personal data; to the breaking of trust in the internet when creating or sharing a hoax death; to the trust involved in making and caring for a posthumous bot; to the trust granted to robots to perform funerary rites.</p> <p>It is anticipated that this panel will not only appeal to scholars interested in the area of death and digital media, but also engage with broader scholarly communities in which questions of death now arise in larger debates around data, materiality, and governance on and of the internet.</p> <p>References</p> <p>Brubaker, J. R. and Callison-Burch, V. (2016) Legacy Contact: Designing and Implementing Post-mortem Stewardship at Facebook. Paper presented at CHI Workshop on Human Factors in Computer Systems, San Jose California.</p> <p>de Vries, B. and Rutherford, J. (2004) Memorializing Loved Ones on the World Wide Web. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying, 49(1), 5-26.</p> <p>Gibbs, M., Meese, J., Arnold, M., Nansen, B., and Carter, M. (2015) #Funeral and Instagram: Death, Social Media and Platform Vernacular. Information Communication and Society, 18(3): 255-268.</p> <p>Karppi, T. (2013) Death proof: on the biopolitics and noopolitics of memorializing dead Facebook users. Culture Machine, 14, 1-20.</p> <p>Marwick, A. and Ellison, N. (2012) “There Isn’t Wifi in Heaven!” Negotiating Visibility on Facebook Memorial Pages. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media 56(3), 378–400.</p> <p>Phillips, W. (2011) LOLing at Tragedy: Facebook Trolls, Memorial Pages and Resistance to Grief Online. First Monday 16(12). Retrieved from</p> <p>Roberts, P. (2004) The Living and the Dead: Community in the Virtual Cemetery. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying, 49(1), 57-76.</p> <p>Stokes, P. (2012) Ghosts in the Machine: Do the Dead Live on in Facebook? Philosophy and Technology, 25(3), 363-379.</p> <p>Veale, K. (2004) Online Memorialisation: The Web as a Collective Memorial Landscape For Remembering The Dead. The Fibreculture Journal, 3. Retrieved from</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Bjorn Nansen , Larissa Hjorth, Stacey Pitsillides, Hannah Gould Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 PLATFORM PEDAGOGIES: LEARNING, AUTHORISING AND VALIDATING TRUST IN EDUCATION <p>This panel investigates the pedagogic dimension of digital platforms thus drawing on older theoretical traditions that use pedagogy as a way of describing and explaining the relationships between individual and society, agency and structure (paper 1). We want to explore what it means to conceive of the relationship between people and their platforms as a pedagogic relationship; and how such conceptualisations might advance study of platforms in general (paper 4). Additionally, using the term pedagogy in its more specifically educational sense the panel explores the relationship between learning, schooling and education systems across emerging platforms (papers 2 regarding 8th grade teachers in the US using apps, and paper 3 regarding Australian universities’ learning management systems).</p> <p>Platforms, we argue, standardise and seek to offer a relationship of trust over time with their “citizens”. Platforms working with families, schools or in higher education feed off the authority and trust that pertains between citizens and these institutions. However, the platformisation of education (van Dijck, Poell &amp; de Waal, 2018) may contain other kinds of risks for students and their families, thereby introducing the need for new forms of validation. By thinking about activities in and across a series of platforms in terms of pedagogic relationships, where trust is placed in authority, the panel will explore the mechanisms by which digital interactions take forms of social trust and yet expose people to forms of dataveillance beyond ways that any membership or participation suggests in its initial contract.</p> Julian Sefton-Green, Jessica Zacher Pandya, Natalie Hendry, Luci Pangrazio Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 ENTRUSTING CHILDREN'S DATA <p>This panel is devoted to the issue of trust and children’s data. Trust in the ethical treatment of children’s data relies on a broad balance of trust in a complex network of actors and practices involved in data collection, analytics, sharing and use of children’s data. More specifically, trust in how data is captured, who the data is captured by, what is done to the data and how outcomes generated out of the data are employed needs to be guaranteed. We discuss the predictive practices (algorithmic analysis) used to uncover behaviours, characteristics and relationships in order to anticipate outcomes, and nudge behaviours and attitudes or initiate interventions on behalf of children. The panel also investigates how children’s databases have made their way onto the dark web, positing that trust in the security of databases held by commercial and state actors is at risk. We then consider the ethical tension between the use of micro-celebrity social media influencers to establish market trust in brands and products, and the use of these potentially vulnerable influencers to market to other potentially vulnerable consumers.</p> <p>Paper one ‘Entrusting predictions for children’s futures’ discusses the future implications of large-scale data collection and analytic activities enacted across the everyday that is evident in media, academic publications and government policy discussions. Digging deeper, this concern is centred largely on unease about how the data is captured, who the data is captured by, what is done to the data and how outcomes generated out of the data are employed. Lack of transparency or clarity around internal machinic calculation processes requires ‘trust’ in the veracity of outputs of these systems.</p> <p>Children are increasingly being positioned as data sources, datafied and embedded in algorithmic ecosystems that employ a range of calculations to uncover patterns or anomalies, to highlight risk, and to predict future outcomes. These practices inform strategies, policies and planning and therefore can have material consequences that can be advantageous or disadvantageous for the child, the family and their future pathways. This presentation explores three examples of predictive practices in early childhood in the health, education and commercial sectors through an analysis of relevant academic, policy and commercial literature and discourse to highlight the raft of ways that the placing of trust in algorithmic processes needs to be carefully scaffolded and critiqued.</p> <p>Paper two, ‘When trust goes wrong: Children on the dark web’ investigates what happens when trust goes wrong; when children’s personal data is hacked and circulated on the dark web? Where once child abuse material (CAM) was the only type of children’s data generally available for sale or circulation over the dark web, the growth of big data over the last decade, has seen children’s databases sourced from medical records, school records and app databases now available on the dark web—including those associated with connected toys. The paper first discusses children’s abuse material available on the dark web and then outlines the emerging availability of children’s personally identifiable information.</p> <p>The paper argues that, while parents are often held accountable for their children’s digital profile and data safety, vast amounts of children’s data is being legally collected by tech companies and state actors. Some of this data has found its way onto the dark web. So far, little concern has been voiced about who is responsible for the protection of children’s data along children’s data supply chains—as well as any future ramifications of children’s data being sold and circulated on the dark web.</p> <p>Paper three, ‘Trusted babes of Instagram brand-land: Child as co-opted marketer and profitable brand extension on the internet’, explores how marketers are using/exploiting consumers’ inherent love, trust and interest in children, to generate ‘brand trust’, while at the same time wading into murky ethical territory, commoditising children’s images and appeal to promote adult brands. A related phenomenon is the use of children as ‘brand extension’, where celebrity/microcelebrity influencer parents push their children as personal brand extensions, leveraging the cuteness and newsworthy impact of their own children to earn money and/or achieve fame (Archer, 2018). Far from being the ‘everyday, ordinary Internet users’ initially described in Abidin’s early definition (2015b), some child social media stars are now being presented as beyond ‘ordinary’, with lavish lifestyles or unattainable attributes presented as aspirational for the consuming public.</p> <p>The paper uses case studies three extreme case studies, to examine the extent to which mainstream commercial organizations/brands and parents are colluding to use still and video social media images of children (as brands in their own right) in attempt to gain consumer ‘trust’. The impact of marketers and parents co-opting children to engender this consumer ‘trust’, and the ensuing issues relevant to the digital rights of the child and the larger issue of ‘trust’ in society is also discussed.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Donell Joy Holloway, Catherine Archer, Michele Willson Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 QUEER DE/STABILIZATIONS IN AND OF DIGITAL CULTURAL RESEARCH <p>This panel brings together papers that explore digital cultures, platforms, and queer and feminist theoretical and methodological research approaches. The papers in this panel each explore the kinds of approaches suited to researching queer “de/stabilizations” in and of digital culture; that is, to projects of tracing, mapping, and making, queerer worlds via digital cultural research. “Trustworthy” systems are, in one important sense, systems that are relatively stable, reliable, and that work somewhat predictably. But in algorithmic digital cultures “reliability” and “predictability” are not always characteristics to be trusted: digital media scholars have examined how algorithmic systems “build in”, intensify, and thus stabilize a-priori discriminatory practices, cultural associations, and stereotypical representational meanings, thus helping to cement social inequalities via increasingly ubiquitous practices of quantification, as Paper 4 explores in relation to digital extracted data on “gay” genomics and faces. On a different register, ethnographic research on youth, social media, and gender and sexuality has also evidenced the kind of stabilizations of hetero-patriarchal dominant meanings of, for example, digitally shared images of bodies, as Papers 1 and 2 highlight. Important tensions arise in digital cultural research, particularly among scholars concerned with gender and sexuality, around desires to trace, and make manifest stable, strong, and more broadly and inclusively “trustworthy” systems, communities, and meanings in digital cultures, and the associated risks of capture and exclusion pertinent to marginalized groups and bodies (Paper 3). The papers in this panel explore these tensions, and their implications for digital cultural research.</p> Amy Shields Dobson, Kane Race, Kate O'Riordan Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 PERFORMING (IN)JUSTICE: THE CONTENTIOUS POLITICS OF DIGITALLY MEDIATED VISUALS <p>This panel considers sociopolitical contentions as being increasingly visually mediated and brings together a transdisciplinary group of researchers to reflect on the complex ways digitally mediated visuals construct, sustain and perform (in)justice. To do this, panelists reflect on the many forms and political textures digitally mediated visuals can assume (online and offline), and considers the specific role of digital affordances and platform politics in sustaining these practices. Panelists address key questions: 1) how do digitally mediated visuals enact forms of (in)justice?; 2) what potentials or limitations do digitally mediated visuals generate for scholars wishing to understand broader sociopolitical contentions?; and 3) what conceptual and methodological tools should (Internet) scholars employ to study the contentious politics of digitally mediated visuals (and with what ethical implications)? Drawing from media and communication, international relations, cultural studies and discourse theory, panelists address a variety of sociopolitical topics across platforms (WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) and territories, including: US black justice movements, sexual racism in Latin America and Southeast Asia, conflicts over representations of death in the Middle East, and transnational movements for trans rights activism. Panelists engage with Internet research to investigate the contentious politics of digitally mediated visuals by drawing on several perspectives to challenge hegemonic conceptions, Western biases and dominant discourses. They also mobilize qualitative or hybrid methods to track the trajectories of digitally mediated visuals to understand their biographies and sociopolitical productiveness in the context of their emergence, methods particularly interesting for Internet studies considering ongoing critiques against big data approaches.</p> Kelly Lewis, Helen Berents, David Myles, Earvin Charles Cabalquinto, Ariadna Matamoros Fernández, Carlos Estrada-Grajales Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 BANKING ON CULTURAL INTERMEDIARIES ACROSS WEBTOON, WEBNOVEL AND VIDEO-SHARING PLATFORMS IN ASIA’S DIGITAL CREATIVE ECONOMY <p>This panel investigates how complex layers of trust and (dis)trust are surrounding and impacting on the fans, also known as ‘cultural intermediaries’, involved in the production, circulation, translation and remake of Korean and Chinese webtoon and webnovel platforms in Asia and among Asian users. Collectively, the panellists argue for a reconceptualisation of the concept of ‘Internet platform’. In so doing, we interrogate the concepts of ‘platformization’, ‘platform capitalism’ and ‘digital capitalism’ by asking: how, and with what effect, Korean and Chinese digital platforms – as well as their aggregated domestic and international users, are operating in the Asia Pacific, compared to more global ‘liberal’ platforms? Noting the activities of ‘digital champions’, such as the giant Korean search portal Naver, as well as China’s Kuaikan and Bilibili enterprises, which are now rapidly emerging in the shadows of their larger competitors: iQiyi (Baidu), Taobao (Alibaba), QQ (Tencent), collectively known as BAT. In sum, we show which Korean and Chinese webtoon and webnovel platforms are taking root in various regional territories and among regional audiences. Our intent is to illustrate how digital platforms (i.e. the globality of the internet) are refashioning the image of Korea and China, which is often viewed outside of their national borders as driven by an ideologically-free ‘broadband nirvana’ (Goldsmith et al. 2011), and tainted by authoritarian state, respectively. Accordingly, all four papers will consider how platform capitalism offers new ways to understand the outreach of both Korean and Chinese digital culture – from both economic and technological viewpoints.</p> Brian Yecies, Xiang (Tony) Ren, Aegyung Shim, Dingkun Wang Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 DOUBT AND DISENGAGEMENT: TECHNOLOGIES AND PRACTICES OF DIGITAL DISCONNECTION <p>When people distrust media systems, one response is to disconnect. This emergent theme within internet research encompasses technologies, practices, discourses, and politics of disconnection. Furthering these discussions, this panel draws together four investigations into technologies and practices of digital disconnection. Each paper interrogates a different form of disconnection and considers the various elements of trust and/or mistrust they reflect.</p> <p>Two of the papers focus on forms of disconnection centered around avoidance. One takes up the problem of digital propaganda and the associated declining trust in online media systems. It argues that informational avoidance in the form of ‘strategic illiteracies’ might open new spaces for resistance to misinformation. The other paper considers the challenge of managing personal availability in a context where mobile communication creates expectations of continual availability. It investigates the discursive practices that young adults use to avoid others and argues that these practices rest on implicit systems of trust.</p> <p>The remaining two papers consider how neoliberal discourses of self-improvement shape disconnective practices and technologies. They investigate forms of disconnection that are based around consumption choices and technology design.&nbsp;In both papers, disconnection is driven by growing distrust in dominant modes of technology design, specifically, their cognitive impacts. In response, the disconnective practices and technologies discussed in these papers place their trust in individualised, and often technological, solutions.</p> <p>Overall, the panel contributes to scholarly debate around disconnection by considering new forms of disconnection, their role in our contemporary media environment, and the forms of trust and mistrust they reflect.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Ethan Plaut, Kate Mannell, Magdalena Kania-Lundholm, Alex Beattie Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 A DECADE OF SOCIAL MEDIA ELECTIONS – A CROSS-NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE <p>In this panel we combine longitudinal and cross-national studies of social media in election campaigns, expanding the time span as well as number of countries compared to former studies. The four papers present longitudinal studies, covering multiple election cycles from four different countries: Australia, the United States of America, Denmark and Sweden.</p> <p>By including these cases we focus on countries considered to be “first movers” when it comes to the digitization and internetization of the political life. As such, they are “most similar cases”. However, they also have different political systems: the US and Australia are characterized by a Westminster system dominated by a few large parties and a tradition of strong confrontation between government and opposition, whereas Denmark and Sweden are multi-party systems with a tradition of collaboration and coalition governments. Further, the countries’ media systems, as defined by Hallin &amp; Mancini (2004), differ significantly; the US is characterized by a commercialized American media system with little role for public service broadcasters, Denmark and Sweden have very strong public service media, and Australia has elements of both these systems. Technologically, the four countries might be similar, but politically and in terms of media systems, they differ. Thus, studies of the four countries form a diverse yet solid set of cases for exploring the growing (and changing) role of social media in national elections.</p> <p>The papers address such issues by various methods and perspectives, from large-scale big data analyses of tweets to content analyses of Facebook pages and surveys among citizens. From different angles, the four papers circle around the same topics: do social media contribute to narrowing or widening the often-discussed gap between citizens and politicians? Does the increasing use (and changing character) of social media in election campaigns facilitate increased trust or rather a radicalized and more negative discourse? And do citizens feel more empowered and enlightened in a democratic sense?</p> <p>The Australian case study is based on a comprehensive analysis of interactions around candidates’ Twitter accounts, drawing on state-of-the-art methods. It stretches across three election cycles. It presents new evidence both on the use of Twitter in political campaigning in Australia, and on the public response to this use, not at least in the light of the overall context of a decline in trust towards the political system, in Australia and elsewhere.</p> <p>The US case study examines negativity, incivility, and intolerance expressed by candidates running for governor in 2014 as compared with 2018. In between those two election cycles, the United States had the remarkable presidential campaign of 2016, with an unprecedented volume and style of negative campaigning unseen in modern campaigning. This study thus asks whether the 2018 candidates were more negative and uncivil than their counterparts who ran in 2014. Results will illuminate the nature of political incivility and whether there is a coarseness of political discourse in the United States.</p> <p>The Danish case study is based on surveys of citizens’ Internet use / social media use across four elections, covering a time span of 12 years. It adds to an understanding of the growing use of social media but more importantly it investigates how citizens experienced effects of social media as tools for agenda-setting and efficacy, the latter understood as increased reflection and enlightenment.</p> <p>The Swedish case study covers three Swedish national elections, in 2010, 2014 and 2018. The research question is: how are viral posts from political parties on Facebook changing over time? By answering that question, the author can track the consequences of increased platformization of politics as well as an increased targeting towards the needs and wants of the audience, through what some will call populism.</p> <p>The studies all cover more or less the last decade. This represents a time span during which social media have matured and have come to play an increasing role in citizens’ daily lives. The contributions are interesting country-based case studies in themselves, but through this panel we seek to engage the audience in a discussion of the developments expected for the coming years.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Jakob Linaa Jensen, Axel Bruns, Tim Graham, Daniel Angus, Anders Olof Larsson, Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Feifei Zhang, Patricia Rossini, Jeffrey Hemsley Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 SMART TECHNOLOGIES, ALGORITHMIC GOVERNANCE AND DATA JUSTICE <p>This panel engages critically with the development, application and emerging effects of ‘smart’ technologies of governance. Attending specifically to the ramifications of new forms of (‘big’) data capture and integration implemented by or for state agencies, the panel describes how the rollout of these technologies impacts on and is shaped by contexts prefigured by social and economic inequalities.</p> <p>Two specific arenas are addressed and juxtaposed, with two papers on each of these. The first arena is the introduction of ‘smart city’ technologies and their implications for low income and marginalised communities. Often presented as novel augmentations of urban space, enhancing and customising the urban experience at the same time that they increase the city’s efficiency and ‘awareness’, smart city technologies also reconfigure urban spaces and how they are understood and governed by rendering the city a site of data generation and capture. This presents new opportunities and risks for residents and powerful commercial and state actors alike.