Hybrid, 04 October 2022
University of Amsterdam
The purpose of the talk is to reintroduce contemporary critiques of social media research, as they have gathered steam following the ‘fake news' crisis of 2016 and the Facebook whisteblower's revelations in 2021 concerning how angry posts are privileged. The talk discusses how social media data is used to study cultural and societal trends but have several issues from the quality of the data to platform and proprietary effects. Repurposing platform data for social research is also scrutinised, given how platforms optimise content and entice engagement. Re-using platform dashboards and other non-scientific instrumentaria are also addressed, together with how platforms are resistant to archiving. It concludes with a discussion of the future of social media research employing platform data.
This lecture is presented in cooperation with University for Continuing Education Krems, Center for Image Science.
Richard Rogers is Professor of New Media & Digital Culture, Media Studies, University of Amsterdam. He is Director of the Digital Methods Initiative, known for the development of software tools for the study of online data. His most recent books are Doing Digital Methods (Sage, 2019) and the edited volume (with Sabine Niederer), The Politics of Social Media Manipulation (Amsterdam University Press, 2020). He is currently working on The Propagation of Misinformation across Social Media (Amsterdam University Press, 2022) as well as projects on a technical definition of memes, the art of critical analytics, Yandex-Google comparative image research concerning the Russo-Ukrainian War and problematic narratives concerning Ukrainian refugees in Polish-language social media.