Join us for the Social Media Lab’s guest talk on
Online Information and Misinformation about Environmental Issues: The paradox of what we think we know vs. what we actual know.
by Jaigris Hodson, Associate Professor and Program Head, MAIS, Royal Roads University
When: Thursday, November 7 @ 12:00 -1:00pm
Abstract: Online communication technologies are often recommended as tools for communicating about sustainability, however, slacktivism remains a concern for environmental communicators. Compounding this issue is the question of whether online environmental communication is enough to drive knowledge, engagement and action. We examine this issue using a mixed methods survey. We asked participants both about their trust and engagement with sustainability related messaging. Our research reveals a trust paradox between what sources of environmental communication people say they trust and what they share with others. We note some evidence of slacktivism, that is, people like to share information, but do not participate in initiatives that require more effort. We learn that while online sustainability messaging does increase perceived knowledge of environmental issues, this may not immediately translate into online engagement. Thus environmental communicators need to approach the task of environmental communication differently in order to have an impact.
Bio: Jaigris Hodson’s research specializes in understanding how people interact with digital technologies, such as social media, and the content that is produced and shared using those technologies. She has published research in a wide range of academic publications and non-academic publications. Hodson has written on technology for the Huffington Post Canada and the Conversation Canada and is regularly asked to comment on technology stories for local and national media outlets. Hodson is a 2018-2019 MITACS Canadian Science Policy Fellow, and is currently working on two Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council funded research projects.