Assessment 3 · fake news · Media Literacy · Social Media Communication

Fake News, Political Trolling and Two Presidents

MECO 6936 Social Media Communication

Name: Jerwin Santos

SID: 470513295

Class session:  Cherry Baylosis  Thursday 12-3 pm

 

Introduction: A Case of Two Presidential Elections

In March 2018, news broke out about data leak of about 87million users of Facebook and ending up to a Cambridge Analytica (CA), a company in the business of using data analytics to influence behavior through social media particularly for election campaigns. In a Forbes article (Bloomberg, 2018), the company had worked with the Trump candidacy among other notable personalities (for more details on the data breach, see article here), and is said to have been pivotal in the turnout in the most recent US elections.

However, Facebook and CA’s connection to the incumbent US president’s victory is just a progeny to another yet case with an infamous political figure in a small country called The Philippines. As soon as the Facebook data breach scandal erupted, speculations on how the campaign strategy of elected Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, had used social media (Etter, 2017) for the May 2015 elections, may have been mirrored by that of the US. Facebook also claimed that around 87million Facebook accounts in the Philippines were exposed to the data breach, this is the highest number next to the US (Punit, 2018). In a timeline collated across several sources (See Figure 1), CA also came up in several instances and even alluded to have been responsible for a Philippine candidate’s victory as far back as 2013 (Horwitz & Ghoshal, 2018). And a year before the Philippine elections, CA CEO was reported to have been in Manila and met with campaign strategists of then presidential aspirant Duterte. Eventually, by a landslide, Duterte won, allegedly the least funded candidate, however, armed with a very strong social media campaign machinery (Etter, 2017).

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Figure 1: Chronology of select events leading to the Facebook Data Leak Case (Created using Timegraphics)

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Figure 2: Cambridge Analytica CEO with Duterte campaign strategists (Placido, 2018)

Philippines: A Social Media Landscape

Ever since 2011, the Philippines have been ranking highly in social media usage and mobile engagement. It ranked first among the countries that spend most time in social media (Singh,2011) up to 2018 (Kemp, 2018). It is to be noted that according to Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association or GSMA, the mobile operator governing and standards body, the Philippines had the fastest growing internet population between 2008 to 2013, and registered the top country in SMS transmission far exceeding those of Indonesia an even China. With these, there is no doubt that the Philippines was a fountain for social media activity on a global scale.

In 2014, Facebook, in line with the inception of its internet.org initiative, launched the first zero-rated Facebook, or “free facebook” in the world. This means that he use of Facebook will not incur data charges for the user. And thus, this further catapults social media penetration and subscriber unprecedented rise among telco carriers in the Philippines (Globe,2014).

However, the free Facebook also came with some problematic challenges, according to a study by Global Voices (Palatino,2017), a global anti-censorship activism group protecting internet freedom. Outside links from articles shared in Facebook did not come free or zero-rated, and that, only headlines and photo or video captions were visible to consumers of the free service. To access these links, the user needed to pay data charges. According to Global Voices, this further promoted fake news through provocative and misleading headlines which social media users use to engage without seeing the whole content (Palatino, 2017).

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Figure 3: Free Facebook (Palatinoi, 2017)

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Figure 4: Philippines spent most time in social media (Kemp, 2016)

Political Trolling, Fake News and Keyboard Armies

The investigative article by Bloomberg (2017), the Duterte presidential social media campaign came fully equipped with popular cultural intermediaries, but also came riddled with accounts of fake news, an army of online supporters and political trolls. Even The Economist (2017) further supplies that these so-called “keyboard armies” were employed by the presidential campaign proponents to spread false news accounts with the objective of “capturing, manipulating, and consuming attention” – which is the currency in social media (The Economist, 2017).

Fake news is disguised as news reports however are intended to misguide its intended readers. They were prevalent before to ensnare users for the purposes of building social media capital though likes, shares, or “click-baits” that convert to commercial revenues. However, these election campaign also saw the rise of fake news as a means for ideological advancement, promotion of causes, or smear an opposing party (Tandoc et al, 2018). These so-called fake news come in the form of satire, parodies, outright fabrication, photo manipulation, propaganda, advertisements (Tandoc et al, 2018).

One of the fake news accounts that went viral was that of “EVEN THE POPE ADMIRES DUTERTE” (below). It had spread across social media by the campaign keyboard army even before it came under fact audit. The hype generated had catapulted him to Facebook stardom that one month prior to elections he dominated 64% of election engagement topics. It was only after that this was denied by the Catholic church in the Philippines, as news fabrication (Etter, 2017).

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Figure 4: How to Identify a Troll (Community, 2012)

However, the next prong to the campaign strategy is the employment of massive online supporters or trolls or “keyboard army” to spread fake news accounts, and obstreperously persecute non-supporters of Duterte branding themselves as “Dutertards” (Etter, 2017). According to Los Angeles Times in an interview with Freedom House, an independent vigilance organization on freedom and democracy across the globe, this army were paid 10$ per day to attack oppositions, non-supporters, and critics to the Duterte  candidacy (Ayres, 2017).

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Figure 5: “Even the Pope Admires Duterte” (Etter, 2017)

 

Conclusion: Media Literacy did not catch up with the Philippine’s Social Media Stardom

As fast as digital media and social media penetrated society, in the Philippines, as a prime example, governance and norms have remained a fluid and reactive mechanism. As impressive as it may have started, presenting the fertility of social media in the Philippines, it was unprecedented that such first world strategies could be used to a third world country like the Philippines.

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Figure 6: Random Filipinos waiting for Jeepney ride (Bloomberg, 2017)

According to the Digital Journalism Journal article “Defining Fake News” (Tandoc, 2018), content is as liable as the audience, in this case, the Filipino netizens, however is as true in the United States. In this revolutionalised platform called social media, meanings of news are “negotiated”. It is important that such are legitimised by the recipient of news whether propagated by trolls or keyboard armies or published surreptitiously.

However, such initiatives to self-legitimise online content, or social media communication, as part of consumption may be oversimplification, without incorporating one’s society’s cultural context. A perfect example to this is the free Facebook and the resulting behavior among users in the Philippines, which may not be true to a neighboring country like Singapore.

As discussed by Lipschultz (2018), education sector must now be equipped with media and information literacy into the classrooms. However, it is uncertain that such implementation leadtime will be timely given the pace by which social media and technology threats evolve. And thus, while it is not supported yet by legislation, it may rely on the Philippines’ Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education to actively push across public and private schools for discussion to commence.

It is now left with citizen-voluntary actions to spearhead quick wins through what Lipschultz (2018) describe as “role of active and deliberative citizenship”. With funding, organisations that can focus on literacy programs, can provide a more dynamic and agile response to almost nil awareness of such threats in the Philippines.