</p> <p>The emergence of public wi-fi kiosks as a means of providing internet access to underserved communities, as one panellist describes, can be shown to expose low-income residents to new forms of surveillance and to new kinds of inequity in terms of the asymmetry of information made available to the parties in the exchange at the kiosk. Surveillance and data capture is organised to particular ends and powerful interests shape and leverage the design and affordances of such initiatives in particular ways. Insofar as concerns are raised about these developments, they are commonly framed in terms of individual rights to privacy, missing the scale of the issues involved. It is not merely that ‘opting out’ becomes untenable. As other panellists show, the issues involved are fundamentally social rather than individual in that they foreground questions around the appropriate relations between state and commercial actors, the use and nature of public space, and the uneven distribution of rights of access to space, information, and other resources within the city. Economically disenfranchised groups are not only denied meaningful access and participation, but colonised by data processes designed to extract various forms of value from their use of ‘public’ infrastructure which may not best serve their own interests.</p> <p>The second arena addressed by the panel is the role of algorithmic governance and artificial intelligence in the provision of social welfare. This context is described in terms of both the effects for the frontline service encounter, and the design, justification, and implementation of the technologies reformatting this encounter from key locations within state agencies. Emerging technological infrastructures for social welfare do not simply reconfigure how existing services are offered and accessed. They facilitate the identification of new target populations for intervention, at the same time that they introduce additional burdens, hurdles and forms of intervention and surveillance for these populations. As such, it is evident in the design and application of these technologies that they accord with and expedite punitive logics in welfare provision, providing new opportunities for the application of dominant neoliberal governance strategies.</p> <p>In both arenas, one can conceptualize ‘pipelines’ for the implementation of these developments. These pipelines are interstitial and heterogeneous, and combine different timelines, technologies and actors. They are often technically or administratively opaque or otherwise obscured from view. This gives rise to a methodological and intellectual problem, around the extent to which researchers can say they know enough to point to determining instances, political agendas, commercial agreements, incidental alignments and so on in such a way as to advocate effectively for democratic input and oversight. In this sense the papers assembled highlight how these developments call for new politics of method, new modalities of analysis and critique, and more effective activist and academic engagements with the question of how ideals of justice and equity can best be instantiated in these contexts.</p> Andrew Whelan, Alexandra James, Justine Humphry, Tanja Dreher, Danielle Hynes, Scarlet Wilcock Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 INFANCY WITHIN ADVERTISING PLATFORM: YOUNG CHILDREN EXPERIENCES ON A VIDEO-SHARING WEBSITE. <p>This paper investigates how young children experience digital advertising platforms. Specifically, it focuses on young children's participation in the YouTube app as part of an advertising mechanism that captures and profits from their views and attention. An innovative trans-disciplinary bridge between digital labour studies, biopolitics theory and qualitative research on children online has been developed to achieve this aim. The fact that children are going online progressively earlier raises critical questions around what they are experiencing in the virtual world. Data has become a way to profit and digital technology has become the infrastructure for capitalism permanence. This process of making a profit on user’s information leads to issues around trust and the confluence of surveillance and profit. It also raises questions around the persistence of Marxist concepts such as surplus labour, surplus value, and labour exploitation within the platform economy. Furthermore, in this environment one cannot disregard the relationship of power and the government of life; biopolitics should not be dissociable from capitalism. Thus, considering the early stage of young children’s cognitive development and their consequent vulnerability is urgent to understand how young children contribute to the political economy of the digital platform. The extent to which parents/caregivers and teachers are knowledgeable about the models of data mining, statistical profiling and corporate profit-generation that occur within this digital environment is also being investigated.</p> Amanda Aggio Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 A BALANCING ACT: PUTTING UP BOOKSHELVES ON A SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM <p>This paper addresses the theme of this year’s conference by focusing on the issue of trust in the uneasy relationship between content-generating users and commercially owned platforms. In this paper, I will present a case study of the use of so-called ‘bookshelves’ on Goodreads which offers a distinct example illustrating how a social media platform will often tests its users’ trust as it seeks ways to capitalize on its users’ engagement and contributions while still preserving the atmosphere of a social network built for and with its users. Bookshelves constitute a key element in making Goodreads a space users can feel ‘at home’ in. In the paper, I show how this becomes clear when considering users responses’ to Goodreads policies on bookshelves. I focus specifically on three different examples of negotiations of trust that have emerged in relation to the platform’s policies on bookshelves. The study draws particularly on discourse analysis with a focus on narrative and organizational metaphors, and the aim is to identify central points of ambivalence in users’ attempts to balance their trust in the platform.</p> Anne-Mette Bech Albrechtslund Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 'GLOBAL, NETWORKED AND COLLABORATIVE': HOW THE NORMALIZATION OF LEAKING SHAPED THE IDENTITY AND PRACTICE OF INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM <p>From the Panama Papers to the Migrants' Files, we appear to witness a 'Golden Age of global muckraking'. While cross-border collaborations among journalists are not new, data technologies have dramatically increased their scale and degree of collaboration. Transnational collaborations among journalists are increasingly data-driven operations specialized on facilitating the analysis of huge leaks. In a more dynamic media environment, where traditional identities and routines of journalism are being challenged, data-driven transnational networks help to articulate global standards of investigative journalism and shape journalism's ability to tackle issues in an increasingly globalized and interdependent world.</p> <p>This paper shows how data-driven journalism networks today are shaped by the ways in which journalists normalized leaking in technological, organizational, and cultural ways since Wikileaks’ publication of the Afghan war logs. The result has been a) the establishment – or evolution – of national and transnational structures that facilitate collaborations; and b) that the concept of ‘leaking’ was moved away from radical transparency advocacy, and into traditional journalistic ethics and identities. The subsequent normalization of leaking is relevant beyond leaking itself, as it more broadly shapes practices around ‘data-driven cross-border collaboration’. This means that the practices, organizational structures and technologies developed around leaking also shape collaborative data collection or data sharing projects. To examine the future of journalism in a more globalized and datafied world, I will conclude with suggesting that media and journalism studies needs to rely more on theories and methodological frameworks that do justice to journalism’s increasingly transcultural nature.</p> Stefan Baack Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 EXAMINING THE “ELSAGATE” PHENOMENON: DISTURBING CHILDREN’S YOUTUBE CONTENT AND NEW FRONTIERS IN CHILDREN’S CULTURE <p>This paper investigates new genres of children's content on YouTube that have provoked potent cultural anxieties about the role of YouTube in children's culture, and have raised concerns about the apparent wealth of content targeted at children on the platform that is not child-appropriate. The paper examines the journalistic commentary that constitutes the "Elsagate" phenomenon - the neologism used to describe public revelations about the controversy - and conducts a genre studies textual analysis of the YouTube content consistently referenced in this commentary. This analysis aims to illuminate the relationship between the textual features of disturbing children's YouTube content and the cultural anxieties these features have incited.</p> <p>The paper contends that the child-oriented YouTube genres at the centre of the Elsagate controversy re-position extant cultural boundaries of child-appropriate content – boundaries which in some cases have long been enshrined in policy and standards guidelines – in ways that trouble ingrained ideological distinctions between child and adult culture. The paper illustrates how disturbing children’s YouTube content interrupts traditional power balances and interplays between media industries, parental mediation strategies, and “child-effects”: young children’s agency over their own consumption choices and influence on parental media practices (Bulck et al, 2016).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Jessica Balanzategui Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 LABOUR AND DIGITIZATION <p>In 2011, artist Andrew Norman Wilson was working as a subcontractor doing video work for Google at the Mountainview California Googleplex. He’d noticed that the workers entering and exiting the building next door had different working conditions to the majority of the workers at the site and discovered they were working on the Google Books mass digitization project. One day he took his camera down to film them leaving the building at the end of the shift and the next day he was fired. Wilson used the footage to create a video he calls “Workers Leaving the Googleplex” (2011), and projects such as Krissy Wilson’s “The Art of Google Books” destabilise the fictional veneer of smooth clean surfaces that the Google Books project projects into the world. The growing field of critical infrastructure studies helps us to unpack and understand the multiple dimensions operating This paper argues that notions of the particularities of digital labour of all kinds are central to developing a more comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted nature of digital cultural objects, both born-digital and digitised. The paper considers the often invisible, contingent, omitted or assumed labour involved in digitization projects, using thinking from critical infrastructure studies, new media, media archaeology and creative labour.</p> Tully Barnett Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 INTELLIGENT FAILURES: CLIPPY MEMES AND THE LIMITS OF DIGITAL ASSISTANTS <p>Often hated during its lifespan in product (1996-2006), Clippy – Microsoft’s Office Assistant, became a pop-culture icon in its afterlife. Delving into the plethora of memes featuring Clippy, we ask: why should a questionable character from a software program that has been out of use for well over a decade have so vibrant an afterlife? If Clippy has become a rhetorical resource, what is it being used to do? We propose that Clippy’s dual status as the original natural-language digital assistant, one that fell critically short in its ability to actually assist, makes it an ideal vehicle for critique of today’s ubiquitous assistants. An analysis of 1,148 meme instances collected from five sites led to a twofold argument: First, Clippy humor relies on the contrast between types of intelligence; Clippy is often too good at one kind, while lacking in another. In particular, Clippy lacks interpersonal intelligence: it serves as a disruptive mediator between its user and the world, as well as other human beings.</p> <p>Yet this failure in “knowing its limits” and adapting to its environment is also what gives Clippy character. This suggests that digital assistants must attend to multiple kinds of intelligences; attending to any one over others may create an endearing character but not an effective digital assistant. Furthermore, the fact that the unbending yet personality-filled character of Clippy remains ungendered or male gives us insight into the pliant and empty characters of the female gendered Alexa, Siri, and Cortana.</p> Nancy Baym, Limor Shifman, Christopher Persaud, Kelly Wagman Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 FROM CHASTITY BELTS TO SMART FROCKS: THE PROMISE OF RAPE DETERRENT TECHNOLOGY <p>In 2018, Schweppes partnered with Ogilvy Brazil to design a smart dress that used touch-sensors to illustrate how women are groped in nightclubs (Dickson 2018). The dress is a strong example of a host of digital devices that mobilise smart technology to legitimate women’s testimony of sexual assault in public space. It also belongs to a growing category of technology closely attached to the body and designed to either protect it from harm or lend credence to previously silenced publics.</p> <p>Devices like the Ogilvy dress draw attention to the marginalisation of victims’ voices; it owes its existence to institutions of power refusing to listen to women’s testimony. However, the devices also reinscribe the same silencing dynamic by positioning themselves as necessary and more “reliable” evidence of women’s experience than their verbal statements. These devices are sorely undertheorized as potential erosions of the legitimacy of individual testimony and experience that are part of digital culture more broadly speaking (Couldry 2010). The devices are also problematically framed as “solutions” to broader and contextually-sensitive social issues in ways that reify their power dynamics. These devices materialise a relationship among the wearer, bodily threat, and the corporate brand selling the device as a means to further brand recognition and to cohere associations among the brand, a social cause and, perhaps most enticingly, its solution.</p> Alex Louise Bevan, Caroline Wilson Barnao, Robyn Lincoln Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 BOUNDARIES OF TRUST AND TRANSGRESSION: STUDYING THE CIRCULATION OF OBSCENE CONTENTS WITHIN ITALIAN PRIVATE GROUP CHATS <p>Within the contemporary social media sphere we witnessed an exploitation of visible and permanent contents shared by users for platforms’ marketing purposes (i.e. selling data to advertisers) and to enable platforms to provide tailored experiences. This, along with data breaches scandals, triggered concerns about privacy and the dangers of mass surveillance, and lead developers to provide Instant Messaging applications with greater security. However, the existence of this kind of ‘safe spaces’ in which users privacy is not menaced, has also raised the attention on the sharing of transgressive, obscene or offensive contents that eludes public scrutiny. While the mainstreaming of such contents in non-public digital spaces is often cited as one of the hallmarks of the “dark side of the web”, the research on this topic is still lacking as this phenomenon is observable mostly at an interactional level, and not at the mass media system level. Our study provides an analysis of users’ meaning-making and boundary maintenance activities regarding violent/pornographic contents in group chats (WhatsApp and Telegram), that combines participant observation and in-depth interviews with active participants of such groups. We expect that the results of this research will improve the understanding of 1) the role of messaging apps affordances in shaping the circulation of extreme contents, 2) group trust dynamics, 3) the impact of a common semantics of the obscene on the cultivated semantics of public sphere, 4) methodological difficulties in researching online spaces unreachable by web scraping approaches.</p> Giovanni Boccia Artieri, Elisabetta Zurovac, Stefano Brilli Copyright (c) Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 “I NEVER USE HEADSETS”: WOMEN, WARINESS, AND HYPERVIGILANCE FOR THE INEVITABILITY OF ONLINE HARASSMENT IN GAMING CULTURE <p>The gaming community has been contoured by divisive issues around the exacerbation of sexism, racism, and harassment. These tensions culminated in 2014 in the shape of #gamergate: a decentralised online harassment campaign against women and feminism in gaming. Gamergate continues to intensify a heightened climate of hostility especially felt by women and minorities.This ongoing feminist ethnography has emerged from an imperative to create interventions into the increasing normalisation of online and offline harassment. In it, this research analyses the affective labour of how people navigate and ‘cope’ with discrimination in gaming cultures.</p> <p>This paper will present vignettes of the larger research project of how online harassment has coloured people’s lived experiences, through thick-descriptions of in-depth semi-structured interviews conducted with 7 women who play videogames with their romantic partners. These interviews gesture towards a rich complexity of affective relationships at the nexus of gaming, romantic relationships, and the everyday lived experiences of women. To avoid bringing attention to their gender, harassment, and unwanted confrontations, women are hypervigilant. In similar ways to self-defence tactics, women constantly avoid using headsets to communicate with other players, keep clear of conversations about playing videogames, and minimise the performance of their femininity in public gaming spaces.This paper critically examines the dynamics of how the increasing normalisation and public gamification of online harassment impacts women’s engagement with gaming, as well as how ‘online’ harassment may invade into their intimate relationships and domestic ‘private’ spheres.</p> Mahli-Ann Butt Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 TRUST IN FRIENDSHIP: LGBTQ+ YOUNG PEOPLE AND HOOK-UP APP SAFETIES <p>Digital media research commonly explores the use of social media platforms and dating/hook-up apps separately, implying distance between social and sexual communication practices. By exploring how friendships enfold into LGBTQ+ young people’s use of dating/hook-up apps, this paper troubles that delineation. In 2018, we ran four workshops with LGBTQ+ young people (18-35 years) about negotiating safety in dating/hook-up apps. Discussion of friendship featured in all workshops, mostly related to four key themes: the safety of having mutual friends with prospective dates/hook-ups; friend-making through apps; friend-involvement in safety strategies; and friendship advice on app use. Through analysis of these data, we highlight how friendship is an organising force in LGBTQ+ young people’s dating/hook-up app practices, and argue for greater attention to the porousness of media sites commonly defined as social (e.g. Instagram) or sexual (e.g. Tinder). Participants demonstrate that trust in friendship is far greater that their trust in apps, and so this is called upon, at many levels, to negotiate app use. Notably mutual friends (‘mutuals’) offer greater feelings of safety. An overlap between friendship and sexual connections is also apparent in these data, as per discussion of 'sliding into DMs'. Participants who were not cisgender men had greater concern for safety, and thus more knowledge on how to negotiate apps (and dating) safely, particularly through friendship support networks.</p> Paul Byron, Kath Albury, Tinonee Pym, Kane Race, Anthony McCosker Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 “HEY, I LIKE YOUR VIDEOS. RELATE MUCH!”LOCATING SISTERHOOD IN A POSTCOLONIAL PUBLIC ON YOUTUBE <p>As part of a broader project that seeks to investigate the brokering of digitally-mediated intimacies through matchmaking platforms and social media channels, this paper unpacks the formation of ‘online sisterhood’ in a postcolonial intimate public, as evinced in the comments of viewers on selected YouTube videos of Rhaze, a Filipina YouTuber who is married to an Australian man. With a massive following of over 450 thousand followers, Rhaze’s videos typically receive diverse comments from her viewers and subscribers. This exposition is facilitated by collecting, categorising and analysing selected comments from Rhaze’s top videos. The comments were analysed through discourse analysis, paying special attention to the factors that influence digital media practices. The findings reveal that competing comments are shaped by postcolonial views on a gendered, racialized and class-based body in an interracial relationship. We then coin the term ‘online sisterhood’, reflecting the shared support that women nurture with other women through online practices. Ultimately, online sisterhood displays how Filipino women married to a white foreign national generate and negotiate spaces of mutual support in a neoliberal state. Paradoxically, a neoliberal government benefits from such cross-border and mediated mobility of Filipina migrants through the commodification of their everyday life. It is through this point that we argue for a closer evaluation of the role of ‘online sisterhoods’ in the construction of female subjectivity and imaginaries of mobility in the Global South.</p> Earvin Charles Borja Cabalquinto, Cheryll Soriano Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 CRITICAL SIMULATION: INVESTIGATING THE WORK OF MACHINE VISION IN VISUAL SOCIAL MEDIA CULTURE <p>Social media are in the midst of an emphatic visual turn (Highfield &amp; Leaver 2016), characterised by the convergence of everyday visual expression with professional creative practice and advertising. The advertising-driven business models of social media platforms increasingly depend on automation. Platforms’ use of machine vision is a key frontier in the algorithmic classification of culture. Machine vision algorithms automatically classify and misclassify faces, expressions, objects, and brand logos in the images users create and share. Images shared by platform users form vast databases used to train these same algorithms. Despite widespread use by social platforms, machine vision is poorly understood and accounted for in the study of everyday visual cultures. In this paper we detail a critical response to the use of automation in visual social media, called critical simulation. We outline a critical simulation framework, the ‘Image Machine’, focussed firstly on Instagram. The Image Machine comprises an Instagram data harvester, and open-access machine vision toolbox that allows digital humanities researchers to interrogate the inner workings of these algorithms and analyse their visual (mis)classifications. In this paper we showcase results from the Image Machine applied to images emanating from a major Australian music festival, Splendour in the Grass. This case examines not only how machine vision classifies and operates on culture, but also how these techniques are being operationalised within the advertising model and promotional culture of platforms like Instagram. We argue that the commercial application of machine vision is interdependent with the participatory culture of platforms like Instagram.