Axel Bruns's research while affiliated with Queensland University of Technology and other places

Publications (165)

Preprint
Social media in general, and Facebook in particular, have been clearly identified as important platforms for the dissemination of mis- and disinformation and related problematic content. However, the patterns and processes of such dissemination are still not sufficiently understood. This is in part because existing studies often focus only on the d...
Article
Full-text available
This article extends the combinatorial approach to support the determination of contextuality amidst causal influences. Contextuality is an active field of study in Quantum Cognition, in systems relating to mental phenomena, such as concepts in human memory. In the cognitive field of study, a contemporary challenge facing the determination of wheth...
Preprint
Full-text available
This article extends the combinatorial approach to support the determination of contextuality amidst causal influences. Contextuality is an active field of study in Quantum Cognition, in systems relating to mental phenomena, such as concepts in human memory [Aerts et al., 2013]. In the cognitive field of study, a contemporary challenge facing the d...
Chapter
This chapter provides a case study of a public debate attracting highly polarised and antagonistic participants within the Australian context and examines the dynamics of polarisation, information flows, discourses, and materialities shaping these dynamics. Twitter conversations about immigration policies of the Australian government and detention...
Chapter
The outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by what the World Health Organization has described as an ‘infodemic’: the rapid and uncontrolled dissemination of misinformation and disinformation relating to the virus across online and offline social networks and media outlets. Focusing particularly on the conspiracy theory that...
Article
Full-text available
This special issue of Social Media + Society develops a cross-national, longitudinal perspective on the use of social media in election campaigns. Australia, where leading social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter were adopted early and widely by the general population, and where federal election cycles are unusually short (often less tha...
Article
The Conversation (theconversation.com) represents a unique model for communicating scholarly research to the general public via explanatory journalism. Rather than relying on scholars’ personal networks, the promotional efforts of university press offices, or requests from science journalists for comments on current developments, The Conversation o...
Article
Responding rapidly to extraordinary developments in early 2021, this panel examines the background, development, implementation, and consequences of the latest Australian regulatory intervention in the engagement between content platforms and domestic media organisations: the News Media Bargaining Code (NMBC). The Australian federal government envi...
Article
Encompassed by the disputed term ‘fake news’, a variety of overtly or covertly biased, skewed, or falsified reports claiming to present factual information are now seen to constitute a critical challenge to the effective dissemination of news and information across established and emerging democratic societies. Such content – variously also classif...
Article
Conspiracy theories about the ‘real’ origins of the coronavirus have co-evolved with media coverage of the COVID-19 crisis itself; the World Health Organization now warns about a global “infodemic” paralleling the viral pandemic. Covering these conspiracy theories presents difficult editorial choices for news organizations. This article examines ho...
Article
While news sharing by ordinary social media users has received growing attention, hyper-partisan news sharing, which has been closely associated with misinformation circulation, has received less attention. In this study, we investigate hyper-partisan news sharing from two perspectives: (1) the features that make hyper-partisan news share-worthy, a...
Article
Full-text available
Twitter continuously tightens the access to its data via the publicly accessible, cost-free standard APIs. This especially applies to the follow network. In light of this, we successfully modified a network sampling method to work efficiently with the Twitter standard API in order to retrieve the most central and influential accounts of a language-...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we examine two interrelated hashtag campaigns that formed in response to the Victorian State Government’s handling of Australia’s most significant COVID-19 second wave of mid-to-late 2020. Through a mixed-methods approach that includes descriptive statistical analysis, qualitative content analysis, network analysis, computational s...
Article
Full-text available
The proliferation of data journalism has enabled newsrooms to deploy technologies for both mundane and more sophisticated workplace tasks. To bypass long-term investment in developing data skills, out-of-the-box software solutions are commonly used. Newsrooms today are partially dependent on third-party platforms to build interactive and visual sto...
Article
Recently, major social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have announced efforts to counter "coordinated inauthentic behaviour." However, scholarly research continues to provide evidence that coordinated human and automated accounts covertly seek to undermine and manipulate public debates on these platforms. Given the difficulties in obta...
Article
Twitter has been a vital platform for organizing, coordinating, and amplifying voices during protests, especially in non-democratic countries. Although it is a globally used platform for protest movements, many studies focus on English-speaking and democratic countries. We overcome this research gap by investigating Persian, English, and Arabic twe...
Article
This article offers an Australian perspective on the definitions, significance and potential of digital methods in digital media, communication and cultural studies. We begin by situating this perspective in terms of postcolonial geography and disciplinarity and then argue for the value of hybrid digital methods, by which we mean the integration of...
Article
Full-text available
Focussing in detail on one key component of the infodemic surrounding COVID-19, this article traces the dissemination dynamics of rumours that the pandemic outbreak was somehow related to the rollout of 5G mobile telephony technology in Wuhan and around the world. Drawing on a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methods including time-series an...