References

Ayres, S. (2017, Nov 14). ‘Keyboard armies’ aid dictators, report says; freedom house details the global spread of information manipulation. Los Angeles TimesRetrieved from http://ezproxy.library.usyd.edu.au/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy1.library.usyd.edu.au/docview/1963331353?accountid=14757

Bloomberg. (2018, April). Facebook Cambridge Analytica Scandal: Here’s What Happened. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2018/04/10/facebook-cambridge-analytica-what-happened/

Community 102. (2012, August 07). How To Identify An Internet Troll – INFOGRAPHIC. Retrieved from https://www.infographicsarchive.com/tech-and-gadgets/how-to-identify-an-internet-troll/

Edson C. Tandoc Jr., Zheng Wei Lim & Richard Ling (2017) Defining “Fake News”, Digital Journalism, 6:2, 137-153, DOI: 10.1080/21670811.2017.1360143
Etter, L. (2017, December 07). How Duterte Turned Facebook Into a Weapon-With Help From Facebook. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-12-07/how-rodrigo-duterte-turned-facebook-into-a-weapon-with-a-little-help-from-facebook
Freedom House. (2018, January 16). New Report – Freedom on the Net 2017: Manipulating Social Media to Undermine Democracy. Retrieved from https://freedomhouse.org/article/new-report-freedom-net-2017-manipulating-social-media-undermine-democracy
Globe Telecom, Inc. (2014, February 25). Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: Philippines a successful test bed for internet.org initiative with Globe Telecom partnership. Retrieved from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-philippines-a-successful-test-bed-for-internetorg-initiative-with-globe-telecom-partnership-247184981.html
GSMA Intelligence. (2014, December). Country overview: Philippines Growth through innovation. Retrieved from https://www.gsmaintelligence.com/research/?file=141201-philippines.pdf&download
Horwitz, J., & Ghoshal, D. (2018, April 09). Cambridge Analytica boasted about branding a Filipino politician as tough and “no-nonsense”. Retrieved from https://qz.com/1245444/cambridge-analytica-boasted-about-branding-a-filipino-politician-as-tough-on-crime-and-no-nonsense/
Kemp, S. (2018, January 30). Digital in 2018: World’s internet users pass the 4 billion mark. Retrieved from https://wearesocial.com/blog/2018/01/global-digital-report-2018
Lipschultz, J. H. (2018). Future of Social Media and Information Literacy. In Social media communication concepts, practices, data, law and ethics (2nd ed., pp. 315–337). New York, New York ; London, [England] : Routledge.

Palatino, M. (2017, July 28). Philippines: On Facebook’s Free Version, Fake News is Even Harder to Spot. Retrieved from https://advox.globalvoices.org/2017/07/28/philippines-on-facebooks-free-version-fake-news-is-even-harder-to-spot

Placido, D. (2018, April 08). Duterte supporters deny Cambridge Analytica links after photo surfaces. Retrieved from http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/04/09/18/duterte-supporters-deny-cambridge-analytica-links-after-photo-surfaces
Punit, I. S. (2018, April 05). 335 Indians installed a Cambridge Analytica app, exposing the Facebook data of 560,000. Retrieved from https://qz.com/1245515/facebook-admits-cambridge-analytica-may-have-accessed-the-data-of-over-560000-users-in-india/
Reuters. (2018, April 13). Philippines’ watchdog probes Facebook over Cambridge Analytica data… Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-privacy-philippines/philippines-watchdog-probes-facebook-over-cambridge-analytica-data-breach-idUSKBN1HK0QC
Singh, A. (2011, June). The Philippines Spends Highest Share of Time on Social Networking Across Markets. Retrieved from https://www.comscore.com/Insights/Data-Mine/The-Philippines-Spends-Highest-Share-of-Time-on-Social-Networking-Across-Markets?cs_edgescape_cc=US
The Economist. (2017, November). How the world was trolled; Social media and politics. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy1.library.usyd.edu.au/ps/i.do?p=EAIM&u=usyd&id=GALE|A512853740&v=2.1&it=r&sid=summon&authCount=1#
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Assessment 3 · Breastfeeding · Online Communities · Social Media Communication

The imperative of promoting media literacy education

Name: Lizhang Wang

SID: 460440891

Thursday 12:00-15:00

Introduction

In today’s era, network new media are ubiquitous. Acquiring massive amounts of information through new media not only facilitates faster understanding of the objective world, but also promotes changes in people’s ways of communication as well as facilitates the satisfaction of spiritual needs. However, while the new media provide convenience, it is accompanied by a large amount of spam messages and false information passed on to people, thus causing people to make erroneous judgments. At this time, individuals need to think critically about the information that comes pouring in through their own cognitive abilities and media literacy. This leads to new media literacy.

Concepts

The new media literacy is different from what we used to say as media literacy. ScreenShot2013-07-29at10.41.09PMIt is the use of citizens’ judgments on new media on the Internet that were born and developed under the social network, internet network, and mobile network revolution. New media literacy requires individuals to be able to understand, sort through and analyze the information they were bombarded with daily. In other words, traditional media literacy skills of merely being able to read and write is not enough in a world saturated by new media.

Now, one of the problems faced by new media on the Internet is that the speed of development and progress of network new media is significantly higher than that of citizens’ media literacy, and the development of the two is not synchronized. Silverblatt (1995) pointed out that process, context, framework and production values are the four main aspects of message interpretation in media literacy. From his point of view, people who are media literate are supposed to be aware of media impact on individuals and the society; understand the processes of mass communication; analyze media messages through critical approaches; have awareness of media content in terms of text, sound and images; explore cultural and social constructions as well as enhance the enjoyment and appreciation of media.

Information explosion is an important feature of the era of Web 2.0. The advent of self-media on social networks has made the boundaries between news producers and consumers less obvious. Therefore, everyone can be a journalist by uploading materials on social network platforms, which makes information overload. However, according to J.H (2018), the credibility of information is in doubt because people who post information on social networks probably do not follow the code of ethics like professional journalists. It should be noted that the public lacks the ability to question what you are reading of media information online. Now many media are trying to attract attention and deliberately exaggerate certain aspects of news information which causes content to be distorted. Obviously, there are many audiences believe that information is true. To avoid this from happening, the public need to be more discerning than ever in order not to be deceived.

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Case study: the death of Wei Zexi

On April 12, 2016, Wei Zexi, a 21-year-old student at Xidian University, died of synovial sarcoma after receiving experimental treatment at the Second Hospital of the Beijing Armed Police Corps, which he learned of from a promoted result on the Chinese search engine Baidu.According to Wei Zexi’s father, by September 2015, Wei Zexi had received four immunotherapy treatments in that hospital, which cost more than 200,000 yuan, but did not achieve the desired effect. Later Wei learned that the technology used in the treatment had been long stopped in the United States.Before his death, Wei’s post on the Chinese question-and-answer website Zhihu had been widely circulated. He accused China’s largest search engine Baidu of its advertising practice. Both the government and its citizens in China criticized Baidu because the top-ranked hospital appeared on search results is a paid advertisement.

