All posts by martina

Konference om digital social inklusion

Hvordan opleves forventninger til konstant digital tilstedeværelse, når det man mest har brug for er fred og ro? Hvordan navigerer man i konstante informationsbombardementer fra sociale medier, når man har svært ved at filtrere indtryk? Og hvordan kan man håndtere disse udfordringer uden at blevet ekskluderet fra digitaliserede fællesskaber?

Torsdag d. 6. april inviterer IT-Universitetet til konference om digital social inklusion.

Konferencen sætter fokus på de vilkår digitalisering opstiller for borgere med særlige udfordringer, og hvordan dette påvirker oplevelsen af inklusion.

Baggrunden for konferencen er en pilotundersøgelse udarbejdet af forskere på ITU i samarbejde med Gladfonden og med støtte fra Trygfonden. På konferencen præsenteres både empirisk og konceptuelt arbejde og lægges op til en samtale om, hvordan vi videre kan arbejde med social inklusion i en digitaliseret verden. Resultaterne udkommer også i en rapport, der vil være digitalt tilgængelig op til konferencen og i print på dagen.

Oplæg ved:
Morten Hjelholt – Lektor på IT-Universitetet
Mette Grønbæk Rasmussen – Videnskabelig assistent på IT-Universitetet
Anette Laigaard – Formand for Det Centrale Handicapråd
Mikkel Holmbäck – Direktør i Glad Fonden

Praktisk info:
Det er gratis at deltage i konferencen og kræver ingen tilmelding.
Konferencen finder sted d. 6. april kl. 13-15 i auditorium 2.

Baking, Skiing – Governing – Exploring the popularity of personalized posts on Norwegian political Instagram accounts

In this DECIDIS Open Lecture, Anders Olof Larsson (Westerdals, Oslo) will present his research about politicians on Instagram.

When?
March 21, 2017 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Where?
Auditorium 3
Everybody is welcome!

The Internet is sometimes pointed to as having increased tendencies of personalization in politics. While studies have gauged the degree to which political actors focus on their private or personal sides rather than on their more official or political sides in their communication, rather few research efforts have been geared towards assessing to what extent content that could be considered as personalized succeed in gaining traction among the online followers or fans of political actors. The current study does precisely that, comparing the ways in which the content offered by Norwegian parties and party leaders is received by those who follow their updates on Instagram – a social media image sharing service.

“Knowing what goes on in the world” – how Danish students navigate through Facebook’s Newsfeed

Report on pilot study, IT University Copenhagen

How do young Danes inform themselves? How do they navigate through the different kind of news available on Facebook’s Newsfeed? These were the questions a pilot study run by DECIDIS researcher Martina Mahnke Skrubbeltrang (together with Jannie Møller Hartley & research assistant research Birgitte Rigtrup) focused on. The study builds on the DECIDIS survey, which showed that especially young users receive their daily news via Facebook’s Newsfeed: 47,1% from the 16-19 year old receive their news via Facebook and 37,1 % from the 20 to 29 year old. In the broader field of communication studies, several quantitative and qualitative studies have investigated in more detail if and how young people follow public news. In 2007, Horowitz & Mindich concluded that news and current affairs play a rather limited role in the everyday life of young people. However, another study carried out in the UK claims that news programs play an increasing role, as the youngsters’ grow older (Gauntlett & Hill, 1999). According to the recent Reuters Digital News Report more than 50 % of the young Danes between 18 and 25 access news several times a day.

While the frequent access to news might indicate an interest into news, a concern for many experts as well as parents is the platform news get accessed through. At the moment, Facebook is one of the primary platforms for the young and Facebook has continuously been criticized for their intransparent algorithms. In the light of the recent presidential election also for their susceptibility for fake news, which led to the instruction of special educational services for journalists. Despite the extensive critique Facebook is facing, it is still one of the most used platforms for receiving news and other information of interests. Therefore, the idea behind this study was to focus on the young users and their navigation strategies. The empirical data for this study was gathered amongst students taking the Master’s degree “Digital Design and Communication” at the IT University of Copenhagen. In total, 72 students took part in a survey that asked various questions in relation to their understanding of being informed in the digital age. They were for example asked what being informed means to them and how they would evaluate specific normative statements in relation to being an informed citizen. Drawing on the survey material, three students were interviewed in-depth in relation to their Newsfeed routines and two of the interviewed students took part in an additional workshop.

The results of the pilot study suggest that young Danish students approach news quite normatively. It seems like they get caught in their own ideals: On the one hand they wish for unbiased factual news and on the other, they need to deal with Facebook’s news reality; a reality in which news from traditional publishing houses are hardly distinguishable from other material. When asked about what the concept “being informed” means to them, the following answers were most common:

“Having an idea of what is going on in the world”
“Updated on the most current events in DK as well as the world”
“Being enlightened and wiser”
“To understand and be able to discuss the impact of whatever area you are informed on”

An interesting observation that can be made is that being informed refers to local as well as global news. A large part of the surveyed students wanted to be more aware of what is going on in the world and learn about current affairs through an unfiltered, nuanced and transparent lens as well as from different perspectives. When asked how the students feel about the information they receive via Facebook’s Newsfeed, they answered as follows:

“Facebook may have a lot of news in it, but if it is only relayed by others and not directly from the news source, it can get distorted.”
“Facebook’s News Feed is depending on what I like, what my friends like and what they share. Therefore it is very biased in my point of view”.
“Facebook entertainment rather then news – Facebook is only showing news that I am interested in”

According to the students, Facebook’s Newsfeed is strongly related to what has been discussed under the term filter bubble. Many students stated that they feel they do not receive proper news via Facebook. In their understanding, the information they receive is biased, subjective and leans towards the entertainment side. One fifth of the surveyed students, however, stated that they do feel informed via Facebook and they do feel so, because Facebook shows them what their friends read and therefore they feel updated. When asked about their Newsfeed behavior about 70 % stated that they scroll through Facebook strategically searching for news that specifically interests them. 29,2 % stated that they read almost all headlines when scrolling through the Facebook’s Newsfeed. In a further question, the students were asked to agree or disagree with specific normative statements in relation to the democratic ideal of being an informed citizen. Almost all students agreed on the following statements: “One has to be critical in his or her media selection”. The majority of the students agreed on the statement: “One has to read society related news”. Rather mixed were responses to statements such as “One has to seek information with a politically different view than one’s own” or “One has to seek actively for democracy-related news”.

The in-depth interviews conducted following the survey helped shedding light on more specific concepts that were used to describe news in general. A thematic analysis of the transcribed interviews resulted in the following list of concepts relating to the students’ news behavior:

Uncontrolled Entertainment Passing time
Time limited Situational Nuanced
 Controversial Noise Emotional
Information gathering Relevant Confirmatory
Raising awareness Dominating Surprise
Important Creating habits  


Asked which of the concepts above describe Facebook’s Newsfeed best, the answers varied. For example, one student answered:

  • Relevance
  • Situational
  • Raising awareness
  • Noise
  • Information gathering
  • Time limited

While another answered:

  • Relevance
  • Situational
  • Important
  • Entertainment
  • Uncontrolled
  • Passing time

A comparative look at both answers shows how personal the understanding of Facebook’s Newsfeed is. While the latter describes Facebook’s Newsfeed as entertaining, situational and complex in nature, the former describes it as relevant, noisy information that raises awareness towards situational issues.

In summary, this pilot study provides some interesting insights in relation to young user’s navigation habits. According to the collected data material, it can be concluded the surveyed students are using Facebook’s Newsfeed strategically in relation to their personal interests; however, with a normative mindset. That being said, they do look for news and information in relation to public affairs and at the same time they question sources, yet they seem to be disappoint by the selection of news they receive. Being asked what their ideal newsfeed would like, the answer was that they would like to receive more news from reliable sources. This raises the question, how public news providers can take these wishes into account and/or if they are able to reach the young generation via formats that build on the benefits of Facebook such as a wide variety of news from friends and acquaintances while reducing the disadvantages such as receiving irrelevant and partial misleading news.

DECIDIS Open Lecture: Machines in the Mix (Prof. Steve Jones)

Professor Steve Jones from University of Illinois at Chicago (US) will deliver the kick-off lecture in the DECIDIS Open Lectures series.

When? 27. januar 2017 13:00 – 14:30
Where? Auditorium 3, IT University, Copenhagen

Contemporary media of communication have relied on algorithmic intervention applied to discourse between users to point third parties toward commercial opportunities and point users toward selected content. Increasingly algorithms are applied to discourse between users and machines to create, modify or channel communication and interaction with digital agents.

In this presentation, Steve Jones, Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago, will discuss the consequences of these emergent forms of human-machine communication with a particular focus on journalism, social and political discourse.

Steve Jones is UIC Distinguished Professor of Communication and Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Adjunct Research Professor in the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is co-founder of the Association of Internet Researchers. Jones is Editor of New Media & Society, an international journal of research on new media, technology, and culture, and co-editor of Mobile Media & Communication, both with SAGE Publications. Jones is also co-editor of Digital Formations, a series of books on new media for Peter Lang Publishers. He has provided Internet consulting services to numerous corporations and not-for-profit organizations, and served ten years as Senior Research Fellow at the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

DECIDIS Open Lectures is a bi-monthly series of lectures by internationally leading scholars about democracy, citizenship, and communication in digital society. It’s open to the public, and registration is not required.

Conference: The Informed Citizen in Digital Society

What? Conference and workshops
When? Nov. 25th kl. 13-16, follow by Friday bar
Where? AUD 1 // IT University of Copenhagen // Rued Langgaards Vej 7
Sign up here. More information on our website.

The “informed citizen” is an idea and ideal brought forth by philosophers such as Rosseau, who advocated for the informed citizen as the fundamental basis of modern democracy. In an age where we can witness a fundamental shift of information sources, e.g. from traditional newspaper to Facebook, the question of being informed has arguably reached new relevance. Further, in relation to the recent US election, can the outcome be explained through the notion of people being un- or misinformed? If being informed is such a pivotal element of democratic society, does it matter where we find the information? How do we practice the distribution and production of information, and how do we decide what kind of information is important to foster an informed citizenry? These are some of the questions our panel including Henrik Dahl (Liberal Alliance), Rolf Bjerre (Alternativet), Ingrid Ank (Grundtvigsk Forum) and Gitte Stald (ITU) will discuss. The conference is free and we are looking forward to welcome you.

Internettet i Folketingsvalget 2015

Hvordan brugte danskerne internettet i relation til folketingsvalget 2015? Hvilken form for politisk information opsøgte de, hvilken betydning havde internettet og hvor meget brugte danskerne de sociale medier?

For tredje folketingsvalg i træk har en kreds af forskere fra Københavns Universitet, Aarhus Universitet, Danmarks Medie- og Journalisthøjskole og IT-Universitetet i samarbejde med Danske Medier undersøgt brugen af internettet i valgkampen med et særligt fokus på sociale medier.

Resultatet er blevet en rapport, som præsenteres og diskuteres på dette seminar. Her vil projektets forskere fremlægge deres resultater og indbyde til diskussion, om blandet andet svaret på ovenstående spørgsmål.

Arrangementet er åbent for alle. Det vil være særligt interessant for partier, interesseorganisationer, medier, forskere og studerende, men alle er velkomne

Den nævnte rapport trykkes i et begrænset oplag. Deltagere på seminaret vil få udleveret rapporten efter første til mølle princippet.

Deltagelse er gratis, men tilmelding kræves. Send mail med dit navn og stilling/arbejdsplads til klastrup@itu.dk med TILMELDING 25. AUGUST i titellinjen.

HVOR: AUDITORIUM 4, IT-UNIVERSITETET

PROGRAM (Facebook-Event)
14.00 Velkomst ved forskergruppen
14.10 Internettet og politisk deltagelse 2007-15
Jakob Linaa Jensen, Forskningschef, Danmarks Medie- og Journalisthøjskole
14.35 Internettet, brugerne og den politiske dagsorden
Jens Hoff, Professor i statskundskab, Københavns Universitet
15.00 Sociale medier i valgkampene 2007-2015
Lisbeth Klastrup, Lektor, IT-Universitetet i København
15.25 Diskussion og opsamling
15.45 Reception og udlevering af rapport

Seminar: Strategisk brug af sociale medier i valgkampen 2015

Se video optagelse (video.itu.dk).

Hvad? Seminar for akademikere og praktikere med udgangspunkt i spritnye data om de sociale mediers rolle under valget 2015
Hvor? Auditorium 1, IT Universitetet, København
Hvornår? Den 27. maj, kl. 13.00-16.00
Hvor meget? Gratis, men tilmelding er nødvendig via Eventbrite

Kom med til et seminar om sociale mediers rolle i valget 2015, når forskningsinitiativet DECIDIS på ITU præsenterer nye fund baseret på deres studier før, under og efter folketingsvalget i 2015. I forbindelse med valget udførte ITUs forskere bl.a. interviews med alle partiernes social media managers, samt indsamlede store mængder af data fra de sociale medier Facebook, Twitter og Instagram. Arrangementet vil være åbent for alle og deltagelsen er gratis, men tilmelding er påkrævet af pladshensyn. Målgruppen for dette arrangement er alle med interesse i medier og politisk kommunikation, både folk med praktisk erfaring og forskere og studerende.

På seminaret vil forskerne præsentere og diskutere, hvordan partier og politikere i Danmark i øjeblikket anvender og forstår sociale medier og deres rolle i den overordnede kampagnestrategi. Vi vil fremlægge generelle tendenser på tværs af partier, og diskutere de forskellige opfattelser og tilgange til platformene med udgangspunkt i vores analyser. Formålet med dagen er bl.a. at bygge bro mellem forskning og praksis. Vi afslutter derfor med en debat om både udfordringer og muligheder ved brugen af sociale medier, både for politikere og partier og for det demokratiske samfund bredt set.

På dagen vil tre forskere fra DECIDIS præsentere deres analyser baseret på interviews samt indsamling af data fra de tre sociale medieplatforme: Facebook, Twitter og Instagram. I sidste del af seminaret vil der være en diskussion med panelet inklusivt mulighed for spørgsmål fra publikum. Diskussionen ledes af ordstyrerne Benjamin Rud Elberth og Astrid Haug, der blandt andet er kendt fra TV2 NEWS programmet Digital Dagsorden.

Efter arrangementet vil der være forfriskninger i atrium med mulighed for networking. PDF

Public Lectures: Critical perspectives on civic agency and social media

Thomas Poell, University of Amsterdam
Julie Uldam, Roskilde University

Friday, 13 May 2016
13:00-15:00, IT University of Copenhagen
Room: 4A14

These public lectures bring together scholars who apply a critical perspective to social media, which has become integral to contemporary activism and civic agency. Far from being neutral platforms on which people can freely and openly interact in
order to create civic agency, social media have their own inherent materiality, shaping how we engage, protest, resist, and struggle. This materiality may entail the wires and silicon of technology, the codes and algorithms of digital platforms, and the commerciality of social media. The public lectures seek to address the mediation and mediatization of protest at the intersection of civic agency and algorithmic control to address questions such as: What are the
challenges and potentials of social media for civic agency and activism within a contested space of media corporations and logics? How do commercial social media platforms shape contemporary forms of protest? And what are the implications for grassroots action?

Everybody is welcome, no registration needed!

Detailed information in the PDF.

Ny rapport: Sociale medier og politisk engagement i Danmark

Danmark er et unikt land, for studier af  det demokratiske potentiale for offentlig politisk debat og engagement, fordi danskerne er stærkt repræsenterede, ikke mindst på Facebook. Tidligere studier har fokuseret på sociale mediers demokratisk potentiale eller har kritiseret sociale mediers mulige negative indflydelse på kvaliteten af den offentlige debat. Resultaterne fra dette survey understøtter ikke tydeligt nogle af disse to yderpunkter. I stedet præsenteres en række ligheder med, hvad vi ved fra tidligere undersøgelser af social interaktion offline1: generelt set er danskerne ikke særligt åbne for at diskutere politik i offentlige sammenhænge. Dette bør ikke fortolkes som at sociale medier ikke lever op til et demokratisk potentiale; i stedet bør vi forstå sociale medier som en forlængelse af offline interaktion. Sociale medier har ændret måden, vi kommunikerer og interagerer på. Digitalisering af disse interaktioner giver os et bredere publikum, end vi tidligere har haft adgang til, og muliggør kommunikation, som er mere uafhængig af tid og rum. Men i takt med at sociale medier optages som en del af hverdagspraksis, er det også naturligt at brugsmønstre tilpasses hverdagsbehov og -interesser.

Fuld Decidis Rapport 2016 (Dansk)

Hovedfund

  • Sociale medier er hverdagspraksis for mange danskere, men aktivitetsniveau og typen af aktiviteter
    varierer.
  • Danskere bruger primært sociale medier til at læse indhold fra andre. De bruges i mindre grad til at producere originalt indhold eller til at interagere med indhold, som er produceret af andre.
  • Unge danskere i Danmark er stærkere repræsenteret og mere aktive på sociale medier end andre aldersgrupper. Generationen mellem 20 og 39 år er mere interesseret end andre grupper i at bruge Facebook til at diskutere politik med fremmede som ikke er familie, venner eller kollegaer.
  • Særligt på Facebook er der en overvægt af brugere, som definerer deres kommunikation som privat og som bruger platformen til at kommunikere med private kontakter såsom venner og familie.
  • Generelt set er det ikke så ofte, at danskerne diskuterer politik med fremmede på sociale medier, og at dette fører til, at de ændrer syn på et politisk emne. Men der er en mindre gruppe, som siger de gør dette.

Social Media & Political engagement in Denmark (DECIDIS survey)

How do Danes engage with and through social media in public political debates? Are Danes becoming participatory content creators or is this a mere ideal of social media use? A preliminary analysis of the data collected in the DECIDIS survey “Social Media and Political Engagement” shows that social media and especially Facebook continues to be a central part of most Danes daily media habits. That is to say, social media does seem to engage some people in political debate, however, most of the Danes prefer using social media platforms to stay in contact with friends and family, and to receive news. In sum, the survey suggests the following three statements about social media use in Denmark:

  1. Social media is widely used in Denmark, however the average age as well as the frequency and type of use differ greatly.
  2. Danes use social media primarily to read (“stay in touch” or “be informed”) rather than produce original content or participate in political debates.
  3. Overall, young Danes are much more present on social media platforms. Espeically, the generation between 20 and 39 years is using social media for political debate.

Full report (PDF)

A more detailed look at the user numbers shows that Facebook is the most popular social media platform in Denmark: 72,4%  older than 15 have a Facebook account and 58% use Facebook at least once a day. The data further shows that Facebook has penetrated all age groups. Almost all young Danes use Facebook (91,2% in the age group 16-19) and still more than half of the over 70 year olds (61,5%) use Facebook. Generally, Facebook is a popular platform for news consumption and staying in contact with friends and family. A slightly different picture can be seen when looking at Instagram and Snapchat. Young Danes use these two services significantly more than older Danes. While 82,4% of the 16 to 19 year olds use Snapchat, less than 1% of the 70 year olds use the instant messenger. In contrast Twitter is generally much less popular. Fewer people have an account and, of those who do, very few people use it daily. In this sense Twitter is a more public platform and therefore mostly used for public relations.

Within the survey three different types of social media use were distinguished: reading, producing and participating. From a democratic perspective, participating (= interacting with the available content) is the most desirable from of engagement. However, according to the findings of the survey Danes use social media mostly to read and watch content. This can be illustrated with the iceberg metaphor: The bottom is formed by readers, the middle by producers creating content and the top the participants actively engaging in discussions.

With regards to political discussions, most people say they never discuss politics with people they do not know online. Few people say they do so often but a larger portion say they may do so though seldom. Unsurprisingly, most people say they never change their mind on a political issue after a discussion online. Some say they do this occasionally and only few say often or always. These finding suggest that social media is not simply generating echo chambers supporting conformation bias, but these platforms can also lead to new ideas and changed opinions of users. Especially younger Danes use Facebook to discuss politics online. 22,6% of the 20 to 29 year old Facebook users engage frequently in political debate.

In conclusion, it can be said that Danes produce content online, however not solely as content producers but as producers of data. Every click online leaves traces and this may be an increasing form of digital content production.

Contact DECIDIS survey: Luca Rossi, lucr@itu.dk
Foto credit: Morten Hjelholt