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Facebook confessions March 26, 2010

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Children, Facebook, Internet Safety.

I am part of the advisory board for Cyberhus, a free, non-profit online counselling site for children and young people in Denmark. Cyberhus does a great job teaching children and young people about safe online behaviour. Recently, they have created a number of ‘Facebook confessions’ on YouTube based on different experiences from children and young people. Here is one where ‘Kristoffer’ (who is not yet 13) discusses being too young for Facebook (in Danish):

I think the videos are great for fostering discussions at home or in school. Check out other videos from Cyberhus’ YouTube page or become a fan on Facebook.

Danish youth panel sends open letter to Facebook January 21, 2010

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Facebook, Privacy, Youth.

Before Christmas the Danish youth panel “Medierødderne” sent an open letter to Facebook explaining their thoughts on privacy on the site. For instance, they wrote:

For us it’s important to have privacy online to protect ourselves from people we don’t know. […] We want it to be easy and simple for us to change our personal settings when it is needed. In general it is hard to find out how to protect ourselves the best. We want to be the boss of who can see our profile.”

I think that privacy is going to be a big issue among youth – especially, now that they have to “share” social network sites such as Facebook with their parents.

Read more on the youth panel’s blog or read the full letter here.

Slides from public talks October 29, 2009

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Arto, Facebook, Science communication, Social network sites, Talks, Youth Culture.

Yesterday I gave four public talks in Aalborg under the headline “Facebook and the digital youth culture” (all talks in Danish, though). During the day I talked at three different high schools and the last talk was in the evening at Studenterhuset. Since many of the attendants asked for my slides I will provide them here:

They will probably only make sense to the people who attended the talks, since the integrated links with examples, definitions, pictures etc. don’t work in slideshare. Also, I have cut out some of the pictures out of ethical considerations. BUT I have provided a list of reference to both my own and other researchers’ publications, where those interested can read more.

Talking about Facegroups groups on TV January 13, 2009

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Facebook, Media coverage, News media, Television.
1 comment so far

Creating or joining a Facebook group in order to publicly state your opinion about something is the most easy thing in the world. In Denmark, whenever specific court cases are heavily mentioned in the news, people start creating Facebook groups discussing the sentencing (which they almost always think is too low).

tv2_1201092Yesterday several groups (for instance this one) were created about the sentecing in a child abouse case. I was asked to comments on the groups in the news on Danish TV2. You can see my interviews here and here (but only in Danish).

Basically, I say that I think the news media are partly to blame for the groups being created, because they report so much on the specific cases in the first place. And of course, it is self-perpetuating when the news media then report on the groups themselves.

See my other television apperances here.

Christmas on Facebook December 9, 2008

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Facebook, Social Networking.
1 comment so far

nissepus-to-blog-postIn e-Learning Lab we have as Christmas garden gnome with the name ‘Ell Nissepus’. Last year one of my colleagues created a Facebook profile for her, and during December Nissepus posted status updates about the upcoming Christmas party etc. This year Nissepus is alive again and some of us take turns to update the profile with Christmassy stuff and write to our colleagues.

Last week I was interviewed by the Danish newspaper B.T. about Christmas activities on social network sites like Facebook. I happened to mention Ell Nissepus, which the journalist found so interesting that he decided to mention her in the article (which was published today) as an example of how users can creatively use Facebook to create social bonds during the holiday season.

Even though I am strongly against fake profiles, I think this is okay as it is obvious that e-Learning Lab is behind the profile. And it is a nice Christmas gag around the office.

Feel free to friend ‘Ell Nissepus‘. I’m sure she will like the attention 😀

Update December 12: Today there is an online version of the B.T. article in which Nissepus is mentioned.

Is “Stop Pretty Boys” any different from reality tv? February 6, 2008

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Facebook, Reality tv.

Yesterday the Danish news media reported on a new Facebook group called “Stop Pretty Boys!” (see e.g. press coverage here, here or here). The group was created by two Danish students as a joke and in order to ridicule boys who care about their looks, wear tight clothes, make-up or a lot of self tanning cream etc. On the site the creators upload pictures of boys/men who they consider to be “pretty boys” and the members of the group then make fun of and comment on the pictures. According to the news media, this is the fastest growing Facebook group in Denmark (at the moment there are slightly over 28.000 members).

