Internet is frequently held to be transforming social relationships, the economy, and vast areas of public and private life across all ages and, probably very soon, across all cultures no matter how remotely they are located (thanks to initiatives like Internet.org). Such arguments are routinely recycled in popular debates, in advertising and publicity materials, and indeed in academic contexts as well. Research discussions of the internet veer between celebration and paranoia; on the one hand the technology is seen to create new forms of community and civic life and to offer immense resources for personal liberation and empowerment, while on the other it poses dangers to privacy, to create new forms of inequality and commercial exploitation, as well as leaving the individual prey to addiction and pornography. Continue reading Internet on Trial: Celebration or Paranoia?
‘Internet.org is a Facebook-led initiative bringing together technology leaders, non-profits and local communities to connect the two thirds of the world that doesn’t have Internet access.’ Continue reading Internet.org, affordable internet access at what cost?
On April 9th the first two iRights Youth Juries were held at University of Nottingham. In collaboration with the civil society initiative, iRights, and Prof. Coleman’s lab from University of Leeds, CaSMa will be running 12 Youth Juries to allow children and young people to have a say about their rights on the internet. At the Youth Juries groups of 10 to 15 participants, aged 12-17, are asked to consider, debate and share ideas about the future of the internet.
Facebook has joined forces with UK’s Electoral Commission to promote National Voter Registration Day, which happened on the 5th of February. Consequently, every user that declared themselves adult and British on Facebook was prompted to register to vote at the general election. The social media platform recently sent reminders to all eligible voters to suggest signing up in time for UK’s parliamentary election on the 7th of May 2015.
In collaboration with the Institute of Mental Health and CAS (Centre for Advance Studies), the CaSMa team held a thought-provoking workshop that invited us all to reflect and re-think on concerns over social media data, especially when vulnerable adult and minors may inadvertently being part of it.
National experts including Monica Whitty, Karen Douglas, Jens Binder and Ilka Gleibs engaged with their audience to illustrate a series of relevant ethical aspects and their implications not only on internet mediated research aspects but for our day-to-day activities.
Although hindsight vision is said to be 20/20, information does not automatically equal insight. Here’s a small collection of aggregated information about the year that just left us. Even without going into speculation about what it means, it might prove sufficiently entertaining for a few minutes.
Learning from the mistakes of others is perhaps one of the most valuable lessons that the Samaritans Radar has offered to research communities concerned about privacy issues and the ethical treatment of social media data, from collection through to analysis.
This week’s tech news took on a bleak hue when DarkHotel articles started popping up everywhere. The story is simple: some corporate executives using hotel provided internet access have been targeted by hackers for their (presumably) juicy data. It’s been going on for years, at an international scale and it manages to reach that little paranoid spot in us that’s so easily fuelled by the general blur of tentative tech skills and fast paced IT changes. Combine this with a codename worthy of 007 and you have an instant journalistic boon.
On October 9th 2014, CaSMa presented a talk on “Citizen centric approaches to Social Media analysis” at the “Computaional Models of Social Interaction” workshop. The workshop was organized by Dr. Ansgar Koene, in collaboration with Dr. Mirco Musolesi, Prof. Indrajit Ray, Dr. Ulrik Beierholm and Dr. Colin Rowat and was hosted by the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Birmingham.
In this blog the CaSMa research team, Ansgar Koene, Elvira Perez Vallejos, Chris Carter and Ramona Statache will take turns to summarize recent results from the CaSMa project, report on workshop events or comment on social media analysis related items that were recently in the news.