Challenging the notion of ‘neutrality’ in social media

In a new study Dr Ruth Page (pictured) from the School of English suggests that we shouldn’t believe everything that we read – and that on websites such as Wikipedia information may not be as neutral as it seems.

In her recently published paper in the academic journal Language and LiterRuth Pageature entitled ‘Counter narratives and controversial crimes: The Wikipedia article for the ‘Murder of Meredith Kercher’, Dr Page sheds light on how information differs between the English and Italian Wikipedia entries surrounding the Meredith Kercher case – and how the many edits made to the pages cherry-pick information to suit particular vested interests based on time and cultural context.

The study shows that social media sites use different resources to promote particular versions of events. In the case of Wikipedia, citations are crucial resources which can be used as material to determine whether an event can be included in the article or not and can shape the overall representation given in the article.

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Julie Coleman

About Julie Coleman

Head of the School of English and Professor of English Language.

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