A couple of journalists called me up yesterday to ask me what I think of this group, if it is a form of bullying, a new Facebook trend and so forth. First of all, as a researcher I really don’t have any opinion about this group. I have not been following it and know very little about it. Therefore, I didn’t want to comment on it. Second of all, I do not consider this kind of public ridicule to be a new “trend” or “phenomenon” in relation to online social networking. It is not what online social networking is really about and it is in stark contrast to the normal loving discourse between IRL-friends on social network sites. (more…)

New article: Facebook and 10 fascinating phenomenons January 9, 2008

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Articles, Facebook, Social Networking.

Today I have an article out on the Danish internet portal Kommunikationsforum. The article is called “Hvorfor fænger Facebook?” (Why is Facebook fascinating?) In the article I describe 10 fascinating phenomenons about Facebook. I do so by drawing some parallels between Danish youngsters’ use of social network sites and how grown-ups in Denmark are using Facebook at the moment.

The article is only in Danish, but can be read here.

Anti-social networking October 27, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Arto, Facebook, Friendship, Social networking sites.

What does it mean to be a friend online? As I have pointed out in an earlier blog post and as I stressed during my AoIR-presentation last week, the concept of friendship has changed. Young people do call their contacts on social networking sites ‘friends’ (or at least Danish youngsters do) – even though the majority of their online relationships or the hundreds of people on their friend lists more resemble acquaintances. This, of course, has to do with the fact that social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Arto use the metaphor of ‘friending’.

Because of the possibility to ‘friend’ every Tom, Dick and Harry it has been suggested that a new trend on anti-social networking is seeing the light of day. My friend Anders Olsen just pointed me towards an article from LabConfidential that mentions an emerging resistance against the concept of friendship on online social networking sites. The Danish article refers to this article from The Boston Globe on anti-social networks on Facebook etc. The article reads:

Now that Internet users have forged online relationships with the people they like, they can turn their attention to shaming the folks they hate.

With Enemybook, a new program that runs on the social networking site Facebook, you can connect to people you loathe, display their photos and evil deeds, and give them the virtual finger.

Enemybook is one of several new online applications developed by computer-savvy twentysomethings who say they are tired of bogus online friendships. In a dig at the notion of virtual networking, they hope to encourage people to undermine, or at least mock, the online social communities sites such as Facebook were designed to create.

Besides Enemybook the two articles also mention Snubster, Hatebook, IFHY (I Fucking Hate You), NoSo (No Social) and isolatr as anti-social networking sites or applications.

I must admit that I had not heard of half of these sites, but I find the resistance against (the popularity of) online social networking interesting. Does anyone know of any Danish examples? I know that the Danish site Narto (now Narro) started as an opposition to the hugely popular Danish Arto, even though it is not an anti-social networking site per se, but advertises on the front page with the phrase: “If you are too annoying for any other social networking site, then create a profile here – and feel much worse” (my translation from Danish)”. According to the site itself, it has more than 50.000 users (Arto has app. 600.000).

AoIR: Facebook is the new business card October 24, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Academic, Conferences, Facebook.
1 comment so far

I am now home in Denmark after two lovely weeks with conferences in Canada. The latest in Vancouver was Association of Internet Researchers‘ annual conference entitled Internet Research 8.0: Let’s Play (which by the way will be held in Denmark next year at the IT University of Copenhagen – hooray). I really enjoyed the conference which was right up my alley with many of the sessions focusing on social networking. Especially, Facebook was a hot topic this year and many American researchers presented their work on Facebook’s entry among their students.

What is interesting (in a sort of meta way) is that Facebook now functions as academics’ business card. Instead of handing out our business cards when networking between sessions we would more often friend each other on Facebook. This, I find, has many advantages. I don’t have to keep track with a bunch of physical cards, all my contacts are stored in the same place, the site remembers them for me and the profile pictures make it easier to remember who is who.

By the way, it is interesting to see how Facebook is exploding in Denmark at the moment. As fellow researcher Lisbeth Klastrup has pointed out in a recent blog post more than 1500 Danes a day currently join Facebook.