Reading With Friends talk

06 April 2015

This quarter the HCI and Infolab groups came together for a weekly reading group thing. Each Monday at noon someone brings a new, impactful reading to the group and discusses it for everyone. It’s kind of a cool way to get the HCI group - often somewhat ethnographic or qualitative-leaning - and the Infolab - generally more quantitative - together to see where cross-pollination of ideas might happen. We’re tentatively calling it “Reading With Friends”, but I’m pretty sure we’re open to alternative names.

This week was more or less my turn to introduce a paper to the group, so I introduced “What is a flag for? Social media reporting tools and the vocabulary of complaint”. Kate Crawford and Tarleton Gillespie authored it in New Media & Society, and it shines a light on a really interested topic that I don’t think computational social scientists have explored very much yet.

We also got into a pretty interesting conversation about truly ethnographic studies of communities like Tumblr and others. I found a handful of interesting, seemingly relevant papers:

It occurs to me that there’s a whole second aspect of flagging, which is moderation and the relationships with censorship, the effect that deletion has on the Internet, and the difficult nature of critiquing censorship the Internet creates as a result of making it relatively easy to scrub all references to a historical artifact (e.g. on Tumblr there must be a way for admins to delete not only your post, but also every reblog anyone has ever made). In some ways this can be made more difficult by users remixing and changing content, but that requires the users to have lost trust in the administrators, for them to save content locally, to modify and permutate it in various ways, etc… which might not happen if Youtube (for instance) summarily deletes a video before anyone considers it interesting enough to save (and again, Youtube doesn’t really like people doing that (but then again cough youtube-dl)).

Anyway, my talk notes are available in original keynote form as well as in powerpoint (pptx) forms. If you saw the talk, you might still want it, because I added a bunch of links contextualizing references like Foucault’s Panopticon (and also others). You probably want the Source Serif Pro font package, which is a great font and one of 3 awesome open source fonts Adobe publishes (the other two being Source Sans Pro and Source Code Pro).

I had a Youtube video in there so I’m reluctant to make a PDF of it, but if someone can’t access either of the two options I provided, let me know (contact info below) and I’ll add it.

I’m quickly identifying a theme in my presentations, and it is keyboard cat.

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