Alexis Shore Shares Her Thoughts Ahead of Her First Colloquium Speaker Series Talk on “Platforms as Rulemakers for Interpersonal Communication: The Case of The Screenshot Feature”

By Snigdha BhowmikSeptember 26th, 2023in Homepage

By: Snigdha Bhowmik

In this era of digital communication, we have become accustomed to sharing our lives with the world, one screenshot at a time. Whether it's a hilarious meme, an inspirational quote, or a juicy tidbit from a private conversation, the act of capturing what's on our screens has become second nature. But let's pause for a moment and consider something that most of us have overlooked: screenshots can be a privacy issue, and it's high time we pay attention.

Alexis Shore, Ph.D. Candidate of Emerging Media Studies at Boston University’s College of Communication will be presenting her research on the topic “Platforms as Rulemakers for Interpersonal Communication: The Case of The Screenshot Feature” as part of the Communication Research Center Colloquium Series. Shore aims to make people think about taking screenshots in a new and safe way through her talk.

Image of Alexis Shore's Poster

Screenshots can be incredibly handy. They allow us to save information, document conversations, and share content quickly. However, their normalization in today’s society comes with a significant privacy trade-off, one that we often downplay or ignore.

When asked about why she believes this topic is relevant in today’s age, Shore said “We use digital communication every day to talk to people so this privacy issue overlaying our conversations threatens our ability to speak to each other. We don’t use texting to just talk about surface-level mundane things, we use it to gossip and share secrets.” The very existence of the screenshot feature makes us fear disclosing intimate details about our lives via text message and also hinders our ability to talk candidly in person, she explains. You never know when your privacy and expectations are violated because now they leave behind a digital paper trail that can never be erased.

This talk will apply an extended version of communication privacy management theory (CPM) to study screenshot collection and sharing of private digital messages. Recommendations for future study and design of the screenshot feature, as well as its broader implications for interpersonal surveillance, will be discussed. To learn more about privacy management decisions and perceptions, join us on 28th September at COM 209 from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM. You’ll definitely leave the room thinking twice about capturing your next screenshot.

CRC fellow and Ph.D. candidate in EMS, publishes her solo-authored paper, “Journalism Ethics for the Algorithmic Era” in Digital Journalism

By Lindsy GoldbergJuly 20th, 2023in Homepage
Congratulations to CRC fellow and Ph.D. candidate in EMS, Sejin Paik!
She recently published her solo-authored paper,"Journalism Ethics for the Algorithmic Era" in Digital Journalism. Drawing on interviews with local journalists, the article looks into the history of journalism ethics in the U.S. and the challenges of editorial work in the face of artificial intelligence and algorithmic systems. Paik encourages a cross-disciplinary lens to tackling contemporary topics in digital journalism. She applies Floridi's onlife theory which helps to explain a more complex, relational relationship among humans, machines and nature and extends this theoretical concept to the interplay between journalistic work and algorithmic systems at play. Findings of the study show a growing shift in editorial agency from a once human-led control to machine-dependent decision making. Discussions are made around how news workers and technologists can better align on the values, goals and motivation of journalistic work that is increasingly augmented by AI.

Emma Longo Receives Inaugural Nelson Undergraduate Research Award

By Lindsy GoldbergJune 20th, 2023in Homepage

In May 2023, research conducted by COM undergraduate student Emma Longo was awarded the inaugural Nelson Undergraduate Research Award from the University Research Opportunities Program (UROP). The Boston University Nelson Undergraduate Research Award was established in 2023 by a BU alumni donation from Mark (COM’88) and Ruth Gallagher Nelson to support students conducting research in communications.

Her research, which will be continuing this summer, is supervised by Dr. Michelle Amazeen.

Abstract: Using a rhetorical analysis, this study examines how fossil fuel companies portray climate issues in two native advertisements from the New York Times and the Washington Post. Native advertisements, which appear like posts that belong to platforms, are one of the ways fossil fuel companies attempt to share information on climate science. By investigating the covert advertising strategies used by fossil fuel corporations, researchers can better understand origins of climate misinformation and climate denial.

