Mediated Conversation

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    Introduction to the Minitrack on Mediated Conversation
    ( 2023-01-03) Masullo, Gina ; Kalman, Yoram ; Lewis, Seth
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    Pushing for Social Change: How Collaborations Are Recalibrating the Journalistic Mission
    ( 2023-01-03) Walters, Patrick
    This qualitative study examines the extent to which journalistic collaborations involving non-journalistic partners may be altering the overall mission of the field. Drawing from literature on boundaries, as well as reciprocal or networked approaches to journalism, the study uses ethnographic methods, in-depth interviews and textual analysis to examine two diverse collaborative efforts: the Dallas Media Collaborative in Dallas, Texas, and the Credible Messenger Reporting Project in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. These collaborations involve a broad array of partners – including legacy and non-legacy media, citizen journalists, universities, creative groups, think tanks, and nonprofits. The findings provide evidence that non-journalistic partners play a critical role in trying to better connect these efforts with the communities they cover. Furthermore, they suggest non-journalistic partners are helping to recalibrate the journalistic mission in such a way that its primary goal is not just informing the public, but giving citizens more input into the journalistic conversation while empowering them with tools to effect social change.
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    Great Divisions: The Evolution of Polarization During the Man-made Emergency of January 6, 2021.
    ( 2023-01-03) Bhatt, Paras ; Vemprala, Naga ; Valecha, Rohit ; Hariharan, Govind ; Rao, H. Raghav
    Polarization, which refers to the formation of two opposing groups based on the users' beliefs and opinions, has a growing body of literature. However, social media polarization differs from offline polarization in that beliefs change almost instantaneously on social media as a result of events unfolding. We investigate the uses of social media communication that has resulted in polarized opinions among individuals prior to, during, and after the January 6th Capitol riots. Analyses of the dominant narratives on Twitter surrounding the incident reveal a high level of polarization throughout the unfolding of the event, with increased polarization possibly attributable to the onset of the crisis. We also observed that polarization is a dynamic phenomenon: as an event unfolds, polarization changes, and knowing how it changes is important for timely crisis resolution. We propose three measures of polarization that could be used to examine polarization accurately during a crisis.
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    I 🌹🍀🇫🇮 You! - Emojis as Emotional-Political Signifiers in Finnish Election Campaign Discussion Online
    ( 2023-01-03) Kannasto, Elisa ; Laaksonen, Salla-Maaria ; Knuutila, Aleksi
    Social media platforms and the forms of vernacular expression they support invite citizens to emotionally react to political content. This study focuses on the affective networks of emoji use in the Facebook comment threads on 18 politicians’ public pages before the Finnish 2019 parliamentary elections. We aim to generate a holistic understanding of the use of emojis in campaign communications while providing a more profound understanding of the affective practices emerging in specific contexts, such as in relation to particular political actors. We analyze the data using computational methods and network analysis and complement this with qualitative analysis. The results indicate that emojis are used to connect with ideological coalitions across the parties and to reinforce connections with political actors. Particular emojis become distinctive emotional-political signifiers whose connotations have departed from their original denotations and are formed and shared in specific communities in relation to specific actors.
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    Digital Civic Sensemaking: Computer-Supported Participatory Sensemaking of Nuanced, Experience-Based Dialogue
    ( 2023-01-03) Hughes, Maggie ; Dimitrakopoulou, Dimitra ; Rojas, Maridena ; Diby, Somala
    Throughout the 21st century, we have seen a steady decline in trust in democracy, and a proliferation of exclusive, deconstructive methods of political participation such as town halls and polarizing social media discourse. However, methods of facilitated small group dialogue and community organizing have fostered trust, understanding, and civic empowerment for generations. Further, with advances in human-computer interaction, machine learning, and computer-supported cooperation in civic technology, the intersection between dialogue, community organizing, and technology for positive and inclusive civic participation is ripe for exploration. We present Real Talk, a hybrid civic technology program in which we aim to design, develop, and implement scalable technological infrastructure and equip communities, organizations, and networks with the processes and technology that allows them to connect, share experiences, collaborate, make meaning, address problems, suggest and advocate decisions in a thriving ecosystem. In this paper, we discuss a foundational system within the program as a key contribution to system sciences: computer-supported participatory sensemaking of nuanced dialogue data. We outline our system and discuss findings, implications, and shortcomings.
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    Incivility on Popular Politics and News Subreddits: An Analysis of In-groups, Community Guidelines and Relationships with Social Media Engagement
    ( 2023-01-03) Vargo, Chris ; Hopp, Tobias
    Political and news subreddits are individualistic as it pertains to the incivility we might expect them to exhibit; some have clear in-group members, and all have varying degrees of content moderation policies. We sample submissions (n = 127,870) and comments (n = 2,576,049) from 20 of the most popular news and politics subreddits from June 4th, 2021, to June 4th, 2022. All subreddits appear to be mostly civil, with incivility most commonly occurring in comments. When incivility occurs, it tends to take on less-severe forms including insults, profanity, and general toxicity. Subreddits with with clear political in-groups did exhibit more insults, toxicity, profanity, and identity-based attacks. The more complex a subreddit’s moderation policies, the less incivility was observed. Finally, uncivil submissions do result in a mild increase in engagement, but given the overall low prevalence of incivility observed, it appears not to be integral to a subreddit’s overall engagement.
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    What if I Use Help for This? Exploring Normative Evaluations of Relationship Maintenance Behaviors Augmented by External Agency
    ( 2023-01-03) Wei, Lewen ; Kang, Jin ; Liu, Bingjie
    Relationship maintenance needs sincere efforts made by both self and relational partners. Yet, technological development provides people with convenient access to help from external sources—other people online, or even tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI)—when performing certain relational activities. By reducing personal effort, receiving external augmentation might compromise the desired effort level in a close relationship. To explore people’s normative evaluations of such behaviors, we conducted a survey experiment (N = 114) wherein participants provided their evaluations of 25 common relational activities in friendship maintenance. Most activities were considered as requiring sincere efforts and subjective in nature. We found that the more sincere efforts and the more subjectivity a relational activity required, the more inappropriate people considered it being augmented by another human or AI system. These results together advance our knowledge of how technology-mediated interactions are judged in interpersonal relationships.
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    Immunize the Public against Disinformation Campaigns: Developing a Framework for Analyzing the Macrosocial Effects of Prebunking Interventions
    ( 2023-01-03) Klapproth, Johanna ; Unger, Said ; Pohl, Janina ; Boberg , Svenja ; Grimme , Christian ; Quandt, Thorsten
    The rapid spread of disinformation through online environments challenges the development of suitable solution approaches. The scientific evaluation of various intervention strategies shows that until now, no magic bullet has been found that can overcome the problem in all relevant dimensions. Due to the effective impact at the individual level, research highlights the potential of prebunking interventions as a promising coping approach to achieve herd immunity to disinformation on a macrosocial level. Inside a detection system, prebunking interventions can curb the spread of disinformation campaigns early. The identification of turning points at which preventive intervention in (dis)information diffusion is necessary for implementation first requires an exploration of the effectiveness of the diffusion of prebunking interventions in social networks. We present a framework for analyzing the macrosocial effects and patterns of the effectiveness of prebunking interventions in the context of three different attack scenarios of stereotypical disinformation campaigns using agent-based modeling.
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    Establishing TikTok as a Platform for Informal Learning: Evidence from Mixed-Methods Analysis of Creators and Viewers
    ( 2023-01-03) Ghosh, Sourojit ; Figueroa, Andrea
    Over the past few years, participation in TikTok has rapidly increased, with a large number of people spending several hours per day consuming and creating content. In this study, we explore how such participation leads to informal learning on TikTok, as we explore patterns of how creators teach and consumers learn knowledge or skills on TikTok, making it a community conducive to sharing and learning knowledge or skills. Through a mixed methods study combining content analysis of TikTok videos and empirical investigation of TikTok users, we explore ways in which creators leverage platform affordances to share knowledge or skills on TikTok, and how their viewers learn from them. We observe successful teaching techniques, and produce recommendations for creators based on learners' preferences.
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    The Impact of Politeness on Conversational Outcomes in Mobile Dating Apps
    ( 2023-01-03) Lopez Long, Holly ; Fichman, Pnina
    Mobile dating applications like Bumble and Tinder have grown in popularity, increasingly attracting scholarly attention. Our study focuses on the impact of politeness strategies and imposition on conversational outcomes on mobile dating apps. Using a 2 by 2 factorial design we examine the impact of degree of directness and imposition impact on perceptions of potential romantic partners and attitudes toward intensifying a relationship. We found that indirectness (a higher-order politeness strategy) and requests for face-to-face dates (high imposition) were positively associated with 1) attitudes toward intensifying a relationship, and 2) the perceived likeability of an interactional partner. Indirect politeness strategies more often resulted in request compliance and rejection strategies varied based on degrees of directness and the nature of the requests. Further exploration of how individuals evaluate imposition as it relates to requests for transitioning conversations from a mobile dating platform to face-to-face, is needed.