Category:
    Journal Articles
  1. Jul 2022 Journal Article Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

    A typology of social media rituals

    Lay Summary

    The world of user-generated content on social media is vast and seemingly unorganized. In this article, we attempt to identify some of its overarching patterns by sorting social media content into different “rituals,” patterned ways of communicating where people express and negotiate shared values. We integrate theoretical literature on rituals with empirical studies of social media genres to develop a typology of 16 rituals. Each ritual conveys different values, ranging from respect and responsibility to materialism and pleasure. Rituals also convey different notions of what counts as good communication, emphasizing one of four communicative values: authenticity, persuasion, affiliation, or demonstration. In our conclusion, we discuss how our framework can support future comparative research on what people post to social media.

    Abstract

    Given its massive volume and rapid development of new trends, the universe of user-generated content may seem utterly chaotic. Yet the flow of content is underlined by deep-rooted patterns of communication. In this article, we present the first systematic attempt to identify these patterns using the concept of social media rituals. Understood as typified communicative

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  2. 7 Sep 2020 Journal Article Information, Communication & Society

    SRSLY?? A typology of online ironic markers

    Abstract

    Social media constitute a fertile though challenging arena for the use of ironic humor. A combination of facilitating and hindering factors turns the production and identification of irony in this sphere into a complex venture, positioning it as a powerful tool in consolidating group boundaries. The main aims of this paper are to identify the markers of ironic humor on

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  3. 21 Aug 2020 Journal Article Information, Communication & Society

    Laughing alone, together: local user-generated satirical responses to a global event

    Abstract

    This paper presents a first systematic analysis and conceptualization of local comic responses to global events, as articulated by internet users. We probed the multifaceted interactions between the global-local and entertaining-disruptive dimensions of contemporary satire through a cross-linguistic analysis of reactions to Donald Trumps’ election. Using a combination

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  4. Oct 2018 Journal Article New Media & Society

    Digital political infographics: A rhetorical palette of an emergent genre

    Abstract

    Information visualizations (“infographics”) have long been part of the production of knowledge, although the rise of digital media brought about a significant expansion in both their volume and their use for political purposes. This article provides a first overview and typology of the emergent genre we term “digital political infographics.” Informed by literature and

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  5. Sep 2018 Journal Article Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

    Meme Templates as Expressive Repertoires in a Globalizing World: A Cross-Linguistic Study

    Abstract

    This study uses meme templates as a lens for exploring cultural globalization. By conceptualizing such templates as expressive repertoires that simultaneously enable and limit expression, we examined global and local dimensions of mainstream meme culture. We traced the top 100 templates in meme generators in English, German, Spanish, and Chinese, using 10 examples to

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  6. 1 Jul 2018 Journal Article Social Media + Society

    Talking It Personally: Features of Successful Political Posts on Facebook

    Abstract

    While the centrality of Facebook as a political arena has been widely acknowledged, only scant attention has been given to what makes some political posts more successful than others. Addressing this gap, we analyzed a corpus of political posts written by diverse political actors in Israel. We explored, in particular, two main groups of factors that have been associated

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  7. Apr 2018 Journal Article European Journal of Communication

    Testimonial rallies and the construction of memetic authenticity

    Abstract

    This article traces the role of ‘testimonial rallies’ – Internet memes in which participants post personal photos and/or written accounts as part of a coordinated political protest – in the formulation of truth-related values. Rather than endorsing the value of truth per se, rallies such as ‘We are the 99 percent’ or ‘I never ask for it’ valorize what I term ‘memetic

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  8. Apr 2017 Journal Article New Media & Society

    Internet memes as contested cultural capital: The case of 4chan’s /b/ board

    Abstract

    This article explores the workings of memes as cultural capital in web-based communities. A grounded analysis of 4chan’s /b/ board reveals three main formulations of memes as capital, delineating them as subcultural knowledge, unstable equilibriums, and discursive weapons. While the first formulation follows well-documented notions about subcultural knowledge as a basis

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  9. Feb 2017 Journal Article Information, Communication & Society

    Making sense? The structure and meanings of digital memetic nonsense

    Abstract

    This paper offers the first systematic analysis of ‘digital memetic nonsense’– clusters of seemingly meaningless digital texts imitated and circulated by many participants. We evaluated this phenomenon through two conceptual lenses: theories on nonsense in the pre-digital age and the techno-cultural conditions that facilitate its contemporary formations. A grounded

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  10. 31 Oct 2016 Journal Article International Journal of Communication

    Online Entertainment | Cross-Cultural Comparisons of User-Generated Content: An Analytical Framework

