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Erik Hannerz

Erik Hannerz

Associate senior lecturer

Erik Hannerz

Hard Work and Fun: Collective Online Interaction in a Case of Photo Fraud


  • Veronika Burcar Alm
  • Erik Hannerz
  • David Wästerfors

Summary, in English

Online platforms devoted to investigating criminal cases or mysteries are often seen as reaching outwards to identify suspects, promote punishment, and try to solve cases. Simultaneously, internal interactions between posters motivate them to contribute, even to outdo one another, and so a team spirit emerges. This article analyzes a lengthy thread on a Swedish Internet discussion forum, Flashback, in which a wildlife photographer was exposed for manipulating photographs. We explore how the online interaction is characterized by both competition and collaboration, as well as hard work and displayed expertise, and is framed in terms of the morally right and an underdog perspective. The posters' activities are largely directed at the photographer's moral wrongdoing and take the form of an internal process between the participants, where work and play merge. We analyzed the case with the help of Randall Collins' interaction rituals, Erving Goffman's frames, and the concept of playbour.


  • Sociology
  • Department of Sociology

Publishing year





Symbolic Interaction


Online Version of Record before inclusion in an issue

Document type

Journal article


University of California Press


  • Human Aspects of ICT




  • ISSN: 0195-6086