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Around May 10th, the Cyberspace Administration of China concluded that Baidu is responsible for Wei Zexi’s death because of its misleading medical information. On that matter, the Cyberspace Administration has demanded Baidu to make the following adjustments: recognize and clean up the commercial promotion service for the healthcare industry that might bring prominent impact on people’s health; change the bidding mechanism for ranking, excluding money from the factors that determine the ranking of organizations.

chinesescandal2-1

The bidding mechanism for ranking is the business model through which Baidu’s search service makes profit and it is the main source of Baidu search’s income. According to estimates from analysts, advertising of the healthcare industry accounts for 20% to 30% of Baidu search’s business income while the search service accounts for 80% of Baidu’s total income.

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  (Baidu Branding)

According to MIT Press (2016), information accuracy issues have been addressed by search engines along with advocacy groups and other organizations. For example, health information provided on Google are verified in clearly delineated boxes. Websites that contain useful and reliable medical knowledge are required to be certificated by the Health on the Net Foundation.Although these efforts may not level up individuals’ media literacy, they will provide people with accurate and reliable information.

 In my opinion, Baidu should take the major responsibility of the scandal. First, it had precedents to allow Putian Group, the involved private hospital group from Fujian Province, to buy control of Baidu Tieba, one of the largest and easily-accessible forums in China, for commercial operation. Second, Baidu scandals have been revealed frequently, such as requesting customers to bid for ad rankings, deliberately allowing its employees to cater for customers to allow apparent wrongful actions. This one is simply a trigger, igniting accumulated anger, which was not expressed simply because Baidu deliberately delete those news. Third, since Google’s exit from China, Baidu is undoubtedly the largest search engine company in China. As such a big company, definitely should take a certain social responsibility, but obviously it is not satisfactory for Baidu in this respect. “Baidu Promotion” is another business of Baidu, glutted with many false advertisements, like the screenshot below. Baidu is largely supported by Chinese government while have lots of frauds on its site. 

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 (A disease search results on Baidu)

For the medical advertising information of the internet bidding, in September 1, 2016, the Interim Measures for the management of Internet advertising began to go into practice in China, and the payment search and sale of goods or services were defined as advertisements. This also completely incorporated the bidding model of medical information into the supervision of medical advertising.However, in the past two years in the event of Wei Zexi, there are still various irregularities in the medical information of competitive bidding. Experts suggest that in addition to supervision to continue to land, ordinary patients should also truly improve their media literacy, bright eyes can let such ads lose space.

MIT Press (2016) pointed out that, it is critically important for us to realize that what we are searching for, search engine algorithms, and information available on the Internet, altogether influence the search results. We should treat the information wisely, especially when it relates to our health problems.

Conclusion

The promotion of citizen’s media literacy is not only the efforts of the citizens themselves, but also requires the help of network operators and the government. Only a good collaboration between the three parties can effectively promote individuals’ media literacy. According to J (2016), media literacy teaches that information and images are built on a variety of goals, and everyone has the responsibility to assess and interpret these media information. The creator and disseminator of mass communication may be individuals, businesses, governments, or organizations, but the receiver of it is always an individual. Education, life experience, and a multitude of other factors allow each person to interpret constructed media in their own ways; there is no right or wrong answer with regard to how to read the media content. However, media literacy is an essential skill for us because in a media-rich environment it enables us to be “better democratic citizens, smarter shoppers, and more skeptical media consumers” (J, 2016).

References

Lule, J. (2016). Understanding media and culture: An introduction to mass communication. University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing.

Lipschultz, J. H. (2014). Social media communication: Concepts, practices, data, law and ethics. Routledge.

MIT Press. (2016, May 11). Cancer and the internet: The strange, sad case of Wei Zexi. Retrieved fromhttps://mitpress.mit.edu/blog/cancer-and-internet-strange-sad-case-wei-zexi

Death of Wei Zexi. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved April 28, 2018 fromhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Wei_Zexi

Maniac. (2018, April 23). Internet medical advertising enforcement difficulties: experts recommend strengthening mobile terminal management. Retrieved fromhttps://www.waonews.com/news/16241-Internet_medical_advertising_enforcement_difficulties_experts_recommend_strengthening_mobile_terminal_management.html

TMTPost. (2016, June 28). The Wei Zexi Incident Has Cost Baidu 2 Billion RMB In Three Months And It’s Not Over Yet. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@TMTpost/the-wei-zexi-incident-has-cost-baidu-2-billion-rmb-in-three-months-and-its-not-over-yet-tmtpost-3f6657f59815

 

Social Media Communication

We Instagram: How photo and video social media platforms influence user types

Xiao Sun

SID:470509380

Introduction

One of the primary reasons people use the Internet is to communicate with others. With e-mail,social network sites (SNS), blogs, and most recently Twitter, the Internet offers a plethora of ways to communicate with a large number of friends and strangers.With the rapid development of social media platforms(Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.etc), we found that Instagram has attracted more than 150 million active users, with an average of 55 million photos uploaded by users per day, and more than 16 billion photos shared so far (Instagram 2013).Naaman.M,the  author advocates that Instagram deserves attention from the research community that is comparable to the attention given to Twitter and other social media platforms (Naaman, Boase, and Lai 2010; Ellison and others 2007).This essay will give the concept of instagram , then I will combine the development phenomenon of instagram with our group project, find the advantages of this social media for our project, at the end I will give conclusion about this app.

 

Concepts

The name of Instagram derives from Instamatic, a series of low-cost portable point-and-shoot cameras Kodak which started selling in 1963. This series was so popular until its last model was still on sale in 1988.

Instagram is a mobile application that supports iOS and Android platform. It allows users to capture their own life memories in anytime and anywhere, users could select the image filter style (Lomo/Nashville/Apollo/Poprocket more than 10 kinds of aprons), then they could share the images on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Sina Weibo, more than just taking pictures. As a convenient and using-friendly app, Instagram incorporates many social elements on the mobile side, including the establishment, comments, sharing, and catching attentions of friends. This is the greatest value of Instagram which exists as a service app rather than a photo-taking app.

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Development of Instagram

The Instagram company is located in San Francisco and co-founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. The product was officially launched in the App store in October 2010. Then, the users grew rapidly that Instagram had 100,000 registered users in just one week. Subsequently, users quickly covered more than 50 countries and established more than 700 online communities.Furthermore, Instagram released an application version for Google Android smartphones, then the number of users immediately surged again.On April 10, 2012, Facebook purchased instagram for billions of dollars.微信图片_20180428144013

Operation mode of Instagram

(1) Independent operation

After the purchase, Facebook CEO Zuckerberg said, “We will be able to work more closely with the Instagram team to provide people with the best experience for sharing beautiful mobile photos according to their interests.” From the explaining why Instagram has remained independent operation, Zuckerberg said,“Millions of people in the world enjoy the Instagram app and the brand. Our goal is to help this app continue to grow and promote it. To the wider users.”In addition to Facebook, Instagram is also associated with other social services. At the same time, Facebook’s team of engineers and the technology base still do their best to help Instagram continue to grow.

