Interaction in Chat Rooms LM350 Computer Mediated Communication
What’s IRC? • Form of online communication that allows apparently synchronous text-based interaction between multiple users in any geographical location where the program can be run • Server, channel (chanop, sysop) • Users download software, e.g. MSN which provides a “talkline” and a chat window
Who’s who? • User • Chanop - initiate and moderate a channel. Can “kick” users off channel • Sysop or Oper - controls and moderates IRC network. Can moderate and kick off anyone on any channel, send mail to all users etc.
How is it different from face to face conversation? • Non-presence • No voice, gesture, etc • Multi-voice - what happens to turn taking? • Policed by chanop
Setting norms Balou Gal: How’s everyone? Timgodden: MICHAEL JOLIFFE EGLV: I want to major in advertising Timgodden: HES COOL EGLV: LOL Fan EGLV: tim please lower your caps Timgodden: MICHAEL JOLIFFE Dragonrider: Timgodden, UPPERCASE is normally used for adding EMPHASIS! Otherwise it’s considered SHOUTING (and harder to read).
What’s the fuss? • Lack of physical presence & opportunity for play/deception via misleading identities leads to moral panics, especially around children/sex/paedophile
Moral panic? • Cohen (1972) Folk Devils & Moral Panics • http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/thinkingallowed_20030430.shtml • moral panic; an occurrence which is characterised by ‘stylized and stereotypical’ representation by the mass media, and a tendency for those ‘in power’ (politicians, bishops, editors and so on) to man the ‘moral barricades’ and pronounce judgement.
Moral panic? • According to Goode & Ben-Yehuda (1994) " A moral panic is characterised by a feeling held by a substantial number of a members of a given society, that evil-doers pose a threat to society and to the moral order as a consequence of their behaviour and, therefore, "something should be done about them and their behaviour".
Moral panics? • Mods and Rockers • Elvis Presley • James Bulger, child violence • Satanic rituals • Catholic church & child abuse • Drugs, e.g. Leah Betts & ecstasy • AIDS • Asylum seekers
Media & Moral panics? • Horror comics • Rock and roll • James Bulger, child violence & video violence (1993) • Columbine shootings & video violence • Rap music • Chat