"I've been manipulated!": designing second screen experiences for critical viewing of reality TV

Tom Feltwell, Gavin Wood, Phillip Brooker, Kiel Long, Tom Schofield, Ioannis Petridis, Julie Barnett, John Vines, Shaun Lawson

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding

6 Citations (SciVal)
164 Downloads (Pure)


The recent proliferation of a reality TV genre that focusses on welfare recipients has led to concerns that prime-time media experiences are exacerbating misconceptions, and stifling critical debate, around major societal issues such as welfare reform and poverty. Motivated by arguments that ‘second screening’ practices offer opportunities to engage viewers with issues of political concern, we describe the design and evaluation of two smartphone apps that facilitate and promote more critical live-viewing of reality TV. Our apps, Spotting Guide and Moral Compass, encourage users to identify, categorise, tag and filter patterns and tropes within reality TV, as well as reinterpret social media posts associated with their broadcast. We show that such interactions encourage critical thinking around typical editing and production techniques and foster co-discussion and reflection amongst viewers. We discuss, more broadly, how these interactions encourage users to identify the wider consequences and framings of reality TV, and offer implications and considerations for design that provokes criticality and reflection in second screening contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI' 17, Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Place of PublicationNew York, U. S. A.
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2017


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