Week 2: Topic and Resources

Topic: Reddit, the front-page of the Internet

The topic that I am most interested in researching is the impact of Reddit and Reddit’s role as a major news source in social media today. Of course one of the main stories that I want to look into was the one involving the Boston Marathon Bombing, where false information was posted and made popular on Reddit concerning the bomber, information that was then escalated into mainstream news. I intend on looking into how news is presented on Reddit, and Reddit’s growing impact and authority. This will also require me to compare the various methods that people use now in order to get the latest news on the internet.

Here are the three articles that I have found to be helpful to me on this topic:

1. ““This is a Throwaway Account”:Temporary Technical Identities and Perceptions of Anonymity in a Massive Online Community”

Keywords: Anonymity, community, selective self-presentation

Link: http://alexleavitt.com/papers/2015_CHI_Leavitt_ThisIsAThrowawayAccount_AnonymityReddit.pdf

Summary: While this article is mainly concerned with self presentation in social media, it also brings up a lot of interesting research and points on how having the ability to be anonymous could affect the kind of information posted. When a user is anonymous, they feel less responsible for what they post, so it’s potentially dangerous to be gathering facts and news from this kind of source. But in the same way that users continue to use Wikipedia, Reddit gives users the power to self-govern and filter information.

2. “Researching Social News – Is reddit.com a mouthpiece for the ‘Hive Mind’, or a Collective Intelligence approach to Information Overload?

Keywords: Self-governing, moderating,

Link: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/61646/

Summary: This article looks into the nature of Reddit to understand how the system of upvotes/downvotes has positively and negatively affected the development of the website. The paper’s main focus is Reddit’s coverage of major news stories, so this will tie in closely to what I will be looking into as well. Reddit has undoubtedly become a very important news source, and it will be important to understand how and why it was able to become as successful as it has with it’s system.

3. “Interfaces as rhetorical constructions: Reddit and 4chan during the Boston Marathon Bombings”

Keywords: Collaboration, filtering, information processing, Boston Marathon

Link: http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2507079

Summary: Social Media has created a platform for users to collaboratively create, evaluate, and distribute information. This paper looks specifically into how the hunt for the Boston Marathon Bombings went wrong, and how Reddit and 4chan failed in this situation. The paper looks into the two sites as communities, and studies the culture of these systems.


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