Minutes of meeting – 12th International Conference on Social Media & Society conference

July 20, 2022, By ESR8 Yuying Tan

I represented all co-authors (Yuying Tan, Heidi Vandebosch, Sara Pabian, Lisa De Smedt, Elizabeth Cappon, Karolien Poels) of the research study (Talking about sexual harassment and receiving support in Reddit communities) to give a presentation on the 12th International Social Media & Society Conference (July 18-20, 2022). The conference covers various topics, including online hate, cyberbullying, digital methods, politics and public opinion, health and wellbeing, marketing and outreach, misinformation, online and offline communities, platform governance trust, use, and users https://socialmediaandsociety.org/2022-2/2022-accepted-papers/. This minutes of the meeting report aims to list some studies, theories, literature, and research tools that might help research online hate and coping strategies. From the collection of 154 papers (5min YouTube presentation), workshops, tutorials, and keynote speaking, I picked up below relevant critical points related to 1) Studies relevant to online hate speech; 2) Studies relevant to cyberbullying or online aggression; 3) Young generation’s social media use; 4) Some hate relevant theories & literature & scale.

(*Note: Misinterpretation or some mistakes may exist. The comments and notes-taking represent only my opinion and understanding. Please always refer to the original presentation YouTube video, not the meeting minutes. All Youtube videos were removed after August 31st. If you are interested in any presentation, please watch in time. A complete list of papers can be accessed through this link: https://socialmediaandsociety.org/2022-2/2022-accepted-papers/)

Studies relevant to online hate speech

[1] Erin Ryan and Jason Zevin. Biobehavioral Identity-Based Responses to Hate Speech from Social Media
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWBqVrzvbQw


[2] Sarah Rodriguez-Louette. #CapitolInsurrectionHoax: A Network Analysis of a right-wing hashtag. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31124/advance.19959479.v1 https://youtu.be/HUqXZB6F-ac

[3] Ehsan Dehghan and Ashwin Nagappa. Spirals of Radicalisation in the Alternative Ecosystem: Vaccination Discourse on Gab. https://youtu.be/mwrOrhgtdKM; published paper Politicization and Radicalization of Discourses in the Alt-Tech Ecosystem: A Case Study on Gab Social https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/20563051221113075.

(Alt-tech are social media platforms and Internet service providers that have become popular among conservatives, the alt-right, far-right, and others who espouse extreme or fringe opinions, in the belief that these alternatives moderate content less stringently than mainstream internet service providers.)

[4] Workshop: Serious TikTok – Practices of Informing, Learning, and Explaining Complex Social Reality on TikTok with Tom Divon, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Tobias Ebbrecht-Hartmann, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
In this workshop, participants discussed #JewishTikTok community in the United States and unpack their creative attempt to communicate, educate and combat antisemitism on TikTok. We discussed creators’ innovative ways to employ TikTok’s various technological affordances to combat oppression and empower their voices. Here are some sample TikTok videos that we discussed in the workshop https://padlet.com/tobiasebbrechthartmann/6rezku68jnjshmkh. Some example modes of TikTok videos: Modes of Serious TikTok (padlet.com)


There are some other TikTok-related studies at the conference:
Viorica Budu, Lewys Davies and Helen Innes. Investigating the dynamics and representation of the Belarus 2020 protests on TikTok – an interdisciplinary methodological approach https://youtu.be/LuViBegbr7k
Carly Yung. Framing the TikTok ‘war’ in the New York Times, Times of India & China Daily https://youtu.be/L7pf9VWr-MY
Mathilde Hogsnes, Tor-Morten Grønli and Kjeld Hansen. Investigating the commercial construct of TikTok influencers. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31124/advance.20088617 https://youtu.be/WQTtjuPD10k
Daniel Klug and Ulla Autenrieth. Struggle for Strategy. Presence, Practices, and Communicative Strategies of Legacy News Providers on TikTok. DOI: https://doi.org/10.33767/osf.io/m3ztq https://youtu.be/jdVwErVSpik
Tom Divon and Tobias Ebbrecht-Hartmann. Performing Death and Trauma? Participatory Mem(e)ory and the Holocaust in TikTok #POVchallenges https://youtu.be/lEFTVXq6gbQ

[5] Keynote speak – The Good Web. What can we do if we stop trying to fix what’s broken with existing social media, but instead, think about the ideal social media we want to build? Keynote speaker Ethan Zuckerman (Associate Professor of public policy, information and communication at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and director of the Initiative for Digital Public Infrastructure) led a discussion about an imagined social media that makes us better citizens and neighbors. A social media that makes our worlds broader, not narrower. His research focuses on using media as a tool for social change, using new media technologies by activists, and alternative business and governance models for the internet. Previously he directed the Center for Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab from 2011-2020.

