US News & World Report: Sharers Rather Than Authors More Important on Social Media. “The person who shares a news story on social media is more important than the story’s actual source in determining whether readers believe it, a study by the Media Insight Project has found. In a previous study, consumers said they paid greater heed to where the story originated. But the Media Insight Project, a collaboration between The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute, set up an experiment that found something different.”
Google: Reflecting on the Right to be Forgotten. “What if links to stories about someone’s past – stories about defrauding an international business or about medical tourism malpractice – were removed from Google search in your country, not because of your local laws but because someone was able to use the laws of another country. How would you feel about that? That question may seem simplistic. But it goes to the heart of a very important debate that is taking place now in Europe, initially between some Data Protection Authorities and, next year, in court.”
Research from the University of Missouri: PR Officials Should Utilize Twitter, Social Media During Crises to Gauge Public Response. “MU doctoral students Douglas Wilbur and Danielle Myers examined more than 1,000 tweets surrounding the 2015 release of the motion picture ‘Concussion,’ which portrays the National Football League (NFL) in a negative light with regard to the issue of concussions in football. In the study, the researchers used Contingency Theory, created by MU School of Journalism professor Glen Cameron, as a tool to diagnose different publics’ (i.e. journalists, health professionals, athletes, sports fans) stances toward the movie, the NFL and the concussion issue. This theory was developed for determining how and why PR professionals and organizations choose their public responses during crises. In this study, the MU researchers successfully applied this theory to different public groups, rather than organizations, to understand if and how diverse, semi-organized groups develop stances toward ongoing issues.”
Speaking of digital permanence, you would not believe How much money UC-Davis spent to “scrub” the Internet of a boneheaded pepper-spraying incident in 2011. And I’m sorry, I know that sounds like a clickbaid headline. “UC Davis contracted with consultants for at least $175,000 to scrub the Internet of negative online postings following the November 2011 pepper-spraying of students and to improve the reputations of both the university and Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, newly released documents show.” Read the article to see how much the “strategic communications” budget ballooned.
I think we can file this under “not surprising”: an official word can stop viral rumors on social media. “…when faced with the new realities of online life, many organizations falter when it comes to addressing the problems cultivated through social media outlets. Ignoring the problem won’t get you anywhere, according to a new study by the University of Washington’s Emerging Capacities of Mass Participation (emCOMP) Laboratory, which found that a simple statement from an official can turn the tides on rumors gone viral.”