AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir <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 ac@aoir.org (AoIR Staff) ac@aoir.org (AoIR Association Coordinator) Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:44 -0600 OJS 3.1.2.0 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 INTIMACIES AND DIGITAL MEDIA INFRASTRUCTURES https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10464 <p>The breadth of what it means to study intimacies in the context of media has changed significantly in recent years because of current technological, social, and cultural changes. The digital mediation of intimacy - the changing attitudes, experiences, and practices of intimacy performed through digital media - demands that scholars look beyond well-established frameworks for studying intimacy and media, expanding their methodological and theoretical perspectives in order to fully comprehend intimate lifeworlds and the digital. This panel aims to examine the various intimacies - understood here as a range of affects, practices and sociocultural arrangements - that take place through and are reconfigured by digital media infrastructures. In particular, it aims to explore how digital infrastructures and intimate arrangements are intertwined, thereby challenging the assumptions that digital media's reconfigurations of intimacy are associated with either positive or negative outcomes. Through analytical approaches that interrogate the material complexities of digital media in relation to individuals' intimate lifeworlds, this panel's papers uncover the nuances of digitally mediated intimacies. They identify the opportunities that digital media infrastructures facilitate for representation, social connection and sexual excitement while acknowledging infrastructural influences in the reinforcement, commodification, and marginalization of particular expressions of intimacy. Through textual analysis, in-depth interviews, ethnography, and close readings of a range of digital media, from messaging apps to video sharing platforms, these studies generate thick data that exposes the often unseen digital media infrastructures running underneath, through and in the background of intimacies.</p> Sander De Ridder, Frederik Dhaenens, Stefanie Duguay, Lindsay Ferris, Susanna Paasonen Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10464 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:24 -0600 TRANSNATIONAL AND POST HUMANISTIC PERSPECTIVES ON HUMAN-MACHINE COMMUNICATION https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10465 <p>The proliferation of artificially intelligent robots and virtual agents raise practical, technological, and ethical considerations in the emerging area of human-machine communication (HMC) research. The topics in this panel span agriculture and environmentalism, gender and sexuality, collective identity and culture, memory and data migration, and relational development with social robots. The panel discusses ways in which technology serves as solutions to and causes of new transnational challenges for networked publics, as well as ways technology is supplanting what has historically been referred to as the “natural.” The goal of this panel is to demonstrate the diverse applications of robotics, as well as foster an open-mindset for reconceptualizing humanity in a post-human world. Specific panel presentations discuss: - Honeybee colony collapse in agriculture and artificial pollinators known as Robobees. - Industry recommendations for the development of ethical and successful caretaking robots for aging populations based on interpersonal communication scholarship. - Asymmetrical relationships and ethical implications of elevating sexbots to human status from the theoretical perspective of Rousseau’s natural self. - Digital interlocutors as scripted-selves that co-produce and standardize cultural norms. - Transference of human memory to cloud-based memory through voice commands as the foundation for algorithmic future-thinking. These research topics identify the importance and relevance of scholarship in the area of HMC and advocate for their inclusion in the conceptualization, prototyping, and creation of robotic and AI technologies. This panel offers an opportunity to engage in a necessary, provocative, and timely discussion about HMC and the role of critical scholarship in shaping technologies of the future.</p> Jamie Foster, Kristina Sawyer, Carrie O'Connell, Chad Van De Wiele, Melina Garcia Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10465 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:25 -0600 A DIVISION OF LABOR: THE ROLE OF BIG DATA ANALYSIS IN THE REPERTOIRE OF INTERNET RESEARCH METHODS https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10467 <p>In recent years, large-scale analysis of log data from digital devices - often termed ""big data analysis"" (Lazer, Kennedy, King, &amp; Vespignani, 2014) - have taken hold in the field of internet research. Through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and commercial measurement, scholars have been able to analyze social media users (Freelon 2014) and web audiences (Taneja, 2016) on an uprecedented scale. And by developing digital research tools, scholars have been able to track individuals across websites (Menchen-Trevino, 2013) and mobile applications (Ørmen &amp; Thorhauge 2015) in greater detail than ever before. Big data analysis holds unique potential for studying communication in depth and across many individuals (see e.g. Boase &amp; Ling, 2013; Prior, 2013). At the same time, this approach introduces new methodological challenges in the transparency of data collection (Webster, 2014), sampling of participants and validity of conclusions (Rieder, Abdulla, Poell, Woltering, &amp; Zack, 2015). Firstly, data aggregation is typically designed for commercial rather than academic purposes. The type of data included as well as how it is presented depend in large part on the business interests of measurement and advertisement companies (Webster, 2014). Secondly, when relying on this kind of secondary data it can be difficult to validate the output or techniques used to generate the data (Rieder, Abdulla, Poell, Woltering, &amp; Zack, 2015). Thirdly, often the unit of analysis is media-centric, taking specific websites or social network pages as the empirical basis instead of individual users (Taneja, 2016). This makes it hard to untangle the behavior of real-world users from the aggregate trends. Lastly, variations in what users do might be so large that it is necessary to move from the aggregate to smaller groups of users to make meaningful inferences (Welles, 2014). Internet research is thus faced with a new research approach in big data analysis with potentials and perils that need to be discussed in combination with traditional approaches. This panel explores the role of big data analysis in relation to the wider repertoire of methods in internet research. The panel comprises four presentations that each sheds light on the complementarity of big data analysis with more traditional qualitative and quantitative methods. The first presentation opens the discussion with an overview of strategies for combining digital traces and commercial audience data with qualitative interviews and quantitative survey methods. The next presentation explores the potential of trace data to improve upon the experimental method. Researcher-collected data enables scholars to operate in a real-world setting, in contrast to a research lab, while obtaining informed consent from participants. The third presentation argues that large-scale audience data provide a unique perspective on internet use. By integrating census-level information about users with detailed traces of their behavior across websites, commercial audience data combines the strength of surveys and digital trace data respectively. Lastly, the fourth presentation shows how multi-institutional collaboration makes it possible do document social media activity (on Twitter) for a whole country (Australia) in a comprehensive manner. A feat not possible through other methods on a similar scale. Through these four presentations, the panel aims to situate big data analysis in the broader repertoire of internet research methods. </p> Rasmus Helles, Jacob Ørmen, Klaus Bruhn Jensen, Signe Sophus Lai, Ericka Menchen-Trevino, Harsh Taneja, Angela Xiao Wu, Axel Bruns Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10467 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:25 -0600 POLITICS, ACTIVISM AND TROLLING ON THE RUSSIAN INTERNET https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10466 <p>In the years that have passed since the social media powered protest movement of 2011-2012, the Russian government has dramatically expanded its restrictions on the Internet, while simultaneously consolidating its grip on traditional media. The Internet, which long provided a space for alternative media and free speech to blossom, is becoming increasingly restricted by a growing corpus of legislation and expanding state surveillance. With legally ill-defined prohibitions on, e.g., offending the feelings of religious believers, propagating 'non-traditional family values' and disseminating 'extremism' in place, online freedom of speech in Russia is at threat. Meanwhile, the Russian state continues to refine its skills in covertly manipulating online discourses, as it has quite successfully practiced it since the 2000s. Yet, because of its transnational configuration, the Internet continues to evade comprehensive state control and offers ever new opportunities for disseminating and consuming dissenting opinions. Developments over the past year, including the series of anti-corruption mass protests organised by opposition leader Aleksei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, have demonstrated how online challenges to the status-quo are still able to gather momentum and create 'real world' political turbulence. The panel presents a multifaceted investigation of how the Russian-language segment of the Internet, often dubbed Runet, is shaped by and gives shape to online politics and activism. How should we understand the particular complexities of these contestations between an increasingly authoritarian state and its citizens? How are these processes facilitated or hampered by the infrastructural conditions created by national and global media industries and internet companies?