Chapter
The popular social media platform Twitter is the latest in long line of platforms for synchronous (real-time) computer-mediated communication that stretches back at least to the heyday of Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs). Its specific communicative affordances – chiefly the 140-character limit that applies to individual tweets – and the gradual co-dev...
Article
This article outlines and demonstrates how multi-platform issue mapping can be used to investigate the impact of scholarly contributions to public debates, using digital methods and data drawn from digital media platforms. We apply this approach to the social media conversation surrounding the January 2018 Australia Day controversy, with a specific...
Article
In this panel we combine longitudinal and cross-national studies of social media in election campaigns, expanding the time span as well as number of countries compared to former studies. The four papers present longitudinal studies, covering multiple election cycles from four different countries: Australia, the United States of America, Denmark and...
Conference Paper
Social bots are undermining trust in social media. They spread low-credibility content, fake news, and spam. However, most research is based on bots that actively share links or keywords, rather than assessing the longer-term presence of bots as an integral part of platforms. To address this gap, we present what to our knowledge is the first study...
Article
Trust is fragile. The 2018 Facebook and Cambridge Analytica debacles highlighted how data harvested from social media platforms can be used not only for commercial purposes but also for political manipulation. This incident and the widespread discussion around it further demonstrated the following issues: unethical data collection enabled by a plat...
Preprint
Full-text available
https://arxiv.org/abs/1908.07788 Twitter continuously tightens the access to its data via the publicly accessible, cost-free standard APIs. This especially applies to the follow network. In light of this, we successfully modified a network sampling method to work efficiently with the Twitter standard API in order to retrieve the most central and...
Article
In the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica controversy, social media platform providers such as Facebook and Twitter have severely restricted access to platform data via their Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). This has had a particularly critical effect on the ability of social media researchers to investigate phenomena such as abuse, hat...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research into social media platforms has often focused on the exceptional: key moments in politics, sports or crisis communication. For Twitter, it has usually centred on hashtags or keywords. Routine and everyday social media practices remain underexamined as a result; the literature has overrepresented the loudest voices: those users who...
Article
Full-text available
Social media use is now commonplace across journalism, in spite of lingering unease about the impact the networked, real-time logic of leading social media platforms may have on the quality of journalistic coverage. As a result, distinct journalistic voices are forced to compete more directly with experts, commentators, sources, and other stakehold...
Article
Full-text available
This article investigates how citizens contribute to rumour verification on social media in China, drawing on a case study of Weibo communication about the 2015 Tianjin blasts. Three aspects of citizen engagement in verifying rumours via Weibo are examined: (1) how they directly debunked rumours related to the blasts, (2) how they verified official...
Article
Social media such as Twitter are now widely used by professional journalists in their day-to-day practice. Active use of such platforms for reporting the news and engaging with audiences requires a range of choices about the kind of public persona journalists wish to present; one key choice is what links to their own and other sources' news stories...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Sharing platforms for creative content are often closely connected to general purpose social media platforms like Twitter. This also means that coordinated and automated mechanisms for promoting such content are likely to span both sites: spammers and bots operate across both plat-forms. This work-in-progress paper presents first results from an ef...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recently, automated communication on social media has seen increased attention. Social bots, social media accounts controlled by algorithms that mimic human behaviour, have been found to attempt to influence users in several political contexts. However, their use in a commercial context, e.g. to boost sales of a product by aggressively promoting it...
Article
Against a backdrop of substantial and persistent disruption in Australian federal politics, this article examines the uses of Twitter in campaigning in the 2013 and 2016 federal elections. We comprehensively tracked the tweets posted by, and directed at, all candidates during the final 2 weeks of these campaigns, and compare patterns in candidate a...
Article
Full-text available
This article takes a new approach to the comprehensive study of an entire national Twittersphere. It identifies, to the extent that this is possible with the data made available through Twitter’s Application Programming Interface (API), all accounts operated by Norwegian users and institutions, analyses patterns in their public profile information,...
Chapter
More technical opportunities and also more communicative and participatory options online could lead to more political interest in general, and to closer interrelations between citizens and politicians. From the point of view of democratic theory, it is highly relevant whether citizens are vividly participating in politics or not. In light of recen...
Article
Full-text available
Twitter is now a key platform for public communication between a diverse range of participants, but the overall shape of the communication network it provides remains largely unknown. This article provides a detailed overview of the network structure of the Australian Twittersphere and identifies the thematic drivers of the key clusters within the...
Article
Acute crisis events ranging from natural disasters to terrorist incidents now tend to generate an almost immediate response from social media users. This is especially pronounced on Twitter, due to that platform’s specific affordances as a particularly open and real-time medium. While analyses of such events have increased over recent years, we sti...
