As I've written previously, the distinction between "internet" and "web" has grown increasingly blurred in recent years. In our contemporary discourse, and in day-to-day interaction, the two terms have become largely conflated. However, as the World Wide Web was first exploding in popularity the difference between the two terms was still more meaningful. Part of … Continue reading The Web in 2019
President Trump is planning to address the nation from the oval office tonight, a speech which will be aired live during prime-time by all of the major broadcast networks. Even amidst his constant barrage against news media as "fake news" and "enemies of the people," Trump is relying on the major networks to provide a … Continue reading Complicity in Amplificaiton
In the last several years, it has become increasingly apparent that social media and the rapid proliferation of online communication has had a significant influence on the U.S. political process. Despite the ongoing tendency to refer to the Internet as a "virtual world" that somehow exists wholly separately from the so-called "real world" the fact … Continue reading Facebook – The World’s Largest Communication Lab?
I've been passively gathering data from 4chan's /pol/ board to keep tabs on the "Qanon" conspiracy, and the communities that were promoting it. I had started out with a "set it and forget it" sort of a deal for my 4chan /pol/ scraper. The problem is, though, I set it and the I forgot it.
Read on about some of the challenges of studying online communities and ephemeral content...
For anyone who's ever had to call a large company about seemingly anything, you are almost certainly highly aware of automated phone tree systems. Rather than hiring a real person to answer and direct phone calls, a computerized system presents a menu of options to direct the caller to an appropriate department or individual that … Continue reading Everyone But You is a Robot
Memes, and social media more generally, are incredibly powerful tools that contribute to the normalization of ideas, beliefs, and overall culture. The things that we are exposed to in our social media feeds have significant potential to reinforce certain ideas, and perhaps misrepresent how commonplace and accepted they really are. Despite this significant power to … Continue reading A Mechanism of Normalization