Associate Professor Marion Walton did a cross-platform social media content analysis based on images, Facebook posts and tweets emerging from riots in Sasolberg, better known as the Zamdela protests. Marion asks us to question the implications of inequality and how these influence our public sphere and how discourse is disproportionately affected by who has access. She asks whose pictures of the riot did we see? Who gets heard or seen? She noticed the dominance of online and print media and found that pictures online came from traditional channels and very little citizen media - protesters did not tweet pictures, possibly due to data costs. She argues that while people have access, this does not translate into visibility. Her presentation also has implications for local journalism and a better understanding of citizen media and participation which is still rare, despite increased access to smartphones.
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In this video clip, Marc demonstrates how to import tweets into NodeXL using the Table Mountain and mayor of Cape Town examples and applies the three network phases of social media success. The sense of community that emerges from dense relationships is key.
In this video clip Marc talks about the different kinds of Twitter social media networks and some more examples where SNA has been applied to a variety of scenarios and research. I enjoyed the stories about Katy Pearce (how the government in Azerbaijan used fake accounts to denounce protesters) and Diane Cline (six degrees of Alexander the Great). Marc clearly shows that all data applies (even ancient Greek texts!) and NodeXL can be used for mapping a range of social relationships, not just those that happen on social media.