Tag: lecture series

DATACTIVE lecture series: Daniel Trottier

Save the date! On Tuesday 19 September from 3 until 5 pm, room 0.16 (BG1) we will host the first of this year’s DATACTIVE Speakers Series. This time we team up with the rMA and Thomas Poell for a session on digital vigilantism and data activism. We have invited Daniel Trottier (EUR) and our own Lonneke van der Velden (UvA) to share their thoughts. You can find the abstracts of their talks below.


Digital vigilantism – Daniel Trottier
Digital media enable citizens to hold fellow citizens accountable, often resulting in shaming and harassment. This project examines digital vigilantism (DV) in a global context. DV is a process where citizens are collectively offended by other citizen activity, and respond through coordinated retaliation on digital media, including mobile devices and social media platforms. The offending acts range from mild breaches of social protocol to terrorist acts and participation in riots. In addition to shaming the targeted individual, participants may also share additional information about the target, resulting in a harmful and lasting mediated visibility.

Digital vigilantism is an interdisciplinary concern that requires both conceptual and empirical advancement. Drawing upon existing research on digital media cultures, online policing and surveillance, this five-year project considers the cultural factors surrounding DV, in contradistinction to embodied vigilantism. It also considers the social impact on the various actors involved, as well as how this complicates conventional policing and state power. While online shaming and coordination can transcend borders, this project will remain attentive to national contexts in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, China and Russia. This project will develop a theoretical framework that advances the frontier of knowledge of DV in relation to key disciplines and interdisciplinary fields. Next, the research will deliver a comprehensive analysis of news media as well as other sources of public discourse that render DV meaningful. This will be followed by an account of DV from the perspectives of those who encountered or contributed to it in a personal or professional context. These theoretical and empirical findings will inform a conceptually rigorous and nuanced understanding of the motivations and practices that surround DV, alongside recommendations for key stakeholders.


OSINT and data activism – Lonneke van der Velden
This presentation discusses instances of Open Source Intelligence in the context of “data activism”. As datafication progressively invades all spheres of contemporary society, citizens grow increasingly aware of the critical role of information as the new fabric of social life. This awareness triggers new forms of civic engagement and political action. “Data activism” indicates the range of sociotechnical practices that interrogate the fundamental paradigm shift brought about by datafication. This includes ways of affirmative engagement with data (“proactive data activism”, e.g. data-based advocacy) and tactics of resistance to massive data collection (“reactive data activism”, e.g. encryption practices), understood as a continuum along which activists position and reposition themselves and their tactics.

DATACTIVE lecture series: Hossein Derakhshan

 We are pleased to announce that Hossein Derakhshan is going to join us for a guest lecture on March 4.

The Web We Have To Save

The Web, as envisaged by its inventors, is founded on the idea of Hyperlink. Derived from the notion of hypertext in literary theory, hyperlink is a relation rather than an object. It is a system of connections that connects distant pieces of text, resulting in a non-linear, open, active, and diverse space we call the world wide web.

But in the past few years, and with the rise of closed social networks, the hyperlink and thereby the web are in serious decline. Most social networks have created a closed, linear, sequential, passive, and homogenous space where users are encouraged to stay in all the time — a space that is more like television.

The web was imagined as an intellectual project that promoted knowledge, debate, and tolerance; as something I call books-internet. Now it has become more about entertainment and commerce; I call this tv-internet. (This is extensively articulated in ‘The Web We Have to Save‘ published in July 2015 by Matter magazine.)

Hossein Derakhshan

Hossein Derakhshan is a Canadian-Iranian author, journalist, and analyst. A pioneer of blogging in Iran, he spent six years in prison in Iran from 2008. He is the author of The Web We Have to Save (Matter, July 2015) and the creator of Link-age, an art project to promote an open and diverse internet. He shares his thoughts on Iran, media, and technology on Twitter (@h0d3r) and at hoder.ir.

March 4 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm |Elab, room 0.16 | Turfdraagsterpad 9, 1012 XT Amsterdam

DATACTIVE lecture series: Dr. Elena Pavan

We were very happy to host Dr. Elena Pavan (University of Trento/Scuola Normale Superiore) for a special lecture on social network analysis in January. The lecture inaugurated the DATACTIVE Methods Workshop, which will run from February to May 2016. Elena gave an introduction to network analysis.Find more about Elena following this link.

Below you will find the slides to her talk.


DATACTIVE lecture series: Jeremy Shtern

We are very happy to announce that Jeremy Shtern will be giving a special lecture as part of our DATACTIVE Speaker Series.

Better than Random: The Chance For Democratic Governance of the Advertising Supported Internet

This talk presents and reflects on results of a Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) funded study of the relationships between internet users, social media firms and the advertising industry. It will reflect on the internet governance implications and activist agenda linked to the emergence of data-driven social media advertising. It will make the case for internet governance discussions to start paying more attention to the fact that advertising- historically a crucial policy agenda for governing electronic communication- is fundamentally shaping user experiences online and sponsoring the architecture of most public internet communication. It will also be argued that there are important overlaps between state and commercial surveillance and privacy issues as well as separate, important advocacy questions in the commercial space.

Jeremy Shtern is an assistant professor and founding faculty member in the School of Creative Industries at Ryerson University in Toronto. He directs Ryerson’s Global Communication Governance Lab.  His research and teaching focuses on the structure and governance of communication industries and creative work as they reorganize around digital technologies and globalization.

February 17, 4 pm – 5 pm

University of Amsterdam
Department of Media Studies
Turfdraagsterpad 9
1012 XT Amsterdam
room 0.16