Death and the Social Network Paper Accepted to CSCW 2011

November 17th, 2010  |  Published in News

Brubaker, J. R. and Hayes, G. R. “We will never forget you [online]”: An empirical investigation of post-mortem MySpace comments. Proc CSCW 2011. Hangzhou, China. March 19–23, 2011.

Abstract: The proliferation of social network sites has resulted in an increasing number of profiles representing deceased users. In this paper, we present the results of a mixed-methods empirical study of 205,068 comments posted to 1,369 MySpace profiles of deceased users. Our results reveal interesting practices surrounding issues of authorship and audience, temporal patterns in posting, and continued social networking with the dead. These results suggest that post-mortem commenting behavior blends memorializing practices with existing practices and communication patterns for social network sites. We conclude by outlining future directions for research and implications for the understanding and use of social network sites in light of a deeper understanding of post-mortem comments.

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