Facebook and Publicness (Pilot Study)
Catalina Iorga, Maria Aguado, Elisheva Weiss
Methodology / Preliminary Findings
To find Facebook groups and pages related to the issue of Bradley Manning's arrest, imprisonment and charges, both Facebook's own search function and Google Web search were used in order to make sure that all relevant results were captured. Assuming that users would refer to Manning by his full name in order to properly distinguish him from others with the same first name, the query used to perform this search was 'Bradley Manning'. However, the biggest page (i.e. with the most 'likes') about the American soldier, savebradley, was identified later on, when browsing through what had appeared to be the largest space, Bradley Manning Support Network.
- Identifying labels attached to and action formats concerning Bradley Manning (Names of groups and pages)
2. Digital methods for identifying the cross platform syndication patterns
3. Content analysis for examining what topics are picked up in conversations on Facebook Groups and Pages
- Select all group / page names and make two separate lists.
- Submit each of the lists to the Tag Cloud Generator to obtain ordered collections of the most used action formats and labels
- Remove the following elements:
- Bradley's name(s) (i.e. Bradley, Manning, Bradley Manning)
- stop words (i.e. and / or)
- military terms (groups: pfc, army, private, spc, pvt; pages: pfc)
- link components (i.e. '.org')
- time indicators (i.e. 2011)
- typology indicators (groups: 'group', pages: 'network')
- Group terms that are used as one concept (i.e. 'nobel peace prize', 'nobel prize', 'stop torture')
4. Commentary on how Facebook protocols enable certain practices of publicness
- Take the Top 10 Facebook Groups and the Top 10 Facebook Pages, in terms of group membership and number of 'likes', respectively, and create two separate folders containing all textual posts (i.e. not links), as well as comments made on all other types of posts, including the textual ones.
Issues and Limitations