Category Archives: Events

DECIDIS survey shows social media has become a multifaceted part of Danish society

What? Presentation of survey “Social Media and Politicial Engagement” in Denmark
When? March 9th, 14.00-16.00
Where? IT University Copenhagen, Room 3A54

How do Danish citizens participate politically with and through social media? This is one of the main questions explored in the DECIDIS study “Social Media and Political Engagement”. Starting point of the study is to measure political engagement in social media, especially along the practices of “reading”, “producing” and “participating”. A preliminary analysis of the collected data shows that social media use has matured. This means social media has become an integral part of everyday life, for example about 74% of Danish Facebook users older than 16 years use Facebook daily. This, however, also means that expectations towards political participation online may have to be adjusted – not all users are as engaged as generally assumed or wished for. Especially young Danes seek private spaces online and they find those in services such as Instagram and Snapchat; even though technically speaking Facebook offers a greater variety of privacy settings. The study further shows that social media is widely used to receive and read news; 47% of the 16-18 year old Facebook users say that they use Facebook daily in this matter. About 37% of the 19-29 year old Facebook users and 33% of the 20-39 year old Facebook users do so as well.

DECIDIS researchers Gitte Stald, Luca Rossi and Lisbeth Klastrup will present and discuss the study next Wednesday, March 9th (14.00-16.00, IT University Copenhagen, AUD 4) in greater detail. Everybody interested in the Danish social media sphere is invited, no registration needed. We are looking forward to discuss the findings of the study with you!

Slides DECIDIS survey presentation
Full report (English/Dansk)

DECIDIS survey: Social Media & Political Engagement

Wednesday, March 9th
14.00 – 16.00, IT University Copenhagen
Room: AUD4

Next Wednesday DECIDIS researchers Gitte Stald and Luca Rossi will present first findings of the annual DECIDIS survey researching the Danish social media sphere. The representative survey provides insight into Danish media habits and preferences. The goal of the study is to contribute towards the on-going discussion how social media influences democractic practices. Contact:

Everybody is welcome, no registration needed!

Political campaigning in 2020?

How will election campaigns evolve in relation to increasing social media use? This was the main question tackled by digital media researcher Axel Bruns, and DECIDIS researchers Luca RossiLisbeth Klastrup and Sander Schwartz during the seminar “Election 2020” tacking place at the IT University of Copenhagen.

Axel Bruns, known for his extensive research on Twitter, started off by talking about the policital landscape in Australia. The case of political campaigning in Australia provides an interesting context as it raises the questions whether the law enforcing compulsory voting at federal and state level encourages awareness of political issues and political actors or not. In this regard it can be stated that the main focus needs to be put on the swinging middle, which makes up 10-20% of Australian voters. Drawing on comprehensive research in relation to the hashtags #ausvotes, #qldvotes and #wavotes Bruns concluded that Twitter has evolved from a narrow “Twitterati” in-group tool to a mainstream campaign tool. The collected data further suggests that there is no relation between how often a politician is mentioned on Twitter and the final election outcome. Additionally, the dynamics of recent elections, which have largely favoured the conservative side, mean that the Australian conservative Coalition bloc, which has won a number of landslide elections, has yet to engage in the question how to use social media effectively. By contrast, social media are especially important for small Australian parties, which are active on social media but are systematically disadvantaged by the first-past-the-post system used in Australian elections.

The following presentation by Lisbeth Klastrup shed light on the Danish context. Danish politicians are active in the Facebook sphere since 2007 and have fully adopted the medium in 2011 when Facebook became a mainstream tool for politicial communication. By contrast, Twitter has only been used by early adopters in 2011 and is now slowly becoming a mainstream tool. Klastrup further talked about “defining moments” where the social sphere made an actual impact. In 2007, for example, invited Anders Fogh Rasmussen his Facebook “friends” for a run and therewith engaged with his online community offline. Another recent example is the refugee crises, where the hashtag #engangvarjegflygtning (rough translation: Once I was a refugee) has been used in relation to a social media campaign. In conclusion, Klastrup states that social media is no longer optional but needs to be strategically integrated in a meaningful way.