</p> Galina Miazhevich, Mariëlle Wijermars, Elena Gapova, Vera Zvereva Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10466 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:26 -0600 MORE THAN MEETS THE EYES: THE LENS OF VISIBILITY IN INTERNET RESEARCH https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10469 The objective of this panel is to examine the analytical and empirical relevance of the “visibility lens” for Internet research. In the past decade, researchers have started to take a specific interest in the constitutive role of online visibility in the organization of social reality. Studies have underlined the fundamental role of visibility afforded by digital technologies in the social recognition or exclusion of individuals, groups, and communities. They have also identified visibility and its management as being constitutive of social identities, relations, and practices among actors in a variety of fields. So far, Internet researchers have provided various definitions and operationalizations of online visibility. For example, visibility can be apprehended as both a political lever for individuals and collectives or as a conceptual category for researchers to make sense of social reality. Visibility is also frequently associated with digital materiality. As such, it is sometimes used as a criterion to categorize digital technologies regarding the control they allow for users to manage and disclose personal contents or activities. Furthermore, visibility can also be conceptualized as an affordance that is enabled by the functionalities of digital technologies and enacted through their situated uses. In this panel, presenters will raise theoretical, methodological, and ethical issues linked to visibility by drawing from a series of case studies. They will then draw similarities and contrasts between cases, as well as discuss the implications and, indeed, the relevance of formalizing the lens of visibility in the field of Internet research. David Myles, Daniel Trottier, Mélanie Millette, Claudine Bonneau, Viviane Sergi, Nathalie Casemajor, Sophie Toupin Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10469 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:26 -0600 WHEN, WHERE, AND HOW IS DIGITAL SOUND? https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10468 <p>This panel’s first author, in discussing podcast archiving, notes that internet archives like the Wayback Machine have had much more focus on preserving visual and text content than sound. Internet Research has similarly traditionally had less engagement with sound than with other forms of digital content. This panel seeks to contribute to ongoing work to bring Sound Studies and Internet Studies into better conversation with each other, taking digital sound as a common object and examining it in different cases and through different methods to provide a richer understanding of the role sound plays in shaping our online experiences. The papers coalesce around their common object of inquiry, digital sound, providing depth of understanding about the subject matter by approaching from different directions. Moreover, the papers help to illuminate each other by taking different approaches to common themes. The first and second papers raise key questions about who tends to be included and excluded in circuits of production as well as whose digital sound tends to be seen as valuable. Papers 1, 2, and 3 all ask about how, despite rhetorics of democratization and variety, forms of digital sound may be becoming standardized through technological and social means. The first and third papers call attention to the ways the specific affordances of given digital production technologies shape (though do not determine) the kinds of production that become prevalent in a given moment. There are also methodological convergences: papers 3 and 4 take as their object of inquiry technology makers, and papers 2 and 4 both use press coverage as the site of investigation. Finally, papers 2 and 4 ask questions about what people believe is socially proper or correct in the case of digital sound. In these ways, this panel represents both an important contribution to our understanding of contemporary issues in digital sound as well as relating to broader questions central to internet research.</p> Mel Stanfill, Jeremy Wade Morris, Jonathan Sterne, Elena Razlogova, Sarah Murray Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10468 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:26 -0600 DRUG MARKETS AND ANONYMIZING TECHNOLOGIES https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10463 Online drug markets taking advantage of social media and encryption software (e.g. Tor network) and cryptocurrencies (e.g. Bitcoin, Monero) to conceal the identity and physical location of their users are a relatively new area of internet research. Yet, a range of socio-technical innovations have contributed to the proliferation of drug markets on the Internet. Due to the illegality of drugs and drug dealing are anonymizing technologies regarded as important socio-technical practices among its participants allowing to mitigate risks of vendors and customers when exchanging drugs. This panel draws together a number of leading scholars in this emerging area of research to explore questions and issues associated with online platforms enabling illicit transactions. The collection of papers in this panel contribute empirical data and theoretical insight on a range of relevant topics in the study of online drug markets, including methodological challenges, social embeddedness, trust production and governance on cryptomarkets. Various papers in this panel propose new concepts for understanding cryptomarkets as social phenomena where relationships enable economic transactions. It also pluralizes trust building on online platforms and, expanding it from merely institution-based mechanisms to include social relations such as interpreting signs and signals or previous interactions between buyers and sellers. They also expand on reliability of data gathered via anonymous online interviews, drawing attention to participation of marginalized communities. The aim of this panel is to bring together new research to further our understanding of the overall impact of online platform emergence upon global drug markets and to better model their impact on drug dealing, online networks and society in general. Meropi Tzanetakis, David Décary-Hétu, Silje Bakken, Rasmus Munksgaard, Christian Katzenbach, Jakob Demant, Masarah Paquet-Clouston, Laurin Weissinger Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10463 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:27 -0600 LEGITIMATING INTERNET.ORG THROUGH DEVELOPMENT DISCOURSE https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10470 <p>This paper examines Mark Zuckerberg’s socio-technical optimistic imaginary of a connectivity of the entire world, focusing on Facebook’s Internet.org initiative. His vision of a connected world can be described as what Jasanoff and Kim (2015) call “sociotechnical imaginary,” which are not limited to nations, or heads of states, but can be conjured by corporations, social movements, and professional societies. The paper examines 50 short promotional videos, first-person narrated by individuals in their target countries. The themes found in the videos map to development discourse: female empowerment, education, entrepreneurship, and natural disaster relief. This paper argues that by merging Internet.org with connectivity, and connectivity with progress, Facebook utilizes the promotional aesthetic and narrative devices usually used by the development sector to position its initiative as a crucial step toward poverty alleviation and economic development.</p> Andrea Alarcon Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10470 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:27 -0600 HOW IS SOCIAL MEDIA GATEKEEPING DIFFERENT? A MULTI- PLATFORM COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE NEW YORK TIMES https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10472 <p>News audiences are increasingly fragmented across different media platforms. Consequently, individual news organizations simultaneously disseminate their content across different media. Each of these media has different user bases, interface characteristics, and distribution systems. Given these substantial differences, the dynamics of the gatekeeping process – and the news values that guide this process – vary across different media technologies/platforms. As audience attention migrates from older to newer platforms (such as social media), it is increasingly important that we understand how the nature of the news that is disseminated – and thus consumed – may be different from the news disseminated through more traditional means. The ramifications of these differences can be profound if the news disseminated on the newer platforms is, for example, more or less substantive, more or less diverse, or more or less plentiful than the news disseminated on older technologies/platforms. This study addresses these issues through a comparative gatekeeping analysis of the New York Times. For this study, a month’s worth of New York Times front page, home page, and Facebook page story output are comparatively analyzed across dimensions such as story quantity, story duplication, hard versus soft news, and content diversity. The primary goal is to determine if or how the nature of the news that is prioritized for news consumers differs between the social media context and older contexts such as the print front page and the web home page.</p> Peter Andringa, David Duquette, Deborah Dwyer, Philip Napoli, Petra Ronald Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10472 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:28 -0600 WHAT CAN “WHY I LEFT BUZZFEED” VLOGS TEACH US ABOUT INVISIBLE LABOUR? https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10473 <p>In this paper I explore the growing trend of posting videos to YouTube to explain the reasons for why an individual has quit their job, detailing a collection of 10 vlogs posted by 11 former BuzzFeed employees to explain their reasons for leaving the company. I argue that the vlogs made by ex-employees are a deliberate attempt to expose the invisible labour that is prevalent in the post-Internet media industry. By posting “Why I Left” vlogs, former employees reclaim their authorship of creative productions previously uploaded without individual attributions and instead credited to the faceless corporate monolith of “BuzzFeed”. Furthermore, these vlogs act as a means to subvert notoriety earned by being a (now former) public face of BuzzFeed to attract hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of viewers to announce their personal pivot and rebranding as content producers now working independently from the company that had launched them into Internet fame. While perhaps not intentional, these vlogs ultimately act as a warning about the uneven playing field between employer and employee. Each year BuzzFeed posts record profits, and yet these vlogs illuminate how employees are actively prevented from being able to grow a personal brand beyond BuzzFeed, stifling future career prospects and additional sources of income. Ultimately this leaves BuzzFeed employees with the option to quit or to stagnate in place, or what Gaby Dunn (2015) stated are ultimately the two options for a BuzzFeed viral video star: “Get Rich, or Die Vlogging.’”</p> Kelly Bergstrom Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10473 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:28 -0600 "EVERY WORD YOU JUST SAID IS WRONG": ONLINE RAGE AND INCLUSIVITY IN DISNEY FRANCHISE FANDOM https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10474 The months leading up to the release of Disney franchise films The Last Jedi (December 2017) and Black Panther (February 2018) were marked by speculation, concern, and fervor in equal measures from the established fan communities of Star Wars and Marvel. Both franchises have been associated with toxic geek masculinity, a performed, communal hypermasculinity marked by exclusionary practices and rhetoric (Salter &amp; Blodgett, 2017). By centering either non-white or non-male characters as leads in roles traditionally dominated by cisgender white men, both films became centers for toxic discourse and targeted campaigns aimed at disrupting their commercial success. In this paper, we will situate these case studies as emblematic of the changing discourse of geek fandom spaces, and its intersections with white supremacy and misogyny. Bridget Blodgett, Anastasia Salter Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10474 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:28 -0600 SPREADING THE WORD: TRACING THE AFFECTIVE ECOLOGY OF DIGITAL ORAL STORIES https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10475 This project explores the potential of creating, sharing and listening to oral stories online to open affectively charged spaces for listening across difference. In a world in which we are increasingly able to tailor the technologies that surround us to echo back our own voices and worldviews, we seem less willing to slow down and listen deeply to the voices of those whose presence risk placing our tidy worlds into turmoil. This project explores the affective political potential of both the processes of production and dissemination of the multiplatform oral history project StoryCorps. Drawing together recent work on affect from rhetorical studies, cultural studies and new media studies, this project uses textual analysis to analyze how the various StoryCorps platforms (NPR segments, the podcast, the StoryCorps me app) generate affective archives that invite different forms of interactivity from listeners. This paper explores the affective power of mediated voice to bring minoritized experiences and calls for equity to the ears of broader publics. It is significant because it highlights the boundaries and possibilities of digital storytelling as a way to connect with others across difference. The boundaries remind us of the persistence of structures of marginality that limit the seemingly democratic practices of storytelling in a digital age; the possibilities gesture to the power of minoritized voices to disrupt entrenched narratives. The significance of these stories rests in their claim to be at once particular and generalizable, and the digital format enables their travel in new ways and to new audiences. Anjuli Joshi Brekke Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10475 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:29 -0600 THE STRUCTURAL ROLE OF USER CLASS IN CHAT INTERACTIONS ON TWITCH https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10476 <p>Twitch.tv has become an important platform for video streaming, especially of games, with more than 100 million monthly users. The structure of content on the platform, which merges live video feeds with chat rooms for user feedback, problematizes existing theoretical frameworks for understanding the roles and hierarchies of different types of users. Combined with efforts to monetize user engagement for the benefit of both platform owners and user-generators of content, there is a need for greater understanding of the new interaction paradigm introduced by the platform. The present study introduces a framework for systematic, quantitative analysis of user interactions in the chat rooms associated with Twitch channels, as well as a preliminary data set. Social network analysis techniques are used to analyse the centrality and homophily of different classes of users, and the theoretical significance of these observations is briefly discussed.</p> Tiernan Cahill Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10476 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:29 -0600 STUDYING 'LIVE' CROSS-PLATFORM CIRCULATION OF IMAGES WITH A COMPUTER VISION API: AN EXPERIMENT BASED ON A SPORTS MEDIA EVENTd'Andréa, Carlos Frederico de Brito (Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil) <carlosfbd@gmail.com> https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10477 Considering the importance of cross-platform circulation of web contents for digital methods-oriented research, in this study we aim to expand the types of digital objects used as ‘traffic tags’ by focusing on static images as traces of online associations. We pursue this goal through a methodological experiment with Google Cloud Vision API, a computing framework for visual content analysis. Its Web Detection module pairs typical computer vision operations with Google’s search mechanism, partly performing as a more specialized batch reverse image search engine. This feature thus allows to potentially retrieve images’ spread across the web. We discuss the implications of this non-verbal methodological approach by tracking the 'live' cross-platform circulation of images shared on Twitter in the context of 2018 FIFA World Cup Final Draw ceremony, held on December 2017. Following a novel methodological protocol, we ran several iterations of Vision API processing, thus generating a time series of URLs pointing to pages in which images matching the ones being processed were found. The study analyses in depth the circulation of four popular images about the broadcasted media event, observing their ‘live’ spreading dynamics as well as the computer vision API performance. Among the findings, we point out the adoption of images as 'traffic tags' for cross-platform analysis as a promising approach to study web circulation beyond language barriers and mainstream platforms. Also, we find relevant data to discuss the specificities of the API’s algorithms and its opacity as inherent issues of the digital methods approach. Carlos Frederico de Brito d'Andréa, André Goes Mintz Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10477 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:30 -0600 PUBLIC SPEECH: LISTENING TO WOMEN IN THE VIDEOGAME INDUSTRY https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10478 <p>Since the 1990s, conversations about the dearth of women working in the video game industry have centered on three topics: 1) ways to draw more women into the field, 2) the experiences of women working in the industry, and 3) the experiences of those who once worked in the industry but left (Cassell &amp; Jenkins, 1998; Hepler, 2017; Kafai, Heeter, Denner &amp; Sun, 2008). While there has been considerable research on the conditions and occupational identities of video game developers, less scholarly attention has been devoted to women in games work, the barriers/obstacles and challenges/opportunities they face, or how they talk about their experiences. Our study looked to see who among the group of women who work in the games industry has already invested her time and energy to tell a public story, whether that is in a blog posting, a book chapter, a televised talk, a radio interview, or other public media, thereby building the foundations of the study by focusing on that sub-group. This paper offers a feminist methodological approach that demonstrates how discourse focused on affect can be re-read as intimately related to silences about power, and how the rhetorical constraints that public speech imposes upon what can be said about “women in games” aids us in understanding what might remain unspoken, and why.</p> Suzanne de Castell, Karen Skardzius Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10478 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:30 -0600 FROM AD HOC ISSUE PUBLICS TO DISCOURSE COMMUNITIES: A YEAR OF PUBLIC DEBATE ON TWITTER https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10479 This paper presents an empirical investigation of the concept of ad hoc issue publics, through a mixed-methods analysis of a year of debate over a contentious topic in the Australian public sphere. Following two controversial racial discrimination cases in 2016, a number of Australian conservative politicians called for amendments to a specific section of the Racial Discrimination Act (Section 18C), which they claimed restricted freedom of speech. Similar proposals had been put forward and shelved in 2013. The issue was discussed widely on Twitter and other social media platforms. Eventually, the Australian Senate voted down changes to section 18C. Using a range of network analyses, examining the various network structures created by Twitter’s affordances, this study identifies the publics and communities involved in the debate. The discourses of these communities are then qualitatively analysed. The findings show that different—and sometimes antagonistic—discourse communities are involved in the debate, and while all of these use the same hashtags and keywords, they have contrasting discursive positions. This paper argues that in this case, the publics created as a result of the affordances of Twitter cannot be regarded as ad hoc issue publics, since the discourse communities involved were formed as a result of a priori ideological affinities. Broadly, the findings of this study help in the theorisation of online publics and communities, particularly the necessary elements involved in the formation of ad hoc issue publics and/or online discourse communities. Ehsan Dehghan Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10479 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:30 -0600 WHEN THE TEACHER BECOMES THE STUDENT: YOUTH IMPACT ON PARENT TECHNOLOGY USE https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10480 We are only beginning to understand the ways in which young people are introducing technologies into the family system and the ways that is impacting family relationships. What seems clear is that the face-to-face relationship does not translate directly to the online context, and online communication is not completely replacing in-person family relationships. Despite the lack of existing research, it is reasonable to expect that family relationships impact how youth and parents use online media. Building on socialization theory, in the current study we considered the ways in which youth technology use impacts parent technology use in parent-child dyads from India and the U.S. (98 dyads; youth: 37% female; mean age=17.3; parents: 54.6% female; mean age=41.5). When considering frequency of six types of technology use in a series of linear regression analyses: 1) general use to look for information, news, and use online tools, 2) audio or video calls, 3) texting, instant messaging, discussion boards, or email, 4) sending or receiving audio or video, and photos, 5) create or maintain blogs, microblogs, or websites, and 6) social networking sites, child technology use accounted for 8.4% to 27.0% of the variance in parent use. Despite the small sample size, it is clear that child technology use is strongly associated with parent use, even when considering diverse ways of using technology. Future research should use longitudinal data to explore how children impact parents’ technology use over time – how that influence changes with age, sociohistorical time and place, and life transitions. Jodi Dworkin, Pooja Brar, Heather Hessel Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10480 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:31 -0600 MEMORY OF THE FUTURE? DIGITAL ARCHIVES IN PUBLIC SERVICE MEDIA https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10481 Archives by public service media (PSM) are often regarded as an ideal instrument for creating a collective 'cultural memory', which is essential in the individualized, differentiated and polarized societies of today. Technological innovations and digitization open up new possibilities in this regard, as data can be stored and made accessible more easily. In their daily work, however, PSM archives encounter various obstacles. How do PSM across Europe deal with the digitization of audiovisual archives and what exactly are the problems and challenges that accompany this process? To answer this question, the authors conducted problem-centered interviews with journalists, members of audience relations departments, legal departments, archivists and archive managers in selected European countries (Austria, Finland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom). In addition, selected examples of the publicly accessible archived content were analyzed and evaluated. The paper highlights tensions between personal rights and collective interests in the process of creating cultural memory: One of the main transformations in archiving that digitization has brought about is the way in which the material is publicly accessed and the proportion of the material that is publicly accessible. However, digitization has also caused significant risks, particularly with regard to the legal and ethical challenges it causes. The paper concludes with proposals for media policy. Tobias Eberwein, Corinna Gerard-Wenzel Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10481 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:31 -0600 NAVIGATING NETWORKED TIME: VISUAL SELF-IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION AND MANAGEMENT AMONG YOUTH https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10482 <p>According to dominant theorizations of contemporary society, many people’s daily practices now occur within, and reproduce, a social world where media are the fundamental reference and resource for the development of the self (Couldry and Hepp 2017:15). Although previous research has revealed the mutual shaping of technologies, interaction, and identity in the broader contexts of economic and social change related to ‘millennials’, we know little about the precise ways in which these practices occur and how the self is being differently constructed over time. Using a multi-method qualitative approach, this work in progress paper explores three key questions: 1) What happens when visuality becomes a part of youth’s everyday practices of interaction? 