Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
W-PI-1: New Media
Wednesday, 07/Mar/2018:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Bente Maegaard
Location: PI

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4:00pm - 4:30pm
Long Paper (20+10min) [publication ready]

Skin Tone Emoji and Sentiment on Twitter

Steven Coats

University of Oulu

In 2015, the Unicode Consortium introduced five skin tone emoji that can be used in combination with emoji representing human figures and body parts. In this study, use of the skin tone emoji is analyzed geographically in a large sample of data from Twitter. It can be shown that values for the skin tone emoji by country correspond approximately to the skin tone of the resident populations, and that a negative correlation exists between tweet sentiment and darker skin tone at the global level. In an era of large-scale migrations and continued sensitivity to questions of skin color and race, understanding how new language elements such as skin tone emoji are used can help frame our understanding of how people represent themselves and others in terms of a salient personal appearance attribute.

Coats-Skin Tone Emoji and Sentiment on Twitter-238_a.pdf
Coats-Skin Tone Emoji and Sentiment on Twitter-238_c.pdf

4:30pm - 4:45pm
Distinguished Short Paper (10+5min) [abstract]

“Memes” as a Cultural Software in the Context of the (Fake) Wall between the US and Mexico

Martin Camps

University of the Pacific,

Memes function as “digital graffiti” in the streets of social media, a cultural electronic product that satirizes those in power. The success of a meme is measured by “going viral” and reproduced like a germ. I am interested in analyzing these eckphrastic texts in the context of the construction of the wall between the US and Mexico. I examine popular memes in Mexico and in the US from both sides of the political spectrum. I believe these “political haikus” work as an escape valve to the tensions generated in the cultural wars that consume American politics. The border is an “open wound” (as Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes said) that was opened after the War of 1847 that resulted in Mexico losing half of its territory. Now the wall functions as a political membrane to keep out the “expelled citizens” of the Global South from the economic benefits of the North. Memes help to expunge the gravity of a two-thousand-mile concrete wall in a region that shares cultural traits, languages, and an environment that cannot be domesticated with monuments to hatred. Memes are rhetorical devices that convey the absurdity of a situation, as in one example, of a border wall with an enormous “piñata” that infantilizes the State-funded project of a fence. The meme’s iconoclastography set in motion a discussion of the real issues at hand, global economic disparities and the human right to migrate on this small planet of ours.

Camps-“Memes” as a Cultural Software in the Context-168_a.pdf
Camps-“Memes” as a Cultural Software in the Context-168_c.pdf

4:45pm - 5:00pm
Short Paper (10+5min) [publication ready]

A Mixed Methods Analysis of Local Facebook Groups in Helsinki

Matti Autio


In Helsinki, the largest city of Finland, local Facebook groups have become increasingly popular. Communities in Helsinki have developed a virtual existence as a part of everyday life. More than 50 discussion groups exist that are tied to a certain residential district. Local flea market groups are even more common. The membership of local Facebook groups totals at least 300 000 in a city of little more than half a million. The content of discussion groups was studied using a mixed methods approach. The qualitative results give a typology of local Facebook groups and an insight to the reoccurring topics of posts. The quantitative study reveals significant differences in the amount of local social control exerted through the Facebook group. The discussion groups are used for social control more prominently in areas with a lot of detached housing. In high rise districts the new networks are used mainly for socially cohesive cooperation. The social cohesion and control of local Facebook groups strengthens the community’s collective efficacy.

Autio-A Mixed Methods Analysis of Local Facebook Groups-257_a.pdf

5:00pm - 5:15pm
Short Paper (10+5min) [publication ready]

Medicine Radar – Discovering How People Discuss Their Health

Krista Lagus1, Minna Ruckenstein2, Atte Juvonen3, Chang Rajani3

1Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland,; 2Consumer Society Research Centre, University of Helsinki, Finland; 3Futurice Oy

In order to understand how people discuss their health and their use of medicines on-line, we studied Health in the Suomi24. Upon the analysis of 19 million comments containing 200 million words, a concept vocabulary of medicines and of symptoms was derived from colloquial discussions utilizing a mixture of unsupervised learning, human input and linguistic analyses. We present the method and a tool for browsing the health discussions, and the relations of medicines, symptoms and dosages.

Lagus-Medicine Radar – Discovering How People Discuss Their Health-273_a.pdf

5:15pm - 5:30pm
Short Paper (10+5min) [publication ready]

(Re)Branching Narrativity: Virtual Space Experience in Twitch

Ilgin Kizilgunesler

University of Manitoba, Canada

Twitch, as an online platform for gamers, has been analyzed in terms of its commercial benefits for the increase of game sales and its role in bringing fame to streamers. By focusing on Twitch’s interactive capacity, this paper compares this platform to narrative games, playable stories, and mobile narratives in terms of the role of the user(s) and their virtual space experience. Drawing on theories by Marie-Laure Ryan in "From Narrative Games to Playable Stories: Toward a Poetics of Interactive Narrative"and Rita Raley in "Walk This Way: Mobile Narrative as Composed Experience”, the paper argues that Twitch assigns authorial roles to the users (i.e., the streamers and the subscribers), who branch the existing narrative of the game by determining the path of the setting collectively. By doing so, the paper proposes Twitch as a space, which extends the immersion that is discussed around such interactive forms (i.e., narrative games, playable stories, and mobile narratives).

Kizilgunesler-(Re)Branching Narrativity-149_a.pdf
Kizilgunesler-(Re)Branching Narrativity-149_c.pdf

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