    Abstract

    This article presents a broad framework for the cross-cultural analysis of user-generated content (UGC). Building on veteran concepts used in comparative studies, as well as on literature focusing on attributes unique to UGC, I suggest that global and local aspects of digital cultures can be identified by analyzing four dimensions: values, frames, emotions, and

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  11. Sep 2016 Journal Article New Media & Society

    “It Gets Better”: Internet memes and the construction of collective identity

    Abstract

    In September 2010, a video titled “It Gets Better” was uploaded to YouTube, responding to suicides of gay teens who had suffered from homophobic bullying. Before long, thousands of Internet users added their own versions of the clip, creating a mass appeal to young people while simultaneously negotiating the norms of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ)

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  12. 16 Feb 2016 Journal Article HUMOR

    Digital humor and the articulation of locality in an age of global flows

    Abstract

    This paper uses the lens of internet-based humor to examine how, amidst massive global flows of content, young Israelis articulate a sense of local-national affinity. We analyzed verbal and visual comic email forwards to trace: (a) the extent to which Israelis share local versus global content and (b) the means through which national affinity is conveyed. Results show

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  13. 1 Dec 2015 Journal Article Asian Communication Research

    When Gangnam Hits the Middle East

    Abstract

    In this paper, we analyze “Gangnam Style” re-makes from a memetic point of view. Our examination unfolds in three parts. First, we present our conceptual framework, according to which Internet memes constitute forms of interpretive (and potentially also political) participation. We then focus our discussion on the case of “Gangnam Style”, in an attempt to unpack the

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  14. Jul 2015 Journal Article Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

    Families and Networks of Internet Memes: The Relationship Between Cohesiveness, Uniqueness, and Quiddity Concreteness

    Abstract

    This study employs a large-scale quantitative analysis to reveal structural patterns of internet memes, focusing on 2 forces that bind them together: the quiddities of each meme family and the generic attributes of the broader memetic sphere. Using content and network analysis of 1013 meme instances (including videos, images, and text), we explore memes' prevalent

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  15. Apr 2015 Journal Article New Media & Society

    When ethnic humor goes digital

    Abstract

    This article explores new forms of ethnic humor as emergent in a salient arena of contemporary culture: our electronic mailboxes. We argue that two processes underpin the manifestations of ethnic humor as it ‘goes online’: the global turn and the turn to genre plurality. We examine the implications of these processes through (1) content analysis of 1000 Israeli humorous

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  16. Dec 2014 Journal Article Journal of Visual Culture

    The Cultural Logic of Photo-Based Meme Genres

    Abstract

    This article probes the cultural meaning of contemporary meme genres that are based on photographs. The analysis looks into the broad dimensions of truth and temporality, as expressed in three prominent genres: reaction Photoshops, stock character macros, and photo fads. Based on patterns shared by these genres, it is argued that photo-based memes function as both

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  17. Oct 2014 Journal Article Journal of Communication

    Evasive Targets: Deciphering Polysemy in Mediated Humor

    Abstract

    While polysemy has been discussed in communication studies for decades, a fundamental question has evaded systematic analysis: Which textual features make mediated texts open to multiple interpretations? Focusing on humor, we addressed this question by using a somewhat unusual point of departure–a failed intercoder reliability test. We analyzed 130 humorous forwards

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  18. 2 Sep 2014 Journal Article Journalism Studies

    The Construction of Participation in News Websites

    Abstract

    Audience participation has become a salient component of contemporary digital news environments, challenging traditional boundaries between readers and journalists. In this paper, we present an analytical framework for the evaluation of participation features in news websites, consisting of five axes: Chronology—the stage of news production; Visibility—transparency and

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  19. 1 Jul 2014 Journal Article Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

    Internet Jokes: The Secret Agents of Globalization?

    Abstract

    In this article, we use the somewhat unusual lens of joke translation to examine the process of "user-generated globalization" – cross-national diffusion of content by Internet users. We tracked the translations of 100 popular jokes in English into 9 languages and analyzed them quantitatively and qualitatively. Our findings indicate that (1) web-based diffusion

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  20. Sep 2013 Journal Article Critical Studies in Media Communication

    Keeping the Elite Powerless: Fan-Producer Relations in the “Nu Who” (and New YOU) Era

    Abstract

    This article explores the relationship between fans and producers in an era of technological and cultural change. Focusing on fans' new liberties in the Web 2.0 environment, we study the ways in which fandom—previously conceptualized as a “powerless elite”—copes with increased status and influence. We focus on the case of Doctor Who, a cult series revived by a fan turned

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  21. 1 Apr 2013 Journal Article Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