(2)WEB Instagram

Instagram intends to graft from mobile to webpage,and the homepage has made some changes. The new page allows users to leave comments on photos.This feature, called the new Photo Page, is very simple, allowing users to directly query the photo publisher’s information and comment on published photos or just choose “like.” In addition, for published content, users can choose to delete or cancel others’ following.Also, the new page is presented as big pictures, so for PC users, they can obtain better experience from those pictures.微信截图_20180428144953

(3)Video(story)sharing

On June 21, 2013, Instagram added video features which has video function, they set a video button next to the camera button, then press and hold the video button to record a 15-second video to share on the users’ pages. This feature has been welcomed by 130 million active users. After that, on August 1,2017,Instagram updated a new feature, called Instagram Stories,basically, this is a function of copying Snapchat and the video and pictures will disappear after 24 hours.

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(4) Instagram camera

The camera’s design is inspired by the Instagram app icon and made as the Polaroid brand. The appearance of this product is almost as the same as the icon design of the Instagram App. The product is also equipped with 16MB of memory space and printing capabilities, people can directly print out Instagram format photos, and also upload pictures to Instagram official website with WIFI and Bluetooth.微信截图_20180428231357

Analysis

We found that the most fundamental feature of Instagram is the social network formed by photos. The photos, location services, and photo sharing are basic but crucial parts of Instagram.From a research <A First Analysis of Instagram Photo Content and User Types>, the authors provide the data of instagram users categories(Figure 1) and exemplary photos.(Figure 2)

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figure 1

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figure 2

From the Instagram API perspective, the features of the inner functions of this app for users can be list as below:

Users: Get the user’s ID, update content, like content, provide user search capabilities;

Relationship: Get the user’s relationship in the Instagram community and change the relationship with friends.

Content: Get the ID of the photo, the most popular photo, and the photo search function;

Tags: Get tag content, photos with tags, and tag search capabilities;

Location: Get location information, photos taken in a location, and location search capabilities;

Comments: Get a photo’s comments, leave a comment, delete a comment;

Likes: Get like list, add like info, delete like info.

 

Conclusion

The advantages of Instagram can be divided into three parts:

  1. Easier to participation (internal cause)

The app based on mobile devices allows people to participate more easily, users can abandon the traditional camera to take and share photos.Instagram allows people to enjoy the fun of instant messaging, to share the joy of life with friends anytime, anywhere (I believe this will be a trend, the use of high-smart mobile terminals will change the popularity of our lifestyle)

  1. We all know that within the large number of image community users, there are not many outstanding photographers who can create high-quality picture content. Instagram founder Kevin Systrom knows this better, so it provides 11 classic and interesting special effects styles to make photos look more interesting, and these effects are enough for users to create “amazing” works . Instagram has made “civilian artists” possible.
  2. Using the advantages of the rights.(External)

Sharing photos to apps such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, and Foursquare is actually not an innovation, but there are more channels of Instagram to make more unnoticed people catch more attentions from strangers. Also Instagram can import more related friends to reflect the community atmosphere. And through the above channels of social media, Instagram can spread in the users with the shortest speed without spending a huge amount of promotion costs.That is the majority reason why we choose Instagram to be one of the social media to promote our project.

微信截图_20180429003845

Assessment 3 · Online Communities · PRODUSERS · Social Media Communication

NICOLE DUNN – Cultural Intermediaries – Visions of the Social World

Nicole Dunn

SID: 450146723

Seminar: Wednesday 5-8pm  Rachael Bolton

Introduction:

Bourdieu’s original conception the cultural intermediary refers to ‘those sets of occupations and workers involved in the production and circulation of symbolic goods and services in the context of an expanding cultural economy.’ (Adkins.) Where tensions between stakeholders with aligned interests meet, intermediaries operate as ‘facilitators, translators and mediators.’ (Hutchinson. 2017) With the emergence of social media as the preferred location for advertising as audience participation is now a necessary element of a successful, engaging social media strategy, cultural intermediaries have unprecedented influence over the cultural economy. Their professional relationships with brands imposes values on products. In order to discuss modern cultural intermediaries and their relationships with social media, a strategic affiliation between intermediaries and the media is necessary. Maguire and Matthews locate cultural intermediaries as working within the media, for the media with the mutual economic goal in promoting consumption of mediated content. (Maguire.2013)

For the purposes of my analysis, I wish to specifically discuss the relationship between cultural intermediaries and non-for-profit organisations. These relationships are niche subsets of cultural mediation as non-for-profit organisations and charities often do no have the fiscal freedom to pursue highly sought after cultural intermediaries. By undertaking a case-study analysis of the Global Women’s Project and their social media presence, I wish to demonstrate the extreme scope of influence these people possess and how difficult it can be to convince audiences of your legitimacy in a crowded marketplace. As the followers of influential cultural intermediaries are similarly cultural producers making cultural product, data surrounding their participation is invaluable to businesses attempting to represent cultural life in their marketing materials. (Carah, Shaul. 2016)

Types of Intermediaries

Hutchinson extensively analyses cultural intermediaries within the context of audience participation within social media, and delineates between four different types of cultural intermediaries who operate within this field of cultural transmission. They are social media producers, community managers, micro-agents and change agents. Though features of all are needed for organisations and stakeholders to have their strategy effectively implemented, micro-influencers are the subset whose existence and legitimacy are the most crucial to successful consumer-business relationships. (Hutchinson. 2017) Micro-influencers are the ‘Instagram Intermediaries’ – the independent third party endorsers who shape audience attitudes through blogs, tweets, and the use of other social media.’ (Freberg, Freberg, Graham,McGaughey. 2011) They are agents of culture who have disrupted the equilibrium between hierarchies and individuals by re-energising cultural production with audience engagement within the media. (Bolton. 2018)

Through their promotional material, such as sponsored post (Image 1A) or an unsponsored ‘shout’ out post they weave legitimacy into the public image of a brand, company or movement.

Morello clearly identifies her paid affiliation with the brand in her public Instagram post.

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Image 1A: Morello clearly identifies her paid affiliation with the brand in her public Instagram post.

Image 1A.

A successful example of this is the #Ham4All Challenge, created by Tony-Award winning composer Lin Manuel Miranda to raise money for a coalition of immigration organisations. (Chen.2017) For the celebrities who participated and exposed the charitable cause to their online followers and fans, there was no financial gain for participating. Their video posts, which were widely circulated and then replicated by others, are an example of an intermediary activity. These celebrities were taking the form of ‘third wave’ cultural intermediaries who Hutchinson denotes ‘use cultural capital in order to improve our social society.’ (Hutchinson. 2017)

 

The Global Women’s Project

The rise of the conscious consumer not only denotes the increased interest and demand for transparency between businesses and consumers in relation to ethical practices, but a desire from consumers to make purchases that are considered investments into their social status. As cultural intermediaries operates as agents of change by translating one form of capital into another – such as transforming economic capital (a young woman’s purchase of a dress by the label Bec & Bridge) into social capital – this women receiving increased social currency in the form of  likes, comments and new followers on her Instagram profile. ( Hutchinson, 2017.)

