As this is the first of our blog post for 2016 I thought I’d start off by wishing everyone a happy and prosperous 2016. Looking back, 2015 was a busy year for CaSMa. Judging from our timeline we had about 29 (probably more) events last year ranging from academic conferences and workshops, to public events like the Web We Want festival, youth focused events in collaboration with iRights, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) workshops for SMEs, and even a stand-up comedy routine as part of the Nesta Future Fest fringe. In between these events we were busy collecting data through interviews, questionnaires, surveys and the study of policy documents. So what is in store for 2016?
Unfortunately the ESRC funding for CaSMa is coming to an end in mid February and CaSMa as an externally funded project will end. Fortunately, however, that will not be the end of this blog, or of our research interests in this area. There will probably be a slight shift in the focus of our posts, and possibly some changes to the site as well, but blog posts on the topics of social media research, ethics, privacy, digital rights, and related policy questions will continue. In fact the policy side is likely to see a slight increase.
Much of what will happen after February hasn’t settled yet into its defined form. For one thing, we submitted an application for a 2-year EPSRC “Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security” grant last October and won’t hear the outcome for that until March.
As for the immediate future, this Tuesday we are co-hosting the “Digital Wildfires: respond now at the Digital Catapult!” workshop (live tweeting for the event will use #DigitalWildfires).
Later in the week, or perhaps next week if there is a delay, we will launch a Twitter based campaign #AnalyzeMyData during which we will post messages on our blog site, and on Twitter, highlighting instances where academics, companies, governments or third-sector organizations have collected and used digital data from/about people with questionable consent procedures. For each of these instances we will include a mini-survey to ask if you think this particular instance was OK? Daily updates of the results from these mini-surveys will be made available.
The format will be similar to this mini-survey we did at Zooniverse a little while ago.
- Do you think it would be OK for academics to analyse the discussion posts on the Zooniverse discussion forum for research purposes without asking consent from the users?
Work on the Public Outreach Engagement Tool sub-project will also continue, as we have a student project related to this that will run for the next three months to do some analysis on the actual tweets and twitter activity of some academics here at the University.