Professional Communication in Electronic Media / Social Media

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Technologies and concepts, like Social Media and mobile applications have strongly changed communication and collaboration. The Research Group of Professional Communication in Electronic Media / Social Media investigates the changed structures and their effects on organizations (digital enterprise / digital innovation) as well as individuals and society (digital society) from the perspective of Information Systems.

February 2019

PROCO Chair publishes EJIS article on the influence of social bots on opinion perception in social media 

In a forthcoming issue of the European Journal of Information Systems (EJIS), Prof. Stieglitz's chair has publishes an article examining how social bots can influence public opinion. The underlying assumption is that they influence users' tendency to express their own opinions by encouraging a spiral of silence. 

Social bots, automated accounts in social media, are said to influence the opinion-forming process of social media users. For this reason, they recently received increased attention from both the media and research. However, such an influence on opinion formation has not yet been specifically observed, partly due to methodological difficulties. 

The paper, titled „Are social bots a real threat? An agent-based model of the spiral of silence to analyse the impact of manipulative actors in social networks” therefore uses a methodologically innovative approach - with the help of a simulation (using agent-based models) the team investigates the potential of social bots to trigger a spiral of silence. The results show that under certain conditions even a small number of 4% bots in a network can change the climate of opinion in their favour.
The article is the result of a collaboration between participants of the Research Training Group "User-Centred Social Media" at the University of Duisburg-Essen, in which Prof. Stieglitz is Principal Investigator.

Link to the article 
Press release of the University of Duisburg-Essen (German langugage)
Link to the Research Training Group

January 2019

Job advertisement: Two student assistants

The Chair for Professional Communication in Electronic Media / Social Media is looking for two student assistants to support the team. The posts are designed for 6 hours per week. All positions should be filled as soon as possible. The application period ends on 22.01.2019.

Please send all application documents in one PDF file to Mrs. Hilka Roseneit.

Further information on the posts (technical focus)
Further information on the posts (social media focus)


January 2019

EU funds international research project "RISE_SMA”

Coordinated by the PROCO Chair at the University of Duisburg-Essen, the new research project "RISE_SMA - Social Media Analytics for Society and Crises" deals with opportunities and risks of social media. RISE_SMA aims to improve data analysis methods in order to filter relevant information from social media and process it in a meaningful way. To achieve these goals, nine partner institutions in Europe, Australia, Latin America and Southeast Asia are working together within the project.

The interdisciplinary network is funded by the EU with approx.1.2 million euros until 2022. It consists of selected top researchers, technology companies and political actors and includes the universities of Leiden (Netherlands), Agder (Norway), Sydney and Queensland (TU/Australia), UNISINOS (Brazil) and Padjadjaran (Indonesia) as well as the software developer Virtimo in Berlin and the municipality of Kristiansand (Norway).

RISE_SMA aims to take into account the increased social importance of various social media channels. In addition to the role and extent to which these are used by private, political, economic and scientific actors to disseminate information and messages, the role as an information medium, e.g. in natural disasters or attempts to find missing people, is also being investigated.

Prof. Stieglitz comments: “Apart from the technical requirements, it is of primary importance from an ethical and data-protection perspective that this data is handled responsibly.” This means that individuals, relief organizations and political stakeholders should benefit from a higher transparency enabling them to make better decisions – for example, in connection with elections or rescue missions.

Project Website

Twitter feed of the project

Press release of the University

October 2018

ProCo chair is part of Erasmus+ project on VR

The PROCO chair of Prof. Stieglitz participates in a research project on VR within the Erasmus+ programme of the EU. The goal of the project is the research and evaluation of VR scenarios for teaching. The aim is to clarify how VR technologies can be used to improve the quality of teaching. Possible scenarios are, for example, the use in scientific exercises with hazardous material, which can be carried out without risk, or transnational courses in which students from several countries participate. The project runs over 2 years with a volume of 220,000 Euro. In addition to the University of Duisburg-Essen, the University of Liechtenstein (as coordinator) and the University of Agder from Norway are also involved in the project. Associated partners are the European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS) and the University of Nebraska Omaha (USA).

The press release of the University of Duisburg-Essen (German language)

Further information on Erasmus+

Further information on the University of Liechtenstein

Further information on the University of Agder