Ambiguity and Ambivalence: Revisiting Online Disinhibition Effect and Social Information Processing Theory in 4chan’s /g/ and /pol/ Boards

Paper written for my M.A. Communication Theory Seminar. Spring 2019. Numerous communication theories have been established to articulate key differences between computer-mediated communication (CMC) and traditional face-to-face (FtF) interactions in the physical world. Although many aspects of communication remain the same in online settings, people do behave differently once no longer speaking FtF. Social Information … Continue reading Ambiguity and Ambivalence: Revisiting Online Disinhibition Effect and Social Information Processing Theory in 4chan’s /g/ and /pol/ Boards

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The Web in 2019

As I've written previously, the distinction between "internet" and "web" has grown increasingly blurred in recent years. In our contemporary discourse, and in day-to-day interaction, the two terms have become largely conflated. However, as the World Wide Web was first exploding in popularity the difference between the two terms was still more meaningful. Part of … Continue reading The Web in 2019

Facebook – The World’s Largest Communication Lab?

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?

Google Cloud Compute Housekeeping

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...