Organization: DePaul University
Event: SMSociety Conference
Join us on July 22–24, 2020 for the 11th annual International Conference on Social Media and Society (#SMSociety). The conference is an interdisciplinary gathering of leading social media researchers, practitioners, and analysts from around the world. The 2020 conference is hosted by the College of Communication, Studio Chi and the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University in Chicago, USA.
Until a decade and a half ago, large media companies and governments lorded over an oligopoly controlling the means for communicating with the masses. That oligopoly was (temporarily?) broken by the introduction of social media with its revolutionary promise to democratize civil discourse and civil society. It has offered diverse groups the opportunity to connect to one another and form communities of practice that ultimately can serve to strengthen their voice. However, in recent years, we have also discovered that connecting the world via social media leads to new challenges. When so many diverse voices are brought together on a massive scale, conflict is common. Interpretation of this conflict is itself diverse: do we see a rise of incivility or freedom from moral policing? Extremism or idealism? Distrust or critique? The very same digital tools that amplify voices of the marginalized can also be used to silence diverse voices online through online harassment, doxing, trolling, and other measures.
In this context, the International Conference on Social Media & Society invites scholarly and original submissions that explore key questions and central issues related (but not limited) to the 2020 theme of “Diverse Voices: Promises and Perils of Social Media For Diversity.” We welcome research from a wide range of methodological perspectives employing established quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods as well as innovative approaches that cross disciplinary boundaries and expand our understanding of the current and future trends in social media research, especially research that seeks to explore questions such as:
- Can human society handle the connection of diverse and divergent (often conflicting) voices on social media? Is empowering every voice via social media a net good?
- Under what conditions can social media build bridges across difference? When does social media reinforce division?
- What social media affordances are good or bad in terms of supporting diversity, including but not limited to: race, class, gender, sexual, cultural, political and linguistic diversity?
- What is the role of government regulation? Should social media be limited to activities that help to build strong societies?
- Is it naive to think that giving everyone a voice will result in increased democracy?
- And what is the role of social media in all of these? And how can social media platforms be used to empower marginalized voices?
- Can AI and other automated tools help social media consumers and producers to overcome these challenges and provide online spaces for engagement with diverse voices? If so, how?