2) What roles are images playing in routine interaction among youth? 3) How and in what ways does the maintenance of a visually ‘mediated presence’ in social media shape youths’ views of the self? This paper elaborates on findings within three categories that illustrate youth’s visual practices and how they are differently understood over time: (1) images of the self in the moment; (2) images of the self over time; and (3) images of the self under surveillance. The preliminary findings of this research suggest that although youth’s technological practices may not all be new, there are significant aspects of visuality that alters some of the key factors shaping young people’s use and understandings of new media technologies.</p> Michelle Gorea Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10482 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:31 -0600 TOWARDS FAIRNESS, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND TRANSPARENCY IN PLATFORM GOVERNANCE https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10483 Drawing inspiration from recent work on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAT) in machine learning, this paper explores a similar research agenda for fairness, accountability, and transparency in platform governance. The paper seeks to make two contributions: (a) provide the initial provocation for what could be termed FAT-platform studies, and to (b) build on the extant platform governance literature (e.g Gillespie 2010, 2015, 2017; Denardis &amp; Hackl, 2015) with an empirical, qualitative case study of Facebook policy practices. Robert Gorwa Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10483 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:32 -0600 REMOVING THE PHYSICAL BODY FROM INTERACTION - A PHENOMENOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION INTO LAYPEOPLE SHARING SELF-TRACKED EXERCISE DATA ON SOCIAL NETWORK SITES WHEN THEY FEEL UNEASY EXERCISING WITH PEOPLE https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10484 <div class="page" title="Page 1"><div class="layoutArea"><div class="column"><p><span>Self-tracking applications (apps) like </span><span>Endomondo</span><span>, </span><span>Runkeeper </span><span>and </span><span>Strava </span><span>have made it effortless for laypeople to measure their exercise activity and turn it into detailed data on running time, distance, average pace, calories burned etc. The users can share the exercise data with personal networks of users (often named </span><span>friends</span><span>) on the apps’ internal </span><span>social network sites </span><span>(Ellison &amp; boyd, 2013) or external social network sites such as </span><span>Facebook </span><span>or </span><span>Twitter</span><span>. </span>Few studies, however, have shed light on how people use self-tracking in their everyday lives (Lupton, 2016) – e.g. why people share exercise data on social network sites. Some people feel uneasy by exercising with – or in the presence of – people. In this paper, I provide a thick description of people that bypass their struggle with social exercise by sharing exercise data on social network sites. I utilize the lived experience of two female newcomers to exercise, Amanda and Dorte, to illustrate this. Firstly, using the philosopher and medical doctor Drew Leder’s phenomenological investigations into embodiment, I analyze how the females’ bodies dys-appear (Leder, 1990) when they exercise near/with people. Secondly, I examine how their networks of friends function as a beneficial form of exercise sociality that encourages Amanda and Dorte’s exercise activity. My empirical data originates from an exploratory, interview study of 12 Danish, recreational athletes’ experiences with exercise-related self-tracking apps.</p></div></div></div> Joeb Høfdinghoff Grønborg Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10484 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:32 -0600 RECALIBRATING DAILY LIFE: SYNCHRONIZING, COORDINATING, AND SCHEDULING THROUGH SMARTPHONES https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10485 <p>"This paper examines individual framings and experiences of temporal management via smartphone applications. It asks: to what extent and in what ways do configurations of smartphones and scheduling applications intervene in and restructure the temporality of practices and people’s experiences of time? The paper draws upon in-depth semi-structured interview material with (a) professional urban and suburban householders (N=25), (b) individuals transitioning to retirement (N=20), and (c) university students (N=25) to examine how a range of temporal expectations are being perceived, articulated, and negotiated in practice. Interviews included talking through temporal data of many kinds on personal devices. The analytic questions guiding interviews were: where do identifiable expectations about temporal synchronization, coordination, duration, reciprocity, and productivity come from? What are the relations between institutionally defined temporal expectations and subjective experiences of temporal ordering? Does data produced through daily activities alter the temporal contours of those activities? Are social actors reorienting themselves in-time, in relation to mediatized temporal expectations? In terms of findings, four modes of temporal management are identified and described in relation to demographic information. Following Sharma (2014), these are expressed here as ‘recalibrations’ – managing precariousness; synchronizing (to) the time of others; temporal self-disciplining; filling in future time - stressing the different ways in which temporal demands are perceived and experienced, leading to alternative efforts to coordinate and synchronize different elements of daily life through interconnected smartphone anchored applications."</p> Martin Hand Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10485 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:33 -0600 “LIKE, COMMENT AND SUBSCRIBE”. EXPLORING THE ROLE PROFESSIONAL YOUTUBERS PLAY IN YOUNG PEOPLE’S HEALTH BEHAVIOURS AND IDENTITES IN THE UK https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10486 <p>In the United Kingdom, there are over 150 individual YouTubers with &gt;1 million subscribers. A significant proportion of their audience are aged between 13-18 years. The content they produce is often: commercially sponsored, unregulated and both purposefully and accidentally touches on a whole range of health topics including: mental health, alcohol, sexual health, body image, healthy eating and physical activity. YouTubers could represent a particularly relatable source of health information for young people as a magnified version of young people’s own searchable and replicable online socially networked lives. The aim of the research is to explore the role that professional YouTubers play in young people health behaviours and identities in the UK. The study was a four stage, sequential mixed methods design. The first stage, a school based questionnaire (n=931, 13-18 years) quantified young people’s YouTuber engagement and provided a sampling frame for the later qualitative stages. An online analysis of 7 UK YouTubers examined the health content they produced. Focus groups (n=7, 85 participants) with 13-18 year olds explored the impact this content had on young people’s health behaviours and interviews with professional YouTubers ( &lt;1 million subscribers, ongoing) explored their perceived role in health promotion. YouTuber produced health content appeared to be a recognized source of health information for young people in this study. Young people appeared able to critique the accuracy and commercial influences on YouTuber content. However, this content still appears to be a relatable way of sharing health experiences, giving advice and communicating social norms.</p> Jane Harris Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10486 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:33 -0600 SECRET KILLERS “AFTER WIKILEAKS”: MAPPING, EVOLUTIONS, AND TAXONOMY OF RADICAL LEAKING https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10487 <p>This paper is concerned with mapping the socio-material ecosystems of online leaks projects that followed WikiLeaks. The period of initial popularisation/infamy of WikiLeaks (2006-2015) correlates with an emergence of over 90 less-known radical online disclosure projects designed to ""Kill Secrets"" (Greenberg 2012). We offer the first systematic study of the decentralised and widely disparate ecosystem of leaks projects to build a taxonomy of leaks sites (n:94) from various observable socio-technical vectors. Affordances tied to user and technical practice, vectors such as self-identified thematic focus (issue, region, etc.), and measures of publication efficacy for each site are all open coded to discern patterns and clusters of practice. Analysis then shifts to mapping of visible interrelationships between sites via social network analysis (SNA) for further insight to the ecology of leaks sites. Taxonomy over typology signals observing material practice without predetermined ideal type, and normative links to agonistic democratic theory. At a macro level our findings suggest, an ecology of leaks sites blossomed and died, with only a handful of sites remaining online, or having ever actually functioned. Micro to Meso analysis of practices show how leaks sites' socio-technical materiality helps shape both efficacy and normative goals, from which unique and sometimes agonistic normative governmental functions can be inferred. Discussion of findings then critically assess how digital leaks served (and severed) ties to already problematic equations of 'transparency' and democracy from a frame of agonistic and algorithmic government practices (Heemsbergen, 2016; Ananny and Crawford, 2016) and suggest tentative paths forward.</p> Luke Heemsbergen Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10487 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:33 -0600 EXAMINING THE ROLE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF EMERGING SOCIAL NEWS OUTLETS AND THEIR ADVOCACY JOURNALISM IN THE 2017 AUSTRALIAN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE POSTAL SURVEY https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10488 This paper examines emerging news forms and journalistic practices within Australia that are native to social media. It argues that these shared forms and practices constitute a new genre of ‘social news’. Social news embodies specific kinds of platform vernaculars and pop-cultural sensibilities, and challenges journalistic norms of ‘objectivity’ and ‘balance’ by consistently adopting an overtly positioned perspective. Three Australian-based outlets are studied through this conceptual lens: BuzzFeedOz News, Junkee Media, and Pedestrian.tv. Using digital tools alongside manual methods, this paper investigates the role and significance of these outlets on Twitter and Facebook during the August-November 2017 same-sex marriage postal survey. The survey was commissioned by the incumbent conservative Liberal-National Australian government to gauge nationwide support for same-sex marriage. During the survey, social news outlets played an advocacy and activist role. These outlets refrained from publishing provocative ‘No’ op-eds, and Junkee Media and Pedestrian.tv actively encouraged readers to enrol and vote ‘Yes’. Preliminary findings indicate that social news outlets were moderately-to-highly visible on Twitter during the postal survey period. On Facebook, advocacy posts received low-to-moderate levels of engagement. These findings indicate a shifting but not yet transformed Australian news ecology. In addition, social news’ eschewing of ‘balance’ indicates a challenge from emerging