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After compiling the below references (to try to determine this myself), an Answer is still ambiguous enough [to me] to ask this Question here.

*This Question is similar to, but more general in context (and therefore, I think different from), Is Stack Overflow a social networking site? - Wikipedia lists social networking as just 1 of 13 types of social media - so I don't believe that Question would necessarily logically imply the same answer for my [what I believe to be] more general question here (with respect to social media in general, not just social networking specifically as the related Question seems to focus on [at least as the Question itself is written, not necessarily its Answers]).

(Even if the Answer is 'no', it seems certain that [should I term this, 'traditional'?] social media, and Stack Exchange sites, at least [can] influence each other).

I delineated these references as they seemed to me to most relate to 'Yes' or 'No' in this context - but a lot of them in themselves are not necessarily explicit/conclusive "proof" as to Yes/No being a good answer:

'No' - Stack Exchange is not Social Media:

'Yes' - Stack Exchange is Social Media:


FWIW, herein lies my personal (not speaking for everyone) curiosity to ask this: I am a relatively lite/infrequent user of the most "popular"/"house-hold"/"networking" social media {i.e: Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter...}; but ignoring my use of those examples as it is altogether - I am curious if it all makes sense for me to consider myself (at least to some degree) nonetheless still a "social media user" (just with respect to the fact that I participate in the Stack Exchange Network).

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    Although I think this Question is more general to social media rather than just social network sites, I tagged this with social-networking as there is not any more general "social media" tag.
    – cellepo
    Apr 14, 2020 at 2:28
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    Welcome to Meta SE. I'm not an expert, & haven't done as much research as you seem to have, but I don't think there's a black & white, binary yes/no type answer to your question. There are varying aspects & degrees of being "social media", with some fitting here, at least to a certain extend, & others basically not. Also, the answer will actually vary somewhat depending on the particular site(s) in the SE network. Nonetheless, I would consider that, overall, the sites here tend to be less fitting of being "social media" than most other sites considered as such, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. Apr 14, 2020 at 3:56
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    What is your question? As in: what do you expect from an answer to address?
    – rene
    Apr 14, 2020 at 5:56
  • I think that SO is a special subtype of social media, emphasizing educational content creation. But then social media is such a large field that it probably isn't a very useful term anyway. Labeling it doesn't really help much understanding it.
    – Trilarion
    Apr 15, 2020 at 20:00

1 Answer 1

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Yes, reading that Wikipedia article makes one think that Stack Exchange might be social media (though 'collaborative projects' is a better fitting term than 'forums'; see the often quoted "we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about [insert topic here]" in the Tour).

A lot of [maybe for lack of a better term] "popular" social media style does not fit Stack Exchange Q & A format

I think you nailed it here. We, the community (broadly speaking) do not want to be equated with social media, because that will invite behaviour which is common on social media (self-promotion, fluff). It's hard enough as it is to make new users familiar with the rules for a successful Q&A site; stressing that/how we are different from (other) social media helps.

Also, there are probably users who tend to look down to popular social media like Facebook and Instagram because they dislike the general behaviour there, how much time is wasted there and/or their privacy policies. Of course they don't want Stack Exchange to be put in the same box as those networks.

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    I'm influencing the heck out of my profile and do check-out my warez: t-shirts with blurry pictures ... (Message sponsored by my local bakery)
    – rene
    Apr 14, 2020 at 6:48
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    @rene you should probably end all your messages with "like, comment, and subscribe for more blurry flowers"
    – VLAZ
    Apr 14, 2020 at 10:08

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