Tag: The Political Economy of Digital Capitalism

ALW2: 2nd Workshop on Abusive Language Online EMNLP 2018 (Brussels, Belgium), October 31st or November 1st, 2018 Submission deadline: July 20th, 2018 Website: https://sites.google.com/view/alw2018 <https://sites.google.com/view/alw2018&gt; Submission link: https://www.softconf.com/emnlp2018/ALW2/ <https://www.softconf.com/emnlp2018/ALW2/&gt; Overview Interaction amongst users on social networking platforms can enable constructive and insightful conversations and civic participation; however, on many sites that encourage user interaction, verbal […]

One of the most prominent tropes of social media is the crowd. As the cyber-utopian Clay Shirky put it: here comes everybody. This endlessly repeated motif sees social media in terms of the people. Where once there were a few commentators who dominated the airwaves, now everybody has their say online. Where once there were a few […]

What is the relationship between platforms and their users? I’ve been thinking about this all morning while reading The Know‑It‑Alls: The Rise of Silicon Valley as a Political Powerhouse and Social Wrecking Ball, by Noam Cohen. On loc 277 he writes: In fact, tech companies believe that through artificial intelligence tools they understand their users’ state of […]

In a recent article, Michael Burawoy warned about what he termed the spiralists. These are “people who spiral in from outside, develop signature projects and then hope to spiral upward and onward, leaving the university behind to spiral down”. While he was concerned with university leaders, I observed at the time that the category clearly has […]

This conference looks brilliant! I wish it was slightly nearer: Independent content producers are squeezed between two extremes. On one side are platforms, some of which also create content (Youtube [Google], Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and others), as well as publishing and media firms (Reed-Elsevier, Thomsons, Time-Warner, News Corp and others) that offer content under paywalls, […]

In recent years, we have seen a renewed focus on the political ideologies which are currently emerging within Silicon Valley. Such considerations are not new and contemporary accounts are influenced, implicitly and explicitly, by earlier notions such as the Californian ideology. But the dominant approach appears to be a cultural one, treating these emerging political […]

In his recently released book Collusion, Luke Harding briefly discusses the media cooperation taking place behind the scenes, as media organisations grappled with a rapidly changing landscape. On loc 898 he writes: At the Guardian we were pursuing leads from both sides of the Atlantic. Among them, how UK spy agencies had first picked up suspicious […]

Earlier today at the British Academy’s Social Listening event, Paul Crayston used this extract from Edmund Burke to illustrate a point about the tendency of social media users to mistake the noise they make within their own milieux for the activity taking place on the platform as a whole. Because half a dozen grasshoppers under […]

I thought this was really interesting, particularly the focus on HCI for this strategy: *HCI/UX researchers at Google’s Next Billion Users teamThe Google Next Billion Users team is looking for HCI interns, post-docs, and researchers-on-contract to work on exploratory research and product initiatives. The team builds global products from the ground-up with new Internet users, […]

After Social Media: Alternatives, New Beginnings, and Socialized Media ***Call for Proposals*** Editors: Fenwick McKelvey, Sean Lawson, and Robert W. Gehl The editors seeks 500 word abstracts for proposed articles for a special issue of Social Media + Society on “alternative social media.” The editors welcome proposals from scholars, practitioners, and activists from across disciplinary […]

To talk of ‘openness’ conveys a sense of lightness, gesturing towards a world without self-interested boundaries. In a world dichotomised in terms of open/closed, barriers are seen as obstacles to be surmounted in order that we might have free exchange. Overcoming these obstacles becomes a moral project, imbued with a sense of historical change: barriers […]

In today’s Guardian, Neal Lawson offers a cautious reading of Corbyn’s Labour, accepting the ascendancy of the left within the party but urging it to look outwards. I’m sympathetic to many of the substantive points Lawson makes in the article but there’s a rich vein of problematic assumption running through their articulation which needs to […]

In the last few days, I’ve been reading Hilary Clinton’s What Happened and reflecting on it as an expression of a political centrism which I suspect is coming to an end. These self-defined ‘modernisers’ sought to adapt their respective political parties to what they saw as a new reality, necessitating that they be ‘change-makers’ while […]

Association of American Geographers Conference 2018 New Orleans, USA, 10-14 April 2018 Organizers Susan Moore (University College London) Scott Rodgers (Birkbeck, University of London) Sponsors Digital Geographies Specialty Group Media and Communication Geography Specialty Group Urban Geography Speciality Group Outline Talk about ‘platforms’ is today all-pervasive: platform architecture, platform design, platform ecosystem, platform governance, platform […]

The notion of the ‘revolving door’ is something I’ve spent much time pondering when campaigning against the arms trade. I’ve talked to Andrew Feinstein, former South African MP and long-standing critic of the arms trade, for two podcasts which explored this issue. Here’s the most recent one I recorded. This is how Campaign Against the […]

For a book of only 126 pages, Kill All Normies covers a remarkable amount of ground. Inevitably, the argument is underdeveloped at points and it perhaps offers less empirical detail about the alt-right than it promises, largely restricting its analysis to the study of (relatively) high profile cases and the inferences that can be made […]

On pg 102 of Jonathan Taplin’s Move Fast and Break Things, he highlights email exchanges between YouTube’s founders, released in a court case, which suggest the invocation of ‘user generated content’ might be a matter of branding rather than a meaningful growth strategy for social media platforms: In another email exchange from 2005, when full-length […]

One of the most pressing issues we confront when analysing the digital economy is a pronounced tendency towards oligopoly which makes a lie of an earlier generation’s utopian embrace of the Internet as a sphere of free competition and a driver of disintermediation. There are important lessons we can learn from platform studies about the […]