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Don't Be Antisocial: The Politics of the “Anti-Social” in “Social” Media

Carmi, E. ORCID: 0000-0003-1108-2075 (2022). Don't Be Antisocial: The Politics of the “Anti-Social” in “Social” Media. In: Rosen, D. (Ed.), The Social Media Debate: Unpacking the Social, Psychological, and Cultural Effects of Social Media. (pp. 38-52). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.


This chapter asks one main question - what exactly is ‘social’ in social media? By focusing on the deviant side of social media – The Antisocial – the chapter amplifies the things we take for granted in these platforms, and how they are constructed rather than ‘naturally’ existing. The chapter focuses on two avenues: antisocial behaviors and antisocial design. With antisocial behaviors the chapter examines two types of behaviors, one, people or bots who act in what is considered to be malicious to others such as trolling, spamming, and spreading misinformation. The second group of antisocial behaviors is about people who go against the connectivity ideal of social media and practice various types of disconnectivity such as unfriending, unliking or disconnecting, temporarily or permanently. In the second avenue, the chapter focuses on antisocial designs that can broadly be called dark patterns because these are intentional interventions in social media’s interface to create a specific social behavior. These dark patterns come in the shape of showing specific metrics, algorithmic ordering that is presented as ‘organic’, and terms of use. What these two avenues show is that nothing is inherently ‘social’ in social media and highlights the importance in examining how different mechanisms make it seem naturally produced.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in The Social Media Debate: Unpacking the Social, Psychological, and Cultural Effects of Social Media, on 18 Feb 2022, available online:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
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