B.3 Genesis and Usage of Social Capital on Crowd Platforms

Subarea B.3 addresses the genesis and use of social capital on crowd platforms. Among other things, it has already been demonstrated how social media users can build and use social capital as a measure of trust on their respective platforms. Furthermore, it was investigated how digital footprint data allows to measure the strength of real connections between individuals. Based on this, it was possible to show how trust emerges in the context of digital collectives and influences them. The focus for this was on (online) firestorms, subscription-based crowdfunding campaigns and crowdsourcing communities. In addition, it was demonstrated that social capital can also be transformed into economic capital through subscription-based crowdfunding. As algorithms are of growing importance in the context of digital platforms, current research focuses on the extent to which the interaction between algorithms and users influences perceptions of privacy and trust, and which effects emerge. As an example, algorithms influence recommendation systems on the one hand, and the continuous radicalization through filter bubbles in the context of fake news and conspiracy theories on the other.

Current PhD project of subarea B.3:

The Influence of Algorithms on User Behaviour

-Rebecca Heigl-

Project description coming soon…
  Name Working area(s) Contact
Prof. Dr. Oliver Hinz
B.3, A.2
+49 (69) 798 34675
Rebecca Heigl
B.3, Tandem: B.1, D.3

Current PhD project of subarea B.3:

Usage of Social Capital in Digital Collectives

-Hendrik Jöntgen-

The focus in this research project of B.3 lies on the use of social capital in so-called “Digital Collectives”. A Digital Collective is a collective of social network users who temporarily work together and share their resources with each other in order to achieve a common goal. Examples for them are (online) firestorms, subscription-based crowdfunding campaigns and crowdsourcing communities.

In order to investigate the effects of social capital on firestorms we gather Tweets from past firestorms to simulate and analyze the social network of their participants. As an enhancement for this study, we conduct a survey regarding the motivation to join a firestorm. Based on this approach we can observe the effects of social capital on the development of firestorms.

A similar approach is taken for subscription-based crowdfunding campaigns and crowdsourcing communities. Based on crawled data from Patreon and mydealz, we analyze the motivations for individuals to join these digital collectives and participate in them.

Finally, we combine our insights about the use of social capital in these digital collective to get a better understanding about social capital and its benefits in social media networks.

  Name Working area(s) Contact
Prof. Dr. Oliver Hinz
B.3, A.2
+49 (69) 798 34675
Hendrik Jöntgen
B.3, Tandem: B.1, D.3
+49 (69) 798 34724