</p> Nicholas Carah, Daniel Angus, Adam Smith Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 MARDI GRAS THROUGH INSTAGRAM STORIES: HOW EPHEMERAL MEDIA SHAPE EVERYDAY ENGAGEMENTS WITH IDENTITY POLITICS <p>A third of the world’s population is active on social media and a growing number is sharing ephemeral content on such platforms. Though originally pioneered by Snapchat, Instagram has come to dominate the ephemeral media market and, as of January 2019, boasts half a billion daily Instagram Stories users (Statista, 2019). Launched roughly 2.5 years ago, in August 2016, Instagram Stories offers people a novel way of communicating through sharing photos and videos that, by default, are only available for 24 hours and then disappear. This phenomenon presents unique challenges for researchers but also demands additional attention in order to understand contemporary forms of sociability and meaning-making. This study examines people’s everyday engagements with ephemeral media through an exploration of more than 400 Instagram stories created during the 2019 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival.</p> <p>Through this empirical work, we aim to examine the place of ephemeral media in everyday communication and to start a public conversation around the Implications of “losing” ephemeral media and how this might impact archival practices for the study of historical events that get heavily mediated through digital media.</p> Elija Cassidy, Ariadna Matamoros Fernandez, T.J. Thomson Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 COLLABORATIVE VIDEO LOGS: VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE AND ALIVENESS IN THE MUSIC CLASSROOM <p>A vlog or videoblog is a series of videos that feature someone speaking to the camera to present entertainment, reflection, opinion, or education. Collaborative vlogs (CVLs) involve multiple people taking joint ownership of a vlog through asynchronous interaction, discussion, and expression. This paper explores how online video helped create communities of practice both within the classroom and beyond through developing connections with each other that extended their interactions from the classroom to the Internet. Additionally, they creatively explored new ways to express themselves, developed their identities, and discussed pertinent topics regarding music, technology, and education. To explore the sociological vectors of culture and identity, I adapted a framework of aliveness within communities of practice developed by Wenger, McDermott, and Snyder (2002) to analyze seven semesters of student reflections on CVL projects in music courses that serviced music education majors, elementary education majors, and students from a variety of majors. Through CVLs, students have explored mediated musical practices and shared their lives and experiences in ways that classmates and instructors do not get to see when limited to the classroom. Students and vloggers alike deal with issues of trust within our digital society, and by critically analyzing how the participants in this study developed relationships with each other and me as their instructor, we can better understand how to move forward in the classroom and through social media, video broadcasting sites, and blogging. While the participants in this study were music students, CVLs can be applied to any discipline.</p> Christopher Cayari Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 THE IMPACT OF ATTITUDES TOWARDS GOVERNMENT AND CORPORATIONS ON TRUST IN TECHNOLOGY <p>Understanding public distrust of technology is both theoretically and practically important, yet while previous research has focused on the association between political ideology and trust in science, it is at best an inconsistent predictor. This study shall demonstrate that two dimensions of political ideology, attitudes towards governments and corporations, can more precisely predict trust in technology across issues. We will conduct an online survey on the science of radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications to test our hypotheses that trust in technology varies across issues and that attitudes towards government and corporations are important predictors of this trust.</p> Yi-Ning Katherine Chen, Chia-Ho Ryan Wen Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 TRUSTING SMART SPEAKERS: A TYPOLOGY OF INVOCATIONARY ACTS <p>Smart speakers such as the Google Home have the seemingly magical capacity to respond to user invocations in natural language. I argue that these are invocationary acts. In terms of Austin’s speech act theory, smart speakers interpret what the user says (locutionary: speech-to-text), what their statement does (illocutionary: artificial intelligence), and attempt fulfil the obligation of the user’s command (perlocutionary: AI &amp; text-to-speech). The smart speaker responds with its own speech acts; in Searle’s terms it might assert facts (representatives: e.g. answering a factual question), ask the user to do something (directive, e.g. asking a question in a quiz game) communicate a psychological state (expressive: e.g. answering the question ‘Do you love me?’), commit to a future action (commissive: e.g setting a timer) or make a declaration (such as confirming a purchase). User invocations are most often directives, and are most often initiated with the ‘wake word’ ‘Hey Google’. The computer’s response comes automatically through what I call invocationary acts. In this case, the user’s invocation is answered by the evocation of synthesised speech, sound, music and/or images. Drawing on an analysis of 300 commands drawn from online publications, I developed a typology of invocationary acts: Search, Lookup, Error, Media, Third party search, Location, User data, Random, Scripted response (often randomly selected from multiple answers), Interaction (applications such as a tutorial or a game), Device (controlling media, or smart home devices) and Clock. This analysis points to the limitations of the voice user interface paradigm.</p> Chris Chesher Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 REDDIT QUARANTINED: CONSEQUENCES OF DEALING WITH DISTRUST IN SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS THROUGH RESTRICTING ENGAGEMENT <p>Online abuse has become a matter of trust for social media platforms, whose role as a facilitator of public debate has been called into question. In response social media companies have become more active in regulating and banning particular users and channels.</p> <p>Through the use of affordances theory, this paper examines one example of the regulation of content on a social media site, the revamp of the quarantining function on Reddit in late 2018. Quarantines are designed to halt participation within and growth of subreddits without banning them outright.</p> <p>The paper uses quantitative and qualitative data to examine the consequences of this revamp on two subreddits, r/Braincels and r/TheRedPill. Through studying activity levels on these subreddits the paper argues that quarantines did limit discussion within these subreddits. However, it also argues that the revamp had unintended consequences, in particular a growth in distrust between subreddit users and Reddit as a site, and a shift of users away from Reddit to less regulated sites.</p> <p>The paper argues that quarantining shifted the affordances of Reddit, in this instance resulting in greater discouragement of activity on particular subreddits. Using the mechanisms and conditions framework (Davis and Chouinard, 2016) the paper however argues that users adapted to and circumvented this discouragement to continue engaging in particular behavior.</p> <p>While quarantining had short term benefits, using an affordances framework this paper argues it had unintended consequences, ones which can result in a continued radicalization of actions and beliefs, furthering distrust in the online sphere.</p> Simon Copland Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 CRITICAL PEDAGOGIES IN INTERNET STUDIES: TEACHING FOR CHANGE <p>There are urgent reasons for considering whether, as academics, we place our trust in the current system or whether we try to change it. Research offers one pathway towards supporting efforts for positive change, but we should not neglect the potential of our teaching work. Academics within Internet studies have unique possibilities for engaging in critical pedagogies, supporting students in understanding and challenging oppression. I draw here on ten years’ experience teaching in Internet studies, student and peer feedback, and the literature on critical pedagogy and decolonizing academia. I suggest that where possible we reflect on the texts we set students; redesign assessment; considering being vulnerable with students; and challenge restrictive policies and procedures (such as those around late submission of assignments). These approaches rely on trusting students, and on building their trust in us without relying solely on our institutional authority. As a field we need to actively and explicitly discuss how, and what, we teach.</p> Sky Croeser Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 THE SITUATED HINTERLANDS OF ONLINE GAMING PRACTICES <p>Previous work has established the existence and research interest of a “digital hinterland” (Rogerson, Gibbs &amp; Smith, 2017) – online practices that support and frame people’s engagement with a hobby. In this paper, we extend the notion of the hinterland from digital-only practices to consider how online-gaming practices are framed by engagement in activities held in material spaces. Looking at the esports bar spectatorship experience, we describe how attendance substantiates and supports fans’ relationship with their fandom and with other fans. We draw on existing literature about esports experiences, practices of offline gaming hobbyists, and sports and media tourism, to show that shared time and place, attendance, and their contribution to an individual’s gaming capital (Consalvo, 2007; Walsh &amp; Apperley, 2009) are important elements of this situated hinterland.</p> David Cumming, Melissa Jane Rogerson Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 RELIEF FROM COMMUNICATION: PARENTAL SURVEILLANCE TECHNOLOGIES, TRUST AND CARE <p>The everyday adoption of digital technologies such as mobile phones and social media has had transformative effects on interactions within the family (Clark, 2013), as families become increasingly dependent on their capacities for coordinating day-to-day activities and maintaining intimate relationships (Licoppe, 2004; Ling, 2014). Concurrently, these technologies enable new forms of surveillance, allowing parents to observe their children’s movements and interactions remotely, eg. via GPS-apps (Marx &amp; Steeves, 2010), as well as lateral forms of surveillance embedded in social media practices like ‘Facebook stalking’ (Albrechtslund, 2013). This paper explores how the surveillant capacities of communication technologies are involved in shaping relations of trust in the family, drawing on empirical data from in-depth interviews with adolescents at two schools and 17 Danish families conducted during 2017. Despite surveillance often being represented as a practice which undermines trust (Mayer, 2003; Neyland, 2006; Rooney, 2010), our findings suggest that the relationship between trust and surveillance, for the families in our study, was far less straightforward. Surveillance was an important part of care practices for parents and, in some instances, tracking technologies were able to offer a kind of ‘relief’ from social pressures to remain in contact. This paper explores the perceptions of parents and adolescents regarding using communication technologies for surveillance, to examine the nuanced constitution of trust occurring.</p> Maja Sonne Damkjær, Clare Victoria Southerton, Anders Albrechtslund Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 'FASCISM IS THE NEW HIP': ONLINE ANTI-PUBLICS AND POST-NORMATIVE DEMOCRACY <p>In this paper I draw connections between two emergent phenomena of the recent past: the growing influence of online ‘anti-publics’ on democratic debate and the emergence of ‘post-normative democracy’. The paper draws on work by McKenzie Wark (1997) and Bart Cammaerts (2007) to further theorise the rise of online anti-publics. It demonstrates how groups such as white supremacist groups, ‘men’s rights’ groups, anti-climate science groups, and ‘neoreactionary’ or ‘Dark Enlightenment’ groups, among others, can be understood as belonging to a loose-knit, diverse online ‘anti-public sphere’. This is a heterogenous space of often fractious social interaction where discourse routinely flouts traditional democratic norms, such as normative ‘public sphere’ conventions of rational-critical deliberation, rules of evidence and argumentation, and requirements for truthfulness, reciprocity, mutuality, and so on, over and above the ways in which democratic debate is properly passionate (Papacharissi, 2016). The paper uses a case studies approach based in discourse analysis of five different groups to theorise their activities in light of their influence on the emergence of a post-normative democratic politics. This includes the normalisation of race politics across the west, attacks on human rights conventions, attempts to undermine legal processes, attacks on the media and journalists, attempts to shore up subvert gains made by marginalised groups, and systematic attempts to undermine trust in institutions. The paper will show how, to advance their cause, right groups have sought to flip established political logic and to reposition fascism as ‘the new hip’.</p> Mark Raymound Davis Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 IN EACH OTHER WE (STRATEGICALLY) TRUST: THE DISCURSIVE NETWORKS OF TRUST IN TWITTER DISCUSSION OF IMMIGRATION IN AUSTRAILIA <p>This study investigates the discourses around the topic of immigration in the Australian Twittersphere, especially with regards to the discursive role of trust in the dynamics of the debates. Methodologically, this paper draws from social media analytics, network analysis, corpus linguistics, and discourse-theoretical analysis. The findings show how Twitter users strategically and discursively use the platform’s affordances and choose who and what to trust, what hashtags to use, and what discourse to amplify, in order to both form agonistic networks of discursive alliances and to intensify antagonisms against the rival discourses. In this sense, the paper argues that trust, whether it is trusting the information sources or other users, becomes a discursive strategy employed in the hegemonic struggle over the issue of immigration in the Australian Twittersphere.</p> Eshan Dehghan Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 PRINCIPLES OF GOOD DATA <p>In recent years, there has been an exponential increase in the collection, aggregation and automated analysis of information by government and private actors that disproportionately disadvantages the underrepresented, marginalized and unheard. In response to this there has been significant critique regarding what could be termed ‘bad’ data practices in the globalised digital economy. Considerations of ‘bad data’ practices often only provide critiques rather than engaging constructively with a new vision of how digital technologies and data can be used productively and justly to promote social, economic, cultural and politically progressive goals. In this paper we consider the fundamentals of Good Data to increase trust. We begin by conceptual considerations of the nature of ‘data’ and ‘goodness’. We align our principles with the Data Information Knowledge Wisdom (DIKW) model and use the term ‘data’ as a proxy for the whole DIKW model. Given the limits of our knowledge of moral facts (should they exist) and in light of colonial and post-colonial data practices we assume a hybrid moral theory—where we allow that some moral facts may be objective (e.g. ‘tolerance’ or ‘openness’) and others relative. We advocate an ethic of active seeking, openness and tolerance to diverse views on ‘the good’ particularly consultation with the underrepresented, marginalised and unheard. We go on to defend fifteen principles of good data under four banners: Community, Rights, Usability &amp; Politics in order to ultimately progress a more just digital economy and society.</p> Susannah Kate Devitt, Monique Mann, Angela Daly Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 “MISINFODEMICS”— UNPACKING THE CORE NARRATIVES OF MULTINATIONAL DRINK COMPANIES’ ONLINE MARKETING CAMPAIGNS AIMED AT YOUNG PEOPLE IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES <p>Multinational food and drink companies have increased their social media marketing budget and efforts and some have been rewarded with increased youth consumption of highly refined snack foods and Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) even as overall consumption of SSBs, in many more developed countries, is falling. (Brand-Miller &amp; Barclay, 2017; Chaloupka, Powell, &amp; Warner, 2019). This strategy seems to be working particularly well in Africa. But at the same time, multinational companies are also waging more existential battles against a growing public awareness of the role their products play in epidemics of overweight and obesity (Du, Tugendhaft, Erzse, &amp; Hofman, 2018; Nestle, 2018). This paper explores how ‘Big Food’ multinationals has tried to frame these debates around issues of ‘energy balance’ and highlight SSB companies’ role in promoting the exercise side of their ‘energy balance’ frame. (Ruskin, Stuckler, Serôdio, Barlow, &amp; McKee, 2018, Nestle, 2018). This messaging, this paper argues, propagates misinformation, and is implicated in the current epidemic of poor nutrition in both developing (and developed) countries. Using both thematic content analysis, augmented with audience reception study through focus groups sessions, this paper explores how these companies’ social media marketing combines with their more traditional marketing channels to simultaneously sell product *and* defend their products right to be sold untaxed and unrestricted. The paper explores how these messages resonate with young adults in Nigeria and South Africa, and finds that the SSB companies' overall campaigns and particularly the social media components, are effective in countering public health messaging.</p> Harry Dugmore Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 VIDEOGAME ANALYTICS, SURVEILLANCE CAPITALISM AND THE RETENTIONAL ECONOMY OF PLAY <p>Data analytics tools are increasingly prevalent in videogames and are reliant on the surveillant capture and relay of user data. In this paper I present some conceptual work and preliminary analysis of the analytics tool ‘DotaPlus’ used in Dota 2. Through my analysis, I frame DotaPlus as a site of ‘surveillance capitalism’, using data derived from various modes of surveillance to generate potentials for commercially desirable gameplay experience.</p> Ben Egliston Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 CALL ME MAYBE: SOCIAL EXPECTATIONS AND TRUST ASSOCIATED WITH TELEPHONY <p>This article focuses on the management and sentiments of telephony calling on smartphone among Swedish youth. Based on 47 semi-structured interviews and focus groups with youth aged 12-22 from 2016-2017, this study finds that decaying levels of trust in the medium of telephony has resulted in distinctions in hierarchies of intimacy and functionality. Youth expressed both high levels trust and distrust in traditional telephone calling in relation to impromptu calling. Unknown impromptu calls were associated with telemarketers, creating high levels of distrust in the medium of telephony. Impromptu calls from known contacts indicated a level of urgency and seriousness. Informants revealed complex system of norms in relation to impromptu and planned telephony calling from known callers, expressing specific temporal and spatial expectations for both short and long calls.</p> Cecilie Einarson Pérez, Lorian Leong Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 MAKING SENSE OF SOCIAL MEDIA PRIVACY: A FRAMING EXPERIMENT <p>As individuals trade information to access social media products and services, privacy has become increasingly valuable. Elite discourses have tended to frame privacy in terms of its vertical or institutional dimensions, but much less attention has been given to how users individually interpret and make sense of this complex notion. How do privacy sense-making processes intersect with privacy concerns and self-efficacy? What happens to these outcomes when an individual’s ideas about privacy collide with framing by an authoritative source? This project poses a 2x2 survey-based experiment with 628 subjects to explore these questions. We examine differences in privacy concerns and self-efficacy resulting from an individual’s own conceptualization of privacy, as well as from the presentation of similar and alternative framing of the concept. Preliminary results indicate that while individual conceptualizations show no differences in outcomes, higher levels of privacy self-efficacy result from the framing of privacy in horizontal terms and lower levels of privacy concern result when framing is consistent with the individual’s conceptualization. Strategic and practical implications of these findings are discussed.</p> Dmitry Epstein, Kelly Quinn Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 SPODIFY AND NETFLIX AS INNOVATIONS: STREAMING MEDIA HISTORY IN THE LIGHT OF INNOVATION THEORY <p>Streaming services such as Spotify and Netflix have taken over large portions of the market for music and audiovisual entertainment worldwide. Some have described our current time as the “age of streaming», but the events that led us here has not yet been charted. Most writers who have studied streaming services have included some parts of their history, but the different industries have not yet been compared.This paper is a study of the history of streaming media services under the lens of innovation theory. In this ongoing study, we collect and systematize the findings of earlier published histories of streaming technology. These are contextualised with other genral histories of computer development. We find that streaming media is not one innovation, but a collection of many. Two of the most important events are Steve Jobs' ability to negotiate with all major record companies, and the introduction of "pirate" networks such as Napster, Gnutella and Pirate Bay. Counter to many popular characterisations, streaming services are not examples of disruptions in Christensen's terms, but long awaited systemic changes involving technology, economy, rights management and user patterns, including piracy practices.