Analytics company Annalect produced research carried out in conjunction with Twitter that discovered approximately 40% of people have purchased an item online after seeing it promoted by an influencer or celebrity. The implicit trust given to the intermediaries by their followers is the equivalent of a personal friendship. (Oppenheim. 2016) By mobilizing their fan bases to commit to monthly donations, the intermediaries will have successfully transformed their social capital into economic capital for the charity.

This emergence of the conscious consumer is a particularly welcome development for non-for-profit organisations and charities who are attempting to accumulate cultural and economic capital through non-traditional endorsements. (Baker.2015) Individuals have been able to successfully commodify and monetise their online presence, and must can then endeavour to inject their own ideological and political beliefs with the choice of professional affiliations they agree to. Using their power to improve social society is an emerging trend amongst cultural intermediaries. (Hutchinson. 2017) Audience are no longer passive users but are integral, active participants in the processes of content creation and distribution. This has been conceptualised as the cyclical practice known as Produsage. Any article produced in the public media sphere is an artefact of that cultural period and possess innate value. (Neti. 2011)

Maguire and Matthews suggest that the work of cultural intermediaries involves processes that are often ‘invisible to the consumer’s eye.’ By analysing the our social media strategy for the Global Women’s Project and the growing leverage of cultural intermediaries within the field of social media, I will suggest that modern consumers are acutely aware of these processes, making the composition and implementation of a successful media strategy even more crucial. (Maguire, 2013)

produsage-and-beyond-exploring-the-proam-interface-10-638
The Produsage model. From Axel Bruns via https://www.slideshare.net/Snurb/produsage-and-beyond-exploring-the-proam-interface-5631254

My group and I decided to suggest some cultural intermediaries for the Global Women’s Project to work with as we felt it was necessary for them to accrue some cultural capital. Though an established organisation that are seeking grass-roots change through fiscal donations and support, consumers won’t think to support this charity unless they are given compelling evidence to do so. Cultural intermediaries operate at the intersection of economy and culture, defining what is relevant, worthy of a ‘like’ or ‘follow and what people should spend their money on. (Maguire.2013)

We particularly focused on Instagram as it is a tool that calibrates and captures attention. (Carah,Shaul. 2016) For GWP to try and successfully penetrate the dense market of brands, individuals and movements attempting to amass relevance and dedication from the most profitable viewership demographics, they need to amplify the potential for gratification felt by potential investors. This would explain why famous intermediaries would choose to associate themselves the organisation, complimented with the burgeoning ability to mobilise social change within the platforms of site such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Individuals who wish to become effective cultural intermediaries must pre-emptively determine what their followers will respond to and engage with. Now that cultural intermediaries are indispensable operators in the field of social media advertising and communication, it is now possible for these users to be selective about which products they wish to endorse and align their personal branding with. Agreeing to associate their meticulously crafted image with an organisation can be an ideological decision, as intermediaries can function as agents of culture, and assist ‘organizations in adapting to an environment characterized by networked communication systems.’(Hutchinson.2017)

Summary:

The relationships between organisations, cultural intermediaries and consumers are so intimate and blurred in the sphere of social media that all stakeholders now possess an implicit understanding of how intermediaries function. The failure of the Global Women’s Project to successfully engage their desired audience on social media platforms can be partially attributed to the lack of social transmissions about their core mission and vision for the social world. It is clear when assessing the content on their platforms that they have a clear vision for their social branding and can produce this effectively without third-party assistance, but have not established themselves within the marketplace as of yet. The intersection between cultural intermediaries and organisations, especially non-for-profit, allows visions of about the social world to be circulated in a way that is profitable, timely and guarantees exposure. Just as the reliability of traditional marketing methods has been reconsidered in the age of the Instagram Intermediaries, so to these influencers must consider how to generate diverse forms of capital to ensure the sustainability of media-centric intermediacy.

Word Count: 1395

Bibliography:

Adkins, Lisa. (Unknown) Cultural Intermediaries in Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture

Baker, J. (2015, April 2). The rise of the conscious consumer: why businesses need to open up. Retrieved April 27, 2018, from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/women-in-leadership/2015/apr/02/the-rise-of-the-conscious-consumer-why-businesses-need-to-open-up

Carah, N., & Shaul, M. (2016). Brands and Instagram: Point, tap, swipe, glance. Mobile Media & Communication , 4(1).

Freberg, K., Freberg, L. A., Graham, K., & McGaughey. (2011). Who are the social media influencers? A study of public perceptions of personality. Public Relations Review, 37(1), 90-92.

Hutchinson, J. (2017). Cultural Intermediaries: Audience Participation In Media Organisations .Palgrave MacMillan.

Maguire, J. S. (2013). Bourdieu on Cultural Intermdiaries. In J. S. Maguire, & J. Matthews, The Cultural Intermediaires Reader(pp. 15-24). tUnied Kingdom.: SAGE Publications .

McDuling, J. (2017, April 7). How Google and Facebook trillion dollar duopoly strangles the internet . Retrieved April 27, 2018, from Financial Review: http://www.afr.com/business/media-and-marketing/advertising/how-google-and-facebooks-trillion-dollar-duopoly-strangles-the-internet-20170328-gv7zxi

Neti, S. (2011). Social Media and Its Role in Marketing. International Journal of Enterprise Computing and Business Systems, 1(2).

Oppenheim, M. (2016, May 12). New data reveals people trust social media influencers almost as much as their own friends. Retrieved April 27, 2018, from Independent: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/new-data-reveals-people-trust-social-media-influencers-almost-as-much-as-their-own-friends-a7026941.html

Assessment 3 · Social Media Communication

Mobile Media in a Digital Era

Student:Fangjian Shang (Felicia)

SID:480053592

Tutor: Rachael Bolton

With the dynamics of internet and communication technologies (ICTs), leverage of the mobile devices, including smartphones, tablet computers and laptops, are pervasive and profound in the digital era. According to the Statista (2017), mobile internet traffic makes up 52.64% of the global internet access in 2017.

How to define “mobile media”?

As mobile media is a relatively new thing and changing constantly, it is hard to define the concept exactly. The word “media” is not only refer to the news organization, it also contains application and contents (Scolari, Aguado & Feijóo, 2012). The authors also mentioned that due to the difficulty of the definition, to understand the mobile media can from different elements. Therefore, in this article, I want to focus on the types of mobile media, the reason why mobile develop so rapidly, the impacts and issues.

Types of mobile media

There are two main types of mobile media that based on different design thinking. The first type is the application that transforms from the traditional media and formats, it is more like a digital platform to load the conventional content rather than a brand new mobile media. Internet users have a strong desire to express themselves and communicate with others. In the past, printed media could not offer enough space to such demands, but in the digital area, they can make this come true.

However, why more and more people use a social media platform to read news, rather than via CNN, ABC’s own applications on smartphones (Figure 1, Pew Research Center, 2017). These traditional new organizations try to operate their own apps, but the result was not so satisfactory. Because their strategies are still based on the traditional thinking, which is no longer suitable for mobile internet context. These apps have fewer users, poorer user experience than those gigantic social platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Figure 1: the potion of adults’ access to news via mobile devices

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/06/12/growth-in-mobile-news-use-driven-by-older-adults/

In this sense, although numbers of new applications emerged recent years, they are not real mobile media. Nevertheless, there is still much space to make progress. Facebook is also not designed for the mobile devices in the beginning, with the expansion of the mobile channels, they launched the live streaming and “check-in” to adapt users’ demands in mobile stage (Lipschultz, 2018a).