Sander Schwartz’ talk on “Facebook and the general Danish election” supplemented Klastrup’s talk and presented data gathered from 2011 to 2015. Schwartz started off by noting that Danish Facebook use is not declining, even through this is an often made claim. According to a recent study by Danish Radio, 62% of the Danish population use Facebook on a daily basis. This trend is confirmed when looking at how Danish politicians use social media: While in 2011 only 38 % of the candidates were active on Facebook pages, in 2015 62 % of the politicians used Facebook pages. Also, the use of Twitter accounts has risen considerably, from 15 % to 69 %. Overall, Schwartz noted a steep increase of citizen activity on Facebook. He believes that recent changes in the Facebook design have potentially led to this engagement.

Luca Rossi concluded the seminar by sharing insights from an annual data collection run by the DECIDIS research group, which will be published in the first quarter of 2016. The data shows that Facebook has fully penetrated the age group of 16 to 18 year olds Danes. This does not mean that all young Danes use Facebook intensively but that they have at least opened an account at some point. When contrasting Twitter and Facebook it can be stated that Facebook is still at the forefront, Twitter is mostly used by young Danes up to the age of 30.  A network analysis of different political hashtags used on Twitter shows that activity mostly happen around TV debates. Further, it can be stated that users typically re-tweet what they agree with, which leverages the problem of online echo chambers, in which competing ideas are typically underrepresented. In conclusion and as a summary of the seminar, it can be stated that Twitter is and will be an important medium gathering ad-hoc publics for live events as well as a (back)channel for politicians, journalists and so-called “political junkies”.


Invitation: Workshop & disussion with Axel Bruns (Digital Media Research Center, Australia)

Open discussion: Election Campaigning 2020

Tuesday 26th January,
Kl. 14.00 – 16.00
Room:  AUD 3 – ITU

Social Media have played a central role in recent elections all over the world. This is not a new trend, social media have been used more and more during the last fifteen years. From political blogs of early 2000 to the use of snapchat in 2015, we have seen various platforms and different strategies. What is going to happen next? How have election campaignes evolved and how will they evolve in terms of social media use? These question will be addressed by Axel Bruns – Queensland University of Technology, Lisbeth Klastrup – IT University of Copenhagen, Luca Rossi – IT University of Copenhagen and Sander Schwartz – IT University of Copenhagen. Everybody is kindly invited to participate.

Open workshop: Advanced Twitter Analytics Using TCAT and Tableau

When working with large social media datasets, quantitative and mixed-methods approaches that draw especially on visual representations of ‘big data’ have become an indispensable part of the scholarly research and publication process. This data analytics and visualization workshop will focus on a number of emerging standard tools and methods for large-scale data analytics, using Twitter data to illustrate these approaches. The workshop will introduce you to the open-source platform TCAT as a capable and reliable tool for data gathering from the Twitter API, and to the high-end data analytics software Tableau as a powerful means of processing and visualizing large datasets.

Monday 25th January
Kl. 14.00 – 17.00
Room: 3A18 – ITU

Dr. Axel Bruns, Professor in the Digital Media Research Centre at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia

Please note:
The workshop is open to everybody but email registration is required. Please send an email to if you plan to attend the workshop. Participants should bring their own laptops with Tableau installed ( – the trial version is enough to participate the workshop.

DECIDIS goes to Phoenix

DECIDIS is going to be present at the upcoming IR16 conference organised by the Association of Internet Researchers in Phoenix, AZ from 21-23 October.

We’ll be presenting some of our ongoing research through the three days of the conference:
During the pre-conference activities Luca Rossi is co-organising a workshop on Social Media research methods “#FAIL! Things That Didn’t Work Out in Social Media Research – And What We Can Learn From Them” and he’s giving a talk with the title “The fourth deadly sin of social media researchers (or: scientific research and unstable socio-technical platforms)“.