</p> Anders Fagerjord Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 CENTRAL AMERICAN MIGRATION: TRUSTING THE MOBILE PHONE TO CROSS BORDERS <p>Mobile phones have become ubiquitous tools for hundreds of thousands of Central American migrants in their transit from their home countries towards the United States (U.S). These communication technologies are not only changing traditional patterns of migration, they are also enabling and inducing migration by providing feelings of trust, closeness, and safety (Barros, 2017). By applying the methods of historical qualitative research and using a media archeological approach, I employ Durham Peters (2009) theory of _infrastructuralism_ to investigate, which are the major infrastructural transitions that have allowed contemporary Central American migrants to use the same mobile phone and plan and to have Internet coverage across multiple national borders during their journey? How have these shifts enabled, induced, changed, and determined new ways and patterns of migration? I conclude that these infrastructural shifts have not only allowed mobile phones to change the traditional migratory patterns, but they are also creating a profitable business for a few private transnational telecommunications corporations. My conclusion presents a central paradox which is, that at the same time that the global capital promotes and enables a “borderless” world through the use of communication technologies which in turn promote emotions of trust, safety, and closeness, the nation-state borders are becoming more harsh, surveilled, and rigid for the migrants who are constantly harassed, detained, and persecuted.</p> Michele Francis Ferris-Dobles Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 TRUST IN THE MUSIC? AUTOMATED MUSIC DISCOVERY, MUSIC RECOMMENDATION SYSTEMS & ALGORITHMIC CULTURE. <p>In this paper I argue that music recommendation algorithms are a complex element of contemporary digital culture. We trust music streaming and recommender systems like Spotify to ‘set the mood’ for us, to soundtrack our private lives and activities, to recommend &amp; discover for us. These systems purport to ‘know’ us (alongside the millions of other users), and as such we let them into our most intimate listening spaces and moments. We fetishise and share the datafication of our listening habits, reflected to us annually in Spotify’s “Your 2018 Wrapped” and every Monday in ‘Discover Weekly’, even daily in the “playlists made for you”. As the accuracy of these recommendations increases, so too does our trust in these systems. ‘Bad’ or inaccurate recommendations feel like a betrayal, giving us the sense that the algorithms don’t really know us at all. Users speak of ‘their’ algorithm, as if it belonged to them and not a part of a complex machine learning recommendation system. This paper builds on research which critically examined the music recommendation system that powers Spotify and its many discovery features. The research explored the process through which Spotify automates discovery by incorporating established methods of music consumption, and demonstrated that music recommendation systems such as Spotify are emblematic of the politics of algorithmic culture.</p> Freeman Sophie Olivia Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 API AND BEYOND: DETECTING COORDINATED BEHAVIOURS IN FACEBOOK INTERACTIONS AROUND POLITICAL NEWS STORIES <p>This proposal is a follow-up of the project “Mapping Italian News Media Political Coverage in the Lead-up to 2018 General Election” (MINE). MINE aimed at creating a comprehensive map of the political news coverage created by the Italian online news media in the lead-up to 2018 general election. The final report of the project highlighted how the populist narrative dominated the news (both in terms of volume of coverage and Facebook engagement), and pinpointed the diverging patterns of Facebook interactions employed by different partisan communities to amplify the reach of the contents aligned with their worldview by sharing the news stories on social media, while trying to reframe, through comments, the negative coverage of the party they support. These insights led to further questions concerning the nature of the observed diverging patterns of Facebook interactions around political news. In particular, we wondered if the observed patterns were the result of a spontaneous grassroots effort or instead of a strategically organised attempt to manipulate the online news media landscape in order to game platforms algorithms in support of specific viewpoints, candidates and parties. Data originally collected for MINE during 2018 via publically available Facebook API proved useful to identify the patterns, but fall short of providing compelling evidence on the nature of these behaviours. In order to shed some light on this question, we thus requested and obtained access to two additional datasets directly provided by Facebook and made available through the Social Science One (SSO) initiative.</p> Giglietto Fabio, Nicola Righetti, Giada Marino Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 ALGORITHMIC COPYRIGHT ENFORCEMENT ON YOUTUBE: USING MACHINE LEARNING TO UNDERSTAND AUTOMATED DECISION-MAKING AT SCALE <p>This paper presents the results of an investigation of algorithmic copyright enforcement on YouTube. We use digital and computational methods to help understand the operation of automated decision-making at scale. We argue that in order to understand complex, automated systems, we require new methods and research infrastructure to understand their operation at scale, over time, and across platforms and jurisdictions. We use YouTube takedowns as a case study to develop and test an innovative methodology for evaluating automated decision-making. First, we built technical infrastructure to obtain a random sample of 59 million YouTube videos and tested their availability two weeks after they were first published. We then used topic modeling to identify categories of videos for further analysis, and trained a machine learning classifier to categorise videos across the entire dataset. We then use statistical analysis (multinomial logistic regression) to examine the characteristics of videos that are most likely to be removed through DMCA notices, Content ID removals, and Terms of Service enforcement. This interdisciplinary work provides the methodological base for further experimentation with the use of deep neural nets to enable large-scale analysis of the operation of automated systems in the realm of digital media. We hope that this work will improve understanding of a useful and fruitful set of methods to interrogate pressing public policy research questions in the context of content moderation and automated decision-making.</p> Joanne Gray, Nicolas Suzor Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 LASTING IMPACTS OF 1990S ON INTERNET GOVERNANCE <p>Over the past few years, Facebook has found itself mired in out controversy after the next. During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the company received criticism when it was revealed that Russian groups had created fraudulent social media accounts on their site in order to interfere with the elections – creating anti-Hillary groups, groups stoking fears of minority populations, and materials accusing the Democratic Party of voter fraud in an attempt to discourage voter turn-out. The question is, how did we get to this point; the point where foreign entities are affecting political outcomes in other countries through a website created by a private American corporation on a media platform wherein the lines between the cultures and legal systems of different countries is sometimes difficult to draw? To answer this, I look to the policies written by the U.S. Government in the 1990s on the issue of internet governance. I argue that the focus on including commercial interests in these early governance structures has had a lasting impact on the ways in which the internet operates to this day. In considering recent controversies that stem from the blurring lines of online sovereignty, wherein commercial and governmental interests become interwoven without a clear sense of who bears the responsibility when the system operates against the interests of its users, it becomes essential to consider the historical foundations which may have led to this moment.</p> Meghan Leigh Grosse Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 PERCEPTIONS OF DARKNESS: MOBILE MEDIA AND THE EMBODIMENT OF RISK AND SAFETY IN THE URBAN NIGHT <p>This paper explores the embodied experience of smartphone users in urban darkness, and considers how the geo-locative and network functionality of mobile media impacts upon the perception of safety and risk at night. City spaces at nighttime are often perceived as less safe, and the habitual trust we place in familiar strangers during the day can become imbued with caution, suspicion and fear. Much of the research in this area neglects the impact of both the networked infrastructure of the city – what de Souza e Silva and Sutko (2009) term “net-local space” – and the place of mobile media in people’s nighttime practices and their experience and perception of the urban dark. This paper draws on original ethnographic data collected in Perth and Melbourne from 2015-2017 to examine how mobile devices as both communicative and location-aware interfaces are used to provide women with a perceived or ‘felt’ sense of bodily safety and security, and the potential implications this has on users’ pedestrian traversal of the urban dark. Throughout the paper, our conceptual and ethnographic approach is informed by Merleau-Ponty’s (1945) work on habituation and proprioception, Ihde’s (1993) postphenomenological take on the cultural specificity of the body-technology relation, and Weiss’s (1999) feminist adaptation of the term intercorporeality. The theme of “trust” runs as a thread through this paper, as we unpack the mistrust city dwellers have of the urban dark and how mobile media perceptually ameliorates this embodied sense of risk by extending users communicative reach via location-aware interfaces.</p> Jess Hardley, Ingrid Richardson Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 ‘SENSORIAL LITTER’: BUILDING REFLEXIVE TRUST THROUGH EXAMINING DIGITAL DETRITUS <p>How to reflexively examine the ways in which the researcher’s own embodied experiences shape knowledge production is a key question within digital and sensory ethnography. Challenges exist around capturing these embodied experiences through conventional reflexive methods, such as voice and field notes. Furthermore, it can be particularly difficult to capture that which is experienced by the researcher as being ‘too intense’ and resultingly shed or refuse/d by the body; (e.g., fleeting, whirling anxious thoughts; spatial suspensions of disorientation; and voids from pushing away difficult feelings). Nevertheless, as examining refuse/d experiences can focus reflexive engagement on the difficult aspects of fieldwork, this methodological area provides a unique niche for inquiry. In this work, I advance knowledge on retaining and reflecting upon too intense experiences. I first draw from phenomenological embodiment theories to put forward the concept of ‘sensorial litter’. I posit that when shed from the body, intense experiences are not lost, but rather manifest materially through digital media as litter (e.g., anxiety filled texts, emails to supervisors, search histories). Retrieving and examining three pieces of sensorial litter from my own ethnographic work, I then demonstrate how this digital detritus may add critical depth to reflexive engagement with embodiment. Specifically, I illustrate how sensorial litter can provide concrete entry points into the ways in which the researcher’s sensing body is perpetually in flux, shaping and re-shaping throughout fieldwork. I argue that sensorial litter can facilitate reflexive engagement that is many-sited, intertextual, resistant to holism, and perceptive ethnographic research’s inevitable shortcomings.</p> Kathleen Allyson Hare Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 "WHAT WE CANNOT SPEAK ABOUT WE MUST TWEET": TRUST AMONG ISRAELI TWITTER USERS WITH DEPRESSION <p>Research on self-revealing online environments in general and on internet-based medical support groups in particular has demonstrated that participants in such environments customarily assume others to be worthy of intimacy that is indeed reciprocated, resulting in a generalized climate of mutual trust that nevertheless meets significant challenges in actual online practice. While most previous studies have examined this phenomenon in the context of blogs, forums, and social media groups explicitly devoted to specific _physical_ illnesses, in this study we focus on a "naturally" developing, unstructured, a-hierarchical "community"-of-sorts that is based on a shared _mental_ disorder – Israeli Twitter users with depression. In-depth interviews with these users demonstrate how the unique affordances of Twitter in Israel – and especially its lack of popularity and its construction as the "anti-Facebook" – have enabled it to become a discursive space in which non-hegemonic voices are more prominent.</p> <p>While Twitter users with depression were cautious in developing trust, once trust was inferred it became a central facet of their perception of Twitter and its supportive role. Users conceived of Twitter as a sanctuary and echo chamber in which people with depression can present their authentic selves to an empathetic, non-judgmental community of similar outcasts. At the same time, the community's expectations for profound authenticity paradoxically led some users to avoid tweeting about positive experiences. In addition, Twitter's marginal status allowed users to link their sense of _psychological_ reclusiveness to their sense of _political_ isolation in a climate in which leftist views are increasingly ostracized.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Sofia Haytin, Oren Livio Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 LEVERAGING TRUST: YOUTUBE ENTERTAINERS AND THE ROLE OF PROBLEM-SOLVING IN ENGENDERING TRUST. <p>This paper aims to better understand the role that problem-solving plays in building the trust necessary to sustain online fan audiences, and so support the careers of influential social media entertainers. Problem-solving in this context means a video, where the theme deals with the problems of modern life experienced by young fans. A mixed methods approach – in this case in-depth interviews, discourse analysis and participant observation at YouTube Creator Day events – is used to better leverage the strengths of each method and triangulate results. Sample size is at least 20 YouTubers at the most culturally significant, artistic end of the spectrum with an average of at least 1mn subscribers, established TV producers and Multi-Channel Network leaders. Preliminary results suggest that leading YouTube creators – including A-listers – use a conscious strategy of identifying the problems fans experience, so establishing trust and building audiences for their videos around their own solutions. Moreover, trust is engendered through two main means say these Australian YouTubers: first, the considerable time creators spend listening to their fans across creators’ YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Patreon channels; and second, via online and analogue interactions with fans that open their lifeworld’s to the creator, and in turn shape the themes of their short video products. This phenomenon of collaborative problem-solving, independent of traditional state, school or family structures, represents an important shift with significant potential for youth agency in an emergent public sphere.</p> Guy Hamilton Healy Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 VPNs AND ENCRYPTION AS BOUNDARY OBJECTS OF THE INTERNET: (MIS)TRUST IN THE TRANSLATION(S) <p>How do users come to trust VPNs? How do they understand end-to-end encrypted messaging technologies? This paper aims to answer these questions by considering VPNs and e2e encryption as boundary objects of the internet pertinent to study (dis)trust in the system. Our aim is to follow Star’s clarification of boundary objects as entities that people act towards (or with) in relation to their own communities of practice via a feminist approach to technology studies, which for Star, linked lived experience, technologies, and silences in ways that proved political. We add to the literature in three ways: empirically unpacking VPNs and e2e encryption as boundary objects that tack back and forth between the technical and abstract, which is novel for the literature; an exegesis of boundary objects ‘on’ the internet to consider conceptualizing objects ‘of’ the internet, which opens a fruitful reconfiguration for internet research; and shedding light on the ways that symbolic registers of technology have profound implications for socio-material practices. Our work suggests the back-and-forth ‘tacking’ of abstract to concrete does not manifest as universal and singular, but is made manifest from multiple community vantage points. This complexification shows how digital objects of the internet feed and are fed by multiple use cases and relational practices across commercial, security, rights based, and identity practices that they underpin, undercut or act upon. Users trusting the politics of one case may miss a need to police the other; we conclude by contextualizing these concerns for future research ‘of’ the internet.</p> Luke Heemsbergen, Adam Molnar Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 ASSESSING ETHICAL AI-BASED DECISION-MAKING: TOWARDS AN APPLIED ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK <p>Globally there is strong enthusiasm for using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in government decision making, yet this technocratic approach is not without significant downsides including bias, exacerbating discrimination and inequalities, and reducing government accountability and transparency. A flurry of analytical and policy work has recently sought to identify principles, policies, regulations and institutions for enacting ethical AI. Yet, what is lacking is a practical framework and means by which AI can be assessed as un/ethical. This paper provides an overview of an applied analytical framework for assessing the ethics of AI. It notes that AI (or algorithmic) decision-making is an outcome of data, code, context and use. Using these four categories, the paper articulates key questions necessary to determine the potential ethical challenges of using an AI/algorithm in decision making, and provides the basis for their articulation within a practical toolkit that can be demonstrated against known AI decision-making tools.</p> Paul Henman Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 DESIGNING EFFECTIVE ONLINE ADVERTISEMENTS FOR A PREVENTION CAMPAIGN: MISTRUST AND OTHER BARRIERS <p>This paper reports on the preliminary findings of a research project that is investigating the potential for online advertisements to reduce the incidence of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) consumption on the internet. First time or novice offenders often use search engines to look for CSAM, which presents an opportunity to use display advertisements (for a 24-hour sexual harm helpline) on search results for early intervention. This approach—currently being piloted in New Zealand—aims to decrease the number of potential/novice offenders accessing CSAM, and increase the number seeking help and self-referring for treatment. However, achieving these outcomes crucially depends upon the use of effective images and advertisements, and yet limited research has been undertaken on the characteristics of effective media-based interventions in this context. These outcomes also crucially depend on a two-way relationship of trust: on the one hand, the advertiser’s trust in primary prevention as a strategy, in the potential of online advertising to encourage behavioral change, and in the users’ likelihood of users self-referring contacting the helpline; and on the other hand, the users’ trust—or overcoming of mistrust—in both display advertising targeted at them and in the advertisers themselves (when engagement with both may involve overcoming fears about privacy, surveillance, prosecution, or stigmatization). This paper discusses the pivotal role of trust in informing the development of CSAM prevention display advertisements, arguing that facilitating this two-way relationship of trust is core to the success of a prevention campaign and must be embedded into its design.</p> Claire Henry Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 TROLLING FOR ENGAGEMENT: AUSTRALIAN LEGACY NEWS OUTLETS SEEKING AUDIENCE INTERACTION METRICS ON FACEBOOK THROUGH DELIBERATELY DIVISIVE CONTENT <p>This paper empirically investigates how two prominent Australian legacy news outlets – ABC News and – operate according to what I term a social media logic of “engagement”, a concept which builds upon van Dijck &amp; Poell’s notion of a social media logic of “popularity”. By a logic of engagement, I mean the necessity to maximize social media attention and interaction metrics. Rather than just valuing “popularity”, platforms instead place value on content that maximizes a multitude of feelings, sentiments, and reactions. Without sufficient engagement, outlets dependent on platforms such as Facebook are threatened by invisibility in the newsfeed. I specifically focus on the operations of ABC News and on Facebook from 21 March 2018 – 10 April 2018. Within this period, I collected all the posts from each page, which amounted to 44 posts in total. From these posts, I strategically selected six posts of varying levels of engagement for closer qualitative analysis, with an emphasis on language and imagery. My findings in this paper suggest that the drive for monetizable and algorithmically-valued audience metrics on Facebook can encourage divisive and provocative news content that arouses strong negative feelings and promotes conflict. Trolls are those that deceive other users of their intentions, and seek to sow discord for their own purposes. Thus, it is beneficial to think about a potentially emerging practice of news “trolling”, as it appears that news outlets are adopting faux-naïve, and deliberately incendiary, practices when pursuing engagement.</p> Edward Hurcombe Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 THE RETURN OF MEDIEVAL SOCIETY – CONTROL, SURVEILLANCE AND NEO-FEUDALISM IN THE AGE OF THE INTERNET <p>In this paper the medieval period is used as a prism to analyze and contextualize the intersection of mutual surveillance, corporate capitalism and information control. It is claimed that the interplay between big tech companies, nation states’ battle for control and citizens’ participatory surveillance, for instance exercised through social media, resembles medieval principles of feudalism and tight social control. As such, this is basically a paper discussing power related to the Internet, as it turns 50 years.</p> <p>The main argument is that apparently distinct social phenomena related to the dominance of Internet technologies share the same logics of control, surveillance and power as the feudalism that dominated medieval society. The states and big corporations both compete and cooperate, just like the states and the church in Middle Ages.