Another type is the application that originated from the design focusing on the mobile devices. In relation to the social media, Instagram, which is more available on smartphone or tablets than websites and PCs, aims to mobile devices. The size of pictures on Instagram is designed for and adapted to users, so they scan and slide massive photos on the smartphones smoothly. Another example is Tinder, a location-based application to meet new people. The logic of such application is that sharing users’ location instantly, thus maximize the volume of people around every user. Evidently, location-based service(LBS) is a key aspect of the development of mobile media, for it leverage “people, places and things to enhance interactions” (Humphreys and Liao, 2011).

It should be noticed that mobile media is not equal to social media. There are numerous applications that belong to the mobile media but not simply for a social purpose. The mobile game is a “golden mine” in these years. Due to the portability of mobile devices and low time cost of mobile games, the significance of mobile games boosts rapidly. (Figure 2, New Zoo, 2017)Pokémon Go, a location-based augmented reality (AR) game, is the typical example of mobile games. The selfie applications can also be seen as a kind of mobile media, which is largely used in public’s daily life.

图片 2

Figure 2: the share of the global games market

https://newzoo.com/insights/articles/the-global-games-market-will-reach-108-9-billion-in-2017-with-mobile-taking-42/

Why the mobile media are so prosperous?

The first reason is the low barrier to become a user of mobile devices. Fierce competitions in this industry is a significant motivation that promotes the dropping price of mobile devices (Figure 3, Statista, 2017, considering the inflation). Comparing to that of PC devices, apps of mobile devices bring social media to a much larger audience (Lipschultz, 2018a). Access to mobile devices is much frequent to the websites in terms of expense, leisure time, so the population who access to the internet via mobile devices in developing countries and areas outweighs via websites (Figure 4, Statista, 2017). Also, a “places-less” lifestyle contribute to the emergence of mobile class (Polson, 2016, p. 5).

图片 3

Figure 3: the average selling price of smartphones worldwide from 2012 to 2017

https://www.statista.com/statistics/510668/smartphone-average-selling-price-worldwide/

图片 4

Figure 4: the share of mobile access to the internet in different regions

https://www.statista.com/statistics/306528/share-of-mobile-internet-traffic-in-global-regions/

How mobile media impact users?

The development of mobile media results in a lot of impacts on users. Generally speaking, mobile media sculpture our media products, meanwhile change our business strategies. The features of mobile devices and the habits of users interact with each other. People’s reading habits in digital era shift to fast reading and consuming. They prefer to utilize the convenient mobile devices rather than heavy desktop. Therefore, the market for mobile media is huge and profitable. To comply with this shift, mobile application designers try their best to be outstanding. This, in turn, would influence the user experience and expansion of mobile media.

As the Lipschultz (2018a) mentioned in his article, mobile media urge companies and industries to rethink the business model in the internet environment. What kind of contents or services should shift emphasis from the website to the mobile? What kind of mobile media can earn money and survive in a long term? Competition is so intensive in this market, thus, the business model need perpetual updates to adapt to the new trends.

As the use of mobile devices are increasingly common and popular now, more and more companies transform their emphasis from the PC to the mobile. In our group project, SANE, as a non-profit charity to improve the situation of mental health in Australia, tries to commence their Instagram account so that can engage more young audiences. When we post the pictures, the appearance of posting content on smartphones is more concerned than viewing on the PC screens. (Figure 5, Group Project)

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Figure 5: the group project of a SANE Instagram sample

 

The issues of mobile media

However, although prospects of mobile media will own a bright future, there are still some issues should be taken into account. Personal privacy is the most concerned issue to normal users, especially when users share their real-time location. Increased business models focusing on the places-less value on personal data privacy (Lipschultz, 2018a). For instance, mobile geotagging service on some social media platforms attempt to attract more traffic and increase the interaction between their users. Commercial companies leverage this functions to advertise, since it is a common way to present users’ identities, taste and status. However, it could lead to a risk of information leakage. Sometimes, it even can be leveraged by the public for cyberbully and cyber manhunt.

The communication models between people are also gradually changed by these mobile media. It should be admitted that the mobile devices contribute a lot to the civilization of society. It narrows the globe and connects people tightly. However, to some extent, it threatens the face-to-face communication, declines the offline social time. So, it still needs time for us to rethink and address.

Conclusion

Now, the ICTs are continually making progress, therefore, the mobile devices are more powerful to provide various contents and services to satisfy the multiple demands of internet users. No matter the social media or game, mobile devices would probably dominate the most of the future market. The society would be profoundly affected by users and mobile media in the future.

Reference:

Lipschultz, J. H. (2018a). New and Mobile Media Technologies, Innovation and Investment. In Social media communication concepts, practices, data, law and ethics (2nd ed., pp. 191–212). New York, New York ; London, [England] : Routledge.

Humphreys, L., & Liao, T. (2011). Mobile geotagging: Reexamining our interactions with urban space. Journal of ComputerMediated Communication, 16(3), 407-423. doi:10.1111/j.1083-6101.2011.01548.x

New Zoo. (2017). The Global Games Market Will Reach $108.9 Billion in 2017 With Mobile Taking 42%. Retrieved from

https://newzoo.com/insights/articles/the-global-games-market-will-reach-108-9-billion-in-2017-with-mobile-taking-42/

Erika Polson. (2016). Privileged mobilities: Professional migration, geo-social media, and a new global middle class. London, England: SAGE Publications. doi:10.1177/0267323117730203

Scolari, C. A., Aguado, J. M., & Feijóo, C. (2012). Mobile media: Towards a definition and taxonomy of contents and applications. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM), 6(2), 29-38. doi:10.3991/ijim.v6i2.1880

Statista. (2017). Average selling price of smartphones worldwide from 2012 to 2017 (in U.S. dollars). Retrieved from

https://www.statista.com/statistics/510668/smartphone-average-selling-price-worldwide/

Statista. (2017). Mobile internet traffic as percentage of total web traffic in August 2017, by region. Retrieved from

https://www.statista.com/statistics/306528/share-of-mobile-internet-traffic-in-global-regions/

Statista. (2017). Mobile internet usage worldwide – Statistics & Facts. Retrieved from

https://www.statista.com/topics/779/mobile-internet/

Pew Research Center. (2017). Growth in mobile news use driven by older adults. Retrieved from

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/06/12/growth-in-mobile-news-use-driven-by-older-adults/

Assessment 3 · PRODUSERS · Social Media Communication

No longer a Couch Potato

It is through communication that business and organizations create their images and values in the market. Moreover, communication is one of the closest activities between business and consumers (Donsbach, 2015; Varey 2002). Thus, a good relationship between consumer and business is based on a good communication strategy. That is, in order to transmit the correct information, through the correct channel or platform, it is of great importance to know how, what, when and for whom to communicate to, enabling the achievement of the target needs, goals and receiving the necessary feedback. (Lasswell, 1948)