    Memes in a Digital World: Reconciling with a Conceptual Troublemaker

    Abstract

    This paper re-examines the concept of “meme” in the context of digital culture. Defined as cultural units that spread from person to person, memes were debated long before the digital era. Yet the Internet turned the spread of memes into a highly visible practice, and the term has become an integral part of the netizen vernacular. After evaluating the promises and

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  22. Mar 2012 Journal Article New Media & Society

    An anatomy of a YouTube meme

    Abstract

    Launched in 2005 as a video-sharing website, YouTube has become an emblem of participatory culture. A central feature of this website is the dazzling number of derivative videos, uploaded daily by many thousands. Using the ‘meme’ concept as an analytic tool, this article aims at uncovering the attributes common to ‘memetic videos’ – popular clips that generate extensive

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  23. Feb 2012 Journal Article Popular Communication

    Satire in the Holy Wonderland: The Comic Framing of Arab Leaders in Israel

    Abstract

    This article traces the depiction of Arab leaders in televised Israeli satire during the last two decades. First, I discuss the construction of Yasser Arafat's image in the popular show Hartzufim (1996–2000), claiming that his polysemic framing as an Arab-Jew served both the emotional needs of Jewish-Israelis in a bewildering era of transformations and the commercial

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  24. Dec 2010 Journal Article New Media & Society

    The medium is the joke: online humor about and by networked computers

    Abstract

    This article explores the uncharted territory of reflexive internet humor about networked computers. A combined quantitative—qualitative analysis of 250 texts sampled from popular websites yielded a map of the main themes underpinning this massive corpus of humor. We analyzed them in relation to three grand theories of the nature of humor — superiority, release, and

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  25. Nov 2010 Journal Article Critical Studies in Media Communication

    “Mars and Venus” in Virtual Space: Post-feminist Humor and the Internet

    Abstract

    This paper examines the ideologies encoded in popular internet humor about gender in the context of contemporary debates about post-feminism. Five major themes in gender-focused humor were identified in a grounded analysis of 150 popular internet texts. In addition to three traditional themes—sex, marriage, and blondes—the two post-feminist themes found were gender

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  26. Aug 2010 Journal Article Information, Communication & Society

    Between Feminism and Fun(ny)mism

    Abstract

    This paper presents a first analysis of popular Internet humour about gender. The focus is on the extent to which such humour encodes sexist, feminist, and post-feminist ideologies. Utilizing a novel sampling protocol, a corpus of 150 highly popular verbal and visual comic texts was retrieved from eight English-based websites. The findings of a content analysis suggest

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  27. Mar 2010 Journal Article Media, Culture & Society

    Surviving the ‘mock interview’: challenges to political communicative competence in contemporary televised discourse

    Abstract

    In recent years, political communication scholars have been paying growing attention to new television genres blending entertainment and politics (Baym, 2005; Corner and Pels, 2003; Van Zoonen, 2005). A key dilemma driving these studies touches upon the consequences of political entertainment for the democratic process and the nature of the public sphere. However, less

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  28. Jan 2010 Journal Article Society

    Blondejokes.com: The New Generation

    Abstract

    The ‘sexy dumb blonde’ stereotype, which emerged in American popular culture during the Twentieth century, is one of the most salient themes of contemporary Internet humor. In this paper, we analyze the new generation of online blonde jokes, claiming that they incorporate three main features. First, in relation to the blonde image itself, we find that stupidity has

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  29. 1 Dec 2009 Journal Article Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology

    Assessing global diffusion with Web memetics: The spread and evolution of a popular joke

    Abstract

    Memes are small units of culture, analogous to genes, which flow from person to person by copying or imitation. More than any previous medium, the Internet has the technical capabilities for global meme diffusion. Yet, to spread globally, memes need to negotiate their way through cultural and linguistic borders. This article introduces a new broad method, Web memetics

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  30. Sep 2009 Journal Article The Communication Review

    What Officials Say, What Media Show, and What Publics Get: Gaza, January 2009

    Abstract

    This article maps the fundamental dimensions of media coverage of contemporary war. It defines and discusses three major dimensions: Arenas of war news (the homefront, the opponent's media field, and international media); the main script used for positioning the protagonists (power, vulnerability and disaster); and the degree of correspondence between coverage sought

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  31. Aug 2007 Journal Article Information, Community and Society

    Only joking? Online humour in the 2005 UK general election

    Abstract

    Humour has long been a part of election campaigns but rarely has election humour been subject to scholarly analysis. The increasing popularity of new forms of Internet-based humour has, however, raised questions about the significance of humour in campaigning and whether online humour can be used as means of stimulating political engagement. This article assesses online