Thursday Luca is also presenting the paper “From Moon to Comet Landing: re-imagining (scientific) media events in the Age of Twitter“, while Friday he’s participating in the panel “Adoption and Adaptation: Diachronic Perspectives on the Growing Sophistication of Social Media Uses in Elections Campaigns” where he’s presenting a focus on the Italian case.
Saturday Gitte Stald is presenting her paper ” Would you vote from your mobile? Young Danes’ perceptions of the Mobile as a Democratic Tool and Symbol”.

It’s going to be a very busy week for DECIDIS people in the sunny Phoenix but we’ll try to update the blog and the live-tweet the conference as much as we can.

Playing Politics – When computer games meet politics

DECIDIS people also really liked today’s C2 seminar …

5 October, 2015, 10.00-12.00 / IT University of Copenen

Riot Simulator

Leonard Mechiari C2 event 051015

RIOT is a riot simulator based on real events that have been influencing the western civilization in the past few years. It includes 4 main campaigns set in: Italy (NoTAV movement), Greece (Battle of Keratea), Spain (Indignados movement), and Egypt (Tahrir Revolution).  More information about the riot simulator:, Official trailer on YouTube:

Leonard Mechiari, previously an Editor/Cinematographer at Valve, and developer of the Riot Simulator about himself: “I’m developing an RTS-like videogame based on social conflicts.”

Speakers: Leonard Mechiari, developer of Riot Simulator; Susanna Tosca, IT University of Copenhagen, and Ayoe Quist Henkel, Aarhus University.

The three speakers will present two cases of computer games that are highly controversial due to their politics. Critical questions are raised when ethics, critical game design, provocation, civic unrest, riots, public outrage and the history of slavery meet visuals, aesthetics, rhetoric, design, storytelling and code.

Slave Tetris?

Susana Tosca C2 event 051015

Susanna Tosca is an associate professor in the Culture and Communication research group at the IT University of Copenhagen. Ayoe Quist Henkel is a PhD fellow at the School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University.

There has recently been a lot of public outrage about a Danish produced game, Playing History 2- Slave Trade (Serious Games), which included a mini-game in which the player (recommended for ages 8-14) had to stack slaves formed as Tetris pieces into a ship. The game mechanics was intended to provoke disgust so as to create social conscience. But can children decode procedural rhetoric in the right way? What are the ethic dilemmas related to children’s consumption of fiction and games? We will introduce this case, including material from the game producers and open the floor for a discussion of ethics and kids digital media consumption.


DECIDIS @Nordmedia 2015

Several researchers related to the DECIDIS research initiative have presented papers at the Nordmedia 2015 conference at the University of Copenhagen this week. Nordmedia is the big biannual conference for all Nordic media researchers, and in general this is the place to go if you want to know more about the use of digital media in the Nordic countries for mundane, civic, democratic and political purposes.

Here is what we talked about:
Christina Neumayer & Luca Rossi: “A Socio-Technical Timeline of Protest Scholarship across Online Media”

Johan Dam Farkas & Jannick Schou: ““Take Action Now and Share This”: Mapping the Micro-dynamics of Political Participation through Facebook.”

Lisbeth Klastrup: “When Facebook took it all – a Study of Social Media Use by Danish Politicians from 2005- 2015”

Jakob Linaa Jensen: “Social sharing of news – gatekeeping and opinion leadership on Twitter”

Bjarki Valtysson: “Restaging the past: Digitized cultural heritage, cross-­‐media communication and participation”

International network partners:
Anders Olof Larsson & Eli Skogerbø: “Out with the old, in with the new? Perceptions of social media by local and regional Norwegian politicians”

Kirill Filimonov, Uta Russmann & Jakob Svensson: “Picturing the Party: Political Party Uses of Instagram in the Swedish 2014 Elections.”

luca presenting
Luca Rossi presenting his and Christina Neumayer’s meta research on digital protest participation research

DECIDIS-E to study the Danish Election for Parliament campaign 2015

The DECIDIS research subgroup – DECIDIS-E – consisting of researchers Sander Schwartz, Morten Hjelholt, Luca Rossi and Lisbeth Klastrup, plus student assistants Jannick Schou Hansen and Johan Farkas, will be following and collecting data throughout the Danish Parliamentary Election Campaign running from May 27th to June 18th, 2015. We will focus on patterns, trends and democratic challenges related to the use of social media by politicians, political parties, the press and the public in Denmark.