The advent of Web 2.0, social media and new technologies of communication, trigger transformations in the process of communication and, in doing so the exchange of communication and interaction between consumers and business also change its manners. Web 2.0 is the “for a group of user-oriented Web-based services (…) that provided the easy-to-use tools” (Anderson, 2016, p. xxvii) such as blogs, wikis, Facebook, among many others, that characterize the concept of new media. Those new media generates richer practices of communication, such as videos, audiovisual effects, gifs, among others senses of stimulations that increases the experience with the message. Likewise, the new communication spectrum enables the conversion of the traditional audience in an active audience. Or even more, because the communication on the Web 2.0 is characterized by participation and interactivity, it enables the possibility of swift the traditional audience in producers and consumers of the message, introducing the term ‘produsers’ and UGC. Consequently, as Jenkins (2009) argued, the consumers, in this new scenario, start not only to participate but also to demand the participation in the construction and elaboration of the message.

No longer a ‘couch potato’

Defined by Bruns (2006) “produser” is particularly related to the Web 2.0 scenario, to describe the collaborative and participative, continuous construction and sharing of an already existing content. The term “produser” emerged from the participatory characteristic of the Web 2.0 and the new communication technologies, which enables the participation of the consumer in the production of the content, becoming an active agent. That is, the content in this new scenario can be reorganized, modified and re-created by the interference of the consumer. By providing such possibility, the roles of consumers and producers are no longer suitable, and the term ‘produsers’ emerges to describe this new form of consumption and production of content. The concept of “produser” breaks with the hierarchical, polarized and linear structure of communication (Figure 1), and a new horizontal, depolarized and branched communication (Figure 2) takes place in the Web 2.0 environment.

message

Figure 1: Classic scheme of communication

abstract-neural-network-background_sf_y0vffl_thumbnail-full03                                                      Figure 2: Network Communication

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest among many others, take a great role on this swift of audience and consumer to “produsers”. These platforms, even though are many different “in existence, there are a number of general features that most” (Anderson, 2016, p. 155) of them display, such as connect with other individuals, create, share, comment and have access to almost any kind of content. They create a channel of expression and exchange of communication that are the expression of participation on Web 2.0. A good example of the ideal of ‘produsage’ is the platform Youtube (2018), a video sharing platform that allows users to upload videos, participate, comment and interact with other users videos, such as the case of the parody of the band Nickelback video, which shows how users can create a new content based on an existing one, achieving notoriety (more than 8 millions views), interaction with other users (more than 9 thousand comments) and connections with other social media (external links).

Another interesting case is the campaign “Vice-Campeões” (Vice Champignons) by Nissan in 2012 in Brazil, to celebrate the prize of the best compact car. The campaign created to Youtube shows several situations of vice-champions, accompanied by an anthem created especially for the campaign. At the end of the video, the audience can choose a Facebook picture of any friend and his or her football team shirt to share on any social media as the vice-champion. That is the audience is reformulating the message, playing with the message and sharing the message. (for more examples Pessoas reais opinioes verdadeiras)

Tell me more about this: The power of UGC

UGC (user generated content) is the content “published on a publicly accessible Web site or on a page on a social networking site that is accessible to a select group of people” (Moens;Li & Chua, 2014, p. 7), in other words any type of content created by users and consumers; or, from my point of a view, free advertisement on social media. UGC is exceptionally predominant on Instagram (2018), due to the possibility to repost (regram) posts from consumers and users. A survey conducted by Olapic, shows that 76% of consumers rely more on the opinion of others consumers than in the brands advertisements. According to study ran by ComScore, consumers also tend to engage more with the brand when “exposed to a mixture of professional marketing content and user generated content” (Tintup, n.d). A good example of the efficiency of UCG is the campaign of the clothing brand Aerie. The campaign #AerieReal focussed on the real beauty of women. The extreme use of editions, filters and unrealistic bodies in bikinis campaigns raised an alarm on the impact on women’s perception of real beauty and body patterns. Therefore the brand encouraged consumers to post pictures of themselves (Figure 3), wearing the brand babe suits, without any alteration using the hashtag #ArieReal, and for each posted photo the brand donated $1 to the National Eating Disorder Association.

Captura de Tela 2018-04-27 às 2.41.03 PM.png                                                  Figure 3: #AerieReal campaign

Our own case:

Two of the theories that we learned, that have driven my group partners and me, to create our campaign to Social Media Communication, was the concept of produsage and UCG. Understanding the willingness to participate in this new consumer – user – and the advantages of mixing a marketing content with a user-generated content, we created the SANE campaign #facesofmentalillness and #SpeakUp. Through a video call to action posted on Youtube (Figure 4) we encourage people to post photos of themselves, doing what they do as an outlet for happiness – being dancing, singing etc – (Figure 5) on Instagram, using the hashtag facesofmentalillness and SPeakUP. The concept here can be compared with the strategy used for the brand Aeire, not that we are trying to sell babe suits, but through the use of a visual campaign, using the platform Instagram to encourage people to share their real lives and faces and creating awareness and supporting a important cause, we drive engagement of the user and therefore call more attention for what we are trying to communicate.

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Figure 5: Video Campaign

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Figure 6: Instagram Post

Overall the role of the consumer changed; now the message is not only a way to convince, yet a place to give an opinion, share experiences and participate. The communication is more reach in terms of stimulus and formats, and the consumer more critic and optative. It is possible to say that the “produsers” are connected, have an opinion, have access and no longer want to only receive information. Moreover, the new formats of communication such as UCG, are great tools for marketing, being cheaper, obtained information of its consumers and being more creative. However, it is important to emphasize that the risk exists and when the power is on the produsers hand not always it is possible to have control of the results.

REFERENCES:

Anderson, P. (2012). Web 2.0 and Beyond: Principles and Technologies. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis Group.

Anon, (2018). [image] Available at: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/aeriereal/ [Accessed 27 Apr. 2018].
Bruns, A. (2006) Towards Produsage: Futures for User-Led Content Production, [online] Available at: https://eprints.qut.edu.au/4863/

ComScore (2012). comScore Study Finds Professionally-Produced Video Content And User-Generated Product Videos Exhibit Strong Synergy in Driving Sales Effectiveness. [online] Available at: https://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press-Releases/2012/3/comScore-Study-Finds-Professionally-Produced-Video-Content-And-User-Generated-Product-Videos-Exhibit-Strong-Synergy-in-Driving-Sales-Effectiveness?cs_edgescape_cc=GB [Accessed 27 Apr. 2018].

Donsbach, W. (2015). The concise encyclopedia of communication. West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons.

Figure 2. (2018). [image] Available at: https://wallpaper.istriku.site/networking-wallpaper-background/ [Accessed 27 Apr. 2018].

