https://journalqd.org/issue/feed Journal of Quantitative Description: Digital Media 2021-06-23T15:13:26+02:00 Journal of Quantitative Description journalqd@gmail.com Open Journal Systems <p>The journal publishes quantitative descriptive social science. It does not publish research that makes causal claims. The journal focuses on evidence that speaks to some substantive question or trend about digital communication processes and media. Articles can use a variety of data types and methods.</p> https://journalqd.org/article/view/2565 Problematic Content in Spanish Language Comments in YouTube Videos about Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants 2021-06-23T15:13:26+02:00 Luis Aguirre leaz89@aol.com Emese Domahidi emese.domahidi@tu-ilmenau.de <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-US">On YouTube, we found extensive content relating to the recent Venezuelan refugee movement that mostly affects neighboring countries like Peru and Ecuador. While there are several studies on general hate speech on social media, only a few have focused on the online discussion of the Venezuelan migration crisis representing the Latin American perspective. Here, we analyzed via manual coding and computational text analysis 235,251 comments from 200 YouTube videos (selected according to theoretical criteria) in the Spanish language on the Venezuelan refugee crisis. In our sample, we found a high number of problematic comments in videos on Venezuelan refugees and migrants, of which 32% were offensive comments and 20% were hateful comments. The most common linguistic patterns revealed references to xenophobic, racist, and sexist content, and showed that offensive content and hate speech are not easy to separate. Only a small amount of around 8% of highly active users is responsible for about 40% of the problematic content and these users actively comment on multiple videos, indicating a network structure in our sample. Our results enlighten a much-neglected topic in the discussion about Venezuelan refugees and migrants on YouTube and contribute to an enhanced understanding of online hate speech from a Latin American perspective for better and early detection.</span></p> 2021-09-08T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Luis Aguirre, Emese Domahidi https://journalqd.org/article/view/2585 How Many People Live in Politically Partisan Online News Echo Chambers in Different Countries? 2021-01-08T20:35:54+01:00 Richard Fletcher richard.fletcher@politics.ox.ac.uk Craig T. Robertson craig.robertson@politics.ox.ac.uk Rasmus Kleis Nielsen rasmus.nielsen@politics.ox.ac.uk <p>Concern over online news echo chambers has been a consistent theme in recent debates on how people get news and information. Yet, we lack a basic descriptive understanding of how many people occupy bounded online news spaces in different countries. Using online survey data from seven countries we find that (i) politically partisan left-right online news echo chambers are real, but only a minority of approximately 5% of internet news users inhabit them, (ii) in every country covered, more people consume no online news at all than occupy partisan online echo chambers, and (iii) except for the US, decisions over the inclusion or exclusion of particular news outlets make little difference to echo chamber estimates. Differences within and between media systems mean we should be very cautious about direct comparisons between different echo chambers, but underlying patterns of audience overlap, and the continued popularity of mainstream outlets, often preclude the formation of large partisan echo chambers.</p> 2021-08-04T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Richard Fletcher, Craig T. Robertson, Rasmus Kleis Nielsen https://journalqd.org/article/view/2617 Voting and Social Media-Based Political Participation 2021-05-26T01:12:06+02:00 Sascha Göbel sascha.goebel@soz.uni-frankfurt.de <p>Does online political involvement reinforce or compensate participatory deficiencies at the polls? Extant survey evidence portrays online participation as a weapon of the strong, wielded by a highly politically involved, white, and affluent subset of the American electorate. Surveys face systematic sampling and measurement errors in the domain of political participation, however. In this study, I revisit this question using individual voter registration records that I integrate with observed Twitter activity. Based on a large sample that reflects Florida's voting-eligible population, I find that political involvement on Twitter is prevalent across the electorate and extends to those most likely to abstain from voting. Moreover, race and income, which are salient dividing lines in voting, do not structure social media-based political participation, and common turnout patterns for age and party subgroups are reversed, though especially among more engaged voters. These results offer a novel perspective on reinforcement theory and social media's compensatory potential for more inclusive representation. I discuss implications for political representation and future research examining political involvement.</p> 2021-07-23T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Sascha Göbel https://journalqd.org/article/view/2571 Resonant Moments in Media Events: 2021-03-24T02:08:45+01:00 Josephine Lukito jlukito@utexas.edu Prathusha Sarma kameswarasar@wisc.edu Jordan Foley jordan.foley@wsu.edu Aman Abhishek aabhishek@wisc.edu Erik Bucy Erik.Bucy@ttu.edu Larissa Doroshenko l.doroshenko@northeastern.edu Zhongkai Sun zsun227@wisc.edu Jon Pevehouse jcpevehouse@wisc.edu William Sethares sethares@wisc.edu Dhavan Shah dshah@wisc.edu <p>Live-tweeting has emerged as a popular hybrid media activity during broadcasted media events. Through second screens, users are able to engage with one another and react in real time to the broadcasted content. These reactions are dynamic: they ebb and flow throughout the media event as users respond to and converse about different memorable moments. Using the first 2016 U.S. presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as a case, this paper employs a temporal method for identifying resonant moments on social media during televised events by combining time series analysis, qualitative (human-in-the-loop) evaluation, and a novel natural language processing tool to identify discursive shifts before and after resonant moments. This analysis finds key differences in social media discourse about the two candidates. Notably, Trump received substantially more coverage than Clinton throughout the debate. However, a more in-depth analysis of these candidates’ resonant moments reveals that discourse about Trump tended to be more critical compared to discourse associated with Clinton’s resonant moments.</p> 2021-06-23T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Josephine Lukito, Prathusha Sarma, Foley Jordan, Aman Abhishek, Erik Bucy, Larissa Doroshenko, Zhongkai Sun, Jon Pevehouse, William Sethares, Dhavan Shah https://journalqd.org/article/view/2713 Quantitative Description of Digital Media 2021-04-26T05:29:41+02:00 Kevin Munger kevin.munger@gmail.com Andrew M. Guess aguess@princeton.edu Eszter Hargittai pubs@webuse.org <p>We introduce the rationale for a new peer-reviewed scholarly journal, the<br><em>Journal of Quantitative Description: Digital Media</em>. The journal is intended<br>to create a new venue for research on digital media and address several<br>deficiencies in the current social science publishing landscape. First,<br>descriptive research is undersupplied and undervalued. Second, research<br>questions too often only reflect dominant theories and received wisdom.<br>Third, journals are constrained by unnecessary boundaries defined by<br>discipline, geography, and length. Fourth, peer review is inefficient and<br>unnecessarily burdensome for both referees and authors. We outline the<br>journal’s scope and structure, which is open access, fee-free and relies on a<br>Letter of Inquiry (LOI) model. Quantitative description can appeal to social<br>scientists of all stripes and is a crucial methodology for understanding the<br>continuing evolution of digital media and its relationship to important<br>questions of interest to social scientists.</p> 2021-04-26T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Kevin Munger; Andrew M. Guess, Eszter Hargittai https://journalqd.org/article/view/2573 Connective Effervescence and Streaming Chat During Political Debates 2021-01-03T18:23:58+01:00 Tiago Ventura venturat@umd.edu Kevin Munger kmm7999@psu.edu Katherine McCabe k.mccabe@rutgers.edu Keng-Chi Chang kechang@ucsd.edu <p>Recent advancements in online streaming technologies have re-centered the audience as an important part of live broadcasts, including live political events. In fall 2020, each of the U.S. presidential and vice presidential debates were streamed on a number of online platforms that provided an integrated streaming chat where the public could comment in real-time alongside the live debate video. Viewers could simultaneously tune into what the candidates were saying and see what a sample of their peers thought about the candidates. This study examines large samples of comments made in social chat feeds during the livestreamed debates on the ABC News, NBC News, and Fox News Facebook pages to quantify key features associated with the quality of political discussion on these platforms. The results reveal that consistent with the quasi-anonymous, constrained nature of dynamic chat, the comments made are generally short, include a substantial degree of toxicity and insults, and differ significantly in their content across platforms. These findings underscore the importance of further study of online streaming chat as a new source of potential influence on political attitudes and behavior.</p> 2021-04-26T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Tiago Ventura, Kevin Munger, Katherine McCabe, Keng-Chi Chang https://journalqd.org/article/view/2570 Pandemics, Protests, and Publics 2021-01-03T18:13:05+01:00 Sarah Shugars sarah.shugars@nyu.edu Adina Gitomer gitomer.a@northeastern.edu Stefan McCabe mccabe.s@northeastern.edu Ryan J. Gallagher ryanjgallag@gmail.com Kenneth Joseph josephkena@gmail.com Nir Grinberg grinberg.nir@gmail.com Larissa Doroshenko l.doroshenko@northeastern.edu Brooke Foucault Welles brooke.foucault@gmail.com David Lazer davelazer@gmail.com <p>As an integral component of public discourse, Twitter is among the main data sources for scholarship in this area. However, there is much that scholars do not know about the basic mechanisms of public discourse on Twitter, including the prevalence of various modes of communication, the types of posts users make, the engagement those posts receive, or how these things vary with user demographics and across different topical events. This paper broadens our understanding of these aspects of public discourse. We focus on the first nine months of 2020, studying that period as a whole and giving particular attention to two monumentally important topics of that time: the Black Lives Matter movement and the COVID-19 pandemic. Leveraging a panel of 1.6 million Twitter accounts matched to U.S. voting records, we examine the demographics, activity, and engagement of 800,000 American adults who collectively posted nearly 300 million tweets during this time span. We find notable variation in user activity and engagement, in terms of modality (e.g., retweets vs. replies), demographic subgroup, and topical context. We further find that while Twitter can best be understood as a collection of interconnected publics, neither topical nor demographic variation perfectly encapsulates the "Twitter public." Rather, Twitter publics are fluid, contextual communities which form around salient topics and are informed by demographic identities. Together, this paper presents a disaggregated, multifaceted description of the demographics, activity, and engagement of American Twitter users in 2020.</p> 2021-04-26T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Sarah Shugars, Adina Gitomer, Stefan McCabe, Ryan J. Gallagher, Kenneth Joseph, Nir Grinberg, Larissa Doroshenko, Brooke Foucault Welles, David Lazer https://journalqd.org/article/view/2567 Information Seeking Patterns and COVID-19 in the United States 2021-01-19T19:22:42+01:00 Bianca Reisdorf bianca.reisdorf@uncc.edu Grant Blank grant.blank@oii.ox.ac.uk Johannes Bauer BAUERJ@msu.edu Shelia Cotten scotten@clemson.edu Craig Robertson craig.thomas.robertson@gmail.com Megan Knittel knittel2@msu.edu <p>In this paper, we describe how socioeconomic background and political leaning are related to how U.S. residents look for information on COVID-19. Using representative survey data from 2,280 U.S. internet users, collected in fall 2020, we examine how factors, such as age, gender, race, income, education, political leaning, and internet skills are related to how many different types of sources and what types of sources respondents use to find information on COVID-19. Moreover, we describe how many checking actions individuals use to verify information, and how all of these factors are related to knowledge about COVID-19. Results show that men, those with higher education, higher incomes, and higher self-perceived internet ability, and those who are younger used more types of information sources. Similar patterns emerged for checking actions. When we examined different types of sources (mainstream media, conservative sources, medical sources, and TV sources), three patterns emerged: 1) respondents who have more resources used more types of sources; 2) demographic factors made less difference for conservative media consumers; and 3) conservative media were the only type of source used less by younger age groups than older age groups. Finally, availability of resources and types of information sources were related to differences in factual knowledge. Respondents who had fewer resources, those who used conservative news media, and those who engaged in more checking actions got fewer answers right. This difference could lead to information divides and associated knowledge gaps in the United States regarding the coronavirus pandemic.</p> 2021-04-26T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Bianca Reisdorf, Grant Blank, Johannes Bauer, Shelia Cotten, Craig Robertson, Megan Knittel https://journalqd.org/article/view/2569 COVID-19 and Telework: An International Comparison 2021-01-26T22:39:21+01:00 Hiroshi Ono stdhono@gmail.com Takeshi Mori t-mori@nri.co.jp <p>This paper uses identical surveys conducted in July 2020 in eight countries – U.S., U.K., Germany, Italy, Sweden, China, South Korea, and Japan – and examines teleworking within and across these eight countries. We seek to answer the following questions: (1) Which demographic and socioeconomic groups are more likely to telework? (2) Is there any association between telework and other work-related experiences such as life satisfaction and perceived productivity at work? Across countries, we observe that teleworking was higher in countries that imposed strict lockdowns, such as China, and lower in countries that had soft lockdowns, such as Japan. Within each country, there are notable differences in teleworking between low- and high-income persons, and between those employed in small versus large firms. We also find that people who used telework before COVID-19 report higher life satisfaction compared to those who started using telework for the first time after the COVID-19 outbreak.</p> 2021-04-26T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Hiroshi Ono, Takeshi Mori https://journalqd.org/article/view/2568 Love and Anger in Global Party Politics 2020-12-31T09:24:56+01:00 Taishi Muraoka tmuraoka@wustl.edu Jacob Montgomery jacob.montgomery@wustl.edu Christopher Lucas christopher.lucas@wustl.edu Margit Tavits tavits@wustl.edu <p>The reactions feature of Facebook provides an opportunity to explore emotional responses to political messages across the globe on a common platform. In this article, we describe this new measure and present a dataset of over two million posts from the Facebook pages of 690 political parties in 79 democracies. We study Love and Angry reactions to these posts, their potential use as measures of emotional response, and party-level variation in the frequency of these reactions. We find that parties receive systematically different proportions of Love and Angry reactions depending on their ideology, party family, and populist orientation. More extreme parties tend to elicit relatively greater emotional responses. Nationalist, populist, and right-leaning parties in particular elicit a higher proportion of Angry reactions and emotional polarization. </p> 2021-04-26T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Christopher Lucas, Jacob Montgomery, Taishi Muraoka, Margit Tavits https://journalqd.org/article/view/2586 Cracking Open the News Feed 2021-01-21T01:38:51+01:00 Andy Guess aguess@gmail.com Kevin Aslett kma412@nyu.edu Joshua Tucker joshua.tucker@nyu.edu Richard Bonneau rb133@nyu.edu Jonathan Nagler jonathan.nagler@nyu.edu <p>In this study, we analyze for the first time newly available engagement data covering millions of web links shared on Facebook to describe how and by which categories of U.S. users different types of news are seen and shared on the platform. We focus on articles from low-credibility news publishers, credible news sources, purveyors of clickbait, and news specifically about politics, which we identify through a combination of curated lists and supervised classifiers. Our results support recent findings that more fake news is shared by older users and conservatives and that both viewing and sharing patterns suggest a preference for ideologically congenial misinformation. We also find that fake news articles related to politics are more popular among older Americans than other types, while the youngest users share relatively more articles with clickbait headlines. Across the platform, however, articles from credible news sources are shared over 5 times more often and viewed over 7 times more often than articles from low-credibility sources. These findings offer important context for researchers studying the spread and consumption of information — including misinformation — on social media.</p> 2021-04-26T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Andy Guess, Kevin Aslett, Joshua Tucker, Richard Bonneau, Jonathan Nagler https://journalqd.org/article/view/2556 A Typology-Based Approach to Tracing-App Adoption During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Case of the SwissCovid App 2020-12-29T18:47:11+01:00 Sarah Geber s.geber@ikmz.uzh.ch Thomas Friemel th.friemel@ikmz.uzh.ch <p>Contact tracing technology has been introduced in many countries as part of the COVID-19 containment strategy. However, research indicates that current adoption rates are too low for tracing apps to be effective. To address the complexity of app adoption, a typology-based approach is presented that differentiates between <em>refusers</em> who generally reject app adoption, <em>ditherers </em>who hesitate to adopt the app, <em>adopters</em> who have downloaded and activated the app, and <em>de-adopters </em>who had installed the app but later uninstalled it. A national online survey of <em>N</em> = 1,535 participants in Switzerland revealed significant differences among these groups of people regarding their perceptions about app-related benefits and costs, knowledge about data handling in technology, and app-related opinion leadership. The results indicate that communication strategies that aim to enhance the rate of app adoption should focus on ditherers and adopters; the former are the most promising target group for behavioral change efforts, and the latter seem to be the best means to reach out to this promising group.</p> 2021-04-26T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Sarah Geber, Thomas Friemel https://journalqd.org/article/view/2576 Generous Attitudes and Online Participation 2021-01-11T19:28:55+01:00 Floor Fiers floorfiers@u.northwestern.edu Aaron Shaw aaronshaw@northwestern.edu Eszter Hargittai eszter.hargittai@uzh.ch <p>Some of the most popular websites depend on user-generated content produced and aggregated by unpaid volunteers. Contributing in such ways constitutes a type of generous behavior, as it costs time and energy while benefiting others. This study examines the relationship between contributions to a variety of online information resources and an experimental measure of generosity, the dictator game. Results suggest that contributors to any type of online content tend to donate more in the dictator game than those who do not contribute at all. When disaggregating by type of contribution, we find that those who write reviews, upload public videos, write or answer questions, and contribute to encyclopedic collections online are more generous in the dictator game than their non-contributing counterparts. These findings suggest that generous attitudes help to explain variation in contributions to review, question-and-answer, video, and encyclopedic websites.</p> 2021-04-26T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Floor Fiers, Aaron Shaw, Eszter Hargittai https://journalqd.org/article/view/2582 A trend study in the stratification of social media use among urban youth: Chile 2009-2019 2021-01-12T04:21:01+01:00 Teresa Correa teresa.correa@udp.cl Sebastián Valenzuela savalenz@uc.cl <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p><span style="font-size: 12.000000pt; font-family: 'TimesNewRomanPSMT';">This trend study describes changes and continuities in the stratification of usage of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp in Chile between 2009-2019</span><span style="font-size: 12.000000pt; font-family: 'TimesNewRomanPSMT';">—</span><span style="font-size: 12.000000pt; font-family: 'TimesNewRomanPSMT';">the decade that witnessed the rise of social media. Using the Youth, Media and Participation Study</span><span style="font-size: 12.000000pt; font-family: 'TimesNewRomanPSMT';">—</span><span style="font-size: 12.000000pt; font-family: 'TimesNewRomanPSMT';">a probabilistic survey conducted on an annual basis among 1,000 individuals aged 18 to 29 living in the three largest urban areas in Chile (N = 10,518)</span><span style="font-size: 12.000000pt; font-family: 'TimesNewRomanPSMT';">—</span><span style="font-size: 12.000000pt; font-family: 'TimesNewRomanPSMT';">we analyze how frequency of use and type of activities conducted on social media has varied over time along socioeconomic status, gender, and age cohort. Instead of a uniform trend towards less (or greater) inequality, the results show that each platform exhibits a unique dynamic. For instance, whereas SES-based inequality in frequency of use has decreased on Facebook over time, it has remained stable on WhatsApp and increased on Twitter and Instagram. In addition, significant differences in the likelihood of conducting different activities (e.g., chatting, commenting news, sharing links) remained across groups, even on platforms such as Facebook where frequency of use has equalized over time. </span></p> </div> </div> </div> 2021-04-26T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Teresa Correa, Sebastián Valenzuela https://journalqd.org/article/view/2579 An Analysis of the Partnership between Retailers and Low-credibility News Publishers 2021-01-08T20:55:15+01:00 Lia Bozarth lbozarth@umich.edu Ceren Budak cbudak@umich.edu <p>In this paper, we provide a large-scale analysis of the display ad ecosystem that supports low-credibility and traditional news sites, with a particular focus on the relationship between retailers and news producers. We study this relationship from both the retailer and news producer perspectives. First, focusing on the retailers, our work reveals high-profile retailers that are frequently advertised on low-credibility news sites, including those that are more likely to be advertised on low-credibility news sites than traditional news sites. Additionally, despite high-profile retailers having more resources and incentive to dissociate with low-credibility news publishers, we surprisingly do not observe a strong relationship between retailer popularity and advertising intensity on low-credibility news sites. We also do not observe a significant difference across different market sectors. Second, turning to the publishers, we characterize how different retailers are contributing to the ad revenue stream of low-credibility news sites. We observe that retailers who are among the top-10K websites on the Internet account for a quarter of all ad traffic on low-credibility news sites. Nevertheless, we show that low-credibility news sites are already becoming less reliant on popular retailers over time, highlighting the dynamic nature of the low-credibility news ad ecosystem.</p> 2021-04-26T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 lia bozarth, ceren budak https://journalqd.org/article/view/2560 Evidence of Decreasing Internet Entropy: The Lack of Redundancy in DNS Resolution by Major Websites and Services 2021-01-27T07:31:53+01:00 Samantha Bates batessamantha22@gmail.com John Bowers johnbowers112@gmail.com Shane Greenstein sgreenstein@hbs.edu Jordi Weinstock jweinstock@law.harvard.edu Yunhan Xu yunhanx@gmail.com Jonathan Zittrain zittrain@law.harvard.edu <p>The Internet, and the Web built on top of it, were intended to support an “entropic” physical and logical network map (Zittrain, 2013). That is, they have been designed to allow servers to be spread anywhere in the world in an ad hoc and evolving fashion, rather than a centralized one. Arbitrary distance among, and number of, servers causes no particular architectural problems, and indeed ensures that problems experienced by one data source remain unlinked to others. A Web page can be assembled from any number of upstream sources, through the use of various URLs, each pointing to a different location. To a user, the page looks unified. Over time, however, there are signs that the hosting and finding of Internet services has become more centralized. We explore and document one possible dimension of this centralization. We analyze the extent to which the Internet’s global domain name resolution (DNS) system has preserved its distributed resilience given the rise of cloud-based hosting and infrastructure. We offer evidence of the dramatic concentration of the DNS hosting market in the hands of a small number of cloud service providers over a period spanning from 2011-2018. In addition, we examine changes in domains’ tendency to “diversify” their pool of nameservers – how frequently domains employ DNS management services from multiple providers rather than just one provider. Throughout the paper, we use the catastrophic October 2016 attack on Dyn, a major DNS hosting provider, to illustrate the cybersecurity consequences of our analysis.</p> 2021-04-26T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Samantha Bates, John Bowers, Shane Greenstein, Jordi Weinstock, Yunhan Xu, Jonathan Zittrain https://journalqd.org/article/view/2559 Kingdom of Trolls? Influence Operations in the Saudi Twittersphere 2021-01-28T17:42:16+01:00 Christopher Barrie cbarrie6@ed.ac.uk Alexandra Siegel alexandra.siegel@colorado.edu <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>Saudi Arabia has one of the highest rates of Twitter penetration in the world. Despite high levels of repression, the platform is frequently used to discuss political topics. Recent disclosures from Twitter have revealed state-backed attempts at distorting the online information environment through influence operations (IOs). A growing body of research has investigated online disinformation and foreign-sponsored IOs in the English-speaking world; but comparatively little is known about online disinformation in other contexts or about the domestic use of IOs. Using public releases of IO tweets, we investigate the extent of such activity in Saudi Arabia. Benchmarking these tweets to four samples of Saudi Twitter users, we find that engagement with IO accounts was lower than engagement with the average user, but equal to engagement with news accounts. Network analysis reveals that engagement with IO accounts was largely driven by a small number of influential accounts.</p> </div> </div> </div> 2021-04-26T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Alexandra Siegel, Christopher Barrie https://journalqd.org/article/view/2561 Public Sentiment on Chinese Social Media during the Emergence of COVID19 2020-12-29T19:06:52+01:00 Yingdan Lu yingdan@stanford.edu Jennifer Pan jp1@stanford.edu Yiqing Xu yiqingxu@stanford.edu <p>When COVID-19 first emerged in China, there was speculation that the outbreak would trigger public anger and weaken the Chinese regime. By analyzing millions of social media posts from Sina Weibo made between December 2019 and February 2020, we describe the contours of public, online discussions pertaining to COVID-19 in China. We find that discussions of COVID-19 became widespread on January 20, 2020, consisting primarily of personal reflections, opinions, updates, and appeals. We find that the largest bursts of discussion, which contain simultaneous spikes of criticism and support targeting the Chinese government, coincide with the January 23 lockdown of Wuhan and the February 7 death of Dr. Li Wenliang. Criticisms are directed at the government for perceived lack of action, incompetence, and wrongdoing—in particular, censoring information relevant to public welfare. Support is directed at the government for aggressive action and positive outcomes. As the crisis unfolds, the same events are interpreted differently by different people, with those who criticize focusing on the government’s shortcomings and those who praise focusing on the government’s actions.</p> 2021-04-26T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Yingdan Lu, Jennifer Pan, Yiqing Xu https://journalqd.org/article/view/2572 Characterizing Online Media on COVID-19 during the Early Months of the Pandemic 2021-01-02T22:29:15+01:00 Henry Dambanemuya henrydambanemuya2023@u.northwestern.edu Haomin Lin humaslin97@gatech.edu Ágnes Horvát a-horvat@northwestern.edu <p>The 2019 coronavirus disease had wide-ranging effects on public health throughout the world. Vital in managing its spread was effective communication about public health guidelines such as social distancing and sheltering in place. Our study provides a descriptive analysis of online information sharing about coronavirus-related topics in 5.2 million English-language news articles, blog posts, and discussion forum entries shared in 197 countries during the early months of the pandemic. We illustrate potential approaches to analyze the data while emphasizing how often-overlooked dimensions of the online media environment play a crucial role in the observed information-sharing patterns. In particular, we show how the following three dimensions matter: (1) online media posts’ geographic location in relation to local exposure to the virus; (2) the platforms and types of media chosen for discussing various topics; and (3) temporal variations in information-sharing patterns. Our descriptive analyses of the multimedia data suggest that studies that overlook these crucial aspects of online media may arrive at misleading conclusions about the observed information-sharing patterns. This could impact the success of potential communication strategies devised based on data from online media. Our work has broad implications for the study and design of computational approaches for characterizing large-scale information dissemination during pandemics and beyond.</p> 2021-04-26T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Henry Dambanemuya, Haomin Lin, Ágnes Horvát https://journalqd.org/article/view/2587 Digital Media Landscape in Brazil: Political (Mis)Information and Participation on Facebook and WhatsApp 2021-01-08T00:54:10+01:00 Patricia Rossini patricia.rossini@liverpool.ac.uk Érica Anita Baptista anitaerica@gmail.com Vanessa Veiga de Oliveira vanessaveiga@ufmg.br Jennifer Stromer-Galley jstromer@syr.edu <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">WhatsApp is one of the most used messaging platforms across the globe and is particularly prominent in the Global South. Despite being a private messaging app, WhatsApp is becoming an important platform for political information and political talk, which raises concerns about the spread of misinformation on the platform. This paper presents comprehensive descriptive results of a national survey of internet users in Brazil, focusing on political information on social media. Our data shows that Brazilians are very active social media users, particularly on Facebook and WhatsApp, and consider these platforms very important to fulfill a myriad of political and informational aims. However, they also demonstrate great concern about the quality and accuracy of information circulating online. Despite finding significant differences in how these two platforms are used, the data suggests that WhatsApp is becoming central to how Brazilians have access to and engage with politics.