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Following Searle on TwitterHow Words Create Digital Institutions$
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Adam Hodgkin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226438214

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226438351.001.0001

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Twitter’s Content and Twitter’s Context

Twitter’s Content and Twitter’s Context

(p.98) 6 Twitter’s Content and Twitter’s Context
Following Searle on Twitter

Adam Hodgkin

University of Chicago Press

Having seen that Twitter’s structure is built by its members use of status function declarations, this chapter surveys the way that Twitter, which is a messaging service and a communications system, is used for producing messages that often function as Status Function Declarations in other institutions. There is a distinction between SFDs that are merely internal to twitter and those that are external because they operate through Twitter in other institutions. The production of tweets is explored through four examples, a betrothal, a victory cry, an observation that sparked a news story and a joke that backfired leading to a criminal conviction. These examples of notable tweets that evince the intentionality of the members of Twitter who made the messages, and there is also much highly delegated activity through Twitter that impinges on other institutions. Most inter-institutional activity between digital institutions takes place through Application Programming Interfaces (API’s), for this reason the chapter notes that the role of APIs is crucial in considering the way in which digital institutions interact.

Keywords:   internal SFD, external SFD, betrothal, Obama, Application Programming Interface, status function declaration, API

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