Phase One

December 8

Facebook Integrity Foundational research award

Facebook Research announced the recipients for the Facebook Integrity Foundational research award. This project was one of 21 proposals to have won the award.

January 1

Project kicks-off in January

The period of study for the project is January to December 2019. In January, the team kicked off research plans for both Malaysia and Singapore.

May 14

Fieldwork begins

The team began research fieldwork in both Singapore and Malaysia. This includes visits to meme factories in both countries and one-on-one interviews (including WhatsApp scrollbacks) with active users of the closed-messaging app. A total of 30 participants from each country were interviewed for the project. An online questionnaire for the project also went live, with over 500 participants from both countries recruited to participate.

June 26

Visit to Facebook HQ

Team members Crystal and Niki both participated in the Facebook Integrity Academic Workshop at Facebook HQ at Menlo Park, California, alongside other researchers who won the research award. They co-presented preliminary findings from the research project [presentation slides].

October 3

Team members at AoIR

Niki presented preliminary findings from the project on behalf of the team at the Association of Internet Researchers conference in Brisbane, Australia. The paper was part of the WhatsApp: Safe space for activism or haven for information disorder: The view from Southeast Asia panel. Team members Amelia and Natalie also presented their own papers on the panel, alongside project collaborators Dr. Emma Baulch, Dr. Ariadna Matamoros-Fernandez and Dr. Fiona Suwana.

December 31

Fieldwork ends

The fieldwork for this research project has ended. The team are currently analysis the data and preparing a report of the findings, while producing other relevant output material. Stay tuned!