outlets to traditional journalistic norms in Australia. Significantly, in this case the challenge comes from outlets that intelligently critique the value in publishing both sides. Overall, this research highlights that disruptions from social media platforms and cultures can be sources of positive potential for news and journalistic practice. Edward Flipo Hurcombe Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10488 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:34 -0600 THE SOCIO-TECHNICAL ENTANGLEMENTS OF LIVE STREAMING ON TWITCH.TV https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10489 The website and platform Twitch.tv is the overwhelming market leader in the live broadcast (“streaming”) of user-created videos over the internet, known primarily for the streaming of video game play. In both 2016 and 2017 over two million people regularly broadcast on the platform, resulting in over a million years of video content in total viewed by over one hundred million people (Twitch, 2017). The deep newness of this phenomenon, alongside the many elements that constitute it, make it an important site for studying digital labour, co-production, and gaming culture. In this paper we focus on three elements of the conference theme: the shifting political and creative economies of streaming media, in our case Twitch; social media, platforms, podcasts, and actors in online networks; and the materialities of data, in our case a million years of video content. Specifically, we consider the entangling of the technical and social dimensions of the Twitch phenomenon: how these elements shape the labour of Twitch streamers, audience engagement with the platform, and Twitch’s wider position in contemporary media production. To do so we draw upon semi-structured interviews with over one hundred professional streamers on the Twitch platform, lasting between ten minutes and one hour, alongside at least one hour of ethnographic observation from over two hundred Twitch channels and ethnographic work from almost a dozen gaming events in the United Kingdom, United States, Germany and Poland in the past two years. Mark Richard Johnson, Jamie Woodcock Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10489 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:34 -0600 ‘DEEP-FRIED’ AND DENATURALIZED: CRITIQUING MEMETIC META- ONTOLOGIES https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10490 In this paper, I have sought to introduce and outline the trend in Internet meme-making know as 'deep-frying' and explain its significance as a method of user critique within a naturalized medium. How do images that confuse and repel the casual viewer through profanity, enthusiastic emoji usage, over-saturation, repeated compression, bubbling/ warping, and excessive lens flaring effectively question the memetic paradigm? Firstly, by understanding memes as Hito Steryl's transgressive 'poor images' that circulate to produce communities of content creators and consumers that stand in opposition to the state-sponsored rich image making complex. Further, through the application of work by Rolande Barthes, Claude Shannon &amp; Warren Weaver, Scott Contreras-Kotterbay &amp; Łukasz Mirocha, and Rosa Menkman, I have produced a critical examination of the formal practices that elucidate this phenomenon, on the level of the linguistic &amp; iconic message, noise level, and redundancy. Lastly, I propose an orientation of these works within a diverse corpus across various major social media as a networked art practice in keeping with the tenants of the New Aesthetic. Saskia Kowalchuk Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10490 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:34 -0600 FROM YOUTUBE TO TV, AND BACK AGAIN: VIRAL VIDEO CHILD STARS AND MEDIA FLOWS IN THE ERA OF SOCIAL MEDIA https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10491 While talk shows and reality TV are often considered launching pads for ordinary people seeking to become celebrities, we argue that when children are concerned, especially when those children have had viral success on YouTube or other platforms, their subsequent appearance(s) on television highlight far more complex media flows. At the very least, these flows are increasingly symbiotic, where television networks harness preexisting viral interest online to bolster ratings. However, the networks might also be considered parasitic, exploiting viral children for ratings in a fashion they and their carers may not have been prepared for. In tracing the trajectory of Sophia Grace and Rosie from viral success to The Ellen Show we highlight these complexities, whilst simultaneously raising concerns about the long-term impact of these trajectories on the children being made increasingly and inescapably visible across a range of networks and platforms. Tama Leaver, Crystal Abidin Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10491 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:35 -0600 MEDIATED DEATH AND DIGITAL MARTYRDOM: ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR VISUAL SOCIAL MEDIA RESEARCHERS https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10492 The digital mediation of visual content depicting death and martyrdom as a trope of resistance and contestation is increasingly employed within social media platforms by transnational activist cultures and popular social movements. I refer to this phenomenon as ‘digital martyrdom’. The emergence of digital martyrdom, and its memetic circulation within visual social media platforms, points to the materialisation of a new, affective and ritualised protest dynamic. Through which posthumous visuals become diffused, reappropriated and politicised within global publics. This raises new ethical implications and moral dilemmas for digital and visual social media researchers, and requires more reflexive and critical thought beyond established ethical considerations. Necessarily, this paper raises ethical questions and provocations for digital and visual social media researchers in relation to the design, collection, presentation and publishing of academic work in the context of death and posthumous imagery online. The questions presented in this paper have emerged out of a systematic study of this phenomenon, with a particular focus on case studies drawn from the Middle East, the United States and Europe. This paper argues that digital and visual social media research in this field merits specific ethical considerations and amplified scholarly deliberation. This is of particular importance for visual social media research that extends beyond a Western context and considers the cross-cultural, transnational dimensions of digital activism. Kelly Marie Lewis Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10492 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:35 -0600 CONNECTIVE AMBITION AND CREATIVE CAUTION AMONG HOMELESS USERS OF FACEBOOK https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10493 This work-in-progress considers how Chicago's homeless navigate privacy on social media. I refer to "connective ambition" to describe the co-mingling of personal goals with a perception of the power derived from accumulating ties on social networking sites. Preliminary interviews and participant observation with unstably housed Chicagoans suggests that with great ambition comes great risk for exposure to unwanted advances and digital crooks. These risks may be magnified for those lacking personal computers and sufficient computer literacy. At stake is our understanding of how activity on social media translates into social capital. The paper promises to inject new concern for those who stand to gain the most from social networking online. Will Marler Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10493 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:35 -0600 "THIS MEME IS WHAT WE CALL PROGRESS”: HISTORY-AS-MEME, MEME-AS-HISTORY ON 4CHAN https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10494 Memes “act as the locus of memory”, says Gabriella Coleman of the peculiar relationship 4chan has to its own history, made necessary by the ephemeral nature of large amounts of its content (2009). Rather than having an on-site permanent archive as such, its collective history and memory is sublated into and through the circulation and production of memes. Taking this as a prompt, this paper makes the case for the (re)production, circulation, and referencing of memes as embodiment of a particular historical ontology: a mode of being constructed in relationship to, and through, its own past. Memes, in other words, are a new way of thinking about, and experiencing (digital) history: they contribute to, and are part of, new “infra-structures of feeling” (Coleman 2017). With this in mind, I use Benjamin’s reading of Klee’s Angelus Novus as a framing device to start to think about how memes encourage and embody certain modes of being-in-the-world. I do so in specific reference to 4chan and its privileging of a certain subject position along lines raced, classed and gendered, although possibilities for other forms and spaces are considered. On 4chan, the New Man of neofascism remakes the world memetically, in his own image. Sean Rutherford McEwan Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10494 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:36 -0600 CITIZEN OR CONSUMER? THE RIGHT TO DATA ACCESS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND AUSTRALIA https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10495 This paper presents early stage findings from a research project that explores whether the provision of data access addresses concerns that have emerged with regards to data collection by private and public actors. Using the recent right to data access secured by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as a point of departure, I examine Facebook and Twitter’s response to these regulations through the lens of their data access policies and processes. I analyse what sort of data is made available and assess what benefit the public gains from having access to their social media data. I then offer a conceptual intervention through a comparative analysis of the divergent approaches two jurisdictions take to data access. I compare the GDPR with an ongoing debate around the introduction of a consumer data access right into Australian law and analyse how these divergent legal traditions and public discourses alter the conceptualisation and enacting of the data access right (and digital rights more generally). This paper provides a timely examination of a right that has emerged in response to the increased datafication of society. As well as offering a detailed analysis of how social media platforms have responded to the data access provisions within the GDPR, the comparative analysis of the EU and Australia shows that significantly different legal foundations can animate this right, ultimately presenting two starkly different visions of internet users as either consumers or citizens. James Michael Meese Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10495 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:36 -0600 THE POLITICAL INFORMATION TO PROTEST: AN ASSESSMENT OF TOPICAL SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE IN CONTENTIOUS POLITICS https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10496 This article leverages social media and survey data to probe the scope and depth of political knowledge possessed by participants in the Romanian 2017 #rezist protests. For several months, demonstrators gathered in town squares around the country to oppose a project law intended to water down penalties for corruption in high office. Against the backdrop of well-founded scepticism regarding exposure to and engagement with political knowledge on social media, we scrutinize the social media usage of protestors with an interest in the formulation and circulation of political knowledge. We find evidence of applied political knowledge as a prominent component of public activist communication