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Understanding Social Media

Extensions of Their Users

Series:

Robert K. Logan and Mira Rawady

The purpose of this book is to understand the nature of social media and the impact they are having on almost all aspects of modern-day existence from family life and social interactions to education and commerce. Just as fish are unaware of the water they swim in and we humans are unaware of the air that we breathe so it is that the users of social media are unaware of the effects of these media and take their existence as a natural part of their environment. The authors make use of Marshall McLuhan’s media ecology approach to understanding media in order to reveal the effects of social media on their users, how they are changing the nature of our social interactions and how we through our interaction with social media have become actual extensions of our social media, the reverse of McLuhan’s notion that media are extensions of mankind.

The authors analyze the major social media apps including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tinder, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter and blogs as well as examining the Splinternet and the social media scene in Russia, China, North Korea, Vietnam and the Islamic world. Understanding Social Media studies the impacts of social media monopolies, the nature of advertising and branding in social media apps and the social media front in cyberwarfare and concludes with an analysis of the social media counter revolution waged by players who actually helped to create social media.

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Chapter Ten: Reddit

Extract

Enhances: Interpretation and discussion of the news;

Obsolesces: Letters to the editor;

Retrieves: Community, newspaper and online articles;

Reverses or flips into: The Front Page of the Internet.

Reddit is not the first app that comes to mind when people think about social media like Facebook or Instagram but in fact the followers of Reddit attracts more visitors than all the other social media sites except Facebook and YouTube. It ranks number 18 in the world, number 6 in the USA and number 5 in Canada according to www.alexa.com both of which were accessed on March 1, 2020. It is arguably one of the most interesting social media sites because of the way it creates communities of interest based on stories that appear in the news or online.

Reddit, whose astronomical popularity seems at odds with the fact that many Americans have only vaguely heard of the site and have no real understanding of what it is. A link aggregator? A microblogging platform? A social network? To its devotees, Reddit feels proudly untamed, one of the last Internet giants to resist homogeneity. Most Reddit pages have … a few crudely designed graphics and a tangle of text: an original post, comments on the post, responses to the comments, responses to the responses. That’s pretty much it. Reddit is made up of more than a million individual ←87 | 88→communities, or subreddits, some of which have three subscribers, some twenty million. Every...

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