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Abstract

Digital technologies and social media platforms have been used in museum communication for over a decade now, and Holocaust museums have increasingly adopted them in their modes of commemoration and provision of educational content. Nevertheless, very limited research has been conducted into the potential of social media as new memory ecologies. In this exploratory study, we conceive social media platforms as socio-technical-ecological systems whereby users develop and engage with memory practices of the Holocaust. We adopt a networked socio-ecological approach to analyse how a sample of Holocaust museums (N = 69) develop practices of digital Holocaust memory in social media. The institutions are analysed in terms of “size” (small, medium, or large), how they differ in their attitudes towards these practices, and to what extent they circulate Holocaust memory on social media. The study adopts multiple quantitative approaches and combines the results of a survey with a set of social media metrics analysing how museums engage on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube in terms of generated content, interactivity, popularity, and type of content. Results show that museums have an overall positive attitude towards social media although some concerns were expressed, mostly by smaller institutions; they tend to use mostly Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, and to share educational content and information about the museum's activities. However, despite a tendency to aggregate a large number of fans and followers, especially in the case of larger institutions, interaction with users remains limited. Prospects for more interactive participation and its implications are also discussed.

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... The management of contentious contents is still a complex and delicate issue for Holocaust museums, which are mainly preoccupied with limiting cases of denial, distortion, misuse, and superficial representations. However, scholars have also emphasised the "passivity" of Holocaust institutions, resulting from fear of trivialization or distortion and the risk of harbouring conflicting memories, which might in turn have brought about an over-cautious attitude by Holocaust agencies in soliciting users' interaction (Manca, Passarelli & Rehm, 2022;Walden, 2021b). Holocaust organisations seem to prefer one-directional communication and the broadcasting of a "carefully shaped, widely acceptable message via social media" (Kansteiner, 2017, p. 324). ...
... Fear of trivialization or distortion and the risk of harbouring conflicting memories are always in the background. The limited type of user interaction, mainly consisting of likes and shares, highlights a general "passivity" of Holocaust institutions (Kansteiner, 2017) and a lack of engagement with social media users (Manca, Passarelli & Rehm, 2022;Walden, 2021b). If the Holocaust is to continue to be a landmark in the history of the 20th century for new generations as well, it will be important "to find constructive ways to negotiate between necessary security measures and still encouraging critical thinking and networking within and beyond these events" (Walden, 2021b, page 12). ...
... For a detailed report of this study, seeManca, Passarelli & Rehm (2022). ...
Technical Report
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Executive summary The context. Abuse, excuse, misrepresentation and manipulation of the history of the Holocaust are far from a fringe phenomenon. They have an international dimension and considerable weight (e.g., governments that seek to minimize their historical responsibility, conspiracy theorists who accuse Jews of exaggerating their suffering for financial gain, and online users who make use of imagery and language associated with the Holocaust for political, ideological, or commercial purposes unrelated to its history). As for social media, while their rise has enabled individuals and groups to connect on a global level and to gain instant access to information and knowledge, they have also allowed dissemination and spread of hateful content, including antisemitism and Holocaust denial and distortion, at an unprecedented rate. The problem. Although agencies and institutions concerned with Holocaust education and remembrance are well aware of the growing role of digital communication, there is little understanding of how small- and medium-sized Holocaust museums and memorials use social media to disseminate knowledge and memory of the Holocaust to the general public and to counter manipulation and distortion of Holocaust history. Both academic research and stakeholders have so far focused on the mission and practices of major Holocaust agencies, while neglecting to investigate the potential and critical issues that small and medium-sized museums and memorials face in both disseminating historical content and dealing with the phenomenon of distortion on social media. The contribution. This project focuses on a group of Holocaust museums and memorials located in two countries – Italy and Germany – in order to investigate their use of the main social media - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube - for the purposes of disseminating historical content, carrying out commemorative practices and countering the spread of Holocaust distortion. The project adopts an approach that conceives social media as a positive technology both for detecting good practices and for exploring critical issues in the very use of social media themselves. The approach is based on an investigative method that employs a range of quantitative and qualitative research tools. The idea is to analyse how museums and memorials use social media to expand Holocaust knowledge and memory, especially among the younger generations, and to activate groups of users and co-creators involved in user-generated content to protect the facts about the Holocaust and mitigate the challenges of distortion. The results. The various analyses carried out in the project have revealed a number of good practices and limitations that can currently be found in the social media profiles of the surveyed museums and memorials. Furthermore, although Holocaust remembrance has become a global, transcultural phenomenon, especially within European countries, national differences also exist between different local environments. The results achieved have made it possible to identify a number of current limitations, such as a mismatch between scholarly debates and public knowledge, limited bi-directional interaction with social media users, and the provision of materials that are not generally suitable for younger generations. A number of recommendations and guidelines have also been produced, such as further expanding historical knowledge of the Holocaust, investigating users’ preconceptions and biases, promoting the digital culture of remembrance, actively involving the follower/fan communities, and networking between entities with limited resources to share good practices and plan joint activities. These are all measures that Holocaust museums and memorials may adopt to encourage the development of forms of Holocaust knowledge and remembrance that are participatory, innovative and critical.
