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Sharing in the echo chamber: examining Instagram users’ engagement with infographics through the frame of digital literacy

Burrows, Ella (2023) Sharing in the echo chamber: examining Instagram users’ engagement with infographics through the frame of digital literacy. Journal of Information Literacy, 17 (1). 29 - 47. ISSN 1750-5968

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Identification Number: 10.11645/17.1.3360

Abstract

Social media platforms have had a tangible effect on how users share information and their digital literacy skills. Infographics are often shared on Instagram, but they harbour the potential for misinformation. Users do not always research posts before sharing, and the social nature of the site influences user behaviour. Current digital literacy theories highlight the need to integrate digital technologies into traditional information literacy theories, because technologies are increasingly central to everyday life and information consumption. In this article, I investigated digital literacy from a user perspective, examining how users’ digital literacy skills interact with their sharing of infographics. I also examined how infographics are used for activism, and the social and visual affordances of Instagram, which helped to dictate the users’ relationship with digital literacy. I conducted a qualitative study consisting of interviews with six participants. Participants were asked about their Instagram behaviour, infographic selection, and how they judge the reliability of an infographic before sharing. Participant responses were analysed using a grounded theory approach. Responses revealed that users are familiar with traditional concepts of information literacy, such as referencing sources, but often prioritise other areas, such as the social and personal contexts of an infographic when deciding what to share. Users also dialogue with online followers using visual imagery and activism. These sharing practices are contextualised within Instagram affordances and the behaviours the platform enables and constrains. The study is novel in examining digital literacy as enacted through Instagram, specifically the use of infographics, while also foregrounding the user perspective. The results emphasise the need to consider user perspectives in digital literacy whether conducting research or teaching.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://journals.cilip.org.uk/jil/index
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z719 Libraries (General)
L Education
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2023 14:33
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2024 20:06
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/119850

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