Images and Online Political Discourse

Visual media has long been a key element of political discourse, and as new online media spaces increasingly focus on imagery (e.g., Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok), new opportunities arise to study how politicians, political elites, and regular users use such imagery. Despite these advances, our understandings of how images are used for online political discussion, mobilization, advocacy, information sharing, and online manipulation lag behind our understandings of text.

This workshop exists in this context, with two core objectives: First, we wish to establish the current state of the art in its ability to handle the variety of imagery used in online social spaces. Second, we intend to allow individuals to advance this state of the art by releasing a dataset of images and two related challenge problems for understanding and tracking the use of images in political discourse.

Call for Papers

We invite both long- and short-form papers. These papers will be archived in ICWSM’s workshop proceedings unless authors request otherwise.

Topics include:

Analysis of different types of images (photos, memes, cartoons, etc),

Impacts of variation in image types on political mobilization,

Use of screenshots to circumvent platform moderation,

Identifying symbols of hate in online discourse,

Image appropriation for anti-social messaging,