Notes from our class on Tuesday, October 24, 2017.
- Is this a social media phenomenon?
- Replicated really quickly
- News outlets started talking about – it went outside social media
- Lots of influence
- Going across platforms – from Twitter to Facebook, etc
- Convergences of media
- Really wide reach
- Who, what, when, where, why?
How might we define #MeToo as a social media phenomenon?
- Historical trajectory
- Social practises – women raises their voices about a cultural issue
- Boyd: tools, practises, ideologies
- Humphreys: set of practises
How might be study it?
- What are some facets of our technological scene that afforded this phenomenon?
- Scale – we can see the sheer size of the number of people who are participating in the #MeToo hashtag
- Spread through many different communities, all around the world
- What are some facets of our technological scene that contributed to this phenomenon?
- Technology affords the ability to share asynchronous, mass sharing or personal testimonies across multiple networks
- Example: Lupita Nyong’o’s piece for the New York Times
- Culture of social media is that it provides a support system – it allows people to know that there are others out there who feel the same way that they do
- History of the term “Me Too”
- Started in 2006, Tarana Burke (the creator of the original social movement) started a MySpace page
- Got lots of response to the MySpace page by adult women
- Because is was asynchronous it allowed other women to see the information in a different time and place and relate to it
- “It will take more than a hashtag to the do the real work”
- And it will likely fade in the public eye
- Emergence: Alyssa Milano
- “Suggested by a friend” – she does not claim ownership
- Meme – cultural product of a society (Me Too became a meme)
- How many people participated in #MeToo?
- What does participation mean?
- Tweeted it? Retweeted? Liked?
- What was the nature of their participation?
- Let’s look at how we might discover the nature of people’s participation.
- Searching the hashtag on Twitter
- Examine the affordances of the social media platform – what does it use? Retweets, likes, etc.
- Analyze the discourse surrounding the discourse of the hashtag – are people making fun of it? How many people are genuine?
- Analyzing the nuance within the tweets – how many people shared personal stories versus stayed distant?
- Examine the response – how people feel about the effects of the hashtag
- Look for news articles – what is the mass media response to the movement?
- What is the volume of participation? Number of tweets, etc.
- Researching a social interaction:
- Humphreys: Chapter 4
- Digital anthropology
- Textual analysis
- Network analysis
- Machine learning and big data
- Search on PRIMO, Google Scholar, even Amazon
- Ways of researching
- Google trends
- News articles
- Social media platforms
- Assemble corpus
- Extract specific materials
- Research articles
Example Method: “Totally Straight” article by Robard
- Rationale: to better understand the phenomenon of “enhanced heterosexuals” by exploring activities on a specific rubreddit
- 3-month study analyzing 186 posts across three one-week samples (always on the second week of each month)
- Three samples were taken to gain representative set of posts
- Gathered specific data – date, username, score, etc etc
- Came to a conclusion/theory about the community
Why? There’s very little research done on Reddit- so this is one of the earliest/first studies. Also, this is someone identifying a phenomenon before it was disclosed to them through other sources.
Tools for our own research:
Twitter Tool: https://twxplorer.knightlab.com/search/
LIWC – text analysis tool
Word Clouds – wordart.com/create
Ways of Analyzing
- Close reading
- Distant reading
- Timeline mapping