Findings of Facebook User Awareness project

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Question 1: As seen in this specific Diagram, the majority of my results came from those who were 18-24. So the majority of the information I will be analyzing is from a younger age range. However, with results also coming from older age groups it will be easier to specifically see the results from an older age bracket. This cannot form the overall population for older Facebook users, but can give us an idea.


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Other Answers from participants:

  1. To buy items
  2. Keep up with trends and general entertainment/ anti-boredom
  3. To manage my commitments by receiving notifications from group chats about upcoming events and meetings.
  4. Interior, fashion ideas or sales/updates

Question 2: As we can see here participants could select more than one option, the large majority of people surveyed use Facebook to connect with family and friends. Which is followed by following specific news events.


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Other Answers from participants:

  1. All of the above
  2. All of the above
  3. Technology
  4. All of the above
  5. All of the above
  6. Economic, political, speculative
  7. All of the above
  8. Everything
  9. Unwanted things such as pornography appear to show a lot
  10. Animals

Question 3: These results reveal that a select portion of participants are seeing celebrity news on Facebook over any other news. When analyzing other answers, the main portion answered all of the above suggesting that Facebook is supplying a broad range of news to its users.


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Other Answers from participants:

  1. Posting and chat
  2. All of the above
  3. Technology
  4. Humorous content and what friends are doing
  5. What friends are doing
  6. Speculative and philosophical pages such as collective evolution
  7. Funny clips
  8. Interiors
  9. Friends
  10. Hobbies
  11. What happening in my friends lives and the people around me
  12. Event invites and contact with people
  13. Friends content, not news


Question 4: Surprisingly the most selected interest was sport followed closely by animals. When analyzing the other answers, the reoccurring interest seemed to be following what their friends were doing on Facebook. Thus it could be said that users engage more with friend’s content instead of news content which means a circulation in the same information across user’s newsfeeds.

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Question 5: This question is extremely important; the majority of survey participants believe there isn’t enough news being shown to us on Facebook. Yet a majority listed that they use Facebook for news. This means that although many don’t think there is enough news being shown to them on Facebook they are still using Facebook for news. So how much news are they actually keeping up to date with?

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Other Answers from participants:

  1. Online Apps
  2. Online Apps (ABC)
  3. All of the above
  4. Reddit
  5. All of the above but mostly google news app on my phone
  6. Reddit
  7. Internet
  8. Internet
  9. Online apps
  10. All of the above
  11. Internet sites such as The Guardian, The Daily mail and Ninemsn


Question 6: In these results two things become evident, the first being, TV is still the main source of news for a large majority of those interviewed and secondly users are leaving Facebook in search of the news and going to online news apps. With such a strong increase in Online apps the younger population are attracted to these in order to retain news whereas the older population stick with the TV and online websites such as ‘The guardian and The Daily Mail.’

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Question 7: Surprisingly the majority of people of people stated that they unfollow, unfriend, unsubscribe and report spam on their newsfeeds. This means that what users are receiving contents wise isn’t what they want to see.

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Other Answers from participants:

  1. Not sure. I use Ad blocker and just mentally ignore ads
  2. I use an Ad blocker
  3. A mixture
  4. Technology ads
  5. Health, sport, fashion, ads for online services and websites
  6. I use an ad blocker. The most I see are suggested friends or pages
  7. Everything
  8. All of the above

Question 8: This is an interesting result as the majority of people haven’t selected fashion as a main interest or something they follow on Facebook yet ad wise nearly half of the participants say they see fashion related ads. This could suggest that Facebook is collecting what the participant’s friends might be interested in and pushing it towards participant’s newsfeeds. A lot of the other answers included a mixture of ads and the use of ad blockers. With ad blockers being used its hard to get a true result due to a select portion not being able to see the as they are receiving.

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Question 9: The majority of participants feel as if they are influenced to like what someone else has shared on Facebook. This suggests that the content they are influenced by may not necessarily be what they normally would like but are influenced by the person who has shared it, to like it. This can further suggest why Facebook newsfeeds may show participants content that they haven’t liked before due to them engaging in someone else’s content.

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Question 10: Over 56% of participants feel safe on Facebook while 30% only sometimes feels safe. This suggests that many feel as if the content on Facebook as well as there profiles etc. are safe. Close to 10% of participants don’t feel safe on Facebook.


Analysis of the focus group:

Myself: ‘The things that you are interested in seem to take up most of your newsfeed on Facebook. Do you agree with this statement?’

One participant suggested that his newsfeed was entirely made up of the things he liked whereas over half the focus group disagreed with his statement stating that they often saw things that their friends would share or pages that they liked back in 2009 that keep popping up now.

What also came up in conversation was the people who were sharing content that was coming up on their newsfeeds. 5 of the 8 participants agreed that it was often people you had a mutual friend with or a friend that you weren’t very close with, was often popping up on their newsfeeds frequently.

‘I think when things went from chronological order to a complete mash up… I wanted things back in date order…I remember getting so angry because I couldn’t even see anything I wanted to see anymore.’- States another female participant.

‘Most of the time I have to specifically search for something, but its something that should be coming up in my newsfeed, because I have liked a page and I’m interested in seeing it.’- States another female participant.


Do you think that what you like on Facebook influences your newsfeed?

‘There is stuff that I like that I do see on my newsfeed but there’s also just a lot of crap in-between’- one female participant.

This was particularly interesting, the majority of the group agreed that Facebook doesn’t do a good job in filtering content that you only want to see. Instead it is a mash up of pages, people you don’t know (have a mutual friend with), memes and other content that they have never liked or seen before and thinks they aren’t interested in.