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Jakob Linaa Jensen Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 PLAYING WHILE FEMALE: RE-READING IDENTITY FIXATIONS IN OVERWATCH <p>In early 2019, Overwatch professional player, “Ellie” quit playing just weeks after having been named to one of the teams seeded into the professional league. The harassment cited as a reason to leave was related especially to whether or not “Ellie” was truly “female”. Not much later, Ellie was revealed (and confirmed by Blizzard, the parent company of Overwatch) to be an account created by a male player. This paper sets out to map the controversy that ensued from a self-styled “social experiment” of playing while female.</p> <p>This paper brings this current “revelation” into conversation with past, more fully embodied/manufactured identities to better understand why this case is particularly important to internet studies. To this end, we begin by briefly describing some earlier, more familiar cases of people revealed to be someone other than, in online spaces, they said they were. Then, we further outline the instance of Ellie: its uptake by mainstream media, prominent Youtubers and Twitch streamers, and its discussion on internet forums like Reddit and 4Chan. Paying particular attention to the ways these discussions frame the “trick” played in disguising Ellie’s ‘true’ identity (singular), we suggest that this kind of case has always been galvanized by an underlying conviction that the best gamers are always and only men, and one contribution internet scholarship can make here is to show how these discursive patterns are unhelpful in understanding contemporary identificatory politics and practices in online spaces.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Jennifer Jensen, Suzanne de Castell, Karen Skardzius Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 PUNCHING UP OR TURNING AWAY? WHEN PALESTINIANS UNFRIEND JEWS IN ISRAEL <p>We present the first study of Facebook unfriending in the context of the relations between a social minority and majority. We conducted in-depth interviews with 20 ‘48 Palestinians (Palestinian citizens of Israel) that explored their unfriending of Jewish Israeli Facebook friends. Nearly all of the interviewees reported unfriending a Jewish Israeli against a background of racist hate speech. For the more politically-oriented interviewees, unfriending was a kind of punching up, an expression of power in a context where they are structurally disadvantaged. These interviewees reported more positive feelings about the act of unfriending (e.g. relief) and active feelings about the behavior that caused the unfriending (especially anger). Politically inactive interviewees showed more negative and passive feelings (disappointment in their Jewish Facebook friends, and fear). For them, unfriending was more like walking away from troubling interactions (because of anti-Arab racism), or withdrawing from social surveillance that could lead to trouble with employers or their college/university. Where dyadic pairs on Facebook enjoy more or less equal social standing, then there may be something to Facebook’s belief that connecting people across the world can improve cross-cultural understanding. However, when one social group enjoys power over another, it would seem that the positive potential of online ties is limited. This study thus sheds new light on online tie management in the context of structural inequality.</p> Nicholas John, Aysha Agbarya Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 MAPPING THE MIGRANT DIGITAL SPACE, METHODOLOGICAL CHALLENGES AND PRELIMINARY RESULTS <p>This paper, based on the ongoing research activities of the project [omitted], presents an effort to study migration-related social media resources, which we define as Migrant Digital Space (MDS), across four European countries (Greece, Germany, Denmark and Sweden). The paper will first describe the process and challenges of “mapping” MDS before proceeding to show how the collected data variously reflects critical incidents offline, thereby suggesting that the data could serve as a useful resource to study the interplay of human movement and ICTs, as well as serving to illuminate hidden aspects of Europe’s recent history of migration which, reaching a peak of influx of migrants in 2015, acts as a background for the paper.</p> Ahmad Kamal, Luca Rossi Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 ALGORITHMIC WOMEN’S WORK: THE LABOUR OF NEGOTIATING BLACK-BOXED REPRESENTATION <p>This paper argues that under the proprietary logics of the contemporary web, the ‘algorithmic identities’ (Cheney-Lippold, 2017) created by platforms like Google and Facebook function as value-generating constellations that unequally distribute the burdens of being made in data. The paper focuses on a particular identity demographic: that of the algorithmically inferred 'female', based in the 'UK', 'aged 25-34', and therefore deemed to be interested in 'fertility'. Though other algorithmic profiles certainly exist (and generate their own critical problems), I will use this particular template of subjectivity to explore issues of representation, black-boxing and user trust from a gendered perspective.</p> <p>Combining online audience reception with political economy, I analyse two ad campaigns - for Clearblue Pregnancy Tests and the Natural Cycles Contraceptive app - to understand how the algorithmically fertile female comes to exist, both at the level of the database and at the level of ad representation. I argue that black-boxing occurs at two stages in this process: firstly when the subject is computationally constituted as female (ie in the database) and secondly when the user herself is delivered the ads informed by her algorithmic identity (ie at the interface). This black-boxing creates 'algorithmic imaginaries' (Bucher, 2016) for the user wherein the burden of being made a fertile female in data is experienced as a form of immaterial and emotional labour. Some algorithmic constitutions can therefore be considered a form of algorithmic women's work; work that potentially generates distrust in targeted advertising.</p> Tanya Kant Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 HOUSEHOLD DIGITAL MEDIA ECOLOGIES - METHODOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS FOR FOSTERING RESEARCHER-PARTICIPANT TRUST <p>In this paper, we describe a research methodology we have developed, based upon digital ethnography approaches, and which used mobile devices, digital ethnographic software and creative data collection activities. Our approach, refined over the course of a number of interconnected research projects, addressed these difficulties through a staged process – utilising traditional ethnographic techniques, but augmenting them with something more novel: the “domestic probe”. In essence, the domestic probe comprised a box of equipment given to the household to use in order to record and interpret their use of domestic technologies. In more recent work, we extended our participatory approach through the use of digital media, such as by using iPad minis pre-loaded with a data collection software tool, Ethnocorder. As we argue in this paper, these approaches carry three specific trust-related methodological benefits (and challenges): the foster trust in us as researchers; trust in our participants as co-researchers; and, as a result of this mutual researcher-participant trust, insight and a productive point of entry into discussing participant "domestication" of, and trust in, various household technologies.</p> Jenny Kennedy, Rowan Wilken, Bjorn Nansen, Michael Arnold, Martin Gibbs Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 ‘MARKING THEIR OWN HOMEWORK’: TRUST AND AUDIENCE MEASUREMENT IN THE AUSTRALIAN DIGITAL ADVERTISING INDUSTRY <p>This paper examines how the Australian advertising industry debates trust in the infrastructures of digital advertising. The advertising industry is undergoing a major change as digital advertising is increasingly dominated by new advertising technology (adtech) players and major tech companies such as Facebook and Google. These new companies which rely on automated systems of ad targeting, pricing and placement to control large amounts of digital advertising inventory and offer new more ‘efficient’ ways to micro-target advertising.</p> <p>Yet these companies have garnered reputations for misrepresenting their numbers; a problem compounded by Google and Facebook’s reticence to provide independent audience verification. This has led to a high degree of mistrust from Australian advertisers. Neither Google or Facebook offers serious third-party auditing, leading many in the advertising industry to say that they are ‘marking their own homework’.</p> <p>In this paper I ask, how is trust of measurement and verification infrastructures debated within the digital advertising industry? Is it fair to compare businesses that distribute advertising in very different ways? I answer these questions through qualitative analysis of submissions made to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) as part of its current Digital Platforms Inquiry (DPI) in 2018 and 2019. I also draw on summaries of four public forums the ACCC held in 2018 as well as wide reading in the advertising industry trade press. This paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of the role standards and measures play within industry and how they relate to trust during industry transformation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Samuel Stanley Kininmonth Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 TOO MANY COOKS: TRUSTING NEW VOICES IN ONLINE CULINARY ADVICE <p>Digital technology is becoming increasingly enmeshed in the everyday practices of cooking and eating (see Lewis 2018; Kirkwood 2018). In negotiating the increasingly complex web of culinary information online users need to remain vigilant about the voices and perspectives they turn to for food and nutrition advice.</p> <p>In examining which online sources are trustworthy, this paper adds to the scholarship that highlights how the growing industrialisation of food negatively impacted food literacy (Pollan 2006; Vileisis 2008). In relation to digital food media, Lewis (2018, 214) argues that “food citizens increasingly require a critical media literacy…”. This is important considering that consumers are more likely to turn to the media than nutrition professionals for advice (Contois and Day 2018, 16).</p> <p>This paper builds on Lewis’ (2018) calls for greater critical media literacy Through textual analysis of online news and popular commentary, this paper examines the two Australian case studies of Australian celebrity chef Pete Evans and fraudulent wellness advocate Belle Gibson. These examples highlight risks associated with online culinary information and provide contrasting perspectives on credibility and trustworthiness. Evans leverages mainstream media exposure and experience as a chef to establish credibility for his online channels where he explores his alternative culinary views more extensively. Gibson’s reputation meanwhile was established through achieving grassroots fame online for supposedly beating cancer through shunning conventional treatments. Understanding how trustworthiness or authority is established and negotiated, and particularly how these characteristics work between legacy and online media are important in developing critical media literacy around food.</p> Katherine Kirkwood Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 MAKING THE UNSEEN VISIBLE: EXPLORING CROSSCUTTING SOCIAL MEDIA PUBLICS AND THEIR SOCIOPOLITICAL TRAITS <p>This paper proposes an approach for studying the sociopolitical traits of multiple publics on Facebook that emerge in the network of interactions between users and public pages. The study is based on a survey of 1697 Danish citizens whose responses are coupled with their public Facebook activity.This is used to make predictions about a selection of sociopolitical features for a random sample of 50.000 Facebook users across more than 20.000 public pages. The interactions of the 50.000 users are modeled as a network and a clustering algorithm is used to find groups that arise naturally within said network. This allows for the study of how certain sociopolitical features cut across different congregations of the public in a way that retains a lot of the complexity of the digital trace data.</p> <p>Results show that voting intention overlaps most strongly with the clusters in the network, followed by gender and geo-location. Additionally they show that the so-called political echo-chambers consist only of smaller subsections of the entire network with many users' interactions mainly being identified by interests that can be attributed to gender, geo-location or other. Although, results also show that the political alt. right are very dominant on hot button political issues such as immigration and religion.</p> <p>It is proposed that by eliciting sociopolitical trends while considering the full network of interactions might lead researchers to overlook and overestimate fewer features when studying the formation of social media publics.</p> Jakob Bæk Kristensen Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 FAKE NEWS DURING NATURAL DISASTER: INFORMATION FLOW, NEWS PRACTICES AND FACT-CHECKING IN INDONESIA <p>After an earthquake and tsunami struck Palu city and its surrounding areas in Indonesia on September 28, 2018, fake news were rampantly circulated on online platforms. To address lack of studies on how fake news during natural disaster is handled through working process of news and fact-check professionals in Indonesia, this study aims to examine how fake news during natural disaster were handled by news and fact-check professionals in Indonesia.</p> <p>Primarily built from multilevel analyses of Hierarchy of Influences Model (HOI), this study analyzed four dimensions that shaped news information. Key codes for this study are under individual factors (i.e. personal trait and professional value), routine (i.e. information gathering, information processing, information distribution and fact-checking), organizational factors (i.e. editorial policies and organizational culture) and social institution (government and third party fact-checking organization).</p> <p>Through a mixed-method approach, web-observation examines the information flow of selected Palu fake news cases to provide overview on development of each case, including responses from government, media, fact-check organizations and the public. Next, in-depth interview will examine how news professionals from both traditional news media and web-only news media along with how third party fact-checkers handled Palu fake news.</p> <p>Theoretically, this study expands HOI’s multilevel applications to investigate how news and fact-check professionals in Indonesia handled Palu fake news. Practically, the findings will shed light for news and fact-check professionals to assess and improve their practices in handling fake news. This work-in-progress research will finish data collection in March 2019, followed by data analysis in April.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Febbie Austina Kwanda, Trisha T. C. Lin Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 NAVIGATING THE POST-TRUTH ERA: TRUST, MISINFORMATION, AND CREDIBILITY ASSESSMENT ON ONLINE SOCIAL MEDIA <p>As access to news is increasingly mediated through social media platforms, there are rising concerns for citizens’ ability to evaluate online information and detect potentially misleading items. While many studies have reported on how people assess the credibility of information, there are few reports on processes related to evaluating information online and people’s decision to trust and share the information with others. This paper reports on the first part of a three-phase study which aimed to gain an in-depth understanding of citizens’ practices and needs in assessing the credibility of information shared online and co-create solutions to address this problem. Data were collected from three European countries, through a survey on misinformation perceptions, focus groups, follow-up individual interviews, and co-creation activities with three stakeholder groups. The data were analyzed qualitatively, using, primarily, a grounded theory approach. Results from the citizens’ stakeholder group indicate that personal biases, emotions, time constraints, and lack of supporting technologies impacts the credibility assessment of online news. Study participants also discussed the need for increased media literacy actions, especially in youth. Based on preliminary findings we argue that we need a diversified approach to support citizens’ resilience against the spread of misinformation.</p> Eleni A. Kyza, Christiana Varda Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 HOW DOES CRYSTAL KNOW? FOLK THEORIES AND TRUST IN PREDICTIVE ALGORITHMS THAT ASSESS INDIVIDUAL PERSONALITY AND COMMUNICATION PREFERENCES <p>In recent years, there has been a rise in predictive algorithms that focus on individual preferences and psychometric assessments. The idea is that an individual social media presence may give off unconscious cues or indicators of a person's personality. While there has been a growing body of research into people's reactions, perceptions, and folk theories of how algorithms work, there has been a growing need for research into these hyper-personal algorithms and profiles. This study focuses on a company called CrystalKnows, which purports to have the largest database of personality profiles in the world, many of which are generated without an individual's explicit consent. Through qualitative interviews (n=31) with people after being presented with their own profile, this study explores how people perceive the profiles, where they believe the information is coming from, and what contexts they would be comfortable with their profile being used. Crystal profiles also contain predictions about how people will communicate and potentially work together in teams with people of other personality dispositions, which also raises concerns about inaccurate assessments or discrimination based on these profiles. The findings from this study and how people rationalize these algorithms not only builds on our understanding of algorithmic perception and folk theories, but also has important practical implications for the trust in these systems and the continued deployment of hyper-personal predictive algorithms.</p> Tony Liao Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 ‘I TRUST TRANSGENDER FEMALE MICROCELEBRITIES’: FROM BUILDING A NEW BODY TO BECOME AN INSPIRING IDOL <p>Much global attention is given to Bangkok as the “Mecca of transsexual body modification” (Aizura, 2010, p. 2) for both Thai and non-Thai transgender women. Clearly, it has garnered an international reputation as “being culturally tolerant of gender variance” (p. 16), in particular, for transgendered women or ladyboys. However, they are still considered marginalized in Thai society and are not well-accepted for many Thais. Since the rise of networked technology, some Thai transgender women have lived online, formed likeminded-groups, and shared support. This paper argues that their blogs serve as counter-publics for the unheard voices to be publicly visible. At the intersection of technology, identity and online participation literatures, this research extends microcelebrity literature and borrows second-wave feminist value, “personal is political” to examine transgender women beauty bloggers and their blogs and understand how (their) personal is political. For this project, I had in-depth interviews with seven transgender women beauty bloggers in Thailand, taken in 2-hour period each during December 2016 and February 2017. Findings show that, Thai transgender female beauty blogs serve as “social-conscience-style activis[t]” (Vromen, 2006) who build their own bodies, friend their fans (regardless of how many followers they have accumulated), and become inspiring idols. The blogs lend themselves to serve as informational and emotional support to their followers, especially transgendered followers. Bloggers enact micro-political actions to be seen online and empower the marginalized, thus, become a trustworthy source.</p> Vimviriya Limkangvanmongkol Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 PERSONAL INFORMATION ARCHIVING: BEHAVIOURAL RESPONSES TO THE PERCEPTION OF RISK <p>The paper investigates the factors that influence perceptions of online risk and the consequential behavioural responses to those perceptions. Using Bates’ theory of information behaviour, we focus on online protection strategies and digital archiving as a specific instantiation and manifestation of information behaviour and analyze how factors, such as perceptions of online risk and self-reported internet skills, have consequences for information behaviours.</p> <p>The study&nbsp;uses semi-structured interview data&nbsp;(n=101)&nbsp;collected from East York, Toronto.&nbsp;We asked about individuals’ perception of risk online, self-reported internet skills, protective measures when going online, and digital archiving practices. Our findings identify a nuanced relationship between&nbsp;perceptions&nbsp;and behaviours. The results offer an alternate perspective on online information behaviour that departs from traditional classifications that rely on _demographics_. We offer a refinement to the definitions of information behaviour by Bates (2010) and Fisher and Julien (2009) to include factors that modify behaviours, and&nbsp;develop&nbsp;a user typology relating specifically to perceptions of risk online.</p> Chang Lin, Jenna Jacobson, Rhonda McEwen Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 CONVENIENCE TRUMPS ALGORITHMS: PREDICTING CONTINUED INTENTION TO USE MUSIC STREAMING SERVICES <p>This paper develops and examines constructs for predicting continued intention to use music streaming services and combines theoretical approaches from technology acceptance studies, collecting/sensemaking in music streaming services and algorithmic culture/individuation. This theoretical framework is chosen as each approach points to constructs that capture at least part of the use-value of these services, yet that have not been examined in combination.</p> <p>The theoretical model suggests that convenience value, monetary value, will to archive, algorithmic value and age predict continued intention to use music streaming services (age negatively). The empirical basis of the study consists of interviews with 26 users of streaming services and an online survey (N=793) with respondents who pay for music streaming services. The survey items were subjected to a principal component analysis, resulting in the five foreseen factors. Items that loaded on each factor were summed and averaged and used in the subsequent hierarchical regression analyses.