</span></p> 2021-04-26T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Patricia Rossini, Érica Anita Baptista, Vanessa Veiga de Oliveira, Jennifer Stromer-Galley https://journalqd.org/article/view/2550 Value for Correction: Documenting Perceptions about Peer Correction of Misinformation on Social Media in the Context of COVID-19 2021-01-05T15:50:19+01:00 Leticia Bode lb871@georgetown.edu Emily Vraga ekvraga@umn.edu <p>Although correction is often suggested as a tool against misinformation, and empirical research suggests it can be an effective one, we know little about how people perceive the act of correcting people on social media. This study measures such perceptions in the context of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, introducing the concept of <em>value for correction. </em>We find that value for correction on social media is relatively strong and widespread, with no differences by partisanship or gender. Neither those who engage in correction themselves nor those witnessing the correction of others have higher value for correction. Witnessing correction, on the other hand, is associated with lower concerns about negative consequences of correction, whereas engaging in correction is not.</p> 2021-04-26T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Leticia Bode, Emily K. Vraga https://journalqd.org/article/view/2578 The Times They Are Rarely A-Changin' 2021-01-14T21:00:23+01:00 Sean Kates sk5350@nyu.edu Joshua Tucker joshua.tucker@nyu.edu Jonathan Nagler jonathan.nagler@nyu.edu Richard Bonneau bonneau@nyu.edu <p>This paper uses geolocated Twitter histories from approximately 25,000 individuals in 6 different time zones and 3 different countries to construct a proper time-zone dependent hourly baseline for social media activity studies.&nbsp; We establish that, across multiple regions and time periods, interaction with social media is strongly conditioned by traditional bio-rhythmic or “Circadian” patterns, and that in the United States, this pattern is itself further conditioned by the ideological bent of the user. Using a time series of these histories around the 2016 US Presidential election, we show that external events of great significance can disrupt traditional social media activity patterns, and that this disruption can be significant (in some cases doubling the amplitude and shifting the phase of activity up to an hour). We find that the disruption of use patterns can last an extended period of time, and in many cases, aspects of this disruption would not be detected without a circadian baseline.</p> 2021-04-26T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Sean Kates, Joshua Tucker, Jonathan Nagler, Richard Bonneau https://journalqd.org/article/view/2553 How Long and What For? Tracking a Nationally Representative Sample to Quantify Internet Use 2021-04-02T15:37:27+02:00 Noemi Festic n.festic@ikmz.uzh.ch Moritz Büchi m.buechi@ikmz.uzh.ch Michael Latzer m.latzer@ikmz.uzh.ch <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p><span style="font-size: 12.000000pt; font-family: 'TimesNewRomanPSMT';">Testing communication theories requires a valid empirical basis, yet especially for usage time measures, retrospective self-reports have shown to be biased. This study draws on a unique data set of 923 Swiss internet users who had their internet use tracked for at least 30 days on mobile and desktop devices and took part in a survey covering internet usage as well as person-level background variables. The analysis focuses on active usage time overall and on the major services Google Search, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and the online newspaper 20 Minuten. The results showed that overall internet usage time was lower for older and higher-educated users based on both the tracking and survey data, and the reported usage time was consistently higher than the tracked usage time. The tracking data further revealed that internet users in all social groups spent the majority of their time online on a mobile device. The number of users of the major services varied mainly between age groups. These differences were less pronounced when it came to the time users spent engaging with these services. Over the course of a day, the major services varied in their frequency of use: for example, messaging peaked before noon and in the late afternoon, whereas online news use was comparably constant at a lower level. </span></p> </div> </div> </div> 2021-04-26T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Noemi Festic, Moritz Büchi, Michael Latzer