Constructing the visual online political self

Mahoney, Jamie, Feltwell, Tom, Ajuruchi, Obinna and Lawson, Shaun (2016) Constructing the visual online political self. In: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 7 - 12 May 2016, Santa Clara, California.

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This paper presents an investigation of how the Scottish electorate utilised photo-sharing on social media as a means of participation in the democratic process and for political self-expression in the periods immediately prior to two recent major democratic votes: the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, and the 2015 UK general election. We extend previous HCI literature on the growing use of social media in a political context and contribute specifically on understanding the emergent use of visual media by citizens when engaging with political issues and democratic process. Through a qualitative analysis of images shared on the platform Instagram, we demonstrate that the Scottish electorate did indeed used image-sharing for political self-expression -- posting a variety of visual content, representative of a diversity of political opinion. We conclude that users utilised Instagram as a platform to craft and present their "political selves". We raise questions for future research around power and inequality on such platforms as well as their capability of providing a persistent forum for debate.

Keywords:Human computer interaction
Subjects:G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G440 Human-computer Interaction
Divisions:College of Science > School of Computer Science
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ID Code:27969
Deposited On:08 Aug 2017 12:57

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