Longo's research has also been accepted for presentation at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)'s annual conference in August. Congratulations, Emma!

Survey: With dating apps, we doubt them but don’t drop them

By Lindsy GoldbergFebruary 15th, 2023in Homepage

By Burt Glass

Americans doubt dating apps are the best way to find a successful relationship and they certainly don’t trust them – but they’re apparently unwilling to give up on apps like Match, Tinder and Hinge in the search for their true soulmate.

Those are some of the takeaways from the latest Media & Technology Survey designed by Boston University’s College of Communication and conducted by Ipsos earlier this month.

For every one respondent who agreed that “dating apps are the best way to find a successful relationship these days,” almost three disagreed (15% vs. 39%).

Further, respondents don’t fully trust what they read and see on dating apps. More than 60% of respondents agree that “most people lie on dating apps,” while only 4% disagree. Four times as many respondents agree than disagree that “dating apps are filled with too many machines posing as real people (known as chatbots) to be trusted” (39% vs. 11%).

The prospect of artificial intelligence technology improving dating apps didn’t seem to boost their confidence. Only one in six agreed that “dating apps that use AI, meaning computer-powered artificial intelligence, will lead to more successful relationships.”

Yet three times as many respondents agree than disagree that “people can find their soulmates on a dating app” (41% vs. 15%).

“Dating apps feel like they have so much potential for the people who use them. There is a sense that the ideal person is just one swipe away so you can’t give up, because what if?” says Kathryn Coduto, an assistant professor at Boston University College of Communication whose recent research has focused on dating apps technology.

Read the full story here, BU Brink coverage here and Boston Globe coverage here.

Survey: Americans leery of social media bans for journalists who post content owners don’t like

By Lindsy GoldbergDecember 22nd, 2022in Homepage

By Burt Glass

Twice as many Americans disagree than agree with owners of social media platforms, like Twitter, banning journalists who post content they don’t like.

That’s according to the latest Media and Technology Survey from Boston University’s College of Communication conducted by Ipsos, which asked Americans whether the owners of social media networks should be allowed to ban journalists who post information that the owners of the networks don’t like. Only 21% agreed with such a move, while 46% disagreed and 33% neither agreed or disagreed.

Read the full article, which includes media contact information, here.

CRC fellows Briana Trifiro & Alexander Rochefort, Associate Professor Chris Wells published in Mass Communication & Society

By Rachel SchlesingerSeptember 16th, 2022in Homepage

Congratulations to Briana Trifiro and Alexander Rochefort, CRC graduate fellows in the Emerging Media Studies doctoral program, and Associate Professor Chris Wells, on their published paper in Mass Communication & Society. The paper analyzes a variety of media content (i.e. articles, TV coverage, and Facebook postings) on their coverage of the April 23 2020 White House COVID-19 Task Force press briefing and the way in which these media narratives affect partisan trust. Their results reported that on both ends of the political spectrum, many of the narratives produced in the media have contributed to resentment and distrust in voters and viewers.

To view the full paper, visit 

Communication Research Colloquium Series Hosts Dr. Patrice Oppliger

By Jenna VigreSeptember 16th, 2022in Homepage

CRC Fellow Dr. Patrice Oppliger, Assistant Professor of Communication, will be discussing her latest book, Transmasculinity on Television, on Thursday, September 22, 2022, from 3:30-4:30 pm in COM 209 — as part of the Boston University Communication Research Colloquium. This talk will take a closer look at 44 transmasculine and nonbinary characters on broadcast, cable, and streaming services between 2000 and 2021. She notes that significant changes have occurred since the 1999 film Boys Don’t Cry release, primarily the increase in transgender producers, writers, and actors playing those roles.

CRC Fellow Presentations at 72nd Annual International Communication Association Conference

By Lindsy GoldbergMay 25th, 2022in Homepage

Congratulations to the many CRC Fellows who will be presenting their research at the 72nd annual ICA conference this week! Please see below for a list of presentations and follow us on Twitter for more!