</p> <p>The results show that monetary value is the strongest predictor followed by convenience value and will to archive. As expected, age is negatively associated with continued intention to use music streaming services. Whereas algorithmic value correlates significantly with all other constructs, it does not predict continued intention to use. The qualitative interviews help explain the results. People who invest efforts in organizing their own music libraries and playlists create added value to their own service-experience. Interviews also provide accounts of how personalized recommendations are considered important by the most avid music-listeners, yet that casual listeners pay little attention to recommendations.</p> Marika Lüders Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 GENDERED LIVED EXPERIENCE OF DIGITAL INCLUSION IN RURAL AUSTRALIA <p>North West Queensland (NWQ) is one of Australia’s least digitally included regions (Thomas et. al. 2018). This research investigated the lived experience of digital inclusion – comprised of internet access, affordability and digital ability – in NWQ’s rural farming households. A qualitative approach was employed to illuminate factors that underlie particularly low levels of digital inclusion among ‘farmers and farm managers’. By talking to cattle farmers at rural events and remote property visits in the Northern Gulf region, the researcher explored the specific opportunities for, and barriers to, getting connected and using digital technologies in life and business for both men and women. The findings revealed a paradox in women’s lived experience of digital inclusion. While internet access is often limited and sometimes out of their control, rural women are thrust into undertaking computer-based tasks and managing data scarcity, which are often seen as ‘women’s work’. Ironically, many of these women develop a thirst for further digital skills and connections, which can be difficult to obtain in the absence of digital ability programs in rural areas.&nbsp;</p> Amber Hope Marshall Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 TRUST IN DECONSTRUCTED RECOMMENDER SYSTEMS. CASE STUDY: NEWS RECOMMENDER SYSTEMS <p>Increasingly, algorithms play an important role in everyday decision-making processes. Recommender systems, specifically, are algorithms that serve to influence end-users’ decision-making (e.g. what to read, who to befriend, who to rent to…). However, the companies that develop and produce these systems are not neutral, but have an economic goal and specific vision on how society should operate. These algorithms should thus never be trusted blindly.</p> <p>An algorithm consists of collective human practices and consequently warm human and institutional choices. Therefore, they should be perceived as culture. Despite the many academics that are joining the debate to denounce the bias, opaqueness and unfairness often found in these algorithms, little empirical research has invested in treating algorithms in its socio-technical assembly as culture.</p> <p>To better understand how end-users perceive these algorithmic systems, we strive to understand how they imagine and (dis)trust the different components of the socio-technical assembly. We are demystifying the imagined processes incorporated in these algorithmic systems in the minds of the end-user using a deconstructed version of Buchers’ (2017) algorithmic imaginary.</p> <p>Currently, companies put ever more effort into personalizing news, using news recommender systems (NRS). NRS organize, select and aggregate news to influence the decision-making of an end-user without a transparent explanation on the process. Therefore, we focus our study on the end-users of these NRS.</p> <p>In this qualitative study, we are interviewing 25 end-users of NRS to understand the assumptions and apprehend the (dis-)trust people have about the different elements of the socio-technical assembly of news recommender systems.</p> Marijn Martens, Ralf De Wolf, Bettina Berendt, Lieven De Marez Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 TRUSTED COMMONS: WHY “OLD” SOCIAL MEDIA MATTER <p>Internet Studies scholarship tends to focus on new and hegemonic digital media, overlooking persistent uses of “older”, non-proprietary protocols and applications by some social groups who are key to configuring the nexus between technology and society. In response, we examine the contemporary political significance of using “old” social media through the empirical case of Internet Relay Chat (IRC) use. We advance a critique of platforms (closed, centralised, hegemonic social media) that we contrast with co-constructed devices that deeply involve users in their technological design and social construction. As a contemporary but long used online chat protocol, IRC serves as an important source for the critique of the currently hegemonic — but increasingly distrusted — infrastructures of computer-mediated communication. Drawing on Boltanski and Chiapello’s theory of critique and recuperation, we contrast the uses and underlying social norms of IRC with those of currently mainstream social media platforms. We claim that certain technical limitations that actors of IRC development did not feel necessary to address have kept it from incorporation into regimes of capital accumulation and social control, but also hindered its mass adoption. Ultimately, IRC continues to serve social groups key to the collaborative production of software, hardware and politics. While the general history of digital innovations illustrates the logic of critique and recuperation, our case study highlights the possibilities and pitfalls of resistance to it.</p> . Maxigas, Guillaume Latzko-Toth Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 FANGIRLS AND FAKE NEWS: DIGITAL ETHNOGRAPHY AND THE AFFECTS OF FANDOM <p>This paper draws on a digital ethnography conducted via Twitter, of a controversial subnetwork of fans of boyband One Direction known as “Larries”. The Larry fandom is built around imagining a romantic relationship exists between One Direction band members Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, referred to by the portmanteau “Larry”. Imagining relationships between celebrities is a controversial practice known in fan communities as “Real Person Slash” (RPS). For this practice Larries have been framed within popular media as conspiracy theorists. Our study sought to examine whether a more complex and nuanced understanding of the fandom was possible, particularly regarding relationships and community building in this fandom. Through digital ethnographic methods, we explored how the practices of Larries create a space in which new and unexpected desires, identities, intimacies and relations are constituted. Between March and July 2018, we followed approximately 490 public accounts, kept a fieldnote diary, and conducted semi-structured interviews with seven active users via direct messenger. Conducting observations on a daily basis over an extended period as regular fans would, we became privy to the highs, lows, excitement, and tensions of the group, that may be otherwise obscured. This study raises questions about what might be missed in studying controversial groups at a macro level only. This paper considers the benefits of undertaking qualitative digital ethnographic work and discuss the affective flows of digital networks on social media that might remain obscured by other digital methods.</p> Hannah McCann, Clare Southerton Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 COMMUNICATING A TRUSTWORTHY ONLINE ORGANISATIONAL IDENTITY WITH CHATBOTS <p>Conversational bots, otherwise known as chatbots, operate within the fourth industrial revolution as a client facing form of AI. They are communicative interfaces that mimic human conversation to deliver information in a highly personalised way. The user experience of chatbots can change the way individuals, groups and organisations define themselves online (Whitley, Gal &amp; Kjaergaard, 2014). This paper discusses the opportunities in building an online identity via chatbots, with emphasis on harnessing the properties of chatbots to develop trust with users. Currently, organisations are limited to the properties and affordances of web browsers, search engines and social media to communicate a “shared symbolic representation” (Gioia, 1998). This paper focuses on organisational identities on the Internet, and details both opportunities and vulnerabilities in establishing trust with users through chatbots.</p> Indra Ayu Susan Mckie, Bhuva Narayan Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 BOTS AMONG US: PREVALENCE, INFLUENCE, AND ROLES OF AUTOMATED ACCOUNTS IN THE GERMAN TWITTER FOLLOW NETWORK <p>Social bots are undermining trust in social media. They spread low-credibility content, fake news, and spam. However, most research is based on bots that actively share links or keywords, rather than assessing the longer-term presence of bots as an integral part of platforms. To address this gap, we present what to our knowledge is the first study that assesses the prevalence, influence, and roles of automated accounts in a Twitter follow network on a national scale. This allows us to analyse the potential impact of bots beyond the context of single events and topics.</p> <p>To collect a follow network of the most central accounts in the German-speaking Twittersphere, we have adapted the rank-degree method, a graph exploration method that is able to identify the most influential spreaders within complex networks, as a data mining method using the cost-free standard Twitter API. To identify bots, we employ the Botometer API. Both methods combined allow us to localise bots within topical clusters, to estimate their potential influence, and to assess the roles of the most central bots.</p> <p>Our findings indicate that bots have only a low negative impact on the German-speaking Twittersphere. However, the most sophisticated bots will likely remain absent from our study, as false negatives. Similarly, trolls and semi-automated accounts necessitate further research. Our new sampling approach combined with Botometer is promising, for example, for Twitterspheres based on other languages. The study itself opens further avenues of enquiry, such as a long-term monitoring of automated accounts in the German Twittersphere.</p> Felix Victor Münch, Cornelius Puschmann, Ben Thies, Axel Bruns Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 “ALEXA, CAN I TRUST YOU?”: SMALL SISTERS AND FRIENDLY POWER <p>How is trust fabricated today? This paper argues that the persona of ‘Alexa’ bypasses concerns around surveillance and privacy, defusing anxieties not via the rationality of a convincing argument but through the relationality of Alexa as a singular presence.</p> <p>In many respects Alexa is actually more invasive than other technologies. Amazon has encroached into the very heart of the home. Moreover, the company’s patents delve further into the subject through voice identification, mood monitoring, and health detection. But this encroachment is carried out by her, rather than it, a warm and welcoming persona. The team’s aim is to develop something that is friendly, can turn off your lights, chat about anything, and empathize when you’re having a bad day (McGirt 2018). The goal is to construct something chattier, more affective and emotionally attuned. In doing so, Alexa embodies what theorist Byung-Chul Han (2017) has called “friendly power.”</p> <p>The result is that Alexa feels different. Instead of an algorithmic bundle of technologies, Alexa is experienced as an affective persona. Alexa thus delves deeper into the inner life of the subject while shrugging off the anxieties associated with cold, command-and-control technologies. Rather than an all-seeing eye, she is an always listening voice, a friendly companion. And rather than emanating from a central agency, she is co-located with the user. If Big Brother no longer characterizes contemporary power (Harcourt 2015), Alexa might be described as a “small sister.” Small sisters work alongside instead of above. Small sisters are multiple, sited, and supple.</p> Luke Munn Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 #RESISTHUDUMANAMBA: KENYAN GOVERNMENT AT A CROSSROAD <p>In the past few years, Kenya’s digital landscape has transformed and this has been made possible by proliferation of the usage of digital technologies, particularly - mobile phones. Due to increased access to digital technologies, faster internet speeds, increased securitization among other issues, data on individuals in online spaces has also increased. Recently, the government rolled out a National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) which is meant to capture biometric data but this has generated a huge debate online in Kenya under the hashtag #ResistHudumaNamba. This paper will therefore examine the following issues: What has contributed to the decline of trust between the government and its citizens when it comes to internet technologies? What are the actual sentiments given for and against in the introduction of Huduma Number? What are the underlying reasons for continued registration of individuals in Kenya? This research will be a qualitative research study. Data will be generated from social media sites (Twitter and Facebook), as well as blog posts and newspaper articles. A discourse analysis of the events around #ResistsHudumaNamba in these sources will be done so as to answer the research questions. This research has the potential to contribute to literature on trust in sub-Saharan Africa as well as establish trust issues between government and citizens when digital technologies are involved.</p> Job Mwaura Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 ‘SMART WAKE UP’ AND ‘BINAURAL BEATS’: SLEEP APPS AND THE ACOUSTIC MODULATION OF SLEEP-WAKE RHYTHMS <p>Sleep has become a site of daily monitoring via internet technologies, including mobile applications and wearable devices, as part of a wider normalisation of internet economies and cultural practices of self-tracking and datafication. This article contributes to the critical analysis of datafied sleep by analysing features in the most popular sleep apps.</p> <p>This analysis revealed a diverse range of functions for tracking and analysing sleep patterns, as well as features to promote relaxation and rest. In doing so, sleep apps remediate the monitoring technologies of the sleep science lab – polysomnography, actigraphy – to make claims for accuracy and efficacy. Yet, the analysis also revealed how sleep apps go beyond simply monitoring sleep patterns by directly intervening in sleep-wake rhythms through two key acoustic features: the ‘smart wake up’ alarm function, and the ‘binaural beats’ sound frequency function. We show how these features operate to organise transitions between waking and sleeping states by directly intervening in and modulating sleep-wake rhythms. In doing so, we argue that these functions draw on histories of both sleep science and acoustic media in attempts to optimise the rhythms associated with sleeping bodies.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> bjorn nansen, christopher o'neill Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 THANKS SVETLANA: PRIVACY, TRUST, HUMOR, AND THE RUSSIAN PSYOP ON TUMBLR <p>This study uses a combination of multimodal discourse analysis (Bateman, 2008; Holsanova, 2012; Jewitt, 2009; LeVine &amp; Scollon, 2004) and qualitative interview materials to make an initial attempt at understanding the response to the Russian Psyop as it played out on Tumblr. It is critical that we, as technologically-oriented, civically concerned communication scholars, understand the technical and social mechanisms that allowed Russian and other interference on social media platforms to be perpetuated, and not only on the most popular and visible sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, but more niche platforms as well.</p> <p>Interview materials originate prior to the announcement, and were conducted from September to November 2017. In these interviews, privacy concerns were discussed at length, as well as Tumblr’s perceived incompetence when coding and maintaining a web platform. Because they maintained relatively little faith in the digital architecture of Tumblr, participants instead largely managed their privacy by carefully considering who they followed and who followed them. This centrality of “knowing” who they followed (while almost never knowing the blogger in a face-to-face context) is key for understanding how the Russian accounts must resemble “real” people, in order to gain followers and thus traction on Tumblr.</p> <p>The posts and reblog chains under analysis either 1) originated with one IRA-linked account, “lagonegirl,” and were reblogged after “her” blog was deleted, or 2) were humorous responses to the Psyop revelation/Russian spies.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Indira Neill Hoch Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 VIDEOGAME ENGINES AND THE POLITICS OF 'DEMOCRATISED' SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT <p>A videogame engine is a software tool that enables interactive digital content to be built, and a code framework that enables that content to run on different platforms, including consoles, smartphones, and virtual reality devices. Today, game engines form the backbone of videogame development and, increasingly, software development more broadly. The Unity engine — a key player in this industry, and the main case study of this paper — aims to ‘democratise game development’ through an accessible editing interface, a flexible licensing structure, and a toolset that is interoperable with a range of different design tools, middleware software, programming languages, and production workflows. This paper evaluates the core claim made by and about Unity — that it is has democratised game development — through a framework that analyses the engine’s ‘articulations’ in multiple areas of software culture: design, workflow, education, identity, political economy, and governance. These contexts form a 'circuit of cultural software' wherein the discourse of democratisation functions as a governing logic. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with 24 Australian developers, students, and educators, as well as participant observation and ethnographic fieldwork, this paper argues that people feel empowered by Unity not only because of the tools it provides, but also because of its capacity to create what Angela McRobbie (2016) calls a ‘creativity dispositif’ — an affective space where developers are granted a degree of social security to explore possibilities for self-entrepreneurship in what would otherwise be a career path fraught with risk and uncertainty.</p> Benjamin Nicoll Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 ANALYZING PLATFORM POWER: APP STORES AS INFRASTRUCTURAL PLATFORM SERVICES <p>This paper examines how platform power is operationalized in the specific case of the iOS App Store. We take a first step in developing an analytical framework that critically examines the infrastructural power relations that constitute online platform ecosystems. Building on a relational understanding of power, we propose an analytical vocabulary to systematically interrogate the material power relations among the three main actors active in platform ecosystems: platform operators (e.g. Apple), third party institutions (e.g. app developers, businesses, governments), and end-users (i.e. individuals). To better differentiate among these three different actors in platform ecosystems, the paper proposes to study platform power at five expanding levels, similar to those of ecological ecosystems: individual actors, infrastructural platform services, company platform ecosystems, geopolitical platform ecosystems, and the global platform ecosystem. Studying infrastructural platform services, such as app stores, offers relevant insight into how globally operating platforms are able to set, steer, and bend rules and norms that impact individual actors on the local and national level. In the case of app stores, the paper shows that platform power is not casual or discursive, but highly strategic, uniform, and centralized. By interrogating the operationalization of platform power at the platform service level, the paper demonstrates that platform power is not a property of one platform itself, but a corollary of a platform’s function in the context of other platforms and actors in a dynamic ecosystem.</p> David Nieborg, Thomas Poell, José van Dijck Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 THE ECOLOGY OF LATINX TWITTER <p>Twitter is a conduit of culture. A miscellany of networked communities where participants reinforce and/or dismantle socially constructed ideas and narratives. For nearly a decade, studies on the uses and gratifications, and sociality of ethnic-centered networks in the U.S. have emerged. The body of literature is interdisciplinary and largely discusses Black Twitter (Brock, 2012; Florini, 2013; Sharma, 2013; Clarke, 2014; Lee, 2017), and to a lesser extent, Asian-American Twitter (Lopez, 2016). Conversely, research on Latinx Twitter is scarce (Novak, Johnson, &amp; Pontes, 2016; Slaughter, 2016; Rosenbaum, 2018). As the second largest Spanish speaking country in the world, Latinx make up 18% of the U.S. population – the nation’s largest minority group (Pew Research Center, 2017). Often described in monolithic terms, Latinx epitomizes diversity. The pan-ethnicity represents over 21 nationalities, and a host of European and Indigenous languages, in which regional dialects are blended with African tongues to varying degrees. We take the position that prior to conducting behavioral focused analyses on Latinx Twitter, the network’s ecology must be defined. This means, to understand how the network of tens of ethnicities and heritages has self-organized. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to augment existing scholarship by exploring its ecology. Through a content analysis and interviews with six Latinx and Afro-Latinx women (18-24 years old) attending a Predominately White Institution (PWI) in U.S. South, we identified three major ecological themes: (1) Seeking Latinx Twitter; (2) Mega Network versus Sub-Networks; and (3) Implications for Monolithic Narratives.</p> Jacqueline Oquendo, Lance Porter Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 “I STILL WANT TO KNOW THEY’RE NOT TERRIBLE PEOPLE”: NEGOTIATING TRUST, PLEASURE AND QUEER ETHICS IN LGBTQ+ YOUNG PEOPLE’S DATING APP USE <p>Dating and hook-up apps constitute spaces of intense negotiation around issues of sex, identity and intimacy, in which norms are tested and reinforced. This paper examines discussions of ‘ideal app use’ which emerged in qualitative workshops conducted in 2018 with 23 LGBTQ+ app-users aged 18-35 in urban and regional New South Wales. We explore how a reading of in-app practices - such as messaging, picture-sharing and blocking - through a lens of queer ethics can inform LGBTQ+ young people’s ‘rules’ for app use. Participants were invited to create 'how-tos' for ideal app use, and describe the ways they distinguished ‘good’ (or trustworthy) profiles from ‘bad’ (untrustworthy) profiles via creative design activities. In their discussions, participants articulated their ‘rules’ for filtering matches in relation to particular design features of apps which enabled (sexed and gendered) cultures of accountability to others. As in Duguay’s (2017) research on queer women’s deployment of in-app affordances as ‘identity modulation’, participants interacted with other users and interpreted their profiles in relation not only to sexual desires, but also queer politics and identity. In many instances, this was expressed through a heightened sense of responsibility for self-knowledge and self-disclosure, and a need to connect with ‘good people’ with a shared political sensibility. At other times, participants acknowledged the challenges of negotiating politicised responsibility to others while simultaneously pursuing the kinds of pleasurable connections they sought on apps, and limiting their own self-disclosure as a means of guarding their physical and emotional safety.