Studies relevant to online sexual harassment towards children, and women, including women with intersectionality

[1] Thales Bertaglia, Katarina Bartekova, Rinske Jongma and Stephen McCarthy. Sexist or Supportive? Analyzing the Role of YouTuber’s Gender in Comments https://youtu.be/J_rbmtY1GPM
The research studies comments under over 400 unique Youtube videos from 109 channels which falls into four categories: entertainment, gaming, people & blogs, and science & technology. The regression analysis shows that female Youtubers receive more positive and sexist comments. Male Youtubers receive more toxicity and offensive comments.


[2] Virginia Martín Jiménez, Charo Lacalle-Zalduendo and Dunia Etura-Hernández. Hate speech and the anti-feminist campaign of the Spanish radical-right VOX on Twitter around 8M https://youtu.be/wmAdDtrH3J4
The study collected 6,463 tweets with #8MDiaVictimasCovid/#March8CovidVictimsDay and #EsteFeminismoesViolencia/ThisFeminismIsViloence from March1 to 11, 2021, covering the International Women’s Day. The result shows that: 1) 93% of haters followed a less active pattern in creating content. They focus solely on the dissemination of hate. 2) The users with the largest number of followers were linked to extreme right-wing parties. These profiles accounted for nodes in the mid-influencer and micro-influencer categories.


[3] Maja Brandt Andreasen. The role of humor in Internet memes about sexual violence https://youtu.be/PRSrFtdGjHI. The video discusses sexual violence victim-blaming memes on many platforms that endorse humorous memes.


[4] Qian Huang. The Assemblage of Nationalism, Populism, and Misogyny in Chinese Digital Vigilantism https://youtu.be/4OD4AIT7wgY
Results suggest that victims are not only shamed and socially excluded because of their perceived offense to the shared national identity but because of their other identities, such as the class identity of (perceived) social/intellectual elites and the gender identity of women. Even though the population in this study is Chinese, other cultures and societies may have a similar situation which is worth further cross-country investigation.


[5] Yuying Tan, Karolien Poels, Sara Pabian and Heidi Vandebosch. Talking about sexual harassment and receiving support in Reddit communities https://youtu.be/eEB05uCi7Bg
How do online sexual harassment victims use the Reddit community to be resilient and support each other? The study analyzed posts and comments in five Reddit gender-supporting communities, they found 33 coping strategies proposed by Reddit online peers. The results contribute to future research seeking to validate effective coping strategies and design user-friendly digital interventions for online sexual harassment victims.

[6] Louise Broadbent, Dr Andrew Williams and Dr Lisa Sugiura. Paedophile Hunters: An Online Ethnographic Mapping of a Social Media Rough Music Demonstrating a Methodology for Social Media Research https://youtu.be/lCc0z899fx8 (Research method advice study)

Young generation’s social media use

[1] Yasin Yalcin, Vanessa Dennen, Sofia Bernal, Olivia Martin, Madison Massman, Martina Rojas and Eva Rucinski. Emotions and social media use: Youth experiences of different online phenomena https://youtu.be/qAPEKoc5joQ

Findings suggest that positive emotions relate to interactions and attention, while negative emotions stem from comparison to a perceived social norm. Individuals use these emotions to regulate behavior related to self-image and the image of others. Time on social media is a major issue for people.

[2] Vanessa Dennen, Stacey Rutledge, Hui Shi, Lauren Bagdy, Daeun Jung, Stephen Bunn, Amber Hedquist, Catherine Cosgrove and Casey Cargill. Teen engagement with current events and social issues on social media: A survey of American youth https://youtu.be/XVMkKJy-s0s

Findings suggest demographic differences in teenagers following social issues behavior on social media. Teens of color are most likely to follow black lives matter, racial justice, and poverty. White teens are most likely to follow blue lives matter and marriage rights. Latinx teens are most likely to follow healthcare and immigration. Male teens are most likely to follow blue lives matter and the first amendment. Non-binary teens are most likely to follow QAnon. Older teens are more likely than younger teens to follow college affordability.

[3] (Best Paper Award) Keith Hampton and Inyoung Shin. Excessive Social Media Use is Less Harmful than Disconnection for the Self Esteem of Rural Adolescents. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4136539 https://youtu.be/l2AUq8b2Bek
Results suggest disconnection has a larger, negative relationship to self-esteem than “excessive use”. Adolescents whose parents use more restrictive parenting practices have substantively lower self-esteem. Instructive media parenting had the opposite relationship. Compared to having broadband, adolescents who are dependent on a cell phone, and boys who have slower or no home Internet access, have substantively lower self-esteem.

