Call For Papers #CfP: Data Literacy – what is it and why does it matter? Web Sci 2015 #Websci2015

This sounds great, and I agree, there is a MUCH needed discussion to be had on data literacy. It’s often brushed aside, but like I was discussing earlier here, there is much to be said about access to data, and the implications of data literacy globally. Continue reading

Internet.org and tyranny of freedom

The mirage of free internet offered by Facebook’s Internet.org and Airtel Zero.

Internet.org and Airtel Zero are services that are allowing users in the Global South to have access to the internet in ways that have not previously been possible, but this access comes at a price, as Mahesh Murthy aptly discussed in his blog post shown below (fascinating original here).

What users of these seemingly altruistic ventures are presented with is a carefully selected group of sites; a representation of the internet that is by no means representative of the whole experience.

These projects reveal an interesting act of translation; a selective, consciously curated translation of ‘online reality’ into a new, confined, and restrictive format.

But of course, the old Italian adage “traduttore traditore” , which roughly translated (ironically…) into ‘to translate is to betray’ applies aptly here. We see a translation of online reality into a new medium that has purposefully and consciously chosen to present the online experience in a certain manner which, due to the selective and purposefully limited nature of the venture, ultimately serves as a betrayal of the original experience. Continue reading

Call for papers: Symposium on Trolling and Gender.

This sounds awesome. Hopefully I’ll be able to attend. There’s a lot of work to be done analysing and contextualising trolling.

I’m working on a paper looking at the rise of trolling in ‘anonymous’  apps such as Yik Yak. It’s been a long time since anonymity has been a key aspect of social interaction online, and it’s interesting to see the rise of trolling on these types of ‘anonymous’ sites. My own paper revolves around the implications of Yik Yak and other such sites for the ‘digital panopticon’, and how this leads to a rise in trolling. Who is being viewed? By whom? has the recently discussed synopticon (or even omniopticon!) become clouded? How are the users adjusting behaviours etc.

The call for papers is below. Hopefully I’ll see you there!

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Facebook shouldn’t be conceptualised as a social space; it’s an agora.

Here’s an analogy that I’ve been playing with for quite a while. I’ve been trying to find the best way to describe Facebook that adequately sums up the experience; something that serves to capture the many varied aspects of the Facebook experience, and I think I’ve finally found the answer – Facebook is a modern Agora.

This may seem slightly odd, but it’s a metaphor that I’ve found useful when thinking about various Social Networking Sites, and I think it’s worth explaining and fleshing out.

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