“Knowing what goes on in the world” – how Danish students navigate through Facebook’s Newsfeed

How do young Danes inform themselves? How do they navigate through the different kind of news available on Facebook’s Newsfeed? These were the questions a pilot study run by DECIDIS researcher Martina Mahnke Skrubbeltrang focused on (together with Jannie Møller Hartley, Roskilde University and research assistant research Birgitte Rigtrup). In summary, the pilot study provides insights in relation to young user’s navigation habits. The collected data material showed that the students are using Facebook’s Newsfeed strategically in relation to their personal interests; however, with a rather normative mindset. That means, they do look for news and information in relation to public affairs and they do question sources, yet they seem to be disappoint by the selection of news they receive. Being asked what their ideal newsfeed would like, the answer was that they would like to receive more news from reliable sources. This raises the question, how public news providers can take these wishes into account and/or if they are able to reach the young generation via formats that build on the benefits of Facebook such as a wide variety of news from friends and acquaintances while reducing the disadvantages such as receiving irrelevant and partial misleading news (full blog article).

Latest DECIDIS research and debate articles

Public and proud: How and why some citizens use their Facebook network as a personal public (Sander Andreas Schwartz, IT University of Copenhagen)
This paper is a qualitative study that examines how and why some citizens use their Facebook network as a personal public. The concept of the personal public in this study is defined by a relative sense of privacy in the closed individual Facebook network, together with a sense of publicness based on the mass and diversity of these connections. The paper goes on to argue that the individual may go through a reflection process as they move from personal thinking to public political communication. The process does not guarantee increased reflection, but it serves to show potential individual gains from public political communication that have so far been understudied in research on political debates on Facebook (full article).

Forsker: Borgernes data kan beskyttes langt bedre (Thomas Hildebrandt, IT University of Copenhagen)
DEBAT: Borgernes personlige data bliver kun beskyttet i ringe grad, selvom det er teknisk muligt at gøre det meget bedre, skriver Thomas Hildebrandt, lektor ved IT-Universitetet (article).

Forsker: EU-datalov giver Danmark store udfordringer (Thomas Hildebrandt, IT University of Copenhagen)
DEBAT: Både offentlige myndigheder og private virksomheder står over for store udfordringer, hvis de skal leve op til EU's dataforordning og kravet om privacy by design, skriver Thomas Hildebrandt, lektor ved IT-Universitetet (article).

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