Join Us for the 2017 SMSociety in Toronto, July 28-30!

Photo credit:

2017 #SMSociety Theme: Social Media for Social Good or Evil


Our online behaviour is far from virtual–it extends our offline lives. Much social media research has identified the positive opportunities of using social media; for example, how people use social media to form support groups online, participate in political uprising, raise money for charities, extend teaching and learning outside the classroom, etc. However, mirroring offline experiences, we have also seen social media being used to spread propaganda and misinformation, recruit terrorists, live stream criminal activities, reinforce echo chambers by politicians, and perpetuate hate and oppression (such as racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic behaviour). Furthermore, behind the posts are algorithms, power structures, commercial interests and other factors that surreptitiously influence our experiences on social media. So, we ask:

  • What does it actually mean to use social media for social good?
  • How can social media be further leveraged for social justice? What are the threats to meaningful participation and how can we overcome these threats?
  • What do we know about the 4 W’s of who, what, why, where (and how) do people engage in anti-social behaviour online?
  • What theoretical and methodological tools can we use to study anti-social behaviour? Can we detect such behaviour automatically?
  • What are the ethics of algorithms (inclusion, accessibility, data discrimination, bots)?
  • What are the legal, policy, privacy, and ethical implications of using social big data?
  • Considering the proliferation of bots online, can we still trust social media data?
  • And more broadly, what are the major effects of using social media on political, economic, individual, and social aspects of our society?

The 2017 International Conference on Social Media & Society (#SMSociety) invites scholarly and original submissions that relate to the broad theme of Social Media & Society. We welcome both quantitative and qualitative work which crosses interdisciplinary boundaries and expands our understanding of the current and future trends in social media research, especially those that explore some of the questions and issues raised above. 


  • Workshops/ Technical TutorialsDue December 5, 2016
  • Full and Work -in-progress (WIP) PapersDue January 31, 2017 (extended!)
  • Posters/Panels – Due March 20, 2017 (extended!)
  • ConferenceJuly 28-30, 2017

Please visit the Submission Page ( for a full description of the submission types and deadlines for Workshops/Technical Tutorials, Panels, Full Papers, Work-in-Progress Papers, and Posters.)


Full and WIP (short) papers presented at the Conference will be published in the conference proceedings by ACM International Conference Proceeding Series (ICPS)  and will be available in the ACM Digital Library. All conference presenters will also be invited to submit their extended conference paper to a special issue of the journal Social Media + Society  ( published by SAGE. 


The International Conference on Social Media & Society (#SMSociety) is an annual gathering of leading social media researchers from around the world. Now, in its 8th year, the 2017 conference will be held in Toronto, Canada on July 28-30.

From its inception, the Conference has focused on the best practices for studying the impact and implications of social media on society. Our invited industry and academic keynotes have highlighted the shifting questions and concerns for the social media research community. From introducing media multiplexity and networked individualism with Caroline Haythornthwaite and Barry Wellman in 2010 and 2011, to measuring influence with Gilad Lotan and Sharad Goel in 2012 and 2013, to defining social media research as a field with Keith Hampton in 2014, to identifying our commitments as social media researchers in policy making with Bill Dutton in 2015, to exploring the future of social media technologies with John Weigelt in 2015, to highlighting the challenges of social media data mining in the context of big data with Susan Halford and Helen Kennedy in 2016.

Organized by the Social Media Lab ( at Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, the conference provides participants with opportunities to exchange ideas, present original research, learn about recent and ongoing studies, and network with peers. The conference’s intensive three-day program features workshops, full papers, work-in-progress papers, panels, and posters. The wide-ranging topics in social media showcase research from scholars working in many fields including Communication, Computer Science, Education, Journalism, Information Science, Management, Political Science, Sociology, Social Work, etc. 


  • Anatoliy Gruzd, Ryerson University, Canada – Conference Chair
  • Jenna Jacobson, University of Toronto, Canada – Conference Chair
  • Philip Mai, Ryerson University, Canada – Conference Chair
  • Hazel Kwon, Arizona State University, USA – Poster Chair
  • Bernie Hogan, Oxford Internet Institute – WIP Chair
  • Jeff Hemsley, Syracuse University, USA – WIP Chair


  • William H. Dutton, Michigan State University, USA
  • Zizi Papacharissi, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
  • Barry Wellman, INSNA Founder, The Netlab Network


Social Media Impact on Society
• Political Mobilization & Engagement
• Extremism & Terrorism
• Politics of Hate and Oppression
• The Sharing/Attention Economy
• Social Media & Health
• Virality & Memes

Social Media & Social Justice
• Social Media & Business (Marketing, PR, HR, Risk Management, etc.)
• Social Media & Academia (Alternative Metrics, Learning Analytics, etc.)
• Social Media & Public Administration
• Social Media & the News

Online/Offline Communities
• Trust & Credibility in Social Media
• Online Community Detection
• Influential User Detection
• Identity

Social Media & Small Data
• Case Studies of Online Communities Formed on Social Media
• Case Studies of Offline Communities that Rely on Social Media
• Sampling Issues
• Value of Small Data

Social Media & Big Data
• Visualization of Social Media Data
• Social Media Data Mining
• Scalability Issues & Social Media Data
• Social Media Analytics
• Ethics of Big Data/Algorithms

Theories & Methods
• Qualitative & Quantitative Approaches
• Opinion Mining & Sentiment Analysis
• Social Network Analysis
• Theoretical Models for Studying, Analysing and Understanding Social Media

Social Media & Mobile
• App-ification of Society
• Privacy & Security Issues in the Mobile World
• Apps for the Social Good
• Networking Apps