</p> Tinonee Pym, Kath Albury, Paul Byron, Anthony McCosker , Kane Race Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 TRUST UNDER TRIAL: THE EFFECT OF SURGE PRICING ON TRUST TOWARD RIDE-HAILING PLATFORMS IN MANILA <p>The nascent literature on platform trust in contexts of the Global South does not yet explain how trust for technology platforms persist or erode in the presence of issues that invite distrust, such as the controversial use of surge pricing in ride-hailing platforms. This paper uses in-depth interviews with 30 users of ride-hailing platforms in Manila to study how attitudes toward surge pricing influence attitudes for ride-hailing platforms. The paper finds that despite respondents’ negative attitudes toward surge pricing amid doubts on its fairness and transparency, trust for ride-hailing platforms persist. Persistence of trust is partly due to users’ rational experiences indicating that ride-hailing platforms provide net benefits despite the possibility of unfair surge pricing, especially when faced with the disagreeable alternative of using Manila’s poor transport infrastructure. However, the persistence of trust was also due to cognitive biases, as reflected in constructs such as _acceptance of limited transparency_, _perceived control_, and the ideational appeal of technological systems. These cognitive biases found in the data increase our understanding why trust in platform technologies may persist even when besieged by distrust. The findings can also increase our vigilance over the various cognitive biases which can be exploited to create trust on less than meritorious grounds, and hold a firm grip on users’ trust even as the latter begin to harbour healthy skepticism over fairness and transparency.</p> Godofredo Jr Ramizo Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 FROM OPEN KNOWLEDGE SHARING TO SEMI-CLOSED GROUPING: THE EVOLUTION OF ACADEMIC SOCIAL MEDIA IN CHINA <p>This paper reviews the evolution of Chinese academic social media in the past twenty years or so, with an analytical focus of trust and openness. It examines and compares the communicative models in scientific blog, Weibo and WeChat, and explores how academic social media co-evolve with academics’ changing demands, as well as broad social and institutional contexts in China.</p> <p>This research employs multiple methods and combines data collected at different periods of time including 20 interviews, participatory observation of about 200 social media accounts, and document/discourse analysis. This research identifies transformative changes of Chinese academic social media practices, particularly the shifting focus from open sharing of knowledge in public sphere to semi-closed and semi-public grouping based on acquaintance networking. While Chinese academics believe acquaintance grouping enables more reliable and rewarding communications, this raises issues regarding a “closed” and “exclusive” approach to building trust in scholarly/scientific communications.</p> <p>Potts, et al. (2017) theorize “knowledge club” as an entity where members form self-constituted groups, endeavoring to create new knowledge, and balancing the positive externalities of commons against the negative externalities of crowding is key. This paper understands the evolution of Chinese academic social media as a process of “clubization” of digital knowledge systems and further discusses the reasons and impact in the Chinese contexts.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Xiang Ren Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 WORK IN PROGRESS: THE EUROPEAN "RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN" – LEGAL AND TECHNICAL CHALLENGES OF SEARCH ENGINES COMPLYING THE RIGHT TO ERASURE <p>The new European right to be forgotten (Art. 17 of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) grants EU citizens the right to demand the erasure of their personal data from anyone who processes their personal data. To enforce this right to erasure may be a problem for many of those data processors. On the one hand, they need to examine any claim to remove search results. On the other hand, they have to balance conflicting rights in order to prevent over-blocking and the accusation of censorship.</p> <p>The paper examines the criteria which are potentially involved in the decision-making process of search engines when it comes to the right to erasure. We present an approach helping search engine operators and individuals to assess and decide whether search results may have to be deleted or not. Our goal is to make this process more transparent and consistent, providing more legal certainty for both the search engine operator and the person concerned by the search result in question. As a result, we develop a model to estimate the chances of success to delete a particular search result for a given person. This is a work in progress.</p> Jan Rensinghoff, Florian Marius Farke, Markus Dürmuth, Tobias Gostomzyk Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 “WHY WOULD SOMEONE INTENTIONALLY LIE?”: ASSESSING THE CREDIBILITY OF CANCER (MIS)INFORMATION ON FACEBOOK <p>As misinformation on social media continues to proliferate, scholars are increasingly calling for explorations of the negative ramifications of health-related misinformation on health outcomes. In 2018, 96% of the top 100 shared health articles were shared on Facebook; 51% of these had neutral to poor credibility. This exploratory study seeks to understand how U.S. Latinos assess the credibility of the cancer screening and prevention information (CPSI) they engage with on Facebook. Through semi-structured in-depth interviews, participants (n=20) accessed their Facebook account alongside the researcher, typed “cancer” in the search bar, and discussed cancer-related posts they engaged with during the past 6-12 months. If a participant engaged with CPSI, the researcher asked questions regarding if and how participants assessed the credibility of the information. Computer screen and audio were recorded for analysis. Interviews are being analyzed thematically, and CPSI via content analysis. Preliminary findings suggest most CPSI engagement comes from Facebook Friends and Groups that at times share unreliable information (e.g. foods claiming cancer prevention/curative properties). Participants with higher education levels were more likely to verify information via outside sources, while others looked for cues within the post to assess credibility (i.e. being shared by a reputable news agency). However, most individuals rely on heuristics (post virality, cultural associations, testimonies) to assess information credibility, rather than a verification process. These findings can assist in developing social media campaigns to counteract health misinformation. Findings also raise broader questions regarding Facebook’s role/responsibility in regulating and monitoring its platform’s health misinformation.</p> Yonaira M Rivera, Katherine C Smith, Meghan B Moran Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES IN SOCIAL MEDIA USE, GENDER IDENTITY, AND SEXUALITY AMONG YOUNG LGBTIQ+ PEOPLE IN AUSTRALIA <p>For LGBTIQ+ people, the internet and social media are key channels for communicating and connecting with queer peers, and learning about queer life and queer experiences. While digital social spaces have evolved over the past 20 to 30 years, many of the motivations for using these platforms remain the same. This paper draws on data from the Scrolling Beyond Binaries study, centred on a national Australian survey of 1,304 young LGBTIQ+ people. We present key findings from the study examining generational differences across our four age cohorts of our young respondents: 16–20, 21–25, 26–30 and 30–35. Even among this group of young people, we find stark differences by age in self-identification related to gender and sexuality, and also patterns of difference in the social media platforms they use. Our younger respondents identify with much more fluid forms of gender and sexuality, and also tend to favour dating and hook-up apps that are more inclusive. We seek to foreground the ways in which the internet continues to be significant for our respondents for social connection and learning. We also add to our understandings of the complex and evolving ways in which young LGBTIQ+ people use and thus (re)produce digital social spaces, returning to Nina Wakeford’s (2000 [1997]) consideration of ‘cyberqueer spaces’.</p> Brady Robards, Brendan Churchill, Son Vivienne, Benjamin Hanckel, Paul Byron Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 THE BIRDS AND THE BEES ONLINE: UNDERSTANDING AMERICAN ONLINE SEX-ED SITES <p>The goal of this study is, looking over time and across different platforms what is the nature of the content of adolescent sexual health education provided through online websites and social networking sites (SNS). Sexuality is a critical component of adolescent development, and to aid in sexual development, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adolescents globally have access to comprehensive sexual health education because it contributes positively their future sexual and reproductive health (UNESCO, 2018). In the United States, starting in 1981 with Adolescent Family Life Act (AFLA) sexual health education has relied heavily on Abstinence-Only curricula, with the goal of teaching adolescents to reduce risky sexual behaviors, such as having unprotected sex, having multiple sexual partners and young age of sexual debut by remaining sexually abstinent until marriage (Dixon-Mueller, 1993; Saul, 1998). Looking over time and across online platforms, the goal of this study is to determine; 1). How is sexual health education online structured and what topics are covered? 2). How has online sexual health education over time responded to government mandates on sexual health and sexuality in general? 3). How does the presentation of sexual health information change across the different platforms? and 4). How do online sexual health education handle topics such pleasure and desire for underrepresented groups?</p> Janet Nalubega Ross, Shawn Walker Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 OBSERVING THE TECH, USING MEETUP DATA TO STUDY THE EVOLUTION OF THE DISCOURSE AROUND IOT <p>This paper proposes to use MeetUp data to study the emergence and the evolution of the technological trend commonly known as Internet of Things (IoT). Starting from a manually selected sample of 220 European MeetUp groups we used MeetUp's APIs, to retrieve additional information about the events and participating users. The final dataset consists of 220 groups, 32967 members and 2386 events from 2011 until now (Jan 2019). The results suggest the presence of clearly identifiable European hubs for IoT development but a worldwide crowd of users. From a temporal perspective the MeetUp data shows how IoT exploded in 2015 and how it might have peaked in 2017. Within this period of time IoT has not been a “stable technology” but as evolved incorporating, within its area of “related topics” new and emerging technologies such as Cryptocurrency or cloud computing.</p> Luca Rossi, Matteo Magnani, Davide Vega D'aurelio, Obaida Hanteer Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 “I PREFER TO BUILD TRUST” – EXAMINING PARENTAL CONFIDENCE IN CHILDREN’S DIGITAL SKILLS <p>Digital and social media has become deeply intertwined into children’s mundane daily routines. Considered to be digital natives, young people are often assumed to be experts in using digital and social media. As they are indeed enthusiastic users of new devices and social media platforms, children might be quick in picking up on platform’s features and affordances. However, their ability for a strategic understanding of risks and opportunities is often questioned. Parental anxiety about children’s engagement with digital and social media stems from their lack of confidence in children’s ability to navigate online risk. While academic research attempted to identify and measure digital skills, less is known how these skills are negotiated in the family.</p> <p>Drawing on separate home-based interviews with children and parents, this paper looks at the approaches parents use to govern children’s digital and social media use. It discusses how confidence in children’s abilities – or varying degrees of it – affects the parental approach and success in working with their children on developing safe digital practices. Three dominant parental approaches identified across the sample are practices where parents act as *watchdog*, *chaperon* and/or *collaborator*. Central to each of these approaches are varying degrees of trust in children’s ability to engage in safe practices online.</p> Milovan Savic Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 TRUSTING TWITTERSPHERE AS A GENUINE POLITICAL DEBATE? THE CASE OF INDONESIAN ELECTION HASTAGS <p>This research in progress explores how political discussion on Indonesian Twittersphere could provide a genuine conversation on debates related to the upcoming 2019 national election in Indonesia. Taking the case of the presidential and parliamentary election in the upcoming April 2019, the author uses social media data on Twitter to investigate whether the discussions are heavily lean into digital public sphere or more dominated by political buzzer and bots. The author examines this by creating Twitter network maps based on hashtags related to the election. Modularity tests are employed to identify the extent of online community developed during the conversations. Most of the hashtags analyzed could attract hundreds of small communities, created mini-publics, which in turn shows the degree of willingness of the Indonesian social media users to participate in this practice of digital citizenship. Qualitative observations on the selection of the most significant actors within the network and the words they posted are employed to understand if the conversations were not led by either dominant political actors or political buzzers/bots, and thus, suggest the citizens’ genuine form of political communication. Despite the limitations of studying Twitter data, the author suggests that by taking a closer attention to how political conversation in non-English/Western political environment, this study might provide valuable insights on the development of genuine utilization of (and trust on) the social media platforms for political engagement.</p> Yearry Panji Setianto Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 THE CARRIER WAVE PRINCIPLE <p>In this article, we propose a new theoretical lens through which to explore the relationship between sociotechnical artifacts, the messages they convey, and the cultural meanings derived from them. This premise, which we entitle the "carrier wave principle," holds that there is no theoretical limit to the amount and variety of knowledge that may be derived from a given cultural artifact over time. This axiom can be understood as the result of changes in technological regimes and cultural modalities over time and space, and this has been true throughout history. However, continuing exponential growth in the power and ubiquity of computational processing have accelerated this process to the point where new modalities of knowledge production are now available within the course of a human lifetime. We located our analysis at the intersection of several fields of scholarship, including media studies, information science, cultural studies, science and technology studies, and critical data studies. We conclude with an exploration of the carrier wave principle’s real-world consequences and contexts, including implications for privacy, security, identity and subjectivity.</p> Aram Sinnreich, Jesse Gilbert Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 RULES OF ENGAGEMENT: WHAT TERMS AND CONDITIONS MODERATING READER COMMENTS TO AUSTRALIAN ONLINE NEWS SITES SAY ABOUT TRUST IN THE AUDIENCE <p>Reader comments to online news websites have become a critical component of civic engagement and debate since the introduction of digital media. While many online news organisations encourage reader comments to maintain a loyal audience, audience participation is often constrained by the terms and conditions used to govern reader comments. By imposing strict moderation policies, news organisations demonstrate a lack of trust towards the audience. Yet, many organisations continue to demand high levels of public trust in their brands and the institution of journalism. Using critical discourse analysis, this study examines the terms and conditions used to moderate reader comments to four Australian online news sites, and assesses the level of trust afforded to audiences through comment moderation policies. Public statements from each of these organisations about public trust in their organisation or the institution of news are also assessed, to contrast the level of trust these organisations expect with that which is afforded to the audience through moderation policies. This research finds that the moderation policies analysed represent significant impediments to audience expression, and demonstrate a discrepancy between the level of trust afforded to participants and that which the organisations demand from their readers. Despite early hopes that online reader comments may facilitate greater opportunities for democratic participation for citizens, the potential for substantial democratic debate on the online news sites examined in this research remains unrealised.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Catherine Jane Son Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 BRIDGING, COACHING, AND BOUNDARY SPANNING: BROKERAGE AND INTERMEDIATION IN THE PHILIPPINE ONLINE PLATFORM LABOR ECONOMY <p>The increasing networked connectivity and affordability of technology facilitated the rise of digitally-mediated service work. Workers, mostly located in the Global South, can now directly obtain ‘gigs’ through online labor platforms and microwork intermediaries such as Upwork and Within the Philippine digital labor economy, we see an emerging category of digital labor intermediaries—locally called peer mentors and coaches-- who are playing a significant role in the expansion and continued uptake of digital platform labor in the country. Building on and drawing connections between earlier works on the influencer economy (Abidin, 2015; Senft, 2013; and Marwick, 2013) and on labor migration brokerage literature (Shreshta &amp; Yeoh, 2018; Lin, Lindquist, Xiang, &amp; Yeoh, 2017), the paper conceptualizes digital labor brokerage arising within various ‘spaces of (labor) intermediation.’ Drawing from participant observation in online freelancing Facebook groups and interviews with these brokers and digital workers, we examine the transactional nature underlying the ‘producer-audience’ relationship of digital labor brokerage, the activation of trust and influence through mediated encounters, and the power dynamic underlying the digitally mediated symbolic and material power taking place between them and their respective teams. The paper seeks to contribute to the digital labor literature in two ways: 1) by characterizing the emergence of digital labor brokers in a digital labor supplying country in the global South, the role they play in the digital platform labor economy and the interventions that they engage; and 2) analyzing the structural conditions that facilitate the emergence of digital labor brokerage.</p> Cheryll Soriano, Earvin Cabalquinto Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 THE ETHICS OF EMOTION IN AI SYSTEMS <p>Computational analyses of data pertaining to human emotional expression have a surprisingly long history and an increasingly critical role in social machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) applications. Contemporary, quotidian, narrow AI/ML technologies are most frequently used by social media platforms for modeling and predicting human emotional expression as signals of interpersonal interaction and personal preference. Yet while the ethical and social impacts of ML/AI systems have of late become major topics of both public discussion and academic debate , the ethical dimensions of AI/ML analytics for emotional expression have been under-theorized in these conversations. In this paper, we connect contemporary technical methods for analyzing emotional expression via AI/ML with extant problems in the ethics of AI discourse, in doing so highlighting tensions within that broader discourse and implications for the application of emotion analysis in practice.</p> Luke Stark, Jesse Hoey Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 INTERNET SAFETY EDUCATION: HOW WE EDUCATE OUR GIRLS TO BEWARE OF OTHERS, AND OUR BOYS TO BEWARE OF THEMSELVES <p>Alongside its many advantages, the Internet presents a variety of challenges and risks to adolescents. From a perspective focusing on information flow processes, this study distinguishes between risks resulting from _exposure to information_, i.e. exposure of adolescents to inappropriate content: Harmful, sexual or violent, and risks resulting from _exposure of information_, i.e. disclosure of personal information online, privacy harms inflicted by the user or others, misuse of personal information which can result in identity theft, physical and sexual assault. The study examines gender differences in perceptions regarding adolescents’ online uses, habits and risks, and whether these lead to differences in emphasis of educational messages delivered by parents and teachers to adolescents. Based on a mixed-method study combining survey conducted among 513 adolescents and 50 semi-structured interviews with educators and adolescents, the findings illustrate how a common perception that girls share more personal information online and are (consequently) more vulnerable to online predators leads to more emphasis given on implications of personal information disclosure in messages delivered to girls. On the other hand, boys are considered naughty and nosy, searching for “forbidden”, mainly sexual, content, and emphasis is given on limiting and monitoring their searches and video consumption. Apparently, although parents, teachers and adolescents proclaim to be aware of the similar risks to boys and girls online, there is a message interwoven in internet safety education discourse: Girls are to be aware of others looking to harm them, and boys are to be aware of themselves, their curiosity and evil inclination.