163. Beyond Likes and Shares: Unpacking the Impact of Social Media on Underprivileged Areas

Sarah RĂ¼ller, University of Siegen; Konstantin Aal, University of Siegen; Volker Wulf, University of Siegen;

Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, connecting people from different parts of the world, and facilitating the exchange of information and ideas. However, the impact of social media on underprivileged areas remains a topic of concern. While social media can provide a platform for marginalized communities to voice their opinions and engage with others, it can also reinforce existing power structures and perpetuate inequalities, oppression, and discrimination. As such, there is a need to critically examine the role that social media play in these areas, positively and negatively and specifically, how social media are being used as a research field. This open panel wants to bring together researchers to share their insights and findings on the impact of social media in underprivileged communities and discuss the ethical considerations associated with conducting studies on social media in these contexts. We welcome conceptual and empirical contributions that address the implications of social media usage in underprivileged or disadvantaged areas and communities and specifically, the implications of social media environments as 'the research field'. Overall, this open panel seeks to provide a platform for researchers to share their findings and insights about the impact of social media on underprivileged areas and being used within oppressed communities. We hope to contribute to a better understanding of the role that social media play in reinforcing or challenging existing power structures in these communities and highlight the ethical considerations that researchers should consider when conducting studies on social media.

Contact: sarah.rueller@uni-siegen.de, konstantin.aal@uni-siegen.de, volker.wulf@uni-siegen.de

Keywords: Method and Practice, Social Media; Oppression; Injustice; Disadvantaged Communities

Published: 04/07/2023