on Facebook. An examination of the network structure further revealed bottlenecks in the circulation and brokerage of knowledge, a result that helps qualify the aforementioned scepticism. Dan Mercea Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10496 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:36 -0600 MO’ CHARACTERS MO’ PROBLEMS: ONLINE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM CONSTRAINTS AND MODES OF COMMUNICATION https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10497 It is widely accepted that different online social media platforms produce different modes of communication, however the ways in which these modalities are shaped by the constraints of a particular platform remain difficult to quantify. On 7 November 2017 Twitter doubled the character limit for users to 280 characters, presenting a unique opportunity to study the response of this population to an exogenous change to the communication medium. Here we analyse a large dataset comprising 387 million English-language tweets (10% of all public tweets) collected over the September 2017--January 2018 period to quantify and explain large-scale changes in individual behaviour and communication patterns precipitated by the character-length change. Using statistical and natural language processing techniques we find that linguistic complexity increased after the change, with individuals writing at a significantly higher reading level. However, we find that some textual properties such as statistical language distribution remain invariant across the change, and are no different to writings in different online media. By fitting a generative mathematical model to the data we find a surprisingly slow response of the Twitter population to this exogenous change, with a substantial number of users taking a number of weeks to adjust to the new medium. In the talk we describe the model and Bayesian parameter estimation techniques used to make these inferences. Furthermore, we argue for mathematical models as an alternative exploratory methodology for "Big" social media datasets, empowering the researcher to make inferences about the human behavioural processes which underlie large-scale patterns and trends. Lewis Mitchell, Joshua Dent, Joshua Ross Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10497 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:37 -0600 ‘ANNE GOES ROGUE FOR ABORTION RIGHTS!’ EXPLORING DISCURSIVE MATERIALIZATION ACROSS AND BEYOND ONLINE PLATFORMS https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10498 This presentation examines the social media campaign #SupportIslandWomen that was undertaken by reproductive rights activists in Prince Edward Island (PEI). The initiative gained popularity in 2016 due to both the off- and online circulation of posters throughout PEI landmarks depicting the Green Gables-like image of a young girl (“rogue Anne”) wearing red braids and a bandana. These posters showcased specific hashtags that encouraged debates on various online platforms. For this study, we underline how human actors invoked the symbolic ‘figure’ of rogue Anne to give weight to their own arguments by speaking or acting in her name. By ‘figure’, we mean any symbolic entity that is materialized through interaction and that possesses agency, or the ability to make a significant difference in interaction. Hence, our study examines the processes through which rogue Anne was made present in interaction, the role of digital (online) and physical (offline) affordances in the materialization of this figure, and the differentiated effects that these invocations generated. To do so, we build our dataset by performing non-participant observation on social media platforms and by exploring Canadian blogs and newspapers. Drawing from organizational discourse theory, our results show that invoking the figure of rogue Anne allowed for pro-choice collectives to assert their authority in abortion debates by labelling the fictional character as a modern feminist icon. They also underline the importance of studying the intervention of symbolic figures, their effects, and their materialization within political initiatives that incorporate and go beyond the practice of ‘hashtagging’. David Myles Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10498 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:37 -0600 APP IMPERIALISM: THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF THE CANADIAN APP STORE https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10499 In this paper, we introduce the notion of app imperialism by exploring the political economy of the Canadian iOS App Store. Building on Dal Yong Jin's concept of "platform imperialism", we argue that US companies dominate global app stores through the systematic acquisition of capital resources. App imperialism marks the outsized economic footprint and influence of US companies in national app stores. Using a longitudinal financial dataset, we qualitatively coded the top-50 of revenue-generating game apps in April 2015 and 2016. Distinguishing between value creation (generating revenue) and value capture (appropriating profit) allowed us to determine the plight of Canadian app developers. While the Canadian App Store exhibits a large degree of source diversity, featuring a high number of active app developers, we found the ability of Canadian developers to both create and capture value negligible. US owned developers, publishers, parent-organizations, and intellectual properties, on the other hand, were overrepresented. These initial findings suggest that any potential growth in the Canadian app economy will be increasingly captured by US-owned companies. These results question the effectiveness of Canadian cultural policy frameworks, which have been particularly proactive in supporting Canada-based game studios. While our initial analysis offers just a temporal and regional snapshot of the App Store's political economy, it gestures towards broader critical material issues related to platform capitalism and app diversity. David Nieborg, Chris Young, Daniel Joseph Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10499 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:38 -0600 A HAUNTOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF DIGITAL MEMORIALIZATION OF THE DEAD https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10500 <p>Facebook now allows pages of the deceased to remain active, controlled by immediate family members of a deceased person, as a sort of memorialization or “electronic wake,” (Stokes, 2011). The overall goal of the author is to examine the evolution of the materiality of memorialization and investigate how our human connection with death has changed as our media tools have become untethered from tangible artefact. To explore the links between media, human relationships, and the spectral plane, and how those links might be revelatory in an age of digital media, a hauntological examination of these questions will be endeavored. The basic premise of hauntology, a clever merge of haunting and ontology derived by Jacques Derrida (1993), is that an idea, once tangibly realized and made real in the cultural zeitgeist, is never truly extinguished. Derrida’s hauntology derives from the ontological quest to articulate the nature of being, yet with the added perspective that everything that exists might not have ever lived, and nothing which is past ever really quite dies. This is no more so true than in our heavily mediated age in which written documents, photographs, film, and the Internet are able to capture, record, store—and, as will be discussed—even replicate beingness in physical form. In an age where simulacra parade as true being, and cultural memory of events as accepted historical provenance, perhaps a new perspective on the relationship between being and death is timely.</p> Carrie O'Connell Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10500 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:38 -0600 PLATFORM POWER & PUBLIC VALUE https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10501 This paper offers an analytical framework to critically examine the power relations that structure the online platform ecosystem. Following a relational understanding of power, it focuses on the connections between the five leading platform corporations - Alphabet-Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft (GAFAM) - and the many other digital properties (i.e. platforms, websites, and apps) that populate the online ecosystem. Exploring these connections, we notice that a growing number of digital properties are integrated with, and increasingly dependent on the infrastructural services offered by the GAFAM platforms. These services include: advertising networks, login services, cloud hosting, app stores, payment systems, data analytics, video hosting, geospatial and navigation services, search functionalities, and operating systems. Such infrastructural services allow a wide variety of companies to make their products and services available online, attract and target users, analyze their activities, and generate revenue. It is through the ubiquitous integration and consistent use of these infrastructural services that platform power emerges and is consolidated. To demonstrate how such power relations can be analyzed, the paper highlights two key infrastructural services: app stores and ad networks. For each service it discusses two levels of analysis that can be pursued to gain insight in the workings of platform power. Ultimately a systematically analysis of the key infrastructural services will need to be developed to arrive at a refined taxonomy of platform power relations. Such taxonomy is essential to establish guidelines for governing the platform ecosystem in correspondence with key public values. Thomas Poell, David Nieborg, José Van Dijck Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10501 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:38 -0600 WHO PUT THE ‘SOCIAL’ IN MOBILE AND SOCIAL PAYMENT PLATFORMS? RE-READING SIMMEL AND COLLEAGUES IN LIGHT OF THE CAMBRIAN EXPLOSION https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10502 This research considers the Cambrian explosion (Nelms, Maurer, Swartz, &amp; Mainwaring, 2017) of mobile and social payment technologies from a perspective that integrates classical theorizing on money and payments (Mauss, 2002; Simmel, 2005) and more recent work (Bandelj, Wherry, &amp; Zelizer, 2017; Dodd, 2014; Maurer, 2015; Zelizer, 2017), as well as research coming out of the $2 and $2 at the $2 at Amsterdam. The paper negotiates mobile and social payment apps and the social realities that they stand upon and applies theoretical viewpoints from these key authors to the emerging technologies, based on a contemporary investigation of what 'social' entails in social payment spaces. The empirical core of this work-in-progress employs the walkthrough method (Light et al., 2016), and compares select mobile and social payment platforms. Furthermore, researchers content-analyze app store screenshots, as well as app descriptions and user comments. Preliminary analysis maps these apps on a continuum of sociality/publicness, with Venmo and its social feed on the liberal side of the spectrum, apps that integrate into messenger services in the middle (e.g. Apple Pay Cash, Square Cash, Google Pay), and apps borne out of banking (Zelle) on the conservative side. Criteria for analysis follow conceptual categories from the literature, such as visibility, objectivity, freedom from everything personal, gifting, earmarking capacities, and other features. Martin Johannes Riedl Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10502 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:39 -0600 DISTRIBUTING SERVICES THROUGH THE CLOUD INFRASTRUCTURE: THE CASE OF A NORWEGIAN SOFTWARE FIRM https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10503 This paper examines how professional practices of software developers forge global assemblages in the oil and gas industry by shedding light on the