Social Media for Strengthening Agricultural Communities of Practices (CoPs) in an Era of Misinformation
With internet penetration rates growing in both rural and urban areas in Canada, individuals and organizations are increasingly turning to social media to share information and form online communities. Stakeholders, such as producers, input dealers, advisory services, producer organizations, and non-profits are also increasingly using social media to share their concerns, discuss agriculture-related issues and deepen their knowledge and expertise. Connected through social media, these various stakeholders are also forming so-called Communities of Practices (CoPs), which are at the core of this proposal.
While social media and CoPs provide numerous benefits to all involved, there are also many risks due to the alarming rise in the circulation of misinformation across various social media platforms. Misleading and contradictory information related to food, produce, technology and policies quickly circulates among producers as well as other stakeholders. The spread of misinformation may, and often does, lead to confusion, fear and conflicts, and this creates barriers for making informed decisions by farmers, industry partners and policy makers in Ontario.
By applying a mixed-method approach, the proposed initiative seeks to answer the central question of how agricultural CoPs are using social media for learning and relationship-building, while dealing with misinformation related to sensitive topics, such as animal welfare, genetically modified crops, and sustainable agriculture. First, relevant CoPs on Facebook and Twitter– two popular social media platforms among agricultural professionals, will be identified. Social network analysis, as well as a manual and automated content analysis will be used to gain insights into the inner workings of these online communities and determine which topics are discussed publicly. To complement and validate our observations, key informants from each CoPs will be conducted. The initiative will contribute to the scholarship of ‘digital’ and ‘data driven’ agricultural projects by examining the use of social media as a means to strengthen agricultural CoPs and combat misinformation related to this sector. The proposed initiative is an important endeavor because it will contribute to the contemporary praxis of social media for supporting collaboration, knowledge mobilization, and social processes in the agriculture and rural sector in Ontario and throughout Canada.
Dr. Chowdhury Joined the Editorial Advisory Board, Media Asia
The School of Environmental Design and Rural Development is pleased to announce that Dr. Ataharul Chowdhury joined the editorial advisory board of Media Asia. This is a quarterly journal published since 1974 by the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) and Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. The board includes several other scholars, such as Sarah Cardey (U of Reading, … Continue reading “Dr. Chowdhury Joined the Editorial Advisory Board, Media Asia”
Webinar: Rethinking Participation in the Digital Age of Communication for Development and Social Change
We are delighted to organize our upcoming webinar on Tuesday, 10 November 2020, 9 am to 11 am EST. The event will be organized as part of the “Global Network Forum Webinar Series: Rethinking Participation in the Digital Age of Communication for Development and Social Change.” For more details please click here. The registration link is … Continue reading “Webinar: Rethinking Participation in the Digital Age of Communication for Development and Social Change”
ICTs and Social Media for Agricultural Advisory Services
ICTs and Social Media for Agricultural Advisory Services The role of agriculture has changed over the last decades—once which was only to feed population—now it became more multifunctional and multi-actor processes with involvement of many global and local stakeholders, such as farmers, processors, and markets. Whether it is farmers or advisory agencies or food safety … Continue reading “ICTs and Social Media for Agricultural Advisory Services”
New Publication: Enhancing ICT Adoption
Dr. Chowdhury has been collaborating with the University of Alberta and the University of the West Indies, Trinidad, to undertake participatory action research on technology stewardship― a model for strengthening change leadership role for adoption of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) within any kind of community of practice. (Read more)
New Publication: Advisory Service for Sustainable Forest Resource Management
Although advisory services are considered as an essential component for supporting the livelihoods of disadvantaged communities in low-income regions, there are few studies related to advisory services for forest resource management, especially in Bangladesh. (Read more)
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
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