Although the text relating to each photograph is factual in content, visual creativity can provoke a strong reaction. The heart of the project is its geopolitical orientation. The timing of each publication may lead to social media tension and unrest in the nine countries that form the project as a whole. Each tweet distributed by Subjectio’s digital workflow relates to a specific political or social event and can be complicated to say the least. As an example, the way of spelling toponyms matters here and this is a case in point: “Macedonia” or “North Macedonia”, “Transnistria” or “Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic”, “Belarus” as opposed to “Belorussia”.
Subjectio’s image collection is diverse in its scope and heavily influenced by the West and Russia in South-East and Eastern Europe. These influences are exercised in the fields of history, diplomacy, military, politics, education, architecture, economy, culture and religion.
Subjectio’s digital tool functions in a semi-automatic mode. A list of keywords is created in English, Serbian, Albanian, Belorussian, Ukrainian and Russian, identifying Twitter algorithms to answer tweets.
Examples of keywords in Twitter advanced search queries:
Twitter advanced search queries contain proper names and toponyms and this allows @subjectio_relay to answer tweets posted by Twitter accounts of various media, organizations and personal accounts. The search queries embedded in the Payload identifies a list of tweets, generating a queue. A Payload is manually activated on the application. Subjectio’s digital tool replies to each of the tweets identified by the query and placed in the queue.
Repeated exposure of content (Pamment et al. 2018) may justify it to the eye of the reader. Previously encountered information “feels more familiar and therefore accurate” (Kiparoidze 2019). Neutral text in combination with actual facts and, in combination with the creative part (the photographic image) may also transform the reader’s framing and perception (Scheufele, Dietram 1999) or expand the context of the original statement. With no intention to mislead nor to attack, Subjectio’s digital tool leaves room for conversations and replies.
Events created by social tension may be characterized as polarized. According to a recent study by Kũssen Strembeck the combined positive and negative emotion produced adds concerns for both human Twitter and bots’ users alike. This may be true for semi-automatic applications like Subjectio’s digital tool. The reactions and cognitive perceptual patterns are then observed, collected and analysed by Subjectio’s team. This survey aims to help understand the social role of digital tools in the present day.
The work of Subjectio’s digital tool can be monitored on @subjectio_reply “Tweets and replies”. This lets you see all the tweets Subjectio’s digital tool is replying to. Although a hashtag #subjectio shows all previous Twitter posts from the main account of the project @subjectio2020 along with all replies posted by @subjectio_relay.
Kiparoidze, Mariam, 2019. “Disinformation matters”, Coda Story.
Kũsen, Ema; Strembeck, Mark, 2018. “Why so Emotional? An Analysis of Emotional Bot-generated Content on Twitter”, Complexis, 3rd International Conference on Complexity, Future Information Systems and Risk.
Pamment, James; Nothhaft, Howard; Agardh-Twetman, Henrik; Fjällhed, Alicia. 2018. Countering Information Influence Activities: The State of the Art, version 1.4. Department of Strategic Communication, Lund University.
Scheufele, Dietram A. 1999. “Framing as a Theory of Media Effects.” Journal of Communication 49 (4): 103-122.