Loading…
#AoIR2018 has ended
Friday, October 12 • 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Social Mediations of the Political I

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule and see who's attending!

EXAMINING INTERPERSONAL AND ELITE INCIVILITY IN ONLINE POLITICAL TALK
Patricia Rossini
Scholarship on online political talk has been shifting attention from dedicated political platforms - such as e-deliberation platforms, political forums, and discussion boards - to more informal spaces, such as social media (Graham, Jackson, & Wright, 2015). While few would question that the internet may facilitate political talk, scholars have been concerned with the presence of uncivil discourse online (Coe, Kenski, & Rains, 2014; Rowe, 2015). However, most studies have focused on the volume of incivility, suggesting that it may undermine the democratic benefits of online political talk. Departing from the premise that incivility is a rhetorical device and may be used in distinct ways – and not necessarily to offend others in a discussion –, this study makes a distinct contribution by analyzing the conditions and characteristics of two specific targets of incivility - other participants in a discussion and political elites. I analyze comments on a sample of 157 news stories shared on a Brazilian Facebook news page and on their original sources using systematic content analysis. This study investigates three main research questions. First, are there differences between targets of incivility per platform? Second, what are the discursive features associated with interpersonal incivility? Third, what are the features associated with elite incivility? Understanding these differences in how different actors are targeted by uncivil discourse is crucial to better interpret the role of incivility in political talk, rather than dismiss it as incompatible with democratically relevant political talk.

CHALLENGING CONTROLLED INTERACTIVITY? AN ANALYSIS OF COMMENTS ON CANDIDATES' FACEBOOK PAGES IN THE 2016 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION PRIMARIES
Patricia Rossini, Feifei Zhang, Jennifer Stromer-Galley
Political campaigns in the U.S. have been routinely using social media as a part of their communication strategies. While this topic has motivated a robust body of literature on digital campaigns, this scholarship is largely focused on analyzing the how candidates use these platforms for strategic communication. Less attention has been given to the ways the public take advantage of digital platforms in order to engage, show support or attack candidates. However, while campaigns may try to avoid direct forms of contact with voters, social media platforms undoubtedly expose candidates and surrogates to criticism, as well as provide its users with several ways of demonstrating support or dissatisfaction with politicians. In this paper, we use supervised machine learning methods to analyze over 9 million comments on candidates' Facebook pages during the 2016 Presidential Election Primaries, focusing on demonstrations of public attacks and support. Our analysis includes 11 Republican and 4 Democratic candidates with active campaigns between January and June 14, 2016. The primaries are largely unexplored by studies on digital campaigns. However, this is a particularly interesting period for examining public comments, as there are several candidates competing for public attention and it is possible to observe differences within parties. This paper contributes to the current literature on digital campaigns by unveiling the dynamics of public commenting on candidates' Facebook page and demonstrates how the public's commenting behavior is affected not only by different dimensions of political campaigns but also by a candidate's party and gender.

SENSATIONALISM VERSUS SUBSTANCE. MEDIA COVERAGE OF IMMIGRATION CRISES IN ITALY ON DIGITAL PLATFORMS”
David Coppini
This project investigates media coverage of immigration crises and resettlement of refugees in Italy in a number of selected Italian media outlets over the past year. In particular, the goal of the project is to conduct a content analysis of the immigration crises in the Italian context. The data from this content analysis can be useful to understand what frames journalists use to talk about immigration crises and how the Italian public is informed on this important issue. Building on previous research, this study analyzes mass media coverage in selected digital publications, both in video format and written format. This analysis sheds light on the themes used by Italian digital media in their representation of immigration crises and refugee resettlement in 2017 and at the beginning of 2018.

HOW CLIMATE SCIENTISTS USE SOCIAL MEDIA: COLLUSION AND COLLISION OF PERSONAL, PROFESSIONAL AND EPISTEMIC CONTEXTS
Warren Pearce
The 'acute controversy' of Climategate has provided an impetus for climate scientists to more publicly explain their practices through social media (Hulme, 2013). However, this online environment has provided new communicative challenges. Social media platform architecture facilitates both intentional collusion or unintentional collision of contexts (Davis & Jurgenson, 2014). This has provided special challenges for climate scientists, whose increasing use of social media has given rise to disagreements regarding the social contexts of climate science, and the extent to which these should be colluded or kept apart.

In short, the entrance of climate scientists into social media provides rich potential for investigating the shifting social contexts of both climate scientists and climate science, and understanding the role of social media platforms in communicating issues on the boundary of science and politics. This paper presents findings from 30 conversational interviews undertaken with climate scientists about their social media usage, using experimental ‘over shoulder’ methods allowing the collection of onscreen data as the participant perceives it and interacts with it .

The paper highlights three contexts which inform climate scientists' social media communications. personal (e.g. values), professional (e.g. employers' policy) and epistemic (e.g. the relative value attached to knowledge validation through traditional journal peer review and post-publication peer review online). Findings contribute to three theoretical areas: i) the qualitative, social contexts for climate scientists’ contributions to public debates on social media; ii) the dynamic roles of social media platforms in public climate debates, iii) the contribution of ‘thick’ data to digital society research.


Moderators
Speakers

Friday October 12, 2018 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Sheraton - Salon 7

Attendees (20)