... Instagram is one of the most commonly used social media platforms, with 63% of its users spread globally (Akkaş et al., 2020;Ali, 2021;Manca et al., 2022;Nirmalasari & Liliani, 2022). Oliveira (2022) stated that this platform enables individuals to post images and short videos, write and read captions in photo descriptions, remark, and send direct messages (Oliveira et al., 2022). ...
... Instagram, which is gaining more popularity worldwide, is considered a potential tool in language learning and instruction (Ali, 2021;Manca et al., 2022). Few scientific studies have analyzed the role and use of this platform in the language learning environment, specifically in writing activities. ...
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The purpose of this research is to examine students' habits in using Instagram and their perceptions of the platform's feed-based tasks and peer feedback in English learning. This is online research with data collected from four meetings of Instagram feed-based tasks and peer feedback through a questionnaire with a Likert scale, focus group interviews, and observation. The purposive sampling method was used to determine the sample size of 56 law students. The data collected were analyzed using the mixed method with SPSS program 26 and Miles and Huberman's (2019) thematic analysis. The results showed that most students were familiar with Instagram and accessed it to share and obtain information, making it possible to flip it into an L2 learning tool. Students' poor English skills impacted their lack of motivation, interest, and confidence in participating in flipping Instagram as a medium of writing activities using feed-based tasks. On the other hand, peer feedback increased their motivation to interact with friends using English. Therefore, EFL teachers, learners, and material developers need to consider Instagram as a MALL tool for feed-based tasks and peer feedback for L2 classes due to its positive impact on collaborative and interactive activities.
... interaZione BidireZionale liMitata Con Gli Utenti dei soCial Media la gestione dei contenuti controversi è ancora una questione complessa e delicata per i musei della shoah, che si preoccupano soprattutto di limitare i casi di negazione, distorsione, uso improprio e rappresentazioni superficiali. Tuttavia, gli studiosi hanno anche sottolineato la "passività" delle istituzioni della shoah, dovuta al timore di banalizzazione o distorsione e al rischio di ospitare memorie conflittuali, che potrebbe a sua volta aver portato a un atteggiamento troppo cauto da parte degli enti della Shoah nel sollecitare l'interazione degli utenti (Manca, Passarelli & rehm, 2022;Walden, 2021b). le organizzazioni per la shoah sembrano preferire una comunicazione unidirezionale e la diffusione di un "messaggio accuratamente modellato e ampiamente accettabile attraverso i social media" (Kansteiner, 2017, p. 324). ...
Technical Report
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Abusi, scuse, travisamenti e manipolazioni della storia della Shoah si possono riscontrare a tutti i livelli della società. Si tratta di un fenomeno tutt'altro che marginale: se ne possono trovare esempi nei governi che cercano di minimizzare la loro responsabilità storica, nei teorici della cospirazione che accusano gli ebrei di esagerare le loro sofferenze a scopo di lucro e negli utenti online che fanno uso di immagini e linguaggio associati alla Shoah per scopi politici, ideologici o commerciali che non hanno legami con la sua storia. Indipendentemente dalla sua forma, la distorsione della Shoah e i suoi potenziali effetti diretti o indiretti - antisemitismo, negazione della Shoah, miti cospirativi e nazionalismo estremo - hanno una dimensione e una rilevanza internazionale e pertanto richiedono una risposta internazionale. Per quanto riguarda i social media, se da un lato la loro ascesa ha permesso a individui e gruppi di connettersi a livello globale e di avere accesso istantaneo a informazioni e conoscenze, dall'altro hanno consentito l’esponenziale diffusione e la divulgazione di contenuti carichi d’odio, tra cui l'antisemitismo e la negazione e distorsione della Shoah. Il presente rapporto intende fornire ai musei e ai memoriali della Shoah una serie di linee guida e raccomandazioni per contrastare il fenomeno della distorsione della Shoah sui canali dei social media. Poiché queste istituzioni si configurano come pilastri sempre più importanti contro la distorsione della Shoah, esse non solo hanno molteplici opportunità di salvaguardare la documentazione storica ma hanno anche bisogno di aiuto per affrontare le sfide poste da coloro che distorcono la verità. In quest'ottica, il rapporto evidenzia diverse azioni che i memoriali e i musei della Shoah possono intraprendere per contribuire a ridurre l'impatto delle diverse forme di distorsione della Shoah sui social media. A differenza della negazione della Shoah, cioè il tentativo di cancellare la Shoah dalla storia, la distorsione della Shoah giustifica, minimizza o travisa la Shoah in una varietà di modi utilizzando vari mezzi di comunicazione non sempre facilmente identificabili. Mentre vi è un ampio consenso sul fatto che la negazione della Shoah sia alimentata dall'antisemitismo, la distorsione della Shoah è considerata una forma di antisemitismo secondario o una manipolazione della storia della Shoah e della sua memoria per vari scopi. Sebbene la narrazione storica irresponsabile e abusiva possa riguardare qualsiasi evento storico, oggi il numero di mutazioni e distorsioni della storia della Shoah sta crescendo e sta progressivamente assumendo diverse forme dilaganti. Poiché non esistono misure uniche e generali contro tutte le forme di distorsione, dovranno essere attuate diverse azioni specifiche a seconda del contesto geografico o sociale.
