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Block. Unfriend. Quit.

5:30pm - 7:00pm / Wednesday 17th March 2021
Type: Lecture / Category: Department
  • Suitable for: All welcome.
  • Admission: Free
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Dr Patricia Rossini examines the relationship between social sanctions and political talk on social media.

Block. Unfriend. Quit. Selective Avoidance, Social Sanctions, and Political Discussion on Facebook and WhatsApp

Growing levels of political polarization around the world have fueled discussions around threats to democratic values posed by an increasingly divided citizenry. What is the role of social media in exposing people to echo-chambers, misinformation, and other types of problematic content, such as uncivil discourse? Do people selectively avoid political content on social media? Dr Patricia Rossini, Derby Fellow in Communication and Media sheds light on how online discussions affect relationships by investigating social sanctions — the active blocking, unfriending, and quitting of social media because of politics. Using a nationally representative survey of internet users in Brazil (N= 1,615), she examines the relationship between social sanctions and political talk on Facebook and WhatsApp. Specifically, she explores whether negative experiences –e.g. heated discussions, and being attacked – help to explain blocking, unfriending, or quitting social media. Taking a comparative approach, these research questions also examine the extent to which the dynamics around social sanctions are sensitive to different platform affordances.

The lecture will be followed by a live Q&A session.

This lecture is the second in the University of Liverpool's 2021 Series of Public Lectures in the Arts on the theme of WORD - IMAGE - POWER.
Presented by the University of Liverpool School of the Arts