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  32. 7 Feb 2007 Journal Article International Journal of Communication

    Humor in the Age of Digital Reproduction: Continuity and Change in Internet-Based Comic Texts

    Abstract

    This paper focuses on one of the most prominent manifestations of humorous communication in the present era – Internet-based humor. It explores both the content of Internet humor and the various forms that it takes. A content analysis of 400 humorous texts from eight salient humorous websites shows that the Internet functions both as a ‘carrier’ of old humor types such

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  33. 5 Feb 2007 Journal Article First Monday

    The clean, the dirty and the ugly: A critical analysis of 'clean joke' Web Sites

    Limor Shifman, Hamutal Ma’apil Varsano
    Abstract

    The paper focuses on the phenomenon of ‘clean joke’ Web sites. Such sites are often described as providing family-friendly humor, which is safe for children. However, our analysis reveals that the term ‘clean joke’ has mainly one operative meaning: a joke which is ‘sex-free’. Whereas sex is excluded from ‘clean joke’ sites, sexist, racist and ageist content does appear

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  34. Oct 2005 Journal Article American Sociological Review

    “Just Call Me Adonai”: A Case Study of Ethnic Humor and Immigrant Assimilation

    Abstract

    This article describes a case study of humor created in the course of immigrant assimilation, specifically regarding the jokes (n = 150) told by Eastern European oldtimers at the expense of well-bred German Jews (Yekkes) who migrated to Palestine/Israel beginning in the mid-1930s. A taxonomy divides the corpus into jokes lampooning rigidity, exaggerated deference to

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  35. Books
  36. Oct 2013 Book

    Memes in Digital Culture

    Abstract

    Taking “Gangnam Style” seriously: what Internet memes can tell us about digital culture. In December 2012, the exuberant video “Gangnam Style” became the first YouTube clip to be viewed more than one billion times. Thousands of its viewers responded by creating and posting their own variations of the video—“Mitt Romney Style,” “NASA Johnson Style,” “Egyptian Style,”

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  37. 2008 Book

    Televised Humor and Social Cleavages in Israel: 1968-2000

    Abstract

    This book represents a first attempt to examine in a systematic manner televised humor in Israel. It focuses on the Israeli “comic canon” – a bunch of sketches, characters and programs that were produced between the early 1970’s and late 1990’s. In the course of the years, these texts have accuiraed a unique status and became part of the cultural DNA of many Israelies

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    הערס, הפרחה והאמא הפולנייה : שסעים חברתיים והומור טלוויזיוני בישראל, 2000-1968
    תקציר

    האם יש קשר בין מערכון העליות מ"לול" לבין הפנתרים השחורים? בין יאצק והמהפך של 1977? בין הפולניות מ"זהו זה" לפוסט-פמיניזם? התשובה הקצרה לשאלות אלה היא "כן". התשובה הארוכה נחשפת בין דפיו של ספר זה, הראשון לבחון באופן שיטתי את ההומור הטלוויזיוני בישראל. הדיון מתמקד ב"קאנון הקומי" הישראלי -- קבוצה של מערכונים, דמויות ותוכניות טלוויזיה

    הצג עוד
  38. Books Chapters
  39. 2019 Book Chapter Society and the Internet

    Internet Memes and the Twofold Articulation of Values

    Abstract

    Shifman illuminates the roles of a central cultural phenomenon in the digital age—the meme. She introduces the concept of the Internet meme, and traces the rise of memes over the past decade till they have become a prevalent mode of communication across the globe. The chapter provides insights on memes in digital communication cultures, explaining why they matter

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  40. 2016 Book Chapter A Club of Their Own: Jewish Humorists and the Contemporary World

    Humor and Ethnicity on Israeli Television

    Abstract

    This chapter examines the role that humor has played in a specific context: Israel’s ethnic cleavage between “Ashkenazim” (Jews of Euro-American origin) and “Mizrahim” (Jews of Asian and North African origin). From the early 1950s, Israeli discourse about this cleavage revolved around three dichotomies: diasporic versus Israeli identity; Mizrahi versus Ashkenazi; and

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  41. 2016 Book Chapter The International Encyclopedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy

    Dissemination

    Abstract

    The word “dissemination” is used in two distinct ways in communication scholarship: as a theoretical model and as a mundane term. According to John Durham Peters's conceptual classification, dissemination is the loose “seeding” of ideas that may (or may not) be harvested by audiences. When used as a mundane term, dissemination depicts the directed spread of information

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  42. 2016 Book Chapter The Future of Journalism: In an Age of Digital Media and Economic Uncertainty