implementation of cloud technologies within a Norwegian-based digital service company. Delivering digital solutions to oil and gas extracting corporations, this company primarily develops proprietary software providing engineers with business intelligence dashboards that assist in managing the assets involved in the extraction of resources. This extended case study seeks to gain a better understanding of the materialities emerging in cloud environments by illuminating transnational divisions of labor within global assemblages. Committed to a holistic contextualization, this mixed-method investigation is primarily based on ethnographic fieldwork, including participation in industry events and a three-month secondment in a small-scale digital service company. Drawing from a materialistic approach to internet technologies, the study provides a comprehensive account of the digital service company since its founding in 2001. Based on evidence from industry events and a long-term immersion in the working lives of software developers, I suggest that the implementation of cloud technologies in the oil and gas industry prompted new digital divisions of labor and replaced the physical travel of professionals with a remote control system facilitating an enhanced circulation of data. The findings of this investigation imply that cloud computing continues to restructure the global economy and accelerates the migration of data through internet technologies. Christian Simon Ritter Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10503 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:39 -0600 THE EFFECTS OF INFORMATION PRODUCTION PROCESS ON EXPERIENCE AND EVALUATION https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10504 <p>Research to date on the value of information has mostly focused on the consumption side of information, namely, that consumers need to experience information in order to evaluate it. When it comes to digital media, users have multiple roles. In this context, materiality is applied to assess the role that technological components play in the interaction between user and digital media. The concurrent consumption and production of information raises questions as to the influence of information production on information value perception. To this end, we conceptualize the information production process. The fundamental assumption in this research is that value perception changes as a result of production experience. Furthermore, this study examines the boundaries of value perception for producers of information. 309 participants took part in a set of experiments. Willingness-to-pay by consumers and willingness-to-accept payment by producers were measured before and after consumption/ production/ peer-production. Results show that consumers’ and producers’ subjective value before their experience were equivalent; Change in value perception before and after consumption/production produced a statistically significant effect; Producers who evaluate the information after the experience, evaluated it higher than producers who evaluated the information before the experience; and value perception measured before the production by a single producer is lower than value perception by peer-producers. Hypotheses were accepted. If accepted, additional results will be presented at the conference.</p> Yonit Rusho, Daphne R. Raban Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10504 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:40 -0600 FEELING THE RHYTHMS OF CODE https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10505 <p>This presentation examines how the softwarization of everyday life is experienced. The point of embarkation is the observation that despite the proliferation computation in the everyday, people pay little attention to the conditions of software and its role in shaping their mundane time-spaces. I will discuss results from a case study that used Henri Lefebvre’s rhythmanalysis (1992/2004) to shed light on how the rhythms of code-based technology are experienced. The research design of the intervention was inspired by the idea of privacy mirrors (Ngueyn and Mynatt 2002). Research participants (n=13), who described their relation to their devices as intense, used tracking software (RescueTime, ManicTime, App Usage or RealizD) in their ICTs and kept media diaries. These were used as artefacts in the interviews to enable reflection on the role of ICTs in daily life. The results from the rhythmanalysis show how the complex intertwinement of digital devices and applications in the everyday evokes manifold feelings. Simultaneously, technology is perceived as an aid in organizing and managing the daily life, but it also induces feelings of losing control, chaos, and burden. The results suggest that although people might take for granted the infrastructural conditions of technology, such as data mining, they still actively negotiate their relation to devices and applications vis-à-vis temporality. Outcomes from the intervention encourage developing further research designs that use the means of softwarization itself (e.g. tracking and digital traces) to enable critical reflection.</p> Minna Saariketo Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10505 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:40 -0600 HATRED OF/AND DEMOCRACY: THE POLITICAL CONTRADICTIONS OF REDDIT’S MODERATION STRUCTURE https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10506 This paper seeks to interpret Reddit moderation as a problem of political theory, rather than as a debate between the merits of human moderation and algorithmic moderation. Analyzing Reddit’s moderation structure shows that both the human moderation and the algorithmic moderation reinforce a form of anti-politics which leaves users feeling like they have no input and thus no interest in the well-being of the subreddits in which they participate. Online governance structures are largely top down and authoritarian in nature, despite often being couched in democratic rhetoric, reflecting what Jacques Rancière describes as a hatred of democracy. By looking at the example of how r/Canada came to be widely disparaged on Reddit as a bastion of hate, I make the argument that the key to rooting out online hate is not through more human moderation or by giving algorithms more control, but by creating a democratic culture of buy-in through which users are empowered with responsibility for the quality of content in a discussion space. Trevor Garrison Smith Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10506 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:40 -0600 DOING YOUR HOMEWORK: THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA AS A FRIENDSHIP FILTER https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10507 This article explores the emergence of technologically integrated relationship practices among college students in two U.S. universities. This work is situated within the significant body of social research and popular cultural discourse surrounding the consequences of technology and cultural integration among young adults. Analyzing interviews with 52 participants, I explore how they construct, establish and maintain cultural practices and social norms that shape peer interaction, social networks and interpersonal relationships in offline and online settings. This paper focuses specifically on the emergence of techno-social cultural norms that impact friendship and social network construction. Findings suggest the establishment and maintenance of friendships using social networks frequently includes the use of social media profiles as means to collect social and political attitude data on potential friends. Some participants report the use of such data as essential to the decision-making process utilized while establishing and maintaining offline friendships. Motivations for this practice include safety and security, social normativity and a desire for efficiency. Furthermore, participants articulate a social and politically homogeneous friendship network as a desirable outcome to data collection. These findings contribute to our ongoing understanding of the role of informational echo chambers within a technologically integrated social environment. Alecea Irene Standlee Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10507 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:41 -0600 LOOK WHO’S TALKING: USING HUMAN CODING TO ESTABLISH A MACHINE LEARNING APPROACH TO TWITTER EDUCATION CHATS https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10512 Twitter has become a hub for many different types of educational conversations, denoted by hashtags and organized by a variety of affinities. Researchers have described these educational conversations on Twitter as sites for teacher professional development. Here, we studied #Edchat—one of the oldest and busiest Twitter educational hashtags—to examine the content of contributions for evidence of professional purposes. We collected tweets containing the text “#edchat” from October 1, 2017 to June 5, 2018, resulting in a dataset of 1,228,506 unique tweets from 196,263 different contributors. Through initial human-coded content analysis, we sorted a stratified random sample of 1,000 tweets into four inductive categories: tweets demonstrating evidence of different professional purposes related to (a) self, (b) others, (c) mutual engagement, and (d) everything else. We found 65% of the tweets in our #Edchat sample demonstrated purposes related to others, 25% demonstrated purposes related to self, and 4% of tweets demonstrated purposes related to mutual engagement. Our initial method was too time intensive—it would be untenable to collect tweets from 339 known Twitter education hashtags and conduct human-coded content analysis of each. Therefore, we are developing a scalable machine-learning model—a multiclass logistic regression classifier using an input matrix of features such as tweet types, keywords, sentiment, word count, hashtags, hyperlinks, and tweet metadata. The anticipated product of this research—a successful, generalizable machine learning model—would help educators and researchers quickly evaluate Twitter educational hashtags to determine where they might want to engage. K. Bret Staudt Willet, Brooks D. Willet Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10512 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:41 -0600 EXPLORING THE RURAL DIGITAL LANDSCAPE: LIBRARIES, EQUITY, AND SCALE https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10508 As community anchors and public spaces, libraries are in unique positions to serve emerging 21st century information needs for the unconnected. Some libraries have extended their technology offerings beyond basic computers and Internet to include mobile hotspot lending, which allows patrons to "take home" the Internet from the library. The research in this project examines hotspot lending programs undertaken by the Maine State Library and the Kansas State Library across 24 different libraries in small and rural communities. In the United States, rural areas tend to have lower Internet adoption because many communities face considerable barriers to competitive and fast Internet service, exacerbated by the fact that rural communities tend to be older, of lower-income, and less digitally skilled. This research examines the role of library hotspot lending and how free and mobile-based Internet connects rural communities and serves their information needs. Through qualitative and quantitative assessments this research details the scope and efficacy of programs to reach publics, the impact that rural hotspots have in communities, and the larger information and communications ecosystem in these rural communities in Maine and Kansas. Sharon Strover, Alexis Schrubbe Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10508 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:41 -0600 PURSUANCE AND THE PRACTICE OF DE-INSTITUTIONALIZED DEMOCRACY https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10509 The internet offers the possibility