Looking back on the scroll back: reflections on the social media scroll back method

Claire Moran, Elianne Renaud, Taylor Annabell, Fan Yang, Brady Robards

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


The ‘social media scroll back’ (Robards & Lincoln, 2017) is a qualitative research method where a researcher and participant together ‘scroll back’ through the participant’s social media platform to co-analyse social media data. This chapter brings together four authors (Moran, Renaud, Annabell and Yang) who reflect on their use of the scroll back method in their projects. The four case studies cover a range of different research topics (identity, race, sexuality, gender, and media industries), groups of participants (migrants, women, queer femmes, and media workers), different social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and WeChat), and a variety of modes of engaging with participants (in-person and via video conferencing). Within these case studies these authors offer a set of examples as to how the scroll back method may be utilized within different research contexts and in doing so, identify some of the opportunities, challenges and limitations involved with using this method.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Social Media and Society
EditorsMarko M. Skoric, Natalie Pang
Place of PublicationCheltenham UK
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781800377059
ISBN (Print)9781800377042
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • social media
  • research methods
  • digital media
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • WeChat
  • migration
  • gender

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