</p> Nili Steinfeld Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 LAUGHTER OUT OF PLACE: AFFECTIVE HOMOPHILY AND THE ABSURD COMEDY OF #METOO <p>This paper investigates the affective and ambiguous dynamics of feminist humor as an unexpected strategy of resistance in connection with #MeToo, asking what laughter may do to the sharpness of negative affects of shame and anger driving the movement. Firstly, we deploy Nanette—Hannah Gadsby’s 2018 Netflix success heralded as the comedy of the #MeToo era—arguing that the uniform viral warmth surrounding the show drives the emergence of networked feminisms through “affective homophily,” or a love of feeling the same. With Nanette, the contagious qualities of laughter are tamed by a networked logic of homophily, allowing for affective intensity while resisting dissent in what is being felt. Secondly, and as a counter force to such sameness, we examine absurd feminist humor trafficking in the unreasonable, illogical, and inappropriate. In considering the unexpected pockets of humor within the #MeToo scandal that ripped apart the prestigious institution of the Swedish Academy in 2018, we explore the emergence of absurdist feminist comedy by zooming in on the figure of the unseemly woman and humor that is knowingly out of tune with both reason and decency. While our first example allows us to argue for the political importance of affective ambiguity, difference, and dissent in social media feminisms, our second example opens up a space for affective release that unpredictable and surprising absurd humour, in combining the illogical with the indecent, affords.</p> Jenny Sundén, Susanna Paasonen Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 TRUSTED MACHINES? MACHINE LEARNING, MORE-THAN-HUMAN SPEED AND DEAD LABOR IN PLATFORM CAPITALISM <p>Decision making machines are today ‘trusted’ to perform or assist with a rapidly expanding array of tasks. Indeed, many contemporary industries could not now function without them. Nevertheless, this trust in and reliance upon digital automation is far from unproblematic. This paper combines insights drawn from qualitative research with creative industries professionals, with approaches derived from software studies and media archaeology to critically interrogate three ways that digital automation is currently employed and accompanying questions that relate to trust. Firstly, digital automation is examined as a way of saving time and/or reducing human labor, such as when programmers use automated build tools or graphical user interfaces. Secondly, automation enables new types of behavior by operating at more-than-human speeds, as exemplified by high-frequency trading algorithms. Finally, the mode of digital automation associated with machine learning attempts to both predict and influence human behaviors, as epitomized by personalization algorithms within social media and search engines.</p> <p>While creative machines are increasingly trusted to underpin industries, culture and society, we should at least query the desirability of increasing dependence on these technologies as they are currently employed. These for-profit, corporate-controlled tools performatively reproduce a neoliberal worldview. Discussing misplaced trust in digital automation frequently conjures an imagined binary opposition between humans and machines, however, this reductive fantasy conceals the far more concrete conflict between differing technocultural assemblages composed of humans and machines. Across the examples explored in this talk, what emerges are numerous ways in which creative machines are used to perpetuate social inequalities.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Sy Taffel Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 THE QUT DIGITAL OBSERVATORY PROJECT: BUILDING A TRUSTED DATA INFRASTRUCTURE FOR SOCIAL MEDIA RESEARCH <p>Trust is fragile. The 2018 Facebook and Cambridge Analytica debacles highlighted how data harvested from social media platforms can be used not only for commercial purposes but also for political manipulation. This incident and the widespread discussion around it further demonstrated the following issues: unethical data collection enabled by a platform; unethical use of data for corporate and political interest; and unethical data sharing by an academic.</p> <p>Research needs to be credible to maintain social license. Data is the lifeblood of research. For research to remain credible, research needs to remain fundamentally ethical and research methods comprising data collection and data analysis need to be robust, transparent, repeatable, and auditable. Such methods alone cannot create credibility, but research data infrastructure design and implementation can provide a foundation for credibility by addressing these fundamental processes.</p> <p>Social science research has traditionally relied on data collection methods such as surveys, interviews, and ethnographic observations. However, an increasing proportion of human life is being mediated by online platforms, with approximately 2.3 billion active users on Facebook and 326 million active users on Twitter (Statista 2019). Social media data collection and analysis have become imperative for researchers interested in various phenomena playing out in these new media. This paper discusses the current state and issues of social media data collection and describes the Digital Observatory’s approach to establishing a credible and trusted research data infrastructure.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Marissa Takahashi, Sam Hames, Elizabeth Alpert, Axel Bruns Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 "OPEN DATA MEANS BUSINESS": WHEN MONETARY POTENTIAL IN OPEN DATA USURPS ASPIRATIONS FOR ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPERANCY IN THE SMART CITY <p>As opposed to technocratic and top-to-bottom smart city discourses, open data has been deployed to transform these into “citizen-centric” ones. London is one of the prime examples of such positioning of open data in pursuit to create an alternative to corporate-driven smart city narratives. Prior to this, open data was already a governmental strategy in the UK in their pursuit of Transparency Agenda due to the assumptions that having access to governmental data would automatically yield transparency and accountability. However, shortly after, the economic value in open data displaced the social impact to periphery. As a result, the Open Data Institute (ODI) was established to unlock the economic value in open data. Located at the heart of London’s tech-scene, the ODI has attempted to contest what they referred to as “corporate-driven smart city”. Nevertheless, born out of a discourse in which lucrative potential usurped democratic aspirations, the ODI has subsequently been an environment that materialised, contributed and reiterated the prevailing smart city discourse. By way of a close observation of the ODI’s activities between late 2014 to mid-2017, as well as an analysis on the transformation of UK government's open data discourse, I argue that once advocated as tool for accountability and transparency, open data is mostly promoted for its monetary value.</p> Gunes Tavmen Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 PRESSURE CONTROLS: DATA FORCES CREEPING THROUGH FINGERTIP COMMANDS <p>AI methods and ubiquitous data sensors have enabled a new algorithmic quantification of affect with the possibility to detect or verify users’ identities, characteristics, emotional states, and physical traits. By scrutinizing how transient datasets are produced by user applied pressure on touch-screens (via fingertip commands) this paper showcases how sensory technology creeps into users’ everyday life with potential implementations connected to a series of emerging data issues engineered by a black-box design: one which obfuscates data production and precludes user consent under the disguise of “non-intrusive” features. Thereby, this paper explores the limits of user-based interrogation of black-boxes by researching tactile modes of operation, as a subset of behavioural biometrics, and sensors that register force in touch analysis and haptic technologies.</p> <p>Presenting a citation analysis of biometric techniques around the proposed usage of pressure; the authors offer a case-study examination of zinc-based force-sensing materials that are cost-effective and scalable to ubiquitous-computing and a prototype developed using ‘each pixel as a sensor’. By combining these approaches, this paper argues that such developments constitute a phenomenological shift away from users’ perception to data infrastructures working as assemblages of hidden technical sensations, and there is a need to expose these complex networks to afford some grasp, if not direct agency, over their micro temporal operation. This work aims not simply to theorise, but to help reveal ways users may revise, embrace, resist, subvert or even live data practices that operate unlike conventional data harvesting techniques.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Simon Taylor, Kevin Witzenberger Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 DON'T JUST SAY THANK YOU: EXPLORATION OF TYPES OF POSTS INSPIRING AND HINDERING DEEP CONVERSATIONS ONLINE <p>In an open online discussion forum, where there is no fixed structure or a facilitator like a course forum without any assigned themes, every participant is a facilitator shaping the direction and depth of a conversation. How can we as designers then make sure it leads to an engaging learning community that learners keep coming back to beyond the given course period? This paper reports on sequential analysis of 172 posts in 32 threads and close reading of two threads from an open online discussion forum in a free open online course, specifically looking at the impact of participant actions as facilitative moves, to gain better understanding of the types of actions that lead to deeper and sustained engagement with the ideas of interest. Sequential analysis is an approach that estimates which types of sequences of posts or interactions are most likely to occur in a threaded discussion. The results showed that sharing personal experiences attracted most responses, implying that it is important to encourage participants to share questions or cases connected to their personal experiences. In addition, somewhat paradoxically, we found that posts acknowledging responses tend to conclude and close down the conversation while posts that ask diverging questions tend to attract more discussion.</p> Devayani Tirthali, Yumiko Murai Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 DISAPPOINTING AND BEING DISAPPOINTED: VIDEO GAME PLAYER TRUST IN EACH OTHER <p>Hostility in video games has been a cause for concern since multiplayer gaming began gaining popularity. Many of the studies conducted on this topic have highlighted negative behaviors as particularly aggressive toward women, but relatively limited in the broad context of general audiences or in contrast to positive multiplayer encounters . This study uses interviews with 54 people and approximately 1900 online forum posts to further investigate player experiences with and understandings of hostility in video game play. Overall, it appears that female players do experience particular kinds of harassment, but that players have been negatively influenced and affected by these types of behavior regardless of gender. Largely, players have begun to feel like they cannot feel comfortable in these spaces or necessarily trust other players to behave in positive ways. For both male and female players, this has led to many avoiding certain types of game or specific titles all together. Additionally, players lack confidence that companies are doing what is necessary to shift the culture and have come to understand toxic players as something to be expected in the community. Because of its frequency, toxicity has become understood as a part of gaming culture and something that, perhaps, is immutable.</p> Christine Tomlinson Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 #METOO AND INTERSECTIONALISM: "RADICAL COMMUNITY HEALING" OR "VOYEURISTIC TRAUMA PORN?" <p>In October 2017, millions of people reflected on their experiences of sexual abuse and harassment, publicly sharing their testimonials in an expression of global vulnerability using the hashtag #MeToo. Many of the tweets portrayed the angst and distress individuals experienced in their decision to participate, indicating the psychological costs of engaging with #MeToo. Further, some tweets expressed frustration at the re-appropriated nature of the campaign and the collective feeling of an “intersectional betrayal” by white women and feminists who dominated the mainstream media reporting of the movement. This research foregrounds the intersectional concerns that result from the scale and reach of the millions of testimonials suspended online that constitute the #MeToo movement. It highlights how the many stories that have circulated the online sphere obscure the absence and recognition of marginalised women and those who are already more vulnerable in regards to experiencing sexual assault. The paper adopts an intersectional framework, as conceptualised by Crenshaw (1991), to further an understanding of how race, class, and gender collide and how subordination can be reproduced within feminist protests. Drawing on a large data set of tweets, this research combines content, discourse and social network analysis to examine the narratives related to participation. The paper highlights the experiences and reflections of users who self-identified as queer, disabled, or a person of colour within their tweets. A social network analysis is also used to visualise a snapshot of the affective publics that arose at the beginning and to illustrate how systems of oppression converge.</p> Verity Trott Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 TRUST IN TRANSLATION: A CASE STUDY OF COPYRIGHT AS A LEGAL TRANSPLANT IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IN MYANMAR <p>This paper highlights non-Western views on trust in regulation and governance through a comparative legal analysis of copyright and the music industry in Myanmar. Legal transplanting, taking a law from one legal system and implanting it, was a common practice throughout colonial history. Standardized copyright, in the form of the TRIPs Agreement, is an example of a post-colonial legal transplant, enforced by the WTO. The South-east Asian nation of Myanmar is the process of a major transition both politically and technologically that is heavily impact its creative industries in general, and music industry in particular. This interdisciplinary comparative legal analysis considers the implications of transplanting copyright regulation into an informal creative economy. Data were collected from fourteen interviews with music industry professionals and legal experts in Myanmar conducted in January 2019. While some informants expressed trust in foreign transplants and a belief in the efficacy of a new copyright law, others expressed concern that these foreign laws would fail to address issues unique to the Myanmar music industry. This study argues that the way forward involves a deeper understanding of the local system of governance.</p> D. Bondy Valdovinos Kaye Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 SUNSET AND MEMORIES: HOW WE BURY AND MOURN DEAD PLATFORMS <p>Over social media’s first decade, we as users grew to trust that platforms play a role as memory machines: they enable us to share and store our media traces to look back on later, as we remember and make sense of our lives. But not all platforms last forever. What happens when social media platforms are, to borrow a business term, sunsetted? This paper investigates how platforms end, and how people remember them after they are gone. I first conducted a thematic analysis of 20 sunset posts: the final declaration of what a platform has been. I discovered that this genre of communication is designed to spark a sense of loss for the platform that was, and trust in the people who are moving on to new projects. This opened up further questions about if people remember dead platforms, and if so, how they remember them. Responses to a survey of social media users about a platform they used to use that no longer exists will undergo a thematic analysis to identify common themes and patterns in terms of online remembering, nostalgia, archiving, and forgetting. As social media platforms are a relatively new form of media, this research project aims to gain an understanding of how people shift from platform to platform, and how media traces and platforms are remembered and forgotten.</p> Emily van der Nagel Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 A NEW STANDARD OF PROOF? DISCOURSES ON VISUAL DATA AFTER THE 2017 G20-PROTESTS <p>A broad body of literature has described contemporary societies as “surveillance societies” or “surveillance cultures” and has expanded on the implications of an increasing “datafication” of society. To date, little attention has been paid to the role of visual data and their analysis in these processes. However, visual data and advancing algorithmic and facial recognition tools can provide particularly rich insights, that may imply both, important potentials and possible tensions. The contribution uses the case of controversial police investigations after the 2017 G20-summit to discuss intersections of datafication, dataveillance and visual communication and to provide insight into how different authorities and stakeholders legitimate and contest the collection of visual data and their algorithmic analysis in the political and public realm. Therefore a qualitative content and discourse analysis of news media articles, tweets, experts’ reports, police statements and minutes of parliamentary debates and committee hearings was conducted. Findings indicate that concrete practices of visual data collection and analysis remained obscure and a critical blind spot in the general media coverage. In turn, they triggered heated debates in the political realm and in specialized media coverage in which trust played a striking key role. Police authorities characterized visual data and algorithmic tools as a "new standard of proof" and thus as particularly powerful, objective and specifically trustworthy. However, indiscriminate practices of visual data collection and analysis also triggered fundamental concerns about the role and the trustworthiness of police authorities in datafied societies.</p> Rebecca Venema, Katharina Lobinger Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 FROM KNOWLEDGE CATHEDRALS TO NETWORKED CO-CREATION: PUBLIC LIBRARIES, TRUST AND THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY <p>Since the mid-nineteenth century, public libraries have been trusted sites of information. They have retained this public trust even as the networked society and digital technologies have profoundly changed the status and function of information in social and economic life. Information super-abundance, ‘platform capitalism’ and the rise of ‘big data’ have made information a currency within increasingly intersecting processes of commercial exchange, governance, surveillance and self-expression. Libraries are not on the sidelines of this shift. As media centres and information managers, they have supported users to navigate how information is distributed and accessed. They are also actively shaping how information is put-to-use, reconfiguring their service delivery around user-centred models emphasising participation and co-creation, user experience, pleasure, innovation, and peer-to-peer learning. This paper explores the tensions at the heart of the library’s continued status as a site of trusted information. Using a theoretically contextualized ethnographic methodology, the paper discusses how libraries perform as infrastructures of trust in the knowledge economy. Part one contextualises the library’s altered relation to information within its physical transformation as an institution. Part two draws upon interviews with Australian library professionals to drill down into the range of ways libraries perform informational trust at a time of systemic mistrust. Our findings reveal that many of these institutional performances of trust are non-equivalent, suggesting that we need to develop new thinking around the trust infrastructures we need in an information-abundant, entrepreneurialist culture.</p> Danielle Ray Wyatt, Dale Leorke Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 A NEW BLACK BOX METHODOLOGY: THE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF INTERROGATING THE MODERATION OF IMAGES DEPICTING WOMEN’S BODIES ON INSTAGRAM <p>The black box around online platforms’ internal governance practices makes it difficult for users to trust that their expression is moderated in ways that are free from arbitrariness and bias. This paper proposes a black box methodology for examining content moderation in practice when only parts of a platform’s regulatory system are visible from the outside. The proposed methodology, which uses content analysis and innovative digital methods to investigate how discrete inputs (i.e. images) produce certain outputs (i.e. whether an image is removed or not removed), is explained through a topical case study into whether like images of Underweight, Mid-Range and Overweight women’s bodies are moderated alike on Instagram. Overall, results show a trend of inconsistent moderation: specifically, up to 22% of 4,994 coded images were removed by Instagram or by the user and are therefore potentially false positives. Moreover, the odds of removal for Underweight, Mid-Range and Overweight images differ. These results suggest that concerns around the risk of arbitrariness and bias on Instagram, and, indeed, ongoing distrust of the platform among users, might not be unfounded. In outlining the proposed methodology, this paper evaluates the methodological, legal and ethical challenges to studying Instagram, many of which are due to the significant lack of transparency around platform governance more broadly. By evaluating these challenges, we can better assess the efficacy of using black box analytics and digital methods to examine important questions around content moderation at scale.</p> Alice Elizabeth Ameila Witt Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 THE CONCEPT OF ‘SHARING’ IN CHINESE SOCIAL MEDIA <p>In this paper we analyze the concepts of fenxiang and gongxiang—the Mandarin words for ‘sharing’—in the context of Chinese social media. Drawing on earlier work on ‘sharing’, and based on analyses of four corpuses and changes over time to the homepages of 32 Chinese social network sites (accessed through the Wayback Machine), we find that the concepts of fenxiang and gongxiang offer a heuristic for understanding Chinese social media, while also pointing to an important facet of the discursive construction of Chinese social media. Although seeming to refer to the same activities as ‘sharing’, analysis of the language of fenxiang and gongxiang in Chinese social media reveals the entanglement of a new individualistic self with a self that remains socially embedded in pre-existing relationships; it shows how micro-level harmony (fenxiang) and macro-level harmony (gongxiang) cohere with each other; while also reflecting the interplay among social media platforms, users, and the state.</p> Luolin Zhao, Nicholas John Copyright (c) 2020 AOIR Selected Paper of Internet Researchers Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500