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    Social Media Inequality

    by  • April 27, 2017 • 2016-2017 Provost Digital Innovation Grant Winners

    Project Name: Social Media Inequality
    Grantee: Agustín Indaco
    Discipline: Economics
    Funding Cycle: 2016-2017

    Social media content shared today in cities, such as Instagram images, their hashtags and descriptions, is the key form of contemporary city life. It tells people where activities and locations that interest them are and it allows them to share their urban experiences and self- representations. Therefore, any analysis of urban structures and cultures needs to consider social media activity. Together with Lev Manovich, we have introduced the novel concept of social media inequality. This concept allows us to quantitatively compare patterns in social media activities between parts of a city, a number of cities, or any other spatial areas. We define this concept using an analogy with the concept of economic inequality. Economic inequality indicates how some economic characteristics or material resources, such as income, wealth or consumption are distributed in a city, country or between countries. Accordingly, we can define social media inequality as the measure of the distribution of characteristics from social media content shared in a particular geographic area or between areas. We have published academic papers on this concept and created an accompanying website (http://inequaligram.net) analyzing 7.5 million Instagram images in New York. I would like to extend this research by analyzing social media inequality in other cities worldwide. I also plan to further develop the website and to develop and include new interactive visualizations that will help visitors better understand our novel concept.