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Two new publications on social media literacy

The SM+S article focuses on the measurement of social media literacy in different countries and languages. The NM&S article presents some results on the relationship between social media literacy and responses to online hate.

News vom 14.12.2023

The articles were recently published in the journals Social Media + Society and New Media & Society. Both articles come from a collaboration with Ruth Wendt (LMU Munich), Brigitte Naderer (Medical University of Vienna), and Diana Rieger (LMU Munich).

Wendt, R., Naderer, B., Bachl, M., & Rieger, D. (2023). Social media literacy among adolescents and young adults: Results from a cross-country validation study. Social Media + Society9(4), 20563051231216965. https://doi.org/10.1177/20563051231216965

Abstract: When being online, young users are often confronted with insulting, hateful, or misleading messages. To handle these dark forms of participation, it is essential to equip them with resources that support their social literacy in today’s complex online environments. In the present article, we deployed a previously established scale on self-perceived participatory-moral literacy and conducted a broad online survey study with 1,489 adolescents and young adults aged 16–22 years (M = 19.74; SD = 1.65; 51% female) across eight different European countries (Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom). The results provided a configural identical model of participatory-moral abilities, motivation, and behavior across the considered European countries. We could confirm weak invariance, satisfactory psychometric qualities, and convergent validity of the scale across the different countries. Implications for digital literacy research are discussed.

Naderer, B., Wendt, R., Bachl, M., & Rieger, D. (2023). Understanding the role of participatory-moral abilities, motivation, and behavior in European adolescents’ responses to online hate. New Media & Society, 14614448231203617. https://doi.org/10.1177/14614448231203617

Abstract: Researchers have repeatedly discussed how to strengthen supportive and pro-social responses to online hate, such as reporting and commenting. Researchers and practitioners commonly call for the promotion of media literacy measures that are believed to be positively associated with countermeasures against online hate. In this study (conducted in 2021), we examined relationships between media literacy proficiencies of (1) moral-participatory motivation and abilities and, consequently, (2) the establishment of moral-participatory behaviors and the correspondence with prosocial responses to online hate. A sample of 1489 adolescents and young adults (16–22 years old) from eight European countries is examined. Results confirmed that higher participatory-moral motivation and behavior were significantly associated with stronger intentions to report online hate. Commenting on hateful online content, on the other hand, was significantly related to participatory-moral abilities and past experiences with online harassment. Implications for the role of social media literacy in the context of online hate are discussed.

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