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Selfie PhD Research Project

From Theory to Reality

This is a research project

I am a doctoral researcher at the University of Exeter.

Why am I doing this research?

I am conducting research on how the comments left on my selfie images could be used to contribute to the shaping of online identity. I am conducting this research because there is very little research (if any) investigating how crowdsourced comments can be used to construct digital identity from the perspective of a photographer.


This research will provide an understanding of the selfie process as a method for identity creation and maintenance, providing new ways to think about selfies in terms of understanding the self-representation of our images in online spaces.

What would taking part mean for you?

You will be asked to comment on my selfie images. You can comment anything at all providing the comments meet the social media platform rules. The comments will be used by myself to create the next set of images to be posted.

Only the comment text will be collected as part of the research. No personal information, including your username, will be collected. You can remove your comments up to the point in which they are collected for use but after that, you will not be able to ask for them to be removed as they will be used in the creation of the next images. Comments will be collected once a week on a Friday afternoon and all usernames and identifying features will be blacked out in screenshots straight away.


Benefits of taking part

The study will make important contributions to the understanding of the selfie process as a method for identity creation and maintenance, providing new ways to think about selfies in terms of the self-representation of our images in online spaces.

Possible risks of taking part

Whilst all comments used will be blacked out in the project screenshots, there is a remote possibility that other people can trace your comments back to your profile. The Instagram project profile will be locked and made private at the end of the project to protect the identity of commenters.