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The Prevalence of Racism on Facebook Conversations Paper

The Prevalence of Racism on Facebook Conversations Paper

The Prevalence of Racism on Facebook Conversations Paper


For this assignment, you are to write a 3-4 page (double-spaced) paper with margins no more than one inch and font no larger than 12 point. No cover page is necessary.



Examine the comments section of Yahoo News, The Daily Mail, tiktok comments, You Tube comments, twitter comments, Facebook comments, or something similar.

1) The first part of your paper should be an introduction to the topic or issue that you will be discussing. Here is where you’ll describe where you gathered your data, from which online sources, and over how long a time period.

Decide on your research question. Many researchers start with nothing specific in mind (inductive reasoning) or with a very specific idea in mind (deductive reasoning). You could think about looking for signs of racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia, or prejudicial attitudes about heavy people or disabled people, for example. You are going to look for patterns. You should pick a certain kind of story or blog to examine and then read through the comments of that story as well as other similar stories. Is there a pattern? Does it matter the source of the story (Yahoo News vs. MSNBC)? Past researchers have looked for certain themes (i.e., research questions):

  • what kind of personal information do people share on twitter?
  • what are the reasons people are bullied?
  • do most commenters have a negative view about being overweight?
  • 2) The main portions or the body of the paper should focus on explaining all your findings. You’ll also then discuss your analysis based on these findings. Once you’ve decided on your topic you’re going to examine the language of the commenters.Here is an example:Findings:Researcher Joyce reads the Daily Mail (online gossip paper) every day for a week. She reads every story that relates to Meghan Markle and then examines the “most popular” comments in each story. She finds that 2/3rds of the comments posted between 6am and noon/each day/of each story includes racist terms or derogatory comments about Meghan Markle. The finding is that most people who comment on the Daily Mail stories have prejudicial thoughts about Ms. Markle.Here are some samples of how to organize your findings and your analysis: Findings:
    • Were comments negative or positive?
    • Was there a pattern of topics most commented upon? Giving percentages or counting is expected.
    • Was there underlying racism/sexism/ageism?


    • What messages are being sent about the writers of the posts?
    • What general conclusions can you make based on your data?
    • Who is the target audience of the blog/tic tok video/you tube video (for example)?

    3) The last part of your paper should be the conclusion. This is the time to wrap up your ideas and concluding thoughts. How might the patterns you discovered impact people reading them on a societal level? (For example, if there are a lot of body positive comments on a tic tok video. might that show that young people are very open to differing body types?) Go back and read your paper and make sure any point you might have brought up has been resolved, discussed and dealt with in a clear manner.Before you begin the project, please take some time to familiarize yourself with content analysis. Doing this will make your project much easier to complete.EXAMPLE: “Boepple and Thompson (2014) conducted quantitative analysis of 21 ‘healthy living blogs’. Their sampling frame was only blogs which had received an award, and from those, they selected the blogs with the largest number of page views.They found that content emphasised appearance and disordered messages about food/ nutrition,with five bloggers using very negative language about being fat or overweight and four invoking admiration for being thin. They concluded that these blogs spread messages that are ‘potentially problematic’ for anyone changing their behaviour on the basis of advice contained in them.Davis et al (2015) conducted an analysis of postings that followed a blog post concerning a cyberbullying suicide of a 15 year old named Amanda Todd. There were 1094 comments of which 482 contained stories about being bullied, 12% about cyberbullying, 75% about traditional bullying, the rest a mixture of both.The research found that the main reason victims of bullying are targeted is because they do not conform in one way or another to society’s mainstream norms and values, with the most common specific reason for bullying being a victim’s physical appearance.Humphries et al (2014) conducted content analysis on the kinds of personal information disclosed on Twitter. The authors collected an initial sample of users and they searched friends of this initial sample. In total the collected 101, ,069 tweets and took a random sample of 2100 tweets from this.One of their findings was that Twitter users not only share information about themselves, they frequently share information about others too.Researching documents online may be challenging, but it is difficult to see how sociologists can avoid it as more and more of our lives are lived out online, so researching documents such as web sites, and especially blogs and social media postings is, I think, very much set to become a growth area in social research.”
    Content analysis overview:

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