... The management of contentious contents is still a complex and delicate issue for Holocaust museums, which are mainly preoccupied with limiting cases of denial, distortion, misuse, and superficial representations. However, scholars have also emphasised the "passivity" of Holocaust institutions, resulting from fear of trivialization or distortion and the risk of harbouring conflicting memories, which might in turn have brought about an over-cautious attitude by Holocaust agencies in soliciting users' interaction (Manca, Passarelli & Rehm, 2022;Walden, 2021b). Holocaust organisations seem to prefer one-directional communication and the broadcasting of a "carefully shaped, widely acceptable message via social media" (Kansteiner, 2017, p. 324). ...
Technical Report
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Abuse, excuse, misrepresentation and manipulation of the history of the Holocaust can be found at all levels of society. This is far from a fringe phenomenon: examples may be found in governments that seek to minimize their historical responsibility, conspiracy theorists who accuse Jews of exaggerating their suffering for financial gain, and online users who make use of imagery and language associated with the Holocaust for political, ideological, or commercial purposes unrelated to its history. Regardless of its form, Holocaust distortion and its potential direct or indirect effects – antisemitism, Holocaust denial, conspiracy myths and extreme nationalism – have an international dimension and relevance, and require an international response. As for social media, while their rise has enabled individuals and groups to connect on a global level and to have instant access to information and knowledge, they have also allowed spread and dissemination of hateful content, including antisemitism and Holocaust denial and distortion at an unprecedented rate. This report aims to provide Holocaust museums and memorials with a set of guidelines and recommendations to counter the phenomenon of Holocaust distortion on social media channels. As these institutions are increasingly important bulwarks against Holocaust distortion, they have manifold opportunities for safeguarding the historical record and need help to face the challenges posed by those who distort the truth. In this light, the report highlights several actions that Holocaust memorials and museums can take to help reduce the impact of different forms of Holocaust distortion on social media. Unlike Holocaust denial – the attempt to erase the Holocaust from history – Holocaust distortion excuses, minimizes, or misrepresents the Holocaust in a variety of ways and through various media which are not always readily identifiable. While there is broad agreement that Holocaust denial is fuelled by antisemitism, Holocaust distortion is either considered a form of secondary antisemitism or manipulation of Holocaust history and its memory for various purposes. Although irresponsible and abusive history may affect any historical event, today the number of mutations and distortions of Holocaust history are growing and are progressively assuming diverse rampant forms. As there are no single, general measures against all forms of distortion, several specific actions will have to be implemented depending on the geographical or social context.
