Responses to Remixing on a Social Media Sharing Website

author: Andrés Monroy-Hernández, MIT Media Lab, School of Architecture + Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT
author: Benjamin Mako Hill, MIT Media Lab, School of Architecture + Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT
published: June 29, 2010,   recorded: May 2010,   views: 3212


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In this paper we describe the ways participants of the Scratch online community, primarily young people, engage in remixing of each others' shared animations, games, and interactive projects. In particular, we try to answer the following questions: How do users respond to remixing in a social media environment where remixing is explicitly permitted? What qualities of originators and their projects correspond to a higher likelihood of plagiarism accusations? Is there a connection between plagiarism complaints and similarities between a remix and the work it is based on? Our findings indicate that users have a very wide range of reactions to remixing and that as many users react positively as accuse remixers of plagiarism. We test several hypotheses that might explain the high number of plagiarism accusations related to original project complexity, cumulative remixing, originators' integration into remixing practice, and remixee-remixer project similarity, and find support for the first and last explanations.

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