Article
Past years have seen continuing experimentation in the use of social media for political campaigning. By the time of the 2013 Australian federal election, social media of various forms had become comparatively mainstream in Australia and were widely used by members and candidates: more than 350 candidates operated Twitter accounts during the campai...
Conference Paper
This paper provides a framework for understanding Twitter as a historical source. We address digital humanities scholars to enable the transfer of concepts from traditional source criticism to new media formats, and to encourage the preservation of Twitter as a cultural artifact. Twitter has established itself as a key social media platform which p...
Article
While journalism scholarship on Twitter has expanded significantly in recent years, journalists’ use of the social networking platform for self-promotion and branding has only recently received attention. Yet, as Twitter is becoming important for journalists to build economic and social capital, journalistic branding is increasingly relevant to stu...
Article
Twitter’s hashtag functionality is now used for a very wide variety of purposes, from covering crises and other breaking news events through gathering an instant community around shared media texts (such as sporting events and TV broadcasts) to signalling emotive states from amusement to despair. These divergent uses of the hashtag are increasingly...
Chapter
The contemporary social media moment can be understood in terms of a ‘platform paradigm’ (Burgess, 2014) — one in which the private, interpersonal and public communication of a significant majority of users is being mediated via a small number of large proprietary platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and those platforms are redefining how such comm...
Chapter
The analysis of the main Obama and Romney accounts provides new information into how the major candidates and their campaigns use social media, taking in their styles of tweeting, interactions or acknowledgement of their opposition, links to other sources and content, and the use of promotion tweets for campaign advertising. The analysis reveals ma...
Chapter
The popular social media platform Twitter is the latest in long line of platforms for synchronous (real-time) computer-mediated communication that stretches back at least to the heyday of Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs). Its specific communicative affordances – chiefly the 140-character limit that applies to individual tweets – and the gradual co-dev...
Article
Full-text available
All media are social—they are after all media, in between, intermediating between producers and consumers of content, information, conversation, between the actors in the media and the audiences who read, listen, and watch. And the sociality of the media does not stop there: the processes of media production are social processes just as much as the...
Article
This article analyses and compares Twitter activity for the niche sport of netball over the 2013 trans-Tasman ANZ Championship competition and the international Commonwealth Games event in 2014. Patterns within the Twitter data that were discovered through an analysis of the 2013 ANZ Championship season are considered in terms of the Commonwealth G...
Chapter
Ob die Überwachungspraktiken der NSA oder die Geschäftsmodelle von Google, Facebook & Co.: Sie alle basieren auf »Big Data«, der ungeahnten Möglichkeit, riesige Datenmengen wie nie zuvor in der Geschichte zu erheben, zu sammeln und zu analysieren. »Big Data« beschreibt damit nicht nur neuartige wissenschaftliche Datenpraktiken, sondern steht für ei...
Article
This article uses the example of the mediatisation of Season 2 of the Australian documentary-cum-reality TV series Go Back to Where You Came From, and the associated #GoBackSBS Twitter feed, to investigate how public opinions are shaped, reshaped and expressed in new hybrid media ecologies. We explore how social media tools like Twitter can support...
Article
The analysis of content and meta-data has long been the subject of most Twitter studies, however such research only tells part of the story of the development of Twitter as a platform. In this work, we introduce a methodology to determine the growth patterns of individual users of the platform, a technique we refer to as follower accession, and thr...
Article
Full-text available
In this contribution, we introduce “social media analytics” (SMA) as an emerging interdisciplinary research field that, in our view, will have a significant impact on social media-related future research from across different academic disciplines. Despite a number of challenges, we argue that SMA can provide other disciplines – including IS – with...
Article
Full-text available
Scholarly research into the uses of social media has become a major area of growth in recent years, as the adoption of social media for public communication itself has continued apace. While social media platforms provide ready avenues for data access through their Application Programming interfaces, it is increasingly important to think through ex...
Article
Full-text available
In this contribution, we introduce “social media analytics” (SMA) as an emerging interdisciplinary research field that, in our view, will have a significant impact on social media-related future research from across different academic disciplines. Despite a number of challenges, we argue that SMA can provide other disciplines – including IS – with...
Chapter
With over 600 million signed-up accounts worldwide, Twitter has become an important space tor the coverage and discussion of unfolding world events, from entertainment and sports to natural disasters and political crises. Especially as breaking news emerges, many of the platform’s participants begin to use it as a channel for ‘ambient news’ (Hermid...
Chapter
With over 600 million signed-up accounts worldwide, Twitter has become an important space for the coverage and discussion of unfolding world events, from entertainment and sports to natural disasters and political crises. Especially as breaking news emerges, many of the platform’s participants begin to use it as a channel for ‘ambient news’ (Hermid...
Chapter
Full-text available
As the systematic investigation of Twitter as a communications platform continues, the question of developing reliable comparative metrics for the evaluation of public, communicative phenomena on Twitter becomes paramount. What is necessary here is the establishment of an accepted standard for the quantitative description of user activities on Twit...