Bazilian,E. (2017) Infographic: How Millennials and Baby Boomers Consume User-Generated Content. Available at http://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/infographic-how-millennials-and-baby-boomers-consume-user-generated-content-175307/

Jenkins, H. Cultura da convergência : A colisão entre os velhos e novos meios de comunicação. 2ª ed. – São Paulo: Aleph, 2009.

Moens, M., Li, J. and Chua, T. (2014). Mining user generated content. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis.

TINT Blog. (2018). What is User Generated Content (and Why You Should Be Using it). [online] Available at: https://www.tintup.com/blog/user-generated-content-definition/ [Accessed 27 Apr. 2018].

Varey, R. (2002). Marketing Communication: Principles and Practice. London: Routledge.

Yang, B. (2013). Figure 1. [image] Available at: http://bellagnay.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/communication-models.html [Accessed 27 Apr. 2018].

Assessment 3 · Social Media Communication

Citizen Journalist and Social Media

Name: Yinan Wang

SID: 450460711

MECO6936 Online Article (Thursday12:00pm-Education Building)

Brian Solis(2014), an American expert of social media, pointed out that social media has been integrated into people’s daily lives and has changed the way people live and behave. The development of social media has been closely linked to our lives(Christian, 2017). It is no longer limited to the communication between celebrities or experts. It is changing the way people find and share information, contacts, and cooperation, and it also affects people’s behavior(Christian, 2017). In fact, I, like everyone else, is inseparable from social media every now and then, so I hope to achieve a comprehensive understanding and knowledge of social media.

tampasocialmediamarketing2

After learning the unit study of social media, I analyzed that the so-called “citizen journalist” refers to ordinary people who play a journalist role in the reporting and dissemination of news events but are not professional news communicators (Allan&Einar, 2009). “citizen journalist” is the idea of “participatory journalism”, which means “the people play an active role in collecting, reporting, analyzing, and disseminating news and information”(Lipschultz, 2018).

Evolution of Communication

I am very curious about the concept of “citizen journalist” and read a lot of relevant information in private. As a news dissemination model that emphasizing citizen participation,”citizen journalist” began in the United States in the 1990s. The Clinton sex scandal was first revealed by Drudge who was a citizen journalist in a blog(Denton&Holloway, 2003). Since then, citizen journalists have caused quite a stir of citizens’ participation in news reports around the world. Since the 21st century, the popularity of portable electronic devices, and the maturity of web and blog microblog technologies have made the development of citizen journalist communication even more powerful(Boyd, 2012). The traditional communication ecology is broken, and the new communication pattern is being reconstructed by citizen journalists in the new media era(Boyd, 2012).

2017 United Airlines(UAL) dragging passenger off event was uploaded by netizens which caused an uproar. UAL was pushed to the climax of the public opinion. The citizen who recorded the video was a “citizen journalist”(Selk& Aratani, 2017). 4.9 UAL event means that a flight from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky’s largest city, was numbered UA3411 at 5:40 pm on April 9, 2017. Due to overbooking, the airport randomly selected passengers to disembark and forced away a Vietnamese-American passenger who was unwilling to disembark. Some passengers took photographs and uploaded them to the Internet. As a result, the airlines had been hit by netizens(Selk& Aratani, 2017).

screen-shot-2017-04-14-at-75918-am

On the social networking site Twitter, the “boycott of United Airlines” and “refusal to travel to United Airlines” had quickly become popular. Many netizens either shared their negative experience on United Airlines or announced that they will never take United Airlines planes, some people even simply posted screenshots showing that they had canceled the UAL tickets. Many netizens supported the victim to prosecute UAL for compensation. UAL stocks fell sharply on the 11th and more than $600 million in market value evaporated(Selk& Aratani, 2017).

From the above events can be seen that citizen journalists supported by social media demonstrate a strong social function.
citizen-journalism

First, the citizen journalist can let the audience understand more information, breaking the situation of the traditional media monopoly. In normal times, relative to some local emergencies and social news, the citizen journalist has been able to disseminate information much faster than the local traditional media(Allan&Einar, 2009).

Second, the current citizen journalist not only interview, write and publish the news information on the Internet, but also record and shooting, and some of them can already be called “All Media Journalist”(Allan&Einar, 2009). Some of the local images provided by citizen journalists already have a more ecological and diverse perspective than traditional media journalists.

Thirdly, the large number of citizen journalists have reduced industrial monopoly(Allan&Einar, 2009). Under the pressure of an increasing number of citizen journalists, the role of professional journalists has to adjust timely that can promote the ability of professional journalists.

I am currently working as a journalist for People’s Daily Online, so I am very interested in the differences and features of citizen journalists and professional journalists. 

SoAreWe2

First of all, the concept of journalism is different.

 1. They report for different motivations: The Professional journalist is work for their companies or organizations. The citizen journalist is the people interested in reporting(Speer, 2014).

2. Is there a journalistic professionalism? Professional journalists represent objectivity, authenticity, and independence, but citizen journalists are unconventional(Speer, 2014).

Secondly,  the legality of public opinion supervision is different(Speer, 2014). 

1. The source of rights is different. Professional journalists are kind of public power extensions, but Citizen journalists realize the right to know. 

2. Their Identities are different. Professions Journalists belongs to News media units, and citizen journalists represent themselves. 

3. Who is the gatekeeper? Gatekeepers of Professional journalists are News media units, journalists, and governments. Citizen journalists are controlled by readers.

 Thirdly, different final press releases. Professional journalists press news on traditional media, media agency websites, and media agency public accounts. Citizen journalists press news on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, personal websites, forums, etc(Speer, 2014).

In addition, in the era of Web 2.0, UGC (User Generated Content) has become a pursuit form of more and more multimedia, because this form attaches equal importance to both download and upload(Boyd, 2012). With the development of the use of the Internet, the interaction of network users is reflected, and the concept of producage emerged(Tereza&Jelena, 2016). The user is both the viewer of web contents and the creator of web contents. The voice of citizen journalists has also become very important(Tereza&Jelena, 2016).

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With the UGC form based on the personalized features of the Web2.0 era, the output of the content on the network can be generated by users. Each user can generate their own contents(Allan&Einar, 2009). All contents on the Internet is created by users, not just some people in the past, so the content on the Internet has grown rapidly, forming a wide, multi, special situation. Using the Internet, DV and mobile phones spontaneously disseminate news information. The desire and ability of reporting news events have highly improved(Boyd, 2012).

produser

Everyone is a journalist. Everyone may be a witness and communicator of a sudden event, or it may be an exposer of the hidden truth(Lipschultz, 2018). Even news practitioners often get news information from the social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, personal websites, and pages.(Allan&Einar, 2009) The breadth, the density, and the speed of the news information have changed considerably compared to the traditional news production model(Lipschultz, 2018).

Through understanding the concepts of citizen journalists and producage, I have a deeper understanding of social media and applied producage-related knowledge to the work of our group. At the Sydney university orientation week, participants participating in our activities can become information publisher and they are also the recipient of the information.

References:

Boyd, d. (2012). Participating in the Always-On Lifestyle. In M. Mandiberg (Ed.), The Social Media Reader (pp. 71-76). New York: New York University Press.

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