[4] Fan Xiao and Tien Ee Dominic Yeo. Collaborative coping: Social media strategies of information sharing and knowledge management in the online support group as a community of practice https://youtu.be/YgdG6Vedz5Q

Some tools for social media data collection and analysis

[1] Web scraping tool WeChat: Methods and best research practices with Jinman Zhang, Western University; Anabel Quan-Haase, Western University– Web Scraper – Free Web Scraping: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/web-scraper-free-web-scra/jnhgnonknehpejjnehehllkliplmbmhn?hl=en. Learn more about social media research method in the latest book The SAGE Handbook of Social Media Research Methods 2nd edition https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/the-sage-handbook-of-social-media-research-methods/book272098

[2] Twitter Users Longitudinal Online Profile Sampling visualization Temporal trends in word usage within Twitter profile biographies with Jason J. Jones, Stony Brook University
Data and R data visualization file all in OSF project: https://osf.io/guah5/
A demo website: https://jasonjones.ninja/jason-j-jones-identity-trends-v1/

[3] Social Media Network analysis is useful for identifying influential users, key groups that form around topics, highlighting popular information sources. Workshop by shows the tool NodeXL for network analysis and example research papers. Great tool! Introduction to Social Media Network Analysis with NodeXL with Marc A. Smith, Social Media Research Foundation; Harald Meier, Social Media Research Foundation; Wasim Ahmed, Stirling University.
https://nodexlgraphgallery.org/Pages/Graph.aspx?graphID=279490
App link: https://app.powerbi.com/view?r=eyJrIjoiZDA0MjZiZTMtN2VjMi00YjJkLThiYzMtM2RhMzcxYzE0NjJjIiwidCI6IjI5ZDRjMTFjLTA1N2MtNDg3Zi04ZmRhLWU4NmQ1OTkzOWU2NCIsImMiOjZ9

Example paper/reading:
Ahmed, Wasim; Vidal-Alaball, Josep; Downing, Joseph; López Seguí, Francesc. J Med Internet Res ; 22(5): e19458, 2020 05 06. COVID-19 and the 5G Conspiracy Theory: Social Network Analysis of Twitter Data.

Mapping Twitter Topic Networks: From Polarized Crowds to Community Clusters | Pew Research Center

[4] Workshop: Hypothesis Testing With Network Data Exponential Random Graph Models (ERGMs) with Felipe Bonow Soares, Toronto Metropolitan University; Deena Abul-Fottouh, McMaster University; Anatoliy Gruzd, Toronto Metropolitan University; Alessandro Zonin, Socioviz.
This session teaches the concepts and fundamental knowledge about network analysis, followed by hands-on practicing the tools for data collection, visualization, and statistical hypothesis testing.
No-coding software for social media data collection, network visualization: tool Socioviz https://socioviz.net/ (special feature to see #hashtag, emoji, etc., as node, based on semantic techniques) , tool Netlytic https://netlytic.org/index.php (have all the network model parameters), both of them are quite intuitive to use!
Hypothesis testing using Exponential Random Graph Models (ERGMs) in R. With this method, you can verify the significance of variables and compare the model fit to find the best variables combination to fit the network model! Example paper https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/20563051211025511. Need basic knowledge about R programming and statistics knowledge to understand.

[5] Viorica Budu, Lewys Davies and Helen Innes. Investigating the dynamics and representation of the Belarus 2020 protests on TikTok – an interdisciplinary methodological approach https://youtu.be/LuViBegbr7k
Watch this presentation is like watching a news on TV, very impressive and interesting way of presentation. The method is a combination of computational approache and social science qualitative approache (use web scraping technique to get tiktok videos in bunch, computer vision techniques to process videos, natural language processing techniques to process transcripts, and qualitative analysis on video content) inspiring for those who want to research TikTok video content.

[6] In tutorial: Computational Approaches to Studying Anti-Social Behaviour in Social Media with Anatoliy Gruzd, Toronto Metropolitan University; Alyssa Saiphoo, Toronto Metropolitan University.
Besides theoretically explaining and comparing different computational approaches, Alyssa and Anatoliy also led us practically try the network analysis tool Communalytic https://communalytic.com (Gruzd, A., & Mai, P. (2021). Communalytic: A Research Tool For Studying Online Communities and Online Discourse) specifically for detecting hate speech (with Google Perspective API for toxic score)
Interest in trying? Register at https://edu.communalytic.com/, Request free access to Google’s Perspective API. See how at https://communalytic.com/video-tutorials/tutorial-3-api-key/, more tutorials at https://communalytic.com/video-tutorials/. If you want more customized network analysis, try tool Gephi https://gephi.org/users/download/

[7] (Best Method Award) Axel Bruns, Daniel Angus, Edward Hurcombe, Stephen Harrington and Jane Tan. The Dissemination of Problematic News on Facebook: A Large-Scale, Longitudinal Study. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/hsd38 https://youtu.be/s4c88yxcKg4

NGO outreach

[1] Koutromanou Elina, Catherine Sotirakou and Constantinos Mourlas. What makes a Picture Worth a Thousand Words? Evaluating Image Characteristics on Social Media Engagement for NGOs https://youtu.be/zrVHlfor4yY

Ethical Internet research

There are many discussions around ethical issues on data collection, processing, and user privacy, especially regarding sensitive topics, minority targets, and international research collaboration, open science. From the discussion in zoom chats, here is one document which addressed several times by the audience: Internet Research: Ethical Guidelines 3.0 https://aoir.org/reports/ethics3.pdf from https://aoir.org/ethics/