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‘It’s Twitter, a bear pit, not a debating society’ : a qualitative analysis of contrasting attitudes towards social media blocklists
Wheatley, Dawn; Vatnoey, Eirik
This study of tweets (n = 2247) explores discussions about a pro-choice blocklist (@Repeal_Shield) used during the 2018 Irish abortion referendum campaign, capturing conflicting interpretations of engagement and political participation. Although qualitative Twitter studies bring methodological challenges, deep readings were needed to analyse arguments in favour and against the blocklist, and to consider what we can learn about users’ expectations of Twitter. Through deductive and inductive coding, opposing perspectives emerge on whether such lists are useful, democratic or regressive, but both sides share normative aspirations for Twitter to serve as a space for healthy debate, even if there is clear tension in how that is best achieved. Blocklists are traditionally cited as a harassment solution, facilitating participation from otherwise-excluded counterpublics. However, @Repeal_Shield demonstrates how this affordance has evolved towards omitting broad spectrums of undesired content, while using blocklists – and being listed – can be a bold political statement in itself.
Keyword(s): Communication; Mass media; Sociology; Blocklist; blockbot; social media; Twitter
Publication Date:
2019
Type: Other
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Institution: Dublin City University
Citation(s): Wheatley, Dawn ORCID: 0000-0002-8751-4535 <https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8751-4535> and Vatnoey, Eirik ORCID: 0000-0003-2490-009X <https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2490-009X> (2019) ‘It’s Twitter, a bear pit, not a debating society’ : a qualitative analysis of contrasting attitudes towards social media blocklists. New Media & Society . ISSN 1461-4448
Publisher(s): SAGE Publications
File Format(s): application/pdf
Related Link(s): http://doras.dcu.ie/23531/1/Its%20Twitter%20-%20DWheatley%20%26%20EVatnoy%202019.pdf,
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1461444819858278
First Indexed: 2019-07-09 06:05:57 Last Updated: 2019-07-09 06:05:57