Rethinking Privacy and Trust in the Social Media Age — #SMSociety #CFP #Toronto, Canada July 19–21, 2019

Can we trust what we hear and see on social media? For a time, social media was viewed as a net positive for society. In their 2013 book, The New Digital Age, Google’s Jared Cohen and Eric Schmidt wrote:“Never before have so many people been connected through an instantly responsive network.” In 2015, Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and CEO of Facebook, wrote a glowing endorsement of the internet and social media calling it “a force for peace in the world.” He argued that connecting people through social media would help to bring about a “shared understanding” of the human condition and build a “common global community.”

Fast forward to 2018, social media is now embroiled in a series of ongoing public scandals involving data abuse and misusewith the most infamous scandal involving the UK data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica. More troubling is fact that social media has emerged as fertile ground for fostering anti-social behaviour and is an important vector for disinformation, misinformation, and manipulation operations. These realities have further raised users’ privacy concerns and challenged public trust in social media, which has resulted in a revitalized call for new legislation and regulation.

Considering this context, the International Conference on Social Media & Society invites scholarly and original submissions that explore key questions and central issues related (but not limited) to the 2019 theme of “Rethinking Privacy and Trust in the Social Media Age.” We welcome research from a wide range of methodological perspectives employing established quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods as well as innovative approaches  that cross interdisciplinary boundaries and expands our understanding of the current and future trends in social media research, especially research that seeks to explore:

  • What does ‘privacy’ and ‘trust’ mean in the social media age?

How can researchers  study and operationalize these constructs?

What is the relationship between users’ trust in social media platforms, their privacy concerns, and their social media adoption and use?

What are privacy protective technologies that can help to rebuild users’ trust in social media?

Can and how AI-based applications help to rebuild trust in social media and improve the credibility of social media content?

  • How does social media manipulation affect political trust and tolerance?
  • How is social media being used to help build and strengthen trust in political, economic, social and cultural realms of society?
  • What roles do alternative social networking servicessuch as Diaspora, Mastodon, and Gab.aiplay in the current social media environment where hashtag campaignssuch as #DeleteFacebook, #MAGA and #MeToohave become prevalent?
  • What theoretical and methodological tools can researchers rely on for ethical and privacy-protective collection, analysis, and sharing of social media datasets?
  • What are the consequences of data regulations such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) on the industry and users? Are these regulations effective?
  • What are emerging successful user engagement models for governments, journalists, financial institutions, marketers, and others in today’s social media landscape?
  • What is the future of social media research without APIs?
  • How can we measure authentic (or organic) user engagement while properly accounting for bot-driven (or paid) interactions?
  • How does algorithmic architecture influence how we discover and interact with others?
  • What is the role of algorithms played in creating divisive culture in social media?
  • What are the ethical concerns of algorithms (inclusion, accessibility, discrimination, bots) and how to mitigate them?


The International Conference on Social Media & Society (#SMSociety) is an annual gathering of leading social media researchers from around the world. Now, in its 10th year, the 2019 conference is being held in Toronto, Canada from July 19 to 21.
From its inception, the conference has focused on the best practices for studying the impact and implications of social media on society. Organized by the Social Media Lab at Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, the conference provides participants with opportunities to exchange ideas, present original research, learn about recent and ongoing studies, and network with peers.
The conference’s intensive three-day program features hands-on workshops, full papers, work-in-progress papers, panels, and posters. The wide-ranging topics in social media showcase research from scholars working in many fields including Management, Communication, Computer Science, Education, Journalism, Information Science, Political Science, and Sociology.


Full papers presented at the Conference will be published in the conference proceedings by ACM International Conference Proceeding Series (ICPS) and will be available in the ACM Digital Library. All conference presenters will be invited to submit their work as an expanded full paper to the special issue of the Social Media + Society journal (published by SAGE).


Social Media Impact on Society
  • Privacy
  • Trust & credibility
  • Political mobilization & engagement
  • Extremism & terrorism
  • Politics of hate and oppression
  • Health and well-being
Social Media & Business
  • Brand communities
  • Influencer & marketing
  • Public & customer relations
  • Cybervetting and HR
  • Risk management
Social Media & Public Sector
  • Government social media management
  • Adoption, use, strategies and policies
  • Trust towards public agencies
  • Citizens’ engagement
  • Citizens’ privacy & security concerns
Social Media & Academia
  • Alternative metrics
  • Learning analytics
  • Teaching with social media
  • University branding
Online/Offline Communities
  • Online community detection
  • Influential user detection
  • Identity and anonymity
  • Case studies
Social Media & Mobile
  • Appification of society
  • Privacy & security issues in a mobile world
  • Encrypted messaging apps
  • Fake news & misinformation
Theories & Methods
  • Qualitative approaches
  • Quantitative approaches
  • Mixed methods
  • Opinion mining & sentiment analysis
  • Social network analysis
  • Theoretical models
Big & Small Data
  • Value of small data
  • Data mining and analytics
  • Sampling issues
  • Visualization
  • Scalability issues
  • Ethics


  • Anatoliy Gruzd, Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada – Conference Chair
  • Priya Kumar, Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada – Conference Chair
  • Philip Mai, Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada – Conference Chair
  • Jenna Jacobson, Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada – Full Paper Chair
  • Raquel Recuero, Universidade Federal de Pelotas (UFPel), Brazil – Full Paper Chair
  • Hazel Kwon, Arizona State University, USA – WIP Chair
  • Jeff Hemsley, Syracuse University, USA – WIP Chair
  • Anabel Quan-Haase, Western University, Canada – Panel Chair
  • Luke Sloan, Cardiff University, UK – Panel Chair
  • Jaigris Hodson, Royal Roads University, Canada – Poster Chair


  • Susan Halford, University of Southampton, UK
  • Caroline Haythornthwaite, Syracuse University, USA
  • Zizi Papacharissi, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
  • Barry Wellman, INSNA Founder, The NetLab Network, Canada