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What is platform literacy?

In the last couple of years, I’ve found myself returning repeatedly to the idea of platform literacy. By this I mean a capacity to understand how platforms shape the action which takes place through them, sometimes in observable and explicit ways but usually in unobservable and implicit ones. It concerns […]

The Sociology of Trolling

What is a troll? The term is encountered with ever greater frequency yet its meaning has changed with the years, moving from a definition in terms of motivation (deliberately producing discord for amusement) to a definition in terms of behaviour (the fact of having produced discord in an online community). […]

Online armies at your command

Towards the end of Kill All Normies, Angela Nagle discusses the chilling effect liable to ensue from the online harassment which journalists critical of the alt-right often now find themselves subject to. From pg 118: Multiple journalists and citizens have described in horrifying detail the attacks and threats against those who […]

Persistance, Searchability and Incivility

This essay on ‘the cult of cruelty’ has some interesting points to make about the role of what danah boyd calls persistence and searchability in facilitating incivility online. It makes it possible to trawl through someone’s activity, enabling a degree of engagement with choices and representations that would not otherwise […]

Out trolling the trolls

I’ve just finished reading the excellent This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things by Whitney Phillips. It offers fascinating insights into the evolution of ‘trolling’ as a practice, leading from its original form of sub-cultural self-identification to the diffusion of the label across the entire spectrum of online activities […]

Online Harassment

In the last few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about online harassment. Even writing that sentence, I come face-to-face with my own privilege, as ‘online harassment’ is something I’m able to elect to think about rather than an unavoidable feature of my use of the internet. But the evidence […]

The Pseudo-Catharsis of Social Media

From Rethinking Social Exclusion, by Simon Winlow and Steve Hall, pg 73: Political protests these days are taken not as an indication that something is going wrong and that a significant number of the population are dissatisfied with the nation’s political leadership. Rather, they seem to indicate that a healthy […]

Collaborative Work and Social Media: Responding to the rapid spread of provocative content

Collaborative Work and Social Media: Responding to the rapid spread of provocative content Special issue call for the Journal of Computer Supported Cooperative work  New extended deadline for submissions March 28th 2016! These call details are also available online at https://sites.google.com/site/digitalwildfireesrc/jcscw Special issue editors Marina Jirotka – University of Oxford William […]