2018 #SMSociety CFP: Networked Influence and Virality — REVISITED

International Conference on Social Media and Society

Copenhagen, Denmark (July 1820, 2018)


  • Full & WIP Papers Due: Jan. 29, 2018
  • Panels, Workshops, & Posters Due: Mar. 19, 2018


See online at http://socialmediaandsociety.org/submit/

THEME: Networked Influence and Virality — REVISITED

Join us on July 1820, 2018 for the 9th annual International Conference on Social Media and Society (#SMSociety). The conference is an interdisciplinary gathering of social media researchers, practitioners, and analysts from around the world. The 2018 conference is hosted by the Centre for Business Data Analytics at the Copenhagen Business School.

In 2012, in the wake of Occupy and the Arab Spring, the #SMSociety community explored networked influence and virality, and saw social media and viral events as a democratizing force. Fast forward five years and we find ourselves in quite a different, some would argue, darker social media landscape where those same democratizing forces are now being exploited in ways we could not foresee. With the rapid change on social media platforms and their affordances, the heightened emphasis on mobile and visual communication, the rise of bots, and the increased participation of state actors, we believe it is time to revisit the ideas of Networked Influence and Virality once more!

Powered by networked influence and made possible by privately owned social media platforms, we are said to be in a sharing economy. We are now owning less and sharing more, giving and receiving crowdsourced content, adapting, innovating, remaking, and re-sharing original and remixed materials. New attitudes, practices, and legal precedents about ownership, rights, and information evaluation are emerging with the growing use of social media. The joys of sharing and connecting through social mediaas amateur music videos inspire responses and the sharing of cute animal videos brings joy to millionsare tempered with concerns about the manipulation and exploitation of social media platforms. Hateful, anti-social speech, coordinated misinformation campaigns (i.e. “fake news”) and “false flag” operation by actors unknown now dominate the news cycle and compete for an opportunity to “go viral.”

Considering the rapid changes in social media environments, use, and users, the conference organizers invite scholarly and original submissions that relate to the 2018 theme of “Networked Influence and Virality.” 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 below:

  • How do ideas spread online? What are the outcomes of the viral spread of news, memes, content, and creative production?
  • Who are the new influencers and power players in the information landscape of social media?
  • How important are bots in this landscape? How do bots act as social actors? In what ways are they transforming social media?
  • Algorithmic filtering is now the norm on all major social media platforms; how has their implementation changed the user experience?
  • What are the impacts of misinformation and propaganda on elections, commerce, and the attention economy?
  • Is faster, frictionless communication still an ideal to strive for or have we gone too far? Do we need to reintroduce some frictions back to social media platforms?
  • How do corporate interests, activities, sales, and profit motivations drive or otherwise affect sharing practices?
  • What are the characteristics of contemporary social media practices that drive the need for new laws, sharing conventions, censorship, rights to be heard and to be forgotten?
  • Do social media users understand, or are they even aware of, the ethical considerations related to sharing, and re-mixing content on social media?
  • How do users evaluate information received through social media?
  • How does viral culture affect policy, power dynamics, corporations, activists, and personal interests?
  • What new methodologies, tools, and frameworks can researchers bring to bear in studying the flow of information on social media?
  • How do sharing, memes, and viral events contribute to theory-building about our society?


From its inception, the International Conference on Social Media & Society Conference (#SMSociety) has focused on the best practices for studying the impact and implications of social media on society. Our invited academic and industry 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; and more recently discussing the dark side of social media with Lee Rainie and Ron Deibert in 2017.

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.


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 be invited to submit their work as a full paper to the special issue of the Social Media + Society journal (published by SAGE).


Social Media Impact on Society
• Political Mobilization & Engagement
• Extremism & Terrorism
• Politics of Hate and Oppression
• Social Media & Health

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

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

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

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

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

Anatoliy Gruzd, Ryerson University, Canada – Conference Chair
Ravi Vatrapu, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark  –  Host Chair
Philip Mai, Ryerson University, Canada – Conference Chair
Jenna Jacobson, Ryerson University, Canada – Conference Chair
Hazel Kwon, Arizona State University, USA – WIP Chair
Jeff Hemsley, Syracuse University, USA – WIP Chair
Anabel Quan-Haase, Western University, Canada – Panel Chair
Luke Sloan, Cardiff University, UK – Panel Chair
Jaigris Hodson, Royal Roads University, Canada – Poster Chair


William H. Dutton, Michigan State University, USA
Susan Halford, University of Southampton, UK
Zizi Papacharissi, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
Barry Wellman, INSNA Founder, The Netlab Network, Canada