Technical Report
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FÜR WEN SIND DIESE LEITLINIEN UND EMPFEHLUNGEN GEDACHT? Dieser Bericht soll Holocaust-Museen und -Gedenkstätten eine Reihe von Leitlinien und Empfehlungen an die Hand geben, um dem Phänomen der Holocaust-Verzerrung auf Social-Media- Kanälen zu begegnen. Da diese Einrichtungen zunehmend wichtige Eckpfeiler gegen die Verzerrung des Holocausts darstellen, haben sie vielfältige Herausforderungen, aber auch Möglichkeiten, die historische Überlieferung zu schützen, und benötigen Unterstützung, um den Herausforderungen, die von denjenigen ausgehen, die die Wahrheit verzerren, zu begegnen. Vor diesem Hintergrund hebt der Bericht mehrere Maßnahmen hervor, die Gedenkstätten und Museen ergreifen können, um die Auswirkungen der verschiedenen Formen der Holocaust-Verzerrung in den sozialen Medien zu verringern. WARUM IST DIE VERZERRUNG DES HOLOCAUSTS EIN ANLIEGEN DER ZIVILGESELLSCHAFT? Missbrauch, Ausreden, falsche Darstellungen und Manipulationen der Geschichte des Holocausts sind auf allen Ebenen der Gesellschaft zu finden. Dabei handelt es sich keineswegs um ein Randphänomen: Beispiele finden sich bei Regierungen, die versuchen, ihre historische Verantwortung zu minimieren, bei Verschwörungstheoretikern, welche jüdische Gemeinschaften mit Anschuldigungen konfrontieren ihr Leid zu ihrem Vorteil zu übertreiben, und bei Online-NutzerInnen, welche die mit dem Holocaust assoziierte Bilder und Sprache für politische, ideologische oder kommerzielle Zwecke verwenden, die nichts mit der Geschichte zu tun haben. Unabhängig von ihrer Form haben die Verzerrung des Holocausts und ihre potenziellen direkten oder indirekten Auswirkungen - Antisemitismus, Holocaust-Leugnung, Verschwörungsmythen und extremer Nationalismus - eine internationale Dimension und Relevanz, welche eine internationale Reaktion erfordern. Was die sozialen Medien anbelangt, so haben diese zwar Einzelpersonen und Gruppen die Möglichkeit gegeben, sich auf globaler Ebene zu vernetzen und sofortigen Zugang zu Informationen und Wissen zu erhalten, aber sie haben auch die Verbreitung von hasserfüllten Inhalten, einschließlich Antisemitismus, Holocaust-Leugnung und -Verzerrung in einem noch nie dagewesenen Ausmaß ermöglicht. WAS SIND DIE HERAUSFORDERUNGEN BEI DER BEKÄMPFUNG DER HOLOCAUST-VERZERRUNG? Im Gegensatz zur Holocaust-Leugnung - dem Versuch, den Holocaust aus der Geschichte zu löschen - wird bei der Holocaust-Verzerrung, welche nicht immer leicht zu identifizieren ist, der Holocaust auf unterschiedliche Weise in Medien entschuldigt, verharmlost oder falsch dargestellt. Während weitgehend Einigkeit darüber besteht, dass die Leugnung des Holocausts durch Antisemitismus genährt wird, wird die Verzerrung des Holocausts entweder als eine Form des “sekundären Antisemitismus” oder als Manipulation der Geschichte des Holocausts und seiner Erinnerung zu unterschiedlichen Zwecken betrachtet. Obwohl missbräuchliche Geschichtsdarstellungen jedes historische Ereignis betreffen können, nimmt die Zahl Verzerrungen der Geschichte des Holocausts heute zu, wobei verschiedene Formen der Verzerrungen identifiziert werden können. Da es keine einzelne, generelle Maßnahme gegen alle Formen der Verzerrung gibt, müssen je nach geografischem oder sozialem Kontext verschiedene, spezifische Maßnahmen ergriffen werden. WAS KÖNNEN GEDENKSTÄTTEN UND MUSEEN TUN, UM DER VERZERRUNG DES HOLOCAUSTS IN DEN SOZIALEN MEDIEN ENTGEGENZUWIRKEN? Die Frage nach den Maßnahmen, mit denen Museen und Materialien zu diesem Zweck ausgestattet werden können, erfordert einen komplexen, ganzheitlichen Ansatz. Obwohl keine der Maßnahmen das Problem in Gänze lösen oder eingrenzen kann, ist es wichtig zu betonen, dass Museen und Gedenkstätten mehrere Maßnahmen zur Verfügung haben: Sie können dazu beitragen, das Wissen über den Holocaust vor allem bei jungen Menschen zu erweitern, indem sie Inhalte bereitstellen, welche den sprachlichen und medialen Gewohnheiten Jugendlicher entsprechen; sie können die Gemeinschaft der Social Media Fans und FollowerInnen aktiv einbeziehen, indem sie in die Schaffung eines ein sicheren und kooperativen Umfelds einbeziehen; sie können sich auf nationale oder lokale Besonderheiten der Verzerrung des Holocausts konzentrieren; sie können den Unterschied zwischen absichtlicher Verzerrung und Verzerrung aufgrund mangelnden Wissens erkennen; sie können in die berufliche Entwicklung und Weiterbildung des Personals investieren und sie können die internationale Zusammenarbeit und den Austausch durch den Aufbau von Netzwerken zwischen Gedenkstätten und Museen sowie mit anderen Holocaust-Einrichtungen, stärken.
