In the last several years, it has become increasingly apparent that social media and the rapid proliferation of online communication has had a significant influence on the U.S. political process. Despite the ongoing tendency to refer to the Internet as a "virtual world" that somehow exists wholly separately from the so-called "real world" the fact … Continue reading Facebook – The World’s Largest Communication Lab?
I've been passively gathering data from 4chan's /pol/ board to keep tabs on the "Qanon" conspiracy, and the communities that were promoting it. I had started out with a "set it and forget it" sort of a deal for my 4chan /pol/ scraper. The problem is, though, I set it and the I forgot it. Read on about some of the challenges of studying online communities and ephemeral content...
For anyone who's ever had to call a large company about seemingly anything, you are almost certainly highly aware of automated phone tree systems. Rather than hiring a real person to answer and direct phone calls, a computerized system presents a menu of options to direct the caller to an appropriate department or individual that … Continue reading Everyone But You is a Robot
Memes, and social media more generally, are incredibly powerful tools that contribute to the normalization of ideas, beliefs, and overall culture. The things that we are exposed to in our social media feeds have significant potential to reinforce certain ideas, and perhaps misrepresent how commonplace and accepted they really are. Despite this significant power to … Continue reading A Mechanism of Normalization