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Coming to America: Iranians' use of Telegram for immigration information seeking

Sarah Nikkhah (Department of Human-Centered Computing, Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)
Angela P. Murillo (Department of Library and Information Science, Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)
Alyson Leigh Young (Department of Human-Centered Computing, Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)
Andrew D. Miller (Department of Human-Centered Computing, Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)

Aslib Journal of Information Management

ISSN: 2050-3806

Article publication date: 24 July 2020

Issue publication date: 12 November 2020

3820

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines Iran-US migrants' use of the most popular messaging application in Iran—Telegram—and shows how they use it to manage their migration information practices.

Design/methodology/approach

This study took a qualitative observation approach. Over the course of six months, over 80 h of observations were conducted on Iran-US migration-related settings within Telegram.

Findings

This work identifies the information practices that emerge as users seek and share information related to Iran-US migration. Telegram plays a vital role across the immigration stages, predominantly in the pre-migration stage. This work also shows how the constraints and features of Telegram influence users' information sharing and seeking practices.

Practical implications

The findings support the implication that a social media platform that provides multiple ways to interact is likely to better support niche or unanticipated uses.

Originality/value

This study is the first of its kind to explore Iranian Immigrants information practices in the US. The immigration information practices observed during this study represent a valuable example of end-user appropriation within extraordinary constraints, which may be of use in other information-seeking contexts where dedicated or bespoke tools are impractical or ill-advised.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Citation

Nikkhah, S., Murillo, A.P., Young, A.L. and Miller, A.D. (2020), "Coming to America: Iranians' use of Telegram for immigration information seeking", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 72 No. 4, pp. 561-585. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-11-2019-0321

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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