Memes for World Peace?

Today was perhaps the first time a head of state makes reference to an Internet meme in a speech. This is both funny and potentially really interesting. Mexican President Felipe Calderón during a speech given to the national delegation participating in the Panamerican Games made reference to a popular Internet meme known as El Fua. …

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Are Rural People Meaner?

(or: Is Online Gossip a Question of Locale or Scale?) [This is a cross-post from my blog multicast. -CS] I'm quoted in this morning's New York Times Story, In Small Towns, Gossip Moves to the Web, and Turns Vicious. This came about because I've done some recent research on social media and rural communities (citations below), including a long-term ethnographic study …

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Six Provocations for Big Data

The era of "Big Data" has begun. Computer scientists, physicists, economists, mathematicians, political scientists, bio-informaticists, sociologists, and many others are clamoring for access to the massive quantities of information produced by and about people, things, and their interactions. Diverse groups argue about the potential benefits and costs of analyzing information from Twitter, Google, Verizon, 23andMe, …

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Socially-Mediated Publicness: A Call for Papers

Please distribute widely! CALL FOR PAPERS Special Theme Issue of the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media "Socially-Mediated Publicness" Guest Editors: -         Nancy Baym (University of Kansas) -         danah boyd (Microsoft Research) Editor: Zizi Papacharissi Social media call into question conventional understandings of what it means to “be public,” what it means to be “in …

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Guilt Through Algorithmic Association

You're a 16-year-old Muslim kid in America. Say your name is Mohammad Abdullah. Your schoolmates are convinced that you're a terrorist. They keep typing in Google queries likes "is Mohammad Abdullah a terrorist?" and "Mohammad Abdullah al Qaeda." Google's search engine learns. All of a sudden, auto-complete starts suggesting terms like "Al Qaeda" as the …

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Audiences Affect Artists Too: Rethinking “Participation”

Over the last twenty years we've seen a boom in research about "participatory culture" that tries, in part, to make sense of the many ways audiences engage popular culture. This work tends to start from the points of view of audience members. Recently (sometimes during my visits at MSR), I've been coming at this from …

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