The group has – prior to the start of the election campaign – interviewed the online and social media campaign managers in the political parties, to get a sense of how the use of social media during the campaign were conceptualised within the parties from a professional communication perspective. We will be publishing results from these interviews and various other findings, related to the use of especially Facebook and Twitter during the election, at conferences, in short papers and academic articles once we have looked more closely into our data after the election. Watch this space for more info as the campaign develops.

election celebration
Local ITU researchers celebrating the call for election, May 27th.

Social media and the public sphere – virtual coffee shops or siloization?

Jakob Linaa Jensen visits DECIDIS:          Jakob_Linaa_Jensen

The event takes place MAY 28 2015 from 13-15 in room 2A08

All are welcome but please send an email to

 About the presentation:

The potentials for involvement, enlightenment and horisontal dialogue have increased. Further, Facebook has turned into a ”one stop public” mixing mundane updates with serious political debates. But, Facebook is a filtered public, where news are sorted based on the likes and shares of acquaintances. Such filters reduce complexities but also add to the risk of the creation of segregated public spheres for the ”like-minded”, with limited political and societal impact.

Based on examples from the Arab spring, European election campaigns and Danish political Facebook groups, I demonstrate that although citizens might feel emotionally involved and politically empowered by discussing politics via social network sites, the wider political consequences are limited. The debates only to a limited extent affect overall political decision-making and the mobilization is often short-lived. Social media seem best suited for mobilization around single issues or facilitation of online protests rather than creating lasting involvement and democratic commitment.

About Jakob Linaa Jensen:

Jakob Linaa Jensen, Ph.D. is head of research for social media, Danish School of Media and Journalism. Before that, he was an associate professor of media studies at Aarhus University for nine years. His research interests includes social media and political participation, online behavior and identity, news and social media and theoretical aspects of the relationship between individuals and society. He has published four books, two international anthologies and more than 30 peer-reviewed articles on his various research topics.

Tracing engagement trajectories – the art and challenges of comparative case studies

Professor Maria Bakardjieva will be visiting ITU this Tuesday May 5th and present her work in the talk:

Tracing engagement trajectories – the art and challenges of comparative case studies

She describes her talk in these words:

In this presentation I will outline the contours of prevailing approaches to studying digital media’s place and role in political engagement with a view to the implications of the choice of lens and method for research outcomes. I will argue that these approaches have produced a kind of “legendary style” of theorizing digital media and political engagement that is understandable as the early stage of studying this relationship, but is now due for retirement. What should come in its place is the question that the rest of the presentation will tackle.
I will propose the aggregation of comparative qualitative case studies as a possible way beyond the hastily whipped up legends of digital engagement and the copious anecdotes of micro case examinations that can hardly contribute to theoretical and conceptual advancement.  Engagement, although still in flux as a concept, definitely points beyond access and connectivity – notions that can be operationalized in positive and directly measurable terms. Engagement suggests the making of new meanings, symbolic interactions and decisions for action at the individual and collective level. Engagement occurs in specific social and cultural contexts that affect and are affected by the switch between passivity and activity, isolation and connection experienced by those who engage. Its study, therefore, necessitates interpretivist strategies of data collection and analysis that interweave the mediated textual and discursive elements with individual reflections and observations of activities.
The problem is that such a research program is overwhelming even with a single case as the object of examination. What are then feasible ways for concatenating different cases systematically and yet responsibly so as to reflect the nuances of the peculiar while at the same time identifying and illuminating patterns and trends?

The talk will take place in 3A07 from 9.30 to 10.30