1st Edition

Social Media Images and Conflicts

Edited By Mette Mortensen, Ally McCrow-Young Copyright 2023
    150 Pages
    by Routledge

    150 Pages
    by Routledge

    This collection considers how digital images and social media reconfigure the way conflicts are played out, represented and perceived around the globe.

    Devoted to developing original theoretical frameworks and empirical insights, the volume addresses the role of user images and social media in relation to urgent subjects such as public opinion and emotion, solidarity, evidence and verification, censorship and fake news, which are all central to the ways current conflicts are represented and unfold. Essays include a unique range of case studies from different regional and political contexts (Middle East, Europe, Asia, North America) and in connection with different conflict types (war, terror, riots, everyday resistance, etc.). They also consider performative genres such as memes, selfies and appropriations as well as images conforming to the realism and authenticity of conventional photojournalism. In this way, the collection responds to the challenges of swiftly evolving image genres as well as to the continually shifting policies and algorithms of commercial digital platforms.

    Together, the essays offer innovative theories and exemplary case studies as a resource for teaching and research in media, journalism and communication programmes. It is also relevant to students, teachers and researchers within sociology, political science, anthropology and related fields.

    Introduction: Social Media Images and Conflicts: Power, Proximity and Performativity

    Mette Mortensen and Ally McCrow-Young

    Chapter 1

    Relational Labour or Digital Resistance: Social Media Practices of Non-Western Women Photographers

    Saumava Mitra and Brenda Witherspoon

    Chapter 2

    The Unfolding of a Proxy Profession: Evidence, Verification and Human Dignity on Social Media

    Sandra Ristovska

    Chapter 3

    Incendiary Images: Visual Reportage of Syria’s Civil War

    Stuart Allan

    Chapter 4

    Social Media Icons: Evidence and Emotion

    Mette Mortensen

    Chapter 5

    Embodied Protests on Social Media: The Visual Political Discourses of Vulnerability and Endurance in the Cases of "Hands Up, Don’t Shoot" and #IRunWithMaud

    Bolette B. Blaagaard

    Chapter 6

    Image Censorship on Chinese Social Media: Image Deletion on Weibo During the 2014 Hong Kong Umbrella Movement

    Jun Liu

    Chapter 7

    #PrayForAriana: Ritual Solidarity, Redirected Grief and Fan Commemoration on Instagram After the Manchester Arena Attack

    Ally McCrow-Young

    Chapter 8

    Seeing Images from Conflict through Computer Vision: Technology, Epistemology and Humans

    Christina Neumayer and Luca Rossi


    Mette Mortensen is Professor and Deputy Head of Department at the Department of Communication, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She specializes in visual media studies and was the Principal Investigator of the collective research projects "Images of Conflict, Conflicting Images" (2017–2022) funded by the Velux Foundation. She is the author or editor of eight books, including the monograph Eyewitness Images and Journalism: Digital Media, Participation, and Conflict (Routledge 2015) and, most recently, the volume Social Media Materialities and Protest: Critical Reflections co-edited with Christina Neumayer and Thomas Poell (Routledge 2019).

    Ally McCrow-Young is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Communication, Section of Media Studies at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Her research focuses on emerging, and primarily visual, technologies and digital culture. Ally is a core member of the research group "Images of Conflict, Conflicting Images" which explores how digital images and connective media transform the way conflicts are represented. Her doctoral work "Incongruent Images: Connective Mourning Rituals on Instagram Following the 2017 Manchester Arena Attack" (2020) examined the intersection of violent conflicts, visual social media and everyday images.