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.

May 2019

Chair publishes report on Twitter Communication and the 2019 European Parliament Election

Over a period of one and a half months, the Chair collected and evaluated 643,182 tweets from 168,948 authors related to the EU election. All tweets in English and German written between April 1, 2019 and May 17, 2019 and containing one of the following hashtags were tracked: #EUElections2019, #EP2019, #Europawahl2019, #EUElections, #EUElection, #Europawahl, #EUWahl, #EUW19, #EP2019, #EE2019. 

The data was evaluated against various criteria such as account visibility and activity as well as tweet visibility. In addition, relationships between different accounts were visualized using social network analyses.

The report in PDF format can be downloaded here.

March 2019

Prof. Stieglitz Editor in new department in BISE Journal

Prof. Stefan Stieglitz is now one of the editors in the Department "Human Computer Interaction and Social Computing" of the Business & Information Systems Engineering (BISE) Journal. Together with Prof. Shirley Gregor and Prof. Alexander Mädche, he will supervise papers on topics such as usability engineering, user experience design or novel interaction techniques and devices editorially. Interested authors are cordially invited to submit relevant articles.

Link to the BISE Journal
Further information on the Department
Further information on Submissons

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

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