Chapter
The widespread adoption of leading social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter in much of the developed world has also led to a rise in research projects across the humanities and social sciences that seek to investigate and analyse the emerging uses of these platforms. A substantial number of such research projects have applied existing co...
Article
The promise of 'big data' has generated a significant deal of interest in the development of new approaches to research in the humanities and social sciences, as well as a range of important critical interventions which warn of an unquestioned rush to 'big data'. Drawing on the experiences made in developing innovative 'big data' approaches to soci...
Article
Although popular media narratives about the role of social media in driving the events of the 2011 “Arab Spring” are likely to overstate the impact of Facebook and Twitter on these uprisings, it is nonetheless true that protests and unrest in countries from Tunisia to Syria generated a substantial amount of social media activity. On Twitter alone,...
Article
This paper examines patterns of political activity and campaigning on TWITTER in the context of the 2012 election in the Australian state of Queensland. Social media have been a visible component of political campaigning in Australia at least since the 2007 federal election, with TWITTER, in particular, rising to greater prominence in the 2010 fede...
Article
Amongst the most prominent uses of Twitter is its role in the discussion of widely televised events: Twitter's own statistics for 2011, for example, list major entertainment spectacles (the MTV Music Awards and the BET Awards) and sports matches (the UEFA Champions League final and the FIFA Women's World Cup final) amongst the events generating the...
Article
Big data is big news in almost every sec-tor including crisis communication. How-ever, not everyone has access to big data and even if we have access to big data, we often do not have necessary tools to analyze and cross reference such a large data set. Therefore this paper looks at patterns in small data sets that we have ability to collect with o...
Article
Full-text available
Twitter is an important and influential social media platform, but much research into its uses remains centred around isolated cases – e.g. of events in political communication, crisis communication, or popular culture, often coordinated by shared hashtags (brief keywords, prefixed with the symbol ‘#’). In particular, a lack of standard metrics for...
Chapter
A Companion to New Media Dynamics presents a state-of-the-art collection of multidisciplinary readings that examine the origins, evolution, and cultural underpinnings of the media of the digital age in terms of dynamic change. Presents a state-of-the-art collection of original readings relating to new media in terms of dynamic change. Features inte...
Article
In February 2013, over 35 million Italian citizens voted to renew the national parliament and Internet played an important and perhaps decisive role. From the 1st of January to 24 of February we collected data from all official Facebook and Twitter profiles of the presidential candidates. During the same period we also collected the average of poli...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the rapid and ad hoc development and interactions of participative citizen communities during acute events, using the examples of the 2011 floods in Queensland, Australia, and the global controversy surrounding Wikileaks and its spokesman, Julian Assange. The self-organising community responses to such events which can be observ...
Article
Lists and Social Media Lists have long been an ordering mechanism for computer-mediated social interaction. While far from being the first such mechanism, blogrolls offered an opportunity for bloggers to provide a list of their peers; the present generation of social media environments similarly provide lists of friends and followers. Where blogrol...
Article
Twitter has become a major instrument for the rapid dissemination and subsequent debate of news stories, and comprehensive methodologies for systematic research into news discussion on Twitter are beginning to emerge. This paper outlines innovative approaches for large-scale quantitative research into how Twitter is used to discuss and cover the ne...
Article
Collaborative user-led content creation by online communities, or produsage (Bruns 2008a), has generated a variety of useful and important resources and other valuable outcomes, from open source software through the Wikipedia to a variety of smaller scale, specialist projects. These are often seen as standing in an inherent opposition to commercial...
Article
To date, the available literature mainly discusses Twitter activity patterns in the context of individual case studies, while comparative research on a large number of communicative events and their dynamics and patterns is missing. By conducting a comparative study of more than 40 different cases (covering topics such as elections, natural disaste...
Article
This paper draws on a larger study of the uses of Australian user-created content and online social networks to examine the relationships between professional journalists and highly engaged Australian users of political media within the wider media ecology, with a particular focus on Twitter. It uses an analysis of topic-based conversation networks...
Article
Even early on, political blogging in Australia was not an entirely alternative endeavour - the blogosphere has seen early and continued involvement from representatives of the mainstream media. However, the acceptance of the blogging concept by the mainstream media has been accompanied by a comparative lack of acceptance of individual bloggers. Ana...
Article
Twitter is now well-established as an important platform for real-time public communication. Twitter research continues to lag behind these developments, with many studies remaining focussed on individual case studies and utilising homegrown, ideosyncratic, non-repeatable and non-verifiable research methodologies. While the development of a full-bl...
Article
Twitter is a social media service that has managed very successfully to embed itself deeply in the everyday lives of its users. Its short message length (140 characters), and one-way connections ('following' rather t