Conference Theme (courtesy of ICA): The 72nd Annual ICA Conference theme One World, One Network invites reimagining communication scholarship on globalization and networks. The use of the interrobang glyph - a superposition of the exclamation and question punctuation marks – seeks to simultaneously celebrate and problematize the “one-ness” in the theme.

Amazeen, M.A., Krishna, A., & Eschmann, R. (2022). Cutting the bunk: Comparing the solo and aggregate effects of prebunking and debunking Covid-19 vaccine misinformation. Paper accepted for presentation to the Mass Communication Division at the International Communication Association annual conference, Paris, France, May, 2022.

Cahill, T. J. (2022). Motivated to feel better: Motivations for the use of games in coping and emotional regulation. To be presented at ICA 22, Paris, France.

Cahill, T. J. (2022). Staying inside: Virtual reality use as a coping strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic. To be presented at ICA 22, Paris, France.

Chan, N.K., Su, C.C., Shore, A. (2022). Policy as Platform Power: Uncovering the Socio-Political Factors Behind Tiktok’s Evolution. Communication Law & Policy Division, the International Communication Association (ICA) annual conference.

Coleman, R., Wu, D. (2022).“There was blood coming out of her eyes . . .” -- Disgust, sadness, and happiness in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Journalism Studies Division, International Communication Association (ICA) annual conference. Paris, France.

Chen, H., Leon E., Jiang B., Wu X., Zhou Y., Mei L.M., Zhang S., Liu M., Su, C.C., Guo, L. (2022). Sovereign Debt Surveillance: An Analysis of Sovereign Debt Twitter Discussions During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Global Communication and Social Change Division, the International Communication Association (ICA) annual conference. (Student Project).

Cummings, J. J. & Wertz, B. (2022). Capturing social presence: Concept explication through an empirical analysis of social presence measures. Paper to be presented at the 72nd Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (Human-Machine Communication Interest Groups). Paris, France.

Huang D.; Annecston D., Li J.X., Chou M., Shore A., Su, C.C., Prena K. (2022). HCI in digital journalism: Innovation in the Fitness Community: Managing Fitness Needs in a Post Pandemic World. Sports Communication Division, the International Communication Association (ICA) annual conference. (Student Project).

Ji, G, Tao, W. (2022). Channeling Employees’ Positive Moral Emotions in CEO Activism: The Role of Ethical Leadership Communication. Public Relations Division, International Communication Association (ICA) annual conference.

Krishna, A., Kim, S. (2022).Understanding the Roles of Party Identification and Political Cynicism in Predicting Relationship Dissolution Intention with Political Party. Public Relations Division, International Communication Association (ICA) annual conference.

Mays, K., Cummings, J. J., & Katz, J. (2022). The Perceived Robot Rights Entitlement Scale. Paper to be presented at the 72nd Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (Human-Machine Communication Interest Group Pre-conference – “Bridging Worlds, Bridging Networks”). Paris, France.

Paik, S., Su, C.C. (2022). HCI in digital journalism: Exploring mobile news app design patterns through socio-technical infrastructures. Communication & Technology Division, the International Communication Association (ICA) annual conference.

Shore, A. & Cummings, J. J. (2022). Social influence on the map: The effect of social proof and reciprocity norms on mobile location obscurity decisions. Paper to be presented at the 72nd Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (Information Systems Division). Paris, France.

Yu, R., Zhang, Y., Huang, S., Wu, D. (2022). Motivated Political Reasoning: Examining the Predictors and Flow of Fake News Advancement and Refutation Across Media Platforms. Mass Communication Division, International Communication Association (ICA) annual conference. Paris, France.

Wu, D., Huang, S., Yu, R., Zhang, Y. (2022). The “populist imbecile” vs. the “heartless shrew” --How polarizing election coverage was associated with Taiwanese voters’ evaluation of candidates. Journalism Studies Division. International Communication Association (ICA) annual conference. Paris, France.