Accepted Paper:

Fungal infestation in social media: A visual analysis  


Minna Santaoja (University of Tampere)

Paper short abstract:

In my presentation I will discuss tentative analysis of the visual content (photos uploaded by users) of the Facebook group of the Finnish mycological society. My question is what kind of human-fungus relationships can be identified in the social media content.

Paper long abstract:

Mushrooms are a numerous and still largely unknown part of biodiversity. Citizen science plays an integral role in the efforts of knowing the fungal diversity. Amateur naturalist societies have a long history alongside institutionalized science. Social and mobile media have brought new affordances also for the nature enthusiasts. In comparison to the membership of the traditional mycological societies, the number of subscribers to the Facebook group is manifold. Social media groups are the latest development along the path of mediated amateur naturalist interaction. From the 1500 users of a previous discussion forum focusing on funghi, the membership of the devoted Facebook group has grown over 15 000. Social media is gaining in importance in facilitating human-nature relationships. It has eased especially the sharing of visual images and provides lots of material for different kinds of research. A research project tapping into social media content in studying the dispersion of species has just been launched in Finland. I am interested in what else is there. What can we read from the images uploaded by the users, besides identifying the species? What sorts of human-nature interaction does the FB group show?

Panel T060
Biodiversity by other (all?) means: a theatre for post-natural futures