Do your friends on Facebook seem to like and share similar things to you?

The group seemed to have conflicting views about this particular question, half of them stated that it depends who it was. The people they are close with have very similar interests but those they aren’t close with they would usually try and unfriend if it was getting annoying whereas the other half stated it added a broader amount of content coming onto their newsfeeds which they liked because they were getting a mixture of views interests from different people.


Have you seen different friends share the same pictures etc., on your Facebook newsfeed and what was it?

Yes, the videos that seem to trend as well as memes are the most noticed things being shared on their newsfeeds for all of the participants. This suggests that what we are interacting with doesn’t matter because of the way Facebook now filters content, we will also see the same content that is trending because of the universal amount of hits it is receiving rather than whether we are engaging in that content or not.





What are you more likely to share; pictures, videos or text type posts?

Many of the participants stated that they share things they are passionate about and are more inclined to do that because its what they find interesting. For example, animal cruelty was brought up, with one participant stating that she would feel guilty if she didn’t share it.

Another participant suggested that it’s a type of personal branding on Facebook these days. ‘I share it because I like it and people like it because I have shared it’


Do you think that Facebook works well to ensure that you see everything that you think is important on your newsfeed?


The group all agreed that Facebook a few years back were doing a great job in keeping everything in chronological order and filtering the way users were engaging with the content to deliver users content they thought was important however they all agreed that they have now noticed that Facebook has changed the way it displays content. The participants state that nothing is in chronological order, they are seeing content they have never interacted with as well as people who aren’t their friends. They are also seeing a lot of reoccurring content on their newsfeeds such as videos and memes.


Why do you think it is important for Facebook to be filtered?

  • Once you see something don’t need to come up again.
  • Other posts can then come up that you haven’t seen yet.


Discussion and Conclusion 

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Thank you to all for participating 🙂


Who’s influencing who?

Assignment 1: Proposal-

We can all agree that Facebook connects us to family and friends from all over the world. We come together via particular interests shared through friends as well as exposure to different news segments, we can also agree that Facebook can dramatically effect us through online bullying and what generally appears on our newsfeeds. Through the exploration of how newsfeeds work, a strong but confusing algorithm appears. So are we influenced by Facebook or are we helping create what we are influenced by? 

Within a research paper conducted by Tim Paek, Michael Gamon, Scott Cunts, David Maxwell Chickering and Aman Dhesi they run through a set number of research projects which support their statement of predicting the importance of newsfeeds and posts to users through Facebooks algorithm. This particular paper supports the idea that the ‘specific’ media popping up on individual user’s newsfeeds are in fact caused by what or who we have interacted with on Facebook.  

Are algorithms filtering through there own predictions of what you may and make not like though, while pairing it with something that someone else has found popular? This can create a newsfeed not entirely created by users thus Facebook is the influencer.           

A particular paper conducted by the department of Statistics, Stanford University looks at one particular data set regarding ‘investigation of diffusion through a large social media network.’ With a focus on Facebook pages and the way information is filtered and passed on between users we can see how quick something can go viral based on a ‘short diffusion chain’ as discussed by Cameron A. Marlow. With users beginning to create what they want to go viral and how quick they can make it happen, it is easy to understand that what appears in our newsfeed goes hand in hand, with what we are able to diffuse.

In turn, Tim Paek and Stanford university share the same idea that what we do on the internet greatly effects what we view on our newsfeeds all due to the generative algorithm. But how effective are these algorithms. Do we as users take particular attention of what is and isn’t on our newsfeeds? 

Cross cutting content is explored by Eytan Bakshy, expressing the concern of newsfeeds becoming dense and misinforming by leaving out and filtering newsfeeds of particular news topics. There are many negatives to becoming your own influence through algorithms, with one main cause clearly expressed by Bakshy, we are only being exposed to what the selective majority of active users are cross cutting.

Introducing a concept known as ‘filter bubbles,’ Solomon Messing and Sean J. Westwood suggest that content has to be given to us in the first place before anyone can curate and filter through it, therefore suggesting that the media may be influential until the user decides how to best interact with it, thus creating the starting point for the algorithm to generate a filter. This supports Bakshy’s idea of cross cutting content through the process of curation and exposure of specifically selected content.

 My research therefore will be entirely based on what sources of media users are exposed to on their newsfeeds. This will portray what they are most interested in, exposing whether we are indeed our own influence online through Facebook newsfeeds or whether Facebook influences us.  




Changing Dying Art

Curious at ways I can destroy old film in a way that adds and changes how we view this dying art. 

I am currently undertaking MEDA201, in which we are experimenting with film. For me, i have always been curious with photography and film, trying to create a new way of looking at something, that is too us, mundane. Here are some techniques I have found that i will later be experimenting with. 

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This was created by first adding detergent power to a tray of negative film and spraying with window cleaner to fix the mixture and allowing to rest for a few hours or days. Bleach in hot water is then added and left for around 60 seconds before allowing to dry in the sun. 

Cool, right? 

Peter Hoffman and Phillip Stearns, two of my favourite artists deploy similar techniques to create interesting results with old film. 

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This image was taken from his series Fox River Derivatives  in which he soaked the film in gasoline, set it alight and then doused in water. (Wouldn’t recommend trying this, i nearly set my hair on fire!)

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This image was taken from Phillip Stearnes series Retinal Pigment Epithelium and Other Vision Technologies, Real or Otherwise Imagined. This particular effect was created by using instant color film and zapping it with high voltage after dousing it in a mixture of household chemicals such as bleach and vinegar etc. (Still working on the high voltage zaps myself!)