Medium is the Message: Unraveling the Social Media Platforms’ Effects on Communication and Opinions
The landscape of social media is constantly evolving with an ever-growing number of platforms vying for user attention. In this talk, we delve into the relationship between social media platforms and their users, seeking ways to foster a healthier and more constructive social media environment. My talk is structured into two distinct yet interconnected essays.
In the first essay, we look at the broader ecosystem of social media platforms. We categorize users based on their motivations for using social media, such as seeking information or connecting with others. We examine how different features of social media platforms cater to these diverse motivations. To accomplish this, we employ a method known as the Analytic Hierarchy Process, which is a decision-making tool used to measure and analyze choices. The key insight from this essay is the diversity in how users interact with social media features, and how this interaction is influenced by their underlying motivations. In the second essay, we take a closer look at a specific community on Reddit called ChangeMyView. This community is unique as it encourages users to engage in thoughtful and reasoned debates. In this essay, we develop a theoretical model to understand the mechanisms through which information is processed and opinions are changed within this community with a strong focus on Delta system, a feature that rewards users for successfullychanging someone’s opinion through challenging their view and pointing the flaws in their thinking.
In essence, this talk is a glimpse into my scholarly efforts to bridge the gap between the ever- evolving features of social media platforms and the multifaceted behaviors of their users. This research is not only academically significant but also has practical implications. It provides valuable insights for decision-makers to improve social media platforms, aids organizations in understanding how best to engage with social media and informs users on optimizing their social media interactions.
Derya Ipek Eroglu, now an Assistant Professor in the Computing Sciences Department at the State University of New York, Brockport, began her tenure-track position in August 2023 following the completion of her Ph.D. in Business Information Technology from the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech. Her research is centered on the influence of Information Technology artifacts on individuals' opinions within social media platforms. She is dedicated to uncovering novel dynamics that illuminate the complex interactions between technology and society.
With her foundation in Industrial Engineering, Dr. Eroglu approaches social media ecosystem through a human-centered perspective, integrating methodologies from Operations Research, Decision Science, and Machine Learning. Her scholarly work focuses on the nuances of platform use in the social media ecosystem, specifically investigating how design elements of social media platforms affect user behavior. Her scholarly endeavors have been acknowledged by her peers, evidenced by her "Outstanding Reviewer" accolade at ECIS in 2022, and her research presence at renowned Information Systems conferences such as AMCIS, INFORMS, and ISCRAM.