Project #75460 - Discussion (communication course)

 

For this week's discussion topic (available under the "Forums"), I thought it would be fun for you to start thinking about social media through the lens of these new concepts we've been learning about (the logic of social science, methods, media effects, and digital technologies).

Two different articles here to help give some fuel a few different discussion threads.  Remember, I want you to draw on your own experiences and current events, plus also be sure to integrate concepts from LECTURE...

A study came out last summer that had lots of people freaked out.  Maybe you heard about it.  Turns out that Facebook manipulated the news feeds of many of its users to conduct a controlled experiment.  One condition of users had news feeds filtered to only contain negative posts from friends (based on key words).  A second condition of users had news feeds filtered to only contain positive posts from friends (again based on keywords).  The results suggested that when users saw mostly negative posts, they then posted negative things.  When users saw mostly positive posts, they then posted positive things. 

Details here: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/06/everything-we-know-about-facebooks-secret-mood-manipulation-experiment/373648/

On a related note, researchers for the past 5 years have been examining the relationship between social media and narcissism and egotism.  Here's a short article about some of the findings. 

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116209/study-twitter-narcissists-facebook-egotists


Questions abound!  We might be able to start a few different threads here:

Facebook Mood Study article:

1. Is it ethical for Facebook to do this study without user consent?  If you look at the fine print on Facebook, it's definitely legal.  But is it ethical?  What if you were a subject in this study?  How would you feel?

2. What do you think of the findings of the FB study?  FB says they did the study to refute the notion that people on FB get depressed from seeing the fabulous lives of their friends.  They say these results show that is not true.  What do you think of that claim?  Think about how they measured "mood."  Is it a valid measure?

3.  Was this FB study necessary?  Researchers are now admitting that the anxiety it caused may mean that the findings weren't worth all the trouble.  Would there be another way to test this?

New Republic Article:

4. What do you think about the link between social media and narcissism and egotism?  Can you think of HOW social media might foster these things?  What is the "mechanism"... the HOW to account for the link. How does this resonate with your OWN FB/Twitter/Instagram experiences?

5.  Notice that the author of the article was very careful to avoid all causal language that might indicate "EFFECTS".  What does that tell you?

The textbook we use is Rodman, George (2011). Mass Media in a Changing World. McGraw Hill. 4th edition.

Totally, I need 7 contributions. First 5 are the responds of these 5 question above and last 2 should be the reply to the respond of my classmates(the attachments). 

the total pages should be 6 pages.

And it will due 25 hours. 07/02/2015 11:59 pm EST

 

Subject Business
Due By (Pacific Time) 07/02/2015 11:59 pm
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