    The Construction of Participation in News Websites: A five-dimensional model

    Abstract

    Audience participation has become a salient component of contemporary digital news environments, challenging traditional boundaries between readers and journalists. In this paper, we present an analytical framework for the evaluation of participation features in news websites, consisting of five axes: Chronology—the stage of news production; Visibility—transparency and

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  43. 2012 Book Chapter News Parody and Political Satire Across the Globe

    Satire in the Holy Wonderland: The Comic Framing of Arab Leaders in Israel

    Abstract

    In theory, Israel should be a great place for political satire. It may be a cliché to say that political reality is often far more surprising, intriguing, and unpredictable than anything a satirist could come up with, but when it comes to the Holy Land this is probably the case. Packed with a mindboggling array of contradictions and involved in a ceaseless conflict with

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  44. 2008 Book Chapter The Toronto School of Communication Theory

    From the Spider to the Web: Innis' Ecological Approach to the Evolution of Communication Technologies

    Abstract

    Harold Adams Innis is widely considered a founding proponent of a technological deterministic approach to communication studies. One of the fundamental notions usually ascribed to such an approach is that technology is an autonomous, powerful force, emerging independently of social expectations. Technology, according to this view, is the independent stimulus, social

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  45. Journal Articles
  46. May 2022 Journal Article Communication Theory

    Beyond Neutrality: Conceptualizing Platform Values

    Abstract

    Social media platforms are prominent sites where values are expressed, contested, and diffused. In this article, we present a conceptual framework for studying the communication of values on and through social media composed of two dimensions: scale (from individual users to global infrastructures) and explicitness (from the most explicit to the invisible). Utilizing

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  47. Feb 2022 Journal Article Information, Communication & Society

    Off the charts: user engagement enhancers in election infographics

    Abstract

    In recent years, political discourse in digital spheres has seen a rise in the use of infographics. The paper addresses an unexplored question about this phenomenon: which characteristics are associated with higher levels of ostensive user engagement with political infographics in social media? We conceptualize ostensive user engagement as the outward-facing metrics

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  48. 14 Dec 2021 Journal Article Journal of Communication

    What Does #Freedom Look Like? Instagram and the Visual Imagination of Values

    Abstract

    Instagram is the place for the visualization of everything, from travel and food to abstract concepts such as freedom. Over the past decade, the platform has introduced a bottom-up process where users co-produce image repertoires that shape the boundaries of the imaginable. Drawing on an epistemology of social constructionism, we ask which visual repertoires are associated

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  49. 20 Oct 2021 Journal Article Information, Communication & Society

    The value(s) of social media rituals: a cross-cultural analysis of New Year’s resolutions

    Abstract

    New Year’s resolutions are acts of valuation where people express ideas about what is important and worthwhile in life. Although resolutions have a long history, the twenty-first century has transformed the practice into a social media ritual with greater visibility, interactivity, and reach. Using this unique event to explore the globalization of values, we analyze

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  50. 19 Sep 2021 Journal Article Information, Communication & Society

    Memetic commemorations: remixing far-right values in digital spheres

    Abstract

    This paper examines memetic content as a window into the values expressed by far-right constituents. Our main premise was that far-right memes are a site of interaction between two types of values: those of the far-right as a social movement and those characterizing memetic communication on social media. We studied this notion through a case from Italy: the photo-based

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  51. 9 May 2021 Journal Article New Media & Society

    Mapping the transnational imaginary of social media genres

    Abstract

    This article presents a transnational study of the classification and evaluation of social media content. We conducted a large-scale survey (N = 4770) in five countries (Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and the United States) with open-ended questions about the types of content people like and dislike. Through iterative and inductive coding, we identified 29 topics

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  52. Conference Papers
  53. 15 Sep 2021 Journal Article The 22nd Annual Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers

    Hashtag Activism Lost in Translation: The Reformulation of #MeToo in Japan

    Saki Mizoroki, Limor Shifman, Kaori Hayashi
    Abstract

    In 2017, the #MeToo movement lit up Twitter. In Japan, however, it was almost nonexistent and morphed into other forms of hashtag activism: #WeToo, #WithYou,and #furawademo (“flower demo”). This paper investigates both the absence of #MeToo in Japan and its reformulations. We hypothesize that these could be explained through the interplay of three avenues: (1) values—the

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  54. 15 Sep 2021 Journal Article The 22nd Annual Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers

    The Cheshire Cat of Social Media: Values in Platform Policies

    Abstract

    Value is fundamental for social media platforms, not only in the economic sense but also in the sense of normative principles like community and free speech. Policy documents are pivotal sites for the expression of values and present a public-facing account of the roles and responsibilities assigned to various actors, including individual users, third parties, governments

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