Fluids on Pictures on Screens: Pseudonymous Affect on Reddit’s TributeMe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Tributing is the practice of sending a sexually explicit photo adorned in ejaculate to the subject of the photo. It involves an entanglement of screens, online identities, platforms, affect, materiality, and bodily fluids and plays out in a particular way on bulletin board Reddit. This article draws on two week-long archives of the subreddit TributeMe to study the way affective exchanges are intensified by the circulation of digital images. I draw on the way affect pertains to movement to argue that tributes express affect moving in two ways: through the body, with the ejaculation evidencing arousal and standing in for a physical encounter, and through social media platforms, with images being circulated as digital objects. Although the strict verification system involves providing consent for the image to be tributed, people deliberately remain pseudonymous on TributeMe. This is a strategy to compartmentalize their involvement in TributeMe so it does not appear as a publicly accessible digital trace. The pseudonymity of TributeMe allows people to engage in sexualized affective exchanges in public.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Media + Society
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • affect
  • platforms
  • pseudonymity
  • public intimacy
  • Reddit
  • social media
  • tributing

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