of forming de-institutionalized, organizational structures that engage in the democratic process in ways that go far beyond volunteering, protesting, or voting. The digital space enables people to collaborate and communicate with one another more effectively, even if they have never met in real life (Shirky 2009). Formations such as Telecomix and Project PM show that this capability can be harnessed in the service of meaningful collective political and social actions. Journalist and activist Barrett Brown's latest venture, $2 , hopes to further that potential. Pursuance looks to empower political actors via "process democracy" (Brown 2018), offering participants a platform in which they can organize, build, and act on social justice endeavors. Pursuance is important because it provides a means for individuals to rapidly and effectively assemble, disassemble, and reassemble into mission-driven teams. This lessens the need for stable institutions to direct civic or political activism, thus reducing the problems that often follow, e.g. the Iron Law of Oligarchy (Michels 2015). We explore the potential of Brown's endeavor, asking: How can Pursuance most effectively further the practice of deinstitutionalized democracy? What can be learned from past groups that have engaged in the kind of activity Pursuance aims to facilitate? Robert Tynes, Claire Peters Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10509 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:42 -0600 CYBERHATE ANONYMITY AND THE RISK OF BEING EXPOSED https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10510 <p>In this paper, we predict hateful content as well as quantify the causal link between anonymity and hateful content in political discussions online. First, we make use of a supervised machine-learning model to find a prediction model of cyberhate in political discussions on a dominating Swedish Internet forum, Flashback. Second, we investigate how changes in anonymity affect the writing of hateful content. We scrape text from the political discussions on Flashback and let a research assistant manually classify each post from a random subset of the threads by whether it contained, e.g. hateful writings, aggressive writings as well as towards whom the hate is directed. We use the classified data to find a prediction model in the full set of threads. We then use the predictions of hate to estimate the effect of changes in anonymity on cyberhate. An event suddenly changed the anonymity at the discussion forum. The event affected only a certain type of user, creating a quasi-experiment, with early-registered users as a treatment group and late-registered users as a control group. We find a prediction model of hateful content. Using these predictions in the quasi-experimental estimation, we find that early users of the forum decreased their share of hateful content more than later registered users did after the event when there was a threat of less anonymity. We also show that this behavioural change is a combination of individuals’ changing how they express themselves and that they reduce their writing or stop entirely.</p> Emma von Essen, Joakim Jansson Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10510 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:42 -0600 MASS MEDIA AND THE LEGITIMATION OF INTERNET CONTROL IN RUSSIA: THE CASE OF TELEGRAM https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10511 <p>In today's hyperconnected world, states are confronted with the global challenge of responding to potentially disruptive online communications, such as terrorist propaganda and fake news. Formulating effective internet regulation to address these threats carries the risk of infringing upon media freedom and constitutional rights. In the case of Russia, ostensibly sound legitimations have been instrumentalised to bring about a dramatic decline in internet freedom. Controlling public opinion may well be decisive for Russia's "success" in expanding its system of internet controls without arousing popular resistance. Scholarship thus far, however, has neglected to critically examine how the Russian government legitimates and cultivates popular support for restricting online freedom of speech. This paper aims to address this crucial aspect of internet censorship by studying how restrictions of internet freedom, freedom of expression and the right to information and privacy are framed in political and media discourses. The paper presents a case study examining the legitimation of user data storage, surveillance and restriction of online anonymity, on the example of messaging application Telegram. To justify legal measures in these domains, policymakers have framed their proposals as anti-terrorist, or claimed the need to protect personal data from foreign states. Typically, anonymity and privacy are recast as secrecy indicating criminal (e.g., drug dealers) or morally derogatory intent (e.g., paedophilia). The paper analyses how frames are produced by policymakers; how they are translated and disseminated in state and (semi-)independent media; and how they resonate in online debates and social media.</p> Mariëlle Wijermars Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10511 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:42 -0600 NOT SUFFERING FOOLS GLADLY: CRAFTING PROSOCIAL COMMUNITY IN ONLINE MULTIPLAYER MINECRAFT https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10513 Over 700 million people worldwide are socializing and spending time, sometimes significant amounts, in online multiplayer games, and these social spaces can be important sites of community. Unfortunately, levels of civility, aggression, and mutual helping can vary significantly between game spaces. Given their ubiquity and importance in so many people’s lives, it is critical to understand how a prosocial community can be created and maintained over time in these spaces for those who want them. This research uses virtual ethnography and interpretive phenomenological analysis to examine how moderation and community development strategies, game design elements, and player behaviours are experienced and can be influenced by players in prosocially-oriented online multiplayer Minecraft servers. It is clear that it is the prosocial orientation of players and the commitment, social skill, and integrity of server moderators that is most key to creating and maintaining a prosocial gaming environment and that although game design can support prosociality, game design factors appear to be much less important overall. Attracting the right players—and refusing entry to the wrong ones—is the most important concern. Kenzie Ann Burniston Woodbridge Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10513 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:43 -0600 POLITICAL FANDOMS AND SUPERPARTICIPANTS IN POLITICAL CONVERSATIONS ON TWITTERTwitter, social network analysis, political polarization, fandoms https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10514 In this proposal, we discuss the role of superparticipants in political conversations on Twitter. Our hypothesis is that these highly active users show a clear political position and intentionally act to give visibility to some topics and to reduce the visibility of others, practices that are similar to those observed among fans in popular culture. In terms of methods, we use social network analysis metrics to identify the modularity of the network and users that receive more attention than others (higher indegree) or mention more other users (higher outdegree). We collected tweets related to the impeachment of the Brazilian ex-president Dilma Rousseff in 2016 in three critical dates of the process. By observing the users with higher outdegree in each network, we noticed some patterns and behaviors that can characterize those users as political fans. Our main finding is that the superparticipants with higher outdegree helped to shape the polarized networks by retweeting like-minded accounts, and thus are important and influence the study of polarized political networks on Twitter. Gabriela Zago, Raquel Recuero, Felipe Soares Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10514 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:43 -0600 VOICES EMPOWERED: IRANIAN WOMEN AND WEBLOGS https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10515 <p>Access to the Internet in 1998 created a unique sphere encompassing both public and private characteristics while offering a new form of communication, identity, and political participation (Rheingold 2000). As a result, access to the Internet provided women with an alternative way of defying the traditional masculine culture through "connection and communication" and "identity transformation" (Nouraei-Simon 2005). The Internet ameliorated Iranian women's ability to contribute to the accelerating development of an online culture that offers a significant change to the definition of empowerment as it shifts the boundaries of the public and private realms, allowing Iranian women to seek self-determination despite Islamic ideology (Jones, 1997). This work shows how the weblog has become one of the key tools to challenge social barriers in the quest for Iranian women's rights (Sreberny &amp; Khiabany, 2010). This paper will critically examine the use of weblogs by some Iranian women to break the gender oriented restrictive rules imposed upon them by the patriarchal elements in higher education by exploring how and in what ways women advocate for their own and others' rights and equality? This paper incorporates a critical textual analysis of primary and secondary academic sources. It integrates a critical feminist approach and have collected data from the work of female scholars, activists, bloggers, and filmmakers and have brought forth the unheard experiences of some Iranian women in higher education.</p> Tannaz Zargarian Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10515 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:43 -0600 PRIVACY BOUNDARIES AND INFORMATION FLOW SOLIPSISM IN THE PERSONAL FITNESS INFORMATION ECOSYSTEM https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10516 Fitness trackers are an increasingly popular tool for tracking health and physical activity. Their benefits hinge on ubiquitous data collection and the algorithmic processing of personal fitness information (PFI). While PFI can reveal novel insights about users’ physical activity, health, and personal habits, it also contains potentially sensitive information that third parties may access in contexts unanticipated by fitness tracker users. This paper argues while many users attempt to manage their PFI with privacy boundaries, they can also succumb to “information flow solipsism,” or being broadly unaware of how fitness tracker companies might collect and aggregate their PFI. Our mixed-methods approach involved a survey and semi-structured interviews. Most survey respondents had limited knowledge of companies’ data tracking and retention policies. Additionally, most interviewees expressed only minimal privacy concerns regarding PFI. While others recognized PFI may need boundaries to manage information flows, they did not find the information sensitive enough to require personal responsibility for the definition of such boundaries. Viewing these results through Communication Privacy Management theory, users’ conceptualizations of ownership, privacy rules, and turbulence regarding their PFI influence how they manage privacy boundaries. Inherent trust of fitness tracker companies also led users to assume privacy rules properly limit the flow of PFI. This combination suggests fitness tracker users are potentially in a state of information flow solipsism, a position of ignorance of how PFI flows across devices and platforms that creates unanticipated privacy risks. Michael Zimmer, Katie Chamberlain Kritikos, Jessica Vitak, Priya Kumar, Yuting Liao Copyright (c) 2020 AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10516 Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:28:44 -0600