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Saturday, October 13 • 9:00am - 10:30am
Pictogramic Cultures And Economies On The Internet

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From emoticons and emoji to stickers and emoji reactions, pictograms afford users communicative fluidity across platforms, and translate human sentiment into information capital. They boast prosodic, emphatic, and lexical effects (Azuma & Ebner 2008: 973-974) and enhance user agency (Lim 2015: 3), but are also instruments of capitalism as corporations extract consumer data (Stark & Crawford 2015: 8). In this roundtable, four Early Career Scholars will discuss pictogramic culture on the internet.

Kate Miltner (USA), who focuses on the intersection of technology, identity, and power, will discuss how corporate cultures of Silicon Valley problematize gender and racial politics in how emoji are conceptualized, designed, and discussed. Ariadna Matamoros-Fernández (Australia), who focuses on ‘platformed racism’ on digital media, will examine how Belgium far-right political party Vlaams Belang’s use of Facebook Reactions spreads anger and challenges platform governance. Crystal Abidin (Sweden), who examines internet celebrity culture, will discuss how Kim Kardashian’s Kimoji stickers construct and monetize controversy to create branded content and maintain followers’ cult literacies. Tim Highfield (the Netherlands), who examines everyday social media, will discuss implications of Twitter’s hashflags in offering affective depictions of topics, and underline the issues, partners, practices, and perspectives privileged by popular platforms.

Considering how complex identities and sentiments are made into readable and relatable icons, presenters and attendees will discuss key tensions (and solutions) in the development of internet pictogramic culture.


Azuma, J., & Ebner, M. (2008). “A Stylistic Analysis of Graphic Emoticons: Can they be Candidates for a Universal Language of the Future?” Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Media, Hypermedia and Telecommunications (pp. 972-977). ED-Media.

Lim, S. (2015). “On Stickers and Communicative Fluidity in Social Media”. Social Media + Society, 1(1), 1-3.

Stark, L., & Crawford, K. (2015). The Conservatism of Emoji: Work, Affect, and Communication. Social Media + Society, 1(2), 1-11.

Saturday October 13, 2018 9:00am - 10:30am EDT
Sheraton - Ballroom East