News and Trolls: Olympic Games Coverage in the Twenty-First Century
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News and Trolls: Olympic Games Coverage in the Twenty-First Century

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Examines the contradictions inherent in the global goodwill message of the Olympic games the the reality of a segmented and highly policed broadcast market. The paper focuses on the 'Channel 9 ...

Examines the contradictions inherent in the global goodwill message of the Olympic games the the reality of a segmented and highly policed broadcast market. The paper focuses on the 'Channel 9 Olympics Coverage Sucks' Facebook group, in terms of everyday commentary, distancing this group from the ideas of trolling despite deploying some of the techniques and grammar of troll, especially provocative image macros.

Presented at the 13th Association of Internet Researchers conference #ir13 pre-conference on 'The Internet, Mobile Media, and Journalism: Technologies of News in the 21st Century" organised by Holly Kruse.

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News and Trolls: Olympic Games Coverage in the Twenty-First Century News and Trolls: Olympic Games Coverage in the Twenty-First Century Presentation Transcript

  • News and Trolls: Olympic GamesCoverage in the Twenty-First Century.Tama Leaver / @tamaleaver 18 October 2012Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • Overview1. The Olympic contradiction.2. Channel 9 Olympics Coverage sucks.3. Trolling (for change)?Internet Research 13, Salford. 18 October 2012Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • [1] The Olympic contradiction.Internet Research 13, Salford. 18 October 2012Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • The Olympic Pie: National Slices … NBC (US): time-delayed coverage of key events until primetime. Online available, but only to specific cable subscribers. Australian coverage: Channel 9 free-to-air (single channel); Foxtel (subscription + iPad app), 8 channels.  Only 30% Australian households have subscription TV. Olympics FREE via YouTube in 100+ countries where the IOC was unable to sell national broadcast rightsInternet Research 13, Salford. 18 October 2012Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • IOC YouTube Channel …Internet Research 13, Salford. 18 October 2012Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • #NBCfailCurtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • Internet Research 13, Salford. 18 October 2012Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • @NBCDelayedInternet Research 13, Salford. 18 October 2012Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • @NBCDelayedInternet Research 13, Salford. 18 October 2012Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • Source: https://plus.google.com/112794044897464667374/posts/FwDEPGrE28JCurtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • Internet Research 13, Salford. 18 October 2012Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • [2] “Channel 9 Olympics Coverage sucks”http://www.facebook.com/ch9failInternet Research 13, Salford. 18 October 2012Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • Internet Research 13, Salford. 18 October 2012Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • Recognisable (Trolling?) Memes …Internet Research 13, Salford. 18 October 2012Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • Karl Stefanovic …Internet Research 13, Salford. 18 October 2012Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • [3] Is this “trolling”? Australian media currently in a huge moral panic about ‘trolling’ ‘Trolling’ seems to mean any online abuse of any sort in media uses. Is something like the Channel 9 page a trolling response?Internet Research 13, Salford. 18 October 2012Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • Trolling (usually) understood … Deliberate baiting/provocation online to provoke an intense emotional response. Usually trolling done using anonymous/fake profiles. Memes strongly associated with trolling (4chan as probable origin of LolCats, trollface, etc.). Trolling/media symbiotic circuit: “Trolls need the media to become hysterical, and the media needed trolls to terrorize; each side benefit[s] from the overreaction of the other.” (Phillips, 2011).Internet Research 13, Salford. 18 October 2012Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • “Channel 9 Olympics Coverage sucks” asmainstreamed trolling? Used memes and commentary to attract mainstream media commentary (minimal success; more focus on Twitter). Group had practical not disruptive aims (mostly): better coverage. NB: praise of ABC paralympic coverage. Memes depleted? Neither radical nor disruptive but banal social commentary?Internet Research 13, Salford. 18 October 2012Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • Memes & Image Macros … “An internet meme is a piece of culture, typically a joke, which gains influence through online transmission. While not all internet memes are jokes. … what makes Internet memes unique [is] the speed of their transmission and fidelity of their form.” (Davison, 2012, p. 122) “An image macro is a set of stylistic rules for adding text to images. Some image macros involve adding the same text to various images, and others involve adding difference text to a common image.” (Davison, 2012, p. 127)Internet Research 13, Salford. 18 October 2012Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • Image Macro Commentary? Chuck Tryon calls the 2012 US elections the ‘image macro election’ due to widespread use of image macro memes (Tryon 2012). NBCfail and the Channel 9 sucks pages more like image macro politics: specific commentary with practical (often banal) aims for change. This is NOT trolling which is disruption for disruption’s sake.Internet Research 13, Salford. 18 October 2012Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • Olympic ‘brand’ too big to challenge? Monopoly coverage: Channel 9 still had stellar ratings, and Foxtel gained viewers and praise for their offering (often Foxtel subscribers used the FB group to goad free-to-air viewers into subscribing.) More like a Foxtel ad! Little mainstream coverage made almost no difference (or perceived future plans) to Nine’s coverage strategy. NBC similarly did incredibly well, even with delayed broadcast times! Routing around: more people learnt about VPNs, but still didn’t really ‘damage’ mainstream broadcasts.Internet Research 13, Salford. 18 October 2012Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • References Davison, P. (2012). The Language of Internet Memes. In M. Mandiberg (Ed.), The Social Media Reader (pp. 120–134). New York: NYU Press. Phillips, W. (2011). LOLing at tragedy: Facebook trolls, memorial pages and resistance to grief online. First Monday, 16(12). Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3168/3115 Phillips, W. (2012). The House That Fox Built: Anonymous, Spectacle, and Cycles of Amplification. Television & New Media. doi:10.1177/1527476412452799 Tryon, C. (2012, October 17). “Binders Full of Women:” 2012 and the Image Macro Election. The Chutry Experiment. Retrieved from http://www.chutry.wordherders.net/wp/?p=3498Internet Research 13, Salford. 18 October 2012Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  • Questions, Criticism, Comments? Or find me later … www.tamaleaver.net @tamaleaver t.leaver@curtin.edu.auInternet Research 13, Salford. 18 October 2012Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of TechnologyCRICOS Provider Code 00301J