• Marwick and Boyd 2011 (†635)

    Marwick, Alice E. and Danah Boyd. "I Tweet Honestly, I Tweet Passionately: Twitter Users, Context Collapse, and the Imagined Audience" New Media and Society 13:1 (February 2011), p.114-133.

Existing Citations

  • context collapse (p.122): Like many social network sites, Twitter flattens multiple audiences into one – a phenomenon known as ‘context collapse’. The requirement to present a verifiable, singular identity makes it impossible to differ self-presentation strategies, creating tension as diverse groups of people flock to social network sites (Boyd, 2008). Privacy settings alone do not address this; even with private accounts that only certain people can read, participants must contend with groups of people they do not normally bring together, such as acquaintances, friends, co-workers, and family. To navigate these tensions, social network site users adopt a variety of tactics, such as using multiple accounts, pseudonyms, and nicknames, and creating ‘fakesters’ to obscure their real identities (Marwick, 2005). The large audiences for sites like Facebook or MySpace may create a lowest-common denominator effect, as individuals only post things they believe their broadest group of acquaintances will find non-offensive. (†1435)
  • context collapse (p.125-126): Participants maintain a public-facing persona to manage impressions with potential readers. Context collapse creates an audience that is often imagined as its most sensitive members: parents, partners, and bosses. This ‘nightmare reader’ is the opposite of the ideal reader, and may limit personal discourse on Twitter, since the lowest-common-denominator philosophy of sharing limits users to topics that are safe for all possible readers. While people do talk about controversial subjects on Twitter, our respondents show that some are more likely to avoid personal topics that imply true intimacy and connection between followers. Instead, they may frame Twitter as a place where the strictest standards apply. (†1436)