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Saturday, October 13 • 9:00am - 10:30am
Social Media/tions of the Political II

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NASTY WOMEN, SILLY GIRLS: FAME, DIGITAL FEMINISMS, AND HILLARY CLINTON'S 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
Caitlin Lawson
In February 2016, Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright angered many younger feminists when they criticized them for voting for Bernie Sanders instead of Hillary Clinton. This article examines the online discourse around Steinem and Albright’s comments in order to better understand the intersections of feminism, social media, and political choice. I take three sets of platforms – the platform of feminist activism, the Clinton campaign’s political platform, and the digital media platforms on which this incident was debated – as my focus, exploring how feminism, politics, celebrity, and digital spaces mutually shape one another. Through a multiplatform discourse analysis of these controversies, I show that Steinem’s comments highlighted generational conflicts over notions of choice while exposing the complications that can arise through celebrity feminism. Further, Albright’s critique of young feminists as ahistorical clashed with critics who argued it was indeed Albright and Clinton’s political histories, coupled with their insufficiently intersectional feminism, that moved young feminists to disavow Clinton. Overall, this case study demonstrates a shift to what I call "platform feminism." Platform feminism, tied to the third wave with its concerns of intersectionality and inclusivity, diverges from its predecessor through its digital expression, its encouragement of social and political activism both digital and non-digital, and its vigorous debate over the ideals and boundaries of feminism. This “platform feminism” repudiates the “establishment,” non-intersectionality of previous iterations of feminism, and Clinton, Steinem, and Albright’s prominence within these iterations moved many critics to reject Clinton as a Presidential candidate.

MALAYSIAN YOUTH, DIGITAL SURVEILLANCE AND CITIZENSHIP: AN EXPLORATION OF NETWORKED ENGAGEMENT AND ONLINE SENTIMENT IN THE 2018 MALAYSIAN ELECTION.
Amelia Faith Johns
This paper extends upon findings from a pilot study in an ongoing project, the Malaysian Digital Citizenship Project (2016-2018). The pilot study was conducted with 21 Malaysian-Chinese youth participants, and 6 digital citizenship policymakers in Kuala Lumpur between August and December 2016. The findings from the pilot study (presented at AOIR 2017) showcased the influence that state surveillance and online censorship was having on youth citizen voice and participation online, demonstrating the withdrawal of young people from politically engaged networked publics (on Facebook and Twitter), and the rechanneling of political communications and sociality toward ‘backstage’ communications (WhatsApp, Telegram). This paper will present the findings of a new phase of the project (fieldwork to be conducted between May 2018 and July 2018) which uses a mixed methods approach, including sentiment analysis of Malaysian Twitter data in the lead up to the Malaysian general election. The data will be narrowed down by relevant hashtags i.e. #bersih, #malaysia, #malaysiaku, #politics and age identifiers to capture youth sentiments. The aim of this phase of research will be to broadly examine a cross-section of Malaysian youth feelings and perceptions around questions of political agency, rights, representation, surveillance, censorship, fears and hopes regarding the present and future political directions of Malaysia. The findings will be triangulated with follow up interviews and social media ethnography with participants from the pilot study.

EXAMINING THE ROLE AND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF EMERGING SOCIAL NEWS OUTLETS AND THEIR ADVOCACY JOURNALISM IN THE 2017 AUSTRALIAN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE POSTAL SURVEY
Edward Flipo Hurcombe
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.

MAPPING ITALIAN NEWS MEDIA POLITICAL COVERAGE IN THE LEAD-UP OF 2018 GENERAL ELECTION
Fabio Giglietto, Francesca Carabini, Laura Iannelli, Giada Marino, Luca Rossi, Stefano Usai, Augusto Valeriani
Following the Brexit referendum and the elections in United States, France, Germany and UK, Italy goes to vote on March 4 2018. Concerns over the potential impact of problematic information on the Italian political campaign were raised multiple times during the months preceding the election. In response to these concerns, we designed a project aimed at creating a comprehensive map of the political news coverage created by the Italian traditional, digital and alternative newsmedia in the lead up of 2018 general election.

Employing a set of innovative tools and methodologies that adapt and extend the state-of-the-art developed by previous election studies, the project analyzes the engagement originated by political news stories on Facebook and Twitter, characterizes the political leaning of related media sources and measures its degree of audience polarization.

This paper describes the methodology employed to collect the data and presents the first results of a study that measure and describe the social media engagement originated around partisan media sources.

Following a review of existing methods used to characterize the political leaning of Twitter users in a multi-party context, we opted to design our measure building upon the Media Partisanship Attention Scores developed by Yochai Benkler, Robert Faris, Hal Roberts, and Ethan Zuckerman for their study on media landscape during the 2016 US Presidential Election.

Results clearly point out that the overall amount of social media engagement originated around some partisan media sources rivals those originated around the neutral category that includes major Italian news outlets.


Saturday October 13, 2018 9:00am - 10:30am
Sheraton - Salon 5

Attendees (18)