Hashtags as Crowdsourcing: A Case Study of Arabic Hashtags on Twitter

Batool Hendal
2019 Social Networking  
This mixed study aims to highlight the impact of social media in the Arab world, specifically Twitter's impact on translators' communities. For this purpose, the role of hashtags among translators will be examined by investigating one particular Arabic hashtag, its purpose, target users, and the classification of content. The hashtag is ‫,#اﻟﻤﺘﺮﺟﻢ_ﻓﻲ_ﺧﺪﻣﺔ_اﻟﻤﺘﺮﺟﻢ‬ #transla-tor_serving_translator. 1) An online survey of six closed questions was employed and posted on Twitter, and 249 responses
more » ... ow that users are from fourteen Arab countries, and the majority is from Saudi Arabia. Hashtag users are translators, freelancers, or TS students. Some are active users who post tweets and answer questions, others only ask questions, and the rest only read tweets. The general attitude toward employing hashtags among translators' communities was positive. 2) Employing a content analysis approach, the content is classified into two main categories of sharing information and seeking assistance with seven subcategories of each. 159 Social Networking people communicate and obtain information, and translators were not excluded. Social media opened a vast area of academic research as a main subject, and each social media platform-Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on-is a fertile ground for studies in education, linguistics, and communication. In translation studies (TS) and linguistics in general, social media have gained more attention recently. During the last 5 years, according to Desjardias [2], there has been a significant rise in the number of publications and conferences addressing translation and social media. The most important topic in this field was the effect of technology and globalization on language [3]. Other scholars have highlighted the impact of the web and technology on translation as a field of study and as a profession (Bacalu, 2013 as cited in [2] [4]). Desjardias [2] added that all these researchers agreed that the web and online social media would continue to greatly influence the translation profession and its research. Desjardias [5] examined three main areas of translation and social media. The first area was social media's impact on the nature of the texts and, accordingly, the skills that student translators must acquire based on the market demands. The second aspect Desjardias [5] considered is the increase in new translation tools and reference materials as a result of the e-terminology involved in the Internet and in social media. Desjardias [5] claimed that crowdsourced dictionaries and wikis are also forms of social media, as they include user-generated content (e.g., Urban Dictionary). The third aspect Desjardias investigated is translators' networks; translators use these communities to market themselves and their services on social media outlets such as LinkedIn. Furthermore, social media allows translators to create virtual communities to discuss translation-related topics; these sites include https://www.proz.com and the Arabic Translation and Intercultural Dialogue Association. Internet and Web 2.0 tools facilitate the way people work and assist crowds of users to communicate and work from anywhere in the world, through professional networks where they can create and share knowledge. Crowdsourcing, in general, emphasizes user-generated content, sharing and interactivity [6] . There are several terms that overlap with crowdsourcing in addition to virtual community; "peer production, user-powered systems, user-generated content, collaborative systems, community systems, social systems, social search, social media, collective intelligence, wikinomics, crowd wisdom, smart mobs, mass collaboration and human computation" (p. 3 in [7]). In this paper, one form of translators' networks-Crowdsourcing-will be examined. Translators create this own network in Twitter via hashtag labels, one particular hashtag will be investigated, including the users of this hashtag and their backgrounds, and the classification of topics discussed via this hashtag. This is the first study, based on the author's knowledge that explores the Arabic translators' hashtags, aiming at shedding the lights on the benefits and usages of this platform in serving translators. Twitter Hashtag Twitter is a social media outlet that millions of people worldwide use to connect B. Hendal
doi:10.4236/sn.2019.84011 fatcat:2diuysuu6jh4ncg5fh3bcb3uyu