Mediated Conversation

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    Hashtags on Instagram: Self-created or Mediated by Best Practices and Tools?
    ( 2020-01-07) Dorsch, Isabelle
    Social media enables conversations mediated through documents as texts, audio, images, or videos. Likewise, hashtags became an essential medium for social media communication. Instagram is well-known as one of the current platforms for hashtagging. This exploratory study investigates how hashtags used on Instagram became established in respect of self-creation and best practices or tools. The analysis is based on data obtained from an online survey (N = 1,006) of Instagram users. 55.7% of the respondents use hashtags on Instagram. Only self-created hashtags are assigned by 41.4%, whereas 58.6% are (sometimes) inspired by others. Best practices and tools based on friends/other users or Instagram functions are more frequently used in contrast to offers from influencers or third-parties (e.g. guides, hashtag-sets). Furthermore, the majority does not intentionally use false hashtags. This study enables a first overview of the Instagram users’ hashtagging creation behavior and selection process.
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    Mediated Communication and Customer Service Experiences: Psychological and Demographic Predictors of User Evaluations in the United States
    ( 2020-01-07) Mays, Kate ; Katz, James ; Groshek, Jacob
    People around the world who seek to interact with large organizations increasingly find they must do so via mediated and automated communication. Organizations often deploy both mediated and automated platforms, such as instant messaging and interactive voice response systems (IVRs), for efficiency and cost-savings. Customer and client responses to these systems range from delight to frustration. To better understand the factors affecting people’s satisfaction with these systems, we conducted a generally representative U.S. national survey (N = 1321). Here, we found that people still overwhelmingly like and trust in-person customer service over mediated and automated modalities. As to demographic attitude predictors, age was important (older respondents liked mediated systems less), but income and education were not strong attitude predictors. For personality variables, innovativeness was positively associated with mediated system satisfaction. But communication apprehensiveness, which we expected to be related to satisfaction, was not. We conclude by discussing implications for the burgeoning field of human-machine communication, as well as social policy, equity, and the pullulating digital services divide.
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    YouTube Children’s Videos: Development of a Genre under Algorithm
    ( 2020-01-07) Paolillo, John ; Harper, Brian ; Boothby, Clara ; Axelrod, David
    YouTube children’s video has been claimed to have a preponderance of violent, disturbing or otherwise in-appropriate content. To assess this claim, we conduct a content analysis of a sample of children’s videos published between January 2016 and December 2018. Our analysis reveals an evolving ecosystem involving a variety of production modes and messages which nonetheless bears the heavy imprint of the algorithm-centered commercial incentives of marketing to children and attracting YouTube advertising. Hence, while content formerly causing public concern appears to be effectively policed at this juncture, algorithmic incentives do appear to distort children’s content in potentially unhealthy ways.
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    Investigating the Impacts of Brand Social Media Posts’ Linguistic Styles on Consumer Engagement
    ( 2020-01-07) Deng, Qi ; Hine, Michael ; Ji, Shaobo ; Wang, Yun
    Enhancing consumer engagement with brand posts on social media is challenging to digital marketers. However, it is unclear what contents work better for which brand and in what way. This paper investigates the impacts of three brand post linguistic styles (i.e., emotionality, complexity, and informality) and finds that brand posts’ linguistic styles can impact consumer engagement. The findings improve our understanding of the role that language plays in brand communications on social media.
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    Knowledge Sharing Network in a Community of Illicit Practice: A Cybermarket Subreddit Case
    ( 2020-01-07) Kwon, K. Hazel ; Yu, Weiwen ; Kilar, Stephen ; Shao, Chun ; Broussard, Kailey ; Lutes, Thomas
    Often neglected in the literature about communities of practice is the fact that online knowledge-sharing communities thrive among illicit collectives whose activities are stigmatized or outlawed. This paper focuses on a knowledge-sharing community of users who engage in illegal practices by examining the ways in which the community’s network structure changes when a high-stakes, uncertain event—the July 2017 shutdown of the dark web market Alphabay—occurs. This study compares the discussion network structures in the subreddit r/AlphaBay during pre-shutdown days (the “routine” period) and shutdown days (the “market defect” period) and offers a content analysis of the knowledge and resources shared by users during these periods. Several differences were observed: (a) the network structure changed such that the network size grew while becoming more centralized; (b) new crisis-specific players emerged; (c) types of knowledge shared during the market defect period was qualitatively different from the routine period.
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    Introduction to the Minitrack on Mediated Conversation
    ( 2020-01-07) Rafaeli, Sheizaf ; Kalman, Yoram ; Lewis, Seth