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Otherwise Engaged
Critical Analytics and the New Meanings of Engagement Online

Otherwise engaged refers to our time as a time of dis­trac­tion. As a time when social media is actu­al­ly begin­ning to focus our atten­tion on things that are dis­tract­ing. And I want to talk a lit­tle bit about first of all of our new—and it’s going to sound like an oxy­moron, but it’s our new sort of dis­tract­ed modes of engage­ment.

Platforming, Deplatforming & Replatforming
Following extremists around the Internet

Extremists around the world are increas­ing­ly being thrown off of social media. And so…the big ques­tion that I’m going to try to answer is, is this effec­tive? Is it good? Is it good for the plat­forms? Who does it ben­e­fit? Is it good for the plat­forms, is it good for the extrem­ists, is it good for the Internet, is it good for soci­ety at large?

Gilad Lotan on Interventions for Individuals

Lo and behold human­i­ty is fair­ly con­sis­tent. We would men­tion morn­ings in the morn­ings. We get tired sort of towards the evenings. Talk about cof­fee more fre­quent­ly in the morn­ing. These are the sort of nor­mal diur­nal pat­terns that we see on Twitter, right. As expect­ed. But when inter­est­ing events hap­pen and events that are out of the ordi­nary hap­pen it’s very clear that they hap­pen.

Interventions for Individuals to Fight Spin

I will tell to you a few things about the first Twitter bomb that with my col­league we found a cou­ple years ago. And there it was a case in which some­body was attack­ing the can­di­date Martha Coakley in the last Massachusetts elec­tions. We found out that actu­al­ly it was easy to detect this kind of attack.

Virtual Futures Salon: Dawn of the New Everything, with Jaron Lanier

So here’s what hap­pened. If you tell peo­ple you’re going to have this super-open, absolute­ly non-commercial, money-free thing, but it has to sur­vive in this envi­ron­ment that’s based on mon­ey, where it has to make mon­ey, how does any­body square that cir­cle? How does any­body do any­thing? And so com­pa­nies like Google that came along, in my view were backed into a cor­ner. There was exact­ly one busi­ness plan avail­able to them, which was adver­tis­ing.

FollowBias: Supporting Behavior Change Toward Gender Equality on Social Media

In 2011, the cul­tur­al crit­ic Emily Nussbaum reflect­ed on the flow­er­ing of online fem­i­nism through new pub­li­ca­tions, social media con­ver­sa­tions, and dig­i­tal orga­niz­ing. But Nussbaum wor­ried, even if you can expand the sup­ply of who’s writ­ing, will that actu­al­ly change the influ­ence of wom­en’s voic­es in soci­ety? What if online fem­i­nism was just an echo cham­ber?

The Algorithmic Spiral of Silence

A cou­ple of major plat­forms like Facebook and Twitter, YouTube, have become in many places around the world a de fac­to pub­lic sphere. Especially in coun­tries that have less than free Internet, less than free mass media. And these coun­tries have tran­si­tioned from a very con­trolled pub­lic sphere to a commercially-run one like Facebook.

Is Digital Culture Responsible for Post-Truth Politics?

I’m going to argue today that even while we know post-truth pol­i­tics is hav­ing a ter­ri­ble effect on our polit­i­cal cul­ture and our role as cit­i­zens, it’s curi­ous­ly dif­fi­cult to com­bat it because of a set of beliefs about what pol­i­tics is, and about the Internet and the way it enables ordi­nary peo­ple to have a voice. And these beliefs inter­sect with a pre­vail­ing anti-intellectual anti-elitism which asso­ciates knowl­edge, dis­cern­ment, and truth with snob­bery and pow­er.

Vint Cerf Areté Medallion Q&A Elon University 2016

We’ve already been through sev­er­al sit­u­a­tions where new tech­nolo­gies come along. The Industrial Revolution removed a large num­ber of jobs that had been done by hand, replaced them with machines. But the machines had to be built, the machines had to be oper­at­ed, the machines had to be main­tained. And the same is true in this online envi­ron­ment.

Social Disruption and the Sharing Economy

I think there’s an unprece­dent­ed oppor­tu­ni­ty to change our rela­tion­ship with polit­i­cal pow­er. And I don’t think we need to be afraid of it. I don’t think we have to com­pro­mise our core prin­ci­ples in order to do it.

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