Flames of Justice in a Virtual Garden: An Analysis of a Digital Campaign on Twitter Surrounding the Death of an Indian Celebrity

Subhasree Sengupta, Jasmina Tacheva

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Social media particularly Twitter has emerged as a powerful medium for expression and discussion for a wide range of topics. Through the use of hashtags, a powerful and popular affordance of Twitter, several online campaigns aimed at raising awareness and consciousness towards various issues of civic and social justice, have emerged. Although prior scholarship has investigated forms of rhetoric and impacts of such narrative movements on Twitter, an important consideration is to understand the structural forms that such narratives take depending on context and regional culture wherein the movement originates, rendering each campaign unique in its collective identity and objective. To this end, this study embarks on a mixed-methods analysis of 27,265 tweets related to calls of action and social justice in the aftermath of the death of a popular Indian movie star. The analysis reveals a diverse spectrum of themes ranging from expressions of loss and grief to astute critiques of the major institutions of power. Parallel but powerful themes also demonstrated attempts to nurture and embolden the campaign. Temporal trends provide insights into the collective orientation and gradual development of a community focus among campaign participants. The ultimate aim of this analysis is to provide insights into how such channels of discourse should be designed to create and nurture a medium for freedom of expression and foster safe spaces for civic engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInformation for a Better World
Subtitle of host publicationShaping the Global Future - 17th International Conference, iConference 2022, Proceedings
EditorsMalte Smits
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Pages243-258
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783030969592
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022
Event17th International Conference on Information for a Better World: Shaping the Global Future, iConference 2022 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Feb 28 2022Mar 4 2022

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume13193 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

Conference17th International Conference on Information for a Better World: Shaping the Global Future, iConference 2022
CityVirtual, Online
Period2/28/223/4/22

Keywords

  • Civic engagement
  • Community norms
  • Content analysis
  • Social justice
  • Twitter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

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