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Chapter
This chapter explores the implications of the selfie-perspective for Holocaust memory in the digital age. We analyse sequences from the Israeli documentary film, #Uploading_Holocaust (2016), which were taken during visits at memorial sites. We argue that such audio-visual self-representations communicate the complex relationship between individual subject positions, a presumably meaningful past, and contemporary modes of commemoration. We also claim that the creators of such videos often aim to inscribe themselves into memory culture, while at the same time struggling with the emotional complexity of their encounters with memorial sites. In doing so, they integrate the memory of past events into their present social media lives. We describe this interplay of mnemonic self-inscription and the integration of memories by means of digital technology, as i-Memory: a term that interlinks the subjective adaptation of digital commemorative practices with interactive modes of engagement with history, through memorial sites.
Chapter
Immersion and interactivity have become cliché terms to describe digital initiatives, promoted by tech innovators as the uniqueness of digital interventions it is no surprise that they dominate in promotional material for digital Holocaust memory projects. This chapter provides an archaeological rummage through both historical and contemporary uses of these terms in order to draw attention to their problematic and sometimes contradictory uses. It argues that ‘immersion’ and ‘interactivity’ are far less radical and innovative than the tech industry likes to tell us, and actually rather useless terms for helping us conceptualise what digital media can do for Holocaust memory. Inspired by the work of Barad and Hansen, the afterword for this collection proposes instead that imagining projects in terms of ‘intra-action’ and ‘mixed reality’ can help drive forward digital Holocaust memory futures in productive ways that particularly foreground the entanglement introduced in Chap. 1 as crucial to understanding this memoryscape.
Chapter
This chapter introduces the idea of thinking about digital Holocaust memory, education and research through the lens of entanglement. Holocaust memory, education and research are increasingly intertwining fields in which researchers become producers of digital memory and education initiatives, and such projects involve the creation of new, replicable methodologies for developing technology for doing memory and education and assessing its impact for users. Digital practice in these fields is also a deeply entangled phenomenon involving constantly evolving relationships between computational logics, programs and software, interfaces, users, and wider traditions of media representation, museological, archival and memory practices, and emerging characteristics of digital cultures. None of these elements works independently of the others. Digital Holocaust memory, education and research are produced as constant negotiations between a complex and ever-expanding number of both human and nonhuman actants.
Chapter
In 2009, the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum took the experimental initiative of creating a Facebook page; since then, it has established accounts on other social media platforms, such as Instagram and Twitter, and is now followed by more than one million users across these networks. This chapter investigates the ways in which the Museum utilises social media, particularly with regard to its authority as an institution and site of Holocaust education and remembrance. On one hand, the Museum has fostered an online virtual community where Auschwitz victims are commemorated, the ethics of remembrance are discussed, and users’ feedback is sought and acknowledged. On the other hand, the institution uses social media to fact-check and criticise certain representations of Auschwitz, suggesting only those explicitly approved by the Museum are acceptable. This demonstrates a wider Museum dichotomy between retaining traditional, didactic practices and establishing contemporary, participatory ones.
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Twitter is often used to disseminate information during disasters. This study collected and analyzed tweets related to the July 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake in Southern California from selected organizations (e.g., governmental agencies, media companies, nonprofit organizations, and research groups). The topic modeling technique found both similar and different topics for those organizations. Regression analysis showed that topics from media outlets and “others” (Twitter users not included in the selected organizations) positively related to the number of retweets and favorites. These findings contribute to the methodological development of Twitter research and social media use for disaster management.
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Museums play an important role in out-of-school learning. Many museums have begun offering distance learning programs to increase their reach and the accessibility of their collections. These programs serve a wide range of audiences from pre-kindergarten to lifelong learners. This descriptive study examined the current practices in museum-based distance learning programs. Additional data was collected once museums began closing due to COVID-19 and transitioning to distance learning programs. The study foundthat museums offering programs before COVID-19 predominately offered school-based programs via teleconferencing software. Museums transitioning to distance learning programs following closures due to COVID-19 mainly utilized social media platforms to offer a wide range of programming for the general public. Additional information was gathered regarding how the programs were developed and who facilitated them. Museums are still determining how to respond to COVID-19 closures. This study described the current landscape and potential opportunities for research related to museum-based distance learning programs. These areas for research include establishing best practices, defining high-quality programs, opportunities to engage in instructional design, and professional development for the museum staff facilitating these programs.
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The purpose of this exploratory study is twofold. First, to investigate the extent to which museums consciously perform through accounting tools, i.e. strategic planning their anchoring function and, second, the role played by social media in facilitating this role. To pursue these objectives, five anchor museums (Louvre, MUSE, Museum aan de Stroom, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Musée de Arts-Montréal) were investigated through a content analysis of their strategic plans and Facebook pages. As a first step, the analysis of the museums’ strategic plans has shown that museums consciously act as anchors in local communities. Second, the analysis of the design of the museums’ Facebook page and the results of the thematic analysis of their posts and events have shown that museums’ social media communication is still unilateral and promotional, thus limiting stakeholder engagement for future local development.
