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Censorship creates discourse: the implications of banning political advertising

Censorship creates discourse: the implications of banning political advertising

Ayushi Arora (13237748, arora.ayushi@gmail.com) Thomas Ba (13286544, thomas.ba.7@outlook.it) Maurice Dharampal (10439250, maurice.dharampal@student.uva.nl) Alex Soete (13208918, alex.soete@gmail.com) Introduction Is free-speech under attack? Founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg has recently joined the head of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, in the...
Video Games as Infrastructures of Resistance

Video Games as Infrastructures of Resistance

This blog post covers a heavily understudied area of digital activism: online video games. With people in self-isolation and trapped in their houses for over half a year now, it is crucial that we recognize the creative ways people...

Fighting Fire with Fire: Can AI Prevent Calamitous Misuse of Deepfake?

Members: Neelesh Vasistha — neelesh.vasistha@student.uva.nl Sarah Burkhardt — sarah.burkhardt@student.uva.nl Wen Li — wen.li@student.uva.nl Sofia Rastelli — sofia.rastelli@student.uva.nl It is late evening on November 2nd, the night before U.S citizens will vote in a pivotal election. You’re sitting at home,...

Algorithmic Culture and Big Data: Spotify’s recommendation algorithm

Have you ever listened to music on Spotify and wondered how it is possible that the recommended music perfectly suits your personal taste and sometimes even introduces you to music you didn’t even know you enjoy? Most people don’t...
Draw me like one of your French boys

Draw me like one of your French boys

Activism against online sexual harassment As the digital era has made former consumers into prosumers; creating, editing, liking, disliking, saving and sharing content around the clock, life’s perks and detriments have mutated into the online realm too. With the...
A Digital Army in a Multidimensional Infowar: the QAnon hyperconspiracy, platform tribalism and beyond the reality principle

A Digital Army in a Multidimensional Infowar: the QAnon hyperconspiracy, platform tribalism and beyond the reality principle

Nothing is true, everything is possible Nothing is possible, everything is true. Using the technogenesis of QAnon as case study, we introduce hyperconspiracy as emergent and distributed new media object.
Is Performative Activism bad?

Is Performative Activism bad?

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the world listened to an ongoing battle of police brutality and racially motivated violence against black people. The video of police killing George Floyd went viral on Instagram and Twitter, followed by countless black squares...
Too young to vote, but not to like: is Matteo Salvini attempting to reach under-age youngsters on Tik Tok?

Too young to vote, but not to like: is Matteo Salvini attempting to reach under-age youngsters on Tik Tok?

Introduction Matteo Salvini, leader of the major Italian political party La Lega, with his 4,3 million likes on Facebook is one of most followed politicians in Italy. Last November he was the first (and so far the only) major...

Cloud computing: Shadow, the line between privacy and illegality

With the introduction of streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu or Disney+ a new era of  cloud computing emerged. After the already existing cloud storage services, for example GoogleDrive, you now too can stream your favorite films through the...
Leading the fight against coronavirus, the State…or Apple and Google?

Leading the fight against coronavirus, the State…or Apple and Google?

Figure one: Getty Images. TraceTogether Phone Image. 17 Apr. 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-52325352. In the month of March, as more than half the world’s population headed into lockdown, internet privacy campaigner Maciej Cegłowski released his relatively worryingly titled article “We Need...
Extend the Flawless Beauty: Facetune Video Further Goes against Beauty Activism

Extend the Flawless Beauty: Facetune Video Further Goes against Beauty Activism

With TikTok becoming increasingly popular in people’s daily life, such global prevalence of applications that focus on instant short video feeds indicates that people’s quest for a flawless face and a well-proportioned body shape no longer stops at still...

‘Reinventing the wheel’ – how online activism and e-bikes reduce the carbon footprint

Abstract: E-bikes are becoming an element of the clicktivism culture and by appearing eco-friendly they propose activist solutions to only a small group of people. This paper analyses the implications of e-bikes, how they help to develop a low-effort...
Arcturian Supernova: Hyper-real religions and the future of belief

Arcturian Supernova: Hyper-real religions and the future of belief

This entry aims to shine a light on hyper-real religions—digitally mediated religions that are born in a digital medium and aggregate pop-culture elements in their spiritual doctrines (Possamai). This will be done by presenting the “Artcturians” Facebook group as...
The Political Ecology of Spotify: How Streaming Takes A Toll On The Environment

The Political Ecology of Spotify: How Streaming Takes A Toll On The Environment

Digital music does not just appear out of thin air. While ostensibly immaterial, the energy used to transmit and stream music has a tangible, detrimental impact on the environment. In order to understand Spotify's role in eco-pollution and e-waste,...
Signal – Speaking with no one listening

Signal – Speaking with no one listening

Signal is a messaging app that has been around since 2013. It is said to be one of the most secure messaging apps on the market. Whistleblower Edward Snowden uses it daily and describes Signal as the safest messaging...
Live-Stream Shopping: The Future of E-Commerce?

Live-Stream Shopping: The Future of E-Commerce?

In the era of e-commerce, did you imagine that one day we can buy a Maserati, a house, or even a rocket launch service on our smartphones? Don’t be surprised. It is certainly happening on the live-stream shopping platforms...
Help the food delivery couriers out: would you like to wait 5 more minutes ?

Help the food delivery couriers out: would you like to wait 5 more minutes ?

The food delivery frenzy China has the largest food delivery services market in the world, which is expected to exceed 300 billion Yuan in 2020. The market is a duopoly, dominated by two platforms – Ele.me and Meituan, respectively owned...
We have Fans at Home: Artists x Twitch Streaming

We have Fans at Home: Artists x Twitch Streaming

Thanks to the pandemic, Artists on Twitch is an emerging subculture that utilises the platforms affordances to provide a candid intimated experience for fans, while being able to receive support simultaneously. As always, while individuals are creating content for...

TikTok, it’s Trump O’Clock: Discussing the Motivations Behind Banning Popular Platform

Abstract: Following the banning of TikTok on US-based online mobile app stores, I argue that, rather than privacy, TikTok is being banned because the platform threatens the Trump administration. It poses a threat since the app is not owned...
Don’t Leave the Light On: Visualizing Privacy in iOS14

Don’t Leave the Light On: Visualizing Privacy in iOS14

The iOS14 update offers new forms of visualizing privacy, through features such as the camera indicator light and (still forthcoming) opt-in tracking. Rather than put pressure on the developer, these features act to visualize the continued shift of power...
It’s a Small World – Oculus’ Quest 2 Redefine Distance

It’s a Small World – Oculus’ Quest 2 Redefine Distance

Oculus Quest 2, Facebook’s latest wireless Virtual Reality (VR) headset, was released in September 2020. Similar to its predecessor Oculus Quest, the gadget has been largely used for gaming, however this is not where the possibilities end. According to...
As Cookies Crumble, Publishers Come Out to Play

As Cookies Crumble, Publishers Come Out to Play

Introduction: In January 2020, Google announced that web browser Chrome would be dropping third-party cookies by 2022. According to Google, blocking third-party cookies is meