Social Movements and Social Technologies
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ItemThe Influence of Social Media on Collective Action in the Context of Digital Activism: An Affordance Approach( 2018-01-03)This study examines how social media influence collective action in the context of digital activism. This is achieved by using the concept of media affordance as a theoretical lens and applying it to the collective purposes of network building and synthesis, as suggested by mobilization theory. Employing latent class logit regression, we tested the proposed hypotheses based on data from 384 digital activism events in 100 countries, classifying success in digital activism as either partial or complete success. The results show that when the purpose of digital activism is network building, media with greater affordances for promoting environmental shaping were positively related to the success of digital activism. Conversely, when the purpose of digital activism is synthesis, media with greater affordances for promoting contagion were positively related to the success of digital activism.
ItemEmergent Collaboration on Twitter: A Case Study of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement( 2018-01-03)This paper explores the organizing elements that foster emergent collaboration within large-scale communities on online social platforms like Twitter. This study is based on a case study of the #BlackLivesMatter social movement and draws on organizing dynamics and online social network literature, combined with the analysis of 2050 tweets collected from days where the movement had high levels of activity. Drawing on the literature review, we propose a framework consisting of three organizing elements: structure, engagement, and communicative content that are essential in analyzing online collaboration. This paper uses this framework to analyze the collected tweets and identify how actors organize and engage in large-scale communities founded by emergent online collaboration. This paper identifies characteristics of how these key elements and a dynamic interplay between the two logics of action foster emergent collaboration in social movements using Twitter.
ItemHow Diverse Users and Activities Trigger Connective Action via Social Media: Lessons from the Twitter Hashtag Campaign #ILookLikeAnEngineer( 2018-01-03)We present a study that examines how a social media activism campaign aimed at improving gender diversity within engineering gained and maintained momentum in its early period. We examined over 50,000 Tweets posted over the first ~75 days of the #ILookLikeAnEngineer campaign and found that diverse participation - of types of users - increased activity at crucial moments. We categorize these triggers into four types: 1) Event-Driven: Alignment of the campaign with offline events related to the issue (Diversity SFO, Disrupt, etc.); 2) Media-Driven: News coverage of the events in the media (TechCrunch, CNN, BBC, etc.); 3) Industry-Driven: Web participation in the campaign by large organizations (Microsoft, Tesla, GE, Cisco, etc.); and 4) Personality-Driven: Alignment of the events with popular and/or known personalities (e.g. Isis Anchalee; Michelle Sun; Ada Lovelace.) This study illustrates how one mechanism - triggering - supports connective action in social media campaign.
ItemAnatomy of Viral Social Media Events( 2018-01-03)Discussion topics go sometimes viral in social media without a seemingly coherent pattern. Existing literature shows these discussions can reach a very high level, but, notably, they prevail to varying degrees. This paper investigates the anatomy of viral social media events using a dataset of 960 viral social media discussion topics that have been identified by an algorithm from a variety of social media sources over two years’ time. A negative binomial regression shows that the average daily amount and the relative change in the daily amount of social media platforms at which the event has been discussed has a positive effect on the duration of the event. Average or relative amount of posts or authors has no or very little effect on event duration. The results suggest that viral social media events last longer when people using different social media platforms get exposed to them. This finding contributes to the literature on social media events, virality, and information diffusion.