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In light of higher education's growing reliance on social media interaction, this study proposes a valid mechanism of social media interaction which includes social media use (SMU) and social media validation (SMV) and analyzes its effects on university brand value. The authors also include future orientation (major offering and career warranty) in the proposed relationship. Drawing on the dynamic capability perspective and based on data from 265 universities' Facebook accounts, the authors found that private universities are more actively engaged in social media interactions than public ones. The findings further indicated that SMU and SMV positively influence university brand value more strongly at high levels of career warranty and major offering, respectively, under the controlling condition of international cooperation capability. Accordingly, implications for educational practitioners and theory are discussed.
Article
Social media platforms act as points of convergence for museums facing the pressure to adopt more sweeping participatory techniques. They are potentially powerful instruments in the “democratisation” process; yet the possibilities they offer in terms of spreading mass information do not automatically secure a higher level of online participation. This study uses the stimulus-organism-response (SOR) model to explore the different stimuli that museums with complex codes of access use to “democratise” themselves through the agency (organism) of social media, together with evaluating the effectiveness of their work on the basis of online public response. Empirically, the analysis was carried out in nine Italian State Archaeological Museums, as exemplars of museums with complex codes of access, with an investigation into the content of their Facebook posts and the interaction that these posts generated over more than a year. The results show, firstly, the diversity among the stimulus categories ranging from messages used to communicate and promote a museum's agenda to posts that dwell on its collection. In terms of online response, information about the museum's agenda is shown to be not sufficiently appealing to engage users online, while messages about the museum's core feature (its collections) are rewarded by its followers. These findings indicate that social media do not challenge the museums’ curatorship authority and can be an instrument for the museums’ dual mission to entertain and educate.
Article
In this article I discuss both the recent threats as well as opportunities posed by social media to the activities of museums, taking into account social media’s importance as an evolving space of both social outreach and social activism. Recalling the controversies around the U.S. and UK museums’ social media responses to George Floyd’s death, I argue that museums run the risk of politicization and entanglement in controversial issues which are not necessarily linked to their profile and mission. I analyse museums’ social media guidelines, good practices, and mission statements, and posit that they play a fundamental role in integrating the new realm of the Web 2.0 into traditional museum activities. My main case study and example of good practice is the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. It has constantly embedded general ethical and educational principles and guidelines of Holocaust commemoration and education into its more than 60-years’ experience in dealing with and taming political and cultural controversies surrounding this memory site of universal importance, and this embeddedness lies at the core of its social media activity. Defined as an “online community of remembrance”, it consists of well-thought-out initiatives which aim at informing the public about the everyday history of the camp, involving itself in the current commemorations and anniversaries, and rectifying simplifications and misinformation about Auschwitz and the Holocaust. I also analyse the fundamental role played by the official social media profiles in managing the crisis which arose at the beginning of 2018 with the amendment of the socalled “Holocaust Law” in Poland.
Article
Along with advances in communication technology that are making new forms of historical memorialization and education available, social media are researched as valuable tools for supporting forms of digital memory and for engaging students and teachers about historical knowledge and moral education. This study aims to map the current state of Holocaust remembrance and Holocaust education and to identify main topics of research in the two areas. It adopts a mixed-method approach that combines qualitative analysis with bibliometric approaches to review publications that use social media for digital memory and history education about the Holocaust. Results based on 28 publications reveal several research topics and that, despite some common theoretical references, the two subfields mostly rely on separate conceptual backgrounds. While Holocaust remembrance is a well-established research field, there are few studies and a lack of theoretical elaboration about social media use for teaching and learning about the Holocaust.
Article
Social media have expanded citizens' political repertoires with new modes of action. To measure these changing political practices, a new instrument, called the Social Media Political Participation Scale was developed and psychometrically tested. The instrument aims to capture both active, expressive forms of political action through social media as well as cognitive political social media use (e.g., sharing posts versus information seeking and acquiring). Based on a literature review and the recommendations of an expert panel, an item pool was generated. The second phase consisted of a questionnaire completed by 595 teenagers. The construct validity was assessed using exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), as well as convergent validity and internal consistency. The analyses revealed four theoretically grounded constructs measured with 21 items: latent engagement, follower engagement, expressive engagement and counter engagement. As a validated instrument , the Social Media Political Participation Scale allows future research to gain a more profound insight into who is politically engaged and why, as well as how digital technologies are embedded in diverse forms of political action.
Article
This study investigates the evolution of performance measures in Italian state museums, alongside the evolution of their role from preservation institutes to entertainment sites, remodelling themselves as participatory museums of the digital era. Italian autonomous state museums, and in particular four of these museums, were chosen as the main field of analysis because this category of state museums was affected the most by the move from the participatory to the entertainment model through successive reforms. Results underlined a renewed role for entertainment, which acted as a mediator between the notion of enjoyment and that of knowledge; the primary importance of the measure about the number of visitors, which assumed different nuances along the years; and the double function of digital technologies in entertaining visitors and providing new sources of measurement.
Article
Data availability and access to various platforms, is changing the nature of Information Systems (IS) studies. Such studies often use large datasets, which may incorporate structured and unstructured data, from various platforms. The questions that such papers address, in turn, may attempt to use methods from computational science like sentiment mining, text mining, network science and image analytics to derive insights. However, there is often a weak theoretical contribution in many of these studies. We point out the need for such studies to contribute back to the IS discipline, whereby findings can explain more about the phenomenon surrounding the interaction of people with technology artefacts and the ecosystem within which these contextual usage is situated. Our opinion paper attempts to address this gap and provide insights on the methodological adaptations required in “big data studies” to be converted into “IS research” and contribute to theory building in information systems.
Article
This study investigates the reaction of Italian state museums to the closure of their physical sites caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, taking the perspective of their online activity on social media. The study explores the type and amount of content published by museums on their social media webpages, as well as the level of online engagement that is generated by their activity. Empirically, this study investigated the 100 largest Italian state museums, showing that, during the weeks of lockdown, their cultural initiatives did not come to a stop but, on the contrary, there has been a sharp rise in online cultural material and initiatives taking place through social media, with museums doubling their online activity. This online evidence has stimulated further reflections on the future direction of digitally enabled approaches to culture and its enjoyment.
Article
This study presents a netnographic discourse analysis of social media content generated around three high profile European Holocaust heritage sites: Ann Frank's House in Amsterdam, The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland, and the Jewish Museum in Berlin, Germany. It identifies four salient discourses under the headings of Holocaust heritage as social memory, reactions to Holocaust heritage, obligation and ritual, and transgressive visitor behaviour which frame the values, existential anxieties, emotions, priorities and expectations of visitors. The findings will be of interest to stakeholders involved in the planning and management of Holocaust heritage since they provide unique access to a synthesis of unmediated visitor feedback on European Holocaust heritage experiences.
Chapter
This chapter is an introduction to Holocaust memory and social media, and discusses the experience of the Holocaust memory and history through Instagram. It demonstrates the ways in which networked images taken by visitors and tourists at Auschwitz State Museum affect, shift, or confirm methods of both scholarly and popular engagement with Holocaust history and memory. The chapter builds on the discussions of the Holocaust and dark tourism, concerning the Holocaust in the digital age, engaging with public representations and the Holocaust vis‐a‐vis the Instagram hashtag. Using the hashtag as a pivot point, it discusses its importance in the context of contemporary photographs of Auschwitz, shared by English‐speaking tourists on Instagram. Attempts to communicate the experience of visiting Auschwitz rely on a sense of place‐making connected to an “imagined Auschwitz.”
Article
All forms of collective memory embody attempts at meaning-making - efforts to integrate experience and provide a coherent foundation for individual and collective identities. However, different modes of collective memory have different meaning-making potentials. In this article, I will assess three modes of remembering, namely folk, commemorative and mediatised memory, from the perspective of how they generate integrative meaning. Each of these modes of remembrance will be examined through the prism of a case study examining the nature of the memories associated with a specific lieux de memoire. I will suggest that over time, memory becomes progressively ‘unanchored’ from localised contexts due to its increasing technological and institutional mediation and that this has important implications for the depth and kind of meaning it provides.
Article
As more Holocaust memorial and educational organizations engage with digital technologies, the notion of virtual Holocaust memory has come to the fore. However, while this term is generally used simply to describe digital projects, this paper seeks to re-evaluate the specificity of virtuality and its relationship to memory through the thinking of Gilles Deleuze and Henri Bergson in order to consider how both digital and non-digital memory projects related to the Holocaust might be described as drawing attention to the virtuality of memory because they bring us into critical interstitial spaces between multiple layers of pasts and present in embodied ways that encourage us to consciously recognize the movements towards temporal planes which characterize memory. After reviewing the philosophies of Deleuze and Bergson in light of collaborative Holocaust memory, this article considers a range of digital and physical memorials to assess where we might find examples of virtual Holocaust memory today. I propose that we should see the virtual as a methodology – a particular form of memory practice – rather than a medium.
Article
Scarce research has focused on the technological aspects of social media in CSR communication. Many public relations practitioners are reluctant to interact online although social media platforms such as YouTube provide two-way communication interface. Using the MAIN model, this study explored how bandwagon cues (more likes/dislikes) and interaction cues (enable/disable commenting) influence the perceived source credibility assessment (trustworthiness, goodwill, and competence) of CSR information on YouTube. Through a 2 × 2 factorial experiment (N = 204), no interaction effects were found in general; but a main effect of the enabling comment interface existed toward the perceived trustworthiness of the company regardless of likes/dislikes received on the CSR video, which further leads to individual’s attitudes toward the company’s CSR efforts. The finding paves a way for an explanation of the effectiveness of enabling the commenting function of using YouTube to enhance CSR communication.
Article
In the context of the shift towards participatory practices within museums, museum engagement with social media represents a form of organizational change. This study approaches social media and the corresponding organizational change from a museum leader’s perspective, utilizing data from a broad cross-section of 82 museums in Norway. We address how the characteristics of a museum and its leader impact social media attitudes, behaviors and intention towards social media-based change. Combining factor analysis and clustering techniques, we identify four museum leader ‘types’ who are primarily defined by their (1) perception of museum benefits from social media, (2) perception of own and museum support in social media activities, (3) perception of conflicts that arise from social media usage, and (4) social media-related values. With museums being asked to more fully embrace the participatory potential of social media, this study points to significant differences in readiness to change across museum leaders.
Book
Revisiting Holocaust Representation in the Post-Witness Era shifts focus from discussions on the ethics and limits of representation to the relevance of imagination in Holocaust commemoration. It re-examines ethical, aesthetic and political dilemmas arising from the crucial transfer of memory from the realm of 'living memory' contained by the survivors and their families, to culturally and politically mediated memory practices realised by post-witness generations. Why are artistic imaginative representations of the Holocaust important now? Critical analyses of little discussed artworks, memorials, film, comics and literature point to a diversification of approaches and Holocaust re-presentations in Europe, showing that memory and imagination are increasingly and intimately intertwined. This volume's contributions make apparent the genuine struggle among those born after the Holocaust, whether Jewish, Polish, German, Austrian, or Swedish, to make the past relevant in the present, well-aware that one cannot fully own or comprehend it
Article
This paper seeks to map theoretical and practical preoccupations in the contemporary relationship between places of commemoration and more abstract spaces of Holocaust memory. While the range of this topic is broad, I narrow the scope by interrogating specific ways in which the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum engages with Holocaust-related visual content on Instagram. The direction in which the memory of the Holocaust is moving and the ubiquity of social media posts, forces institutions like the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum to valorise, react, and engage with new media content. Therefore, the case study of ‘selfies from Auschwitz’ resonates in productive ways with questions of individual and institutional socio-historical agency in curatorship of 21 st century Holocaust memory, as well as discussions on guardianship and claims to ownership of memory in the digital age. Contending that the Museum asserts itself as an increasingly visible actor in the transnational social media Holocaust discourse, I trace the history of the Museum’s social media presence and engagement. © 2017 School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Leeds. All rights reserved.
Article
As governments are increasingly turning to social media as a means of engaging the public, questions remain as to how they are actually using various social media platforms. Do specific platforms engender specific types of messages? If so, what are they, and how do they affect civic engagement, co-participation, and address citizen concerns? In this paper, we compare the use of Instagram and Twitter by ‘The Big Lift’, a bridge re-decking project completed by Halifax Harbour Bridges. Based on a content analysis of Instagram (n = 248) and Twitter (n = 1278) public posts, we found that Instagram was used as a more ‘informal’ narrative platform that promoted a clicktivist type of responses from the audience, whereas Twitter was a more ‘formal’ news platform that supported greater two-way communication between the organization and the audience. We conclude that by building and maintaining their active presence and following base on social media, and especially on Twitter, organizations can develop a capacity to address social concerns during disruptive events or infrastructure projects like ‘The Big Lift’.
Article
This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of museums’ communication strategy in Facebook. This research conducts two empirical studies: in the first, we analyze the communication strategies of 240 museum Facebook pages and their effect on engagement at a fan page level; in the second, we explore the communication strategy in each post in greater depth in order to gauge how the different content and relational elements contribute to increasing the number of likes, comments, and shares. The findings highlight that achieving user engagement entails developing a strategy based on content as well as the museum’s relationship and dialog with its audience, to the point where it becomes involved in conversations. This study proposes that if a museum is seeking an audience’s active participation in its communications, then the organization itself should also get involved in users’ conversations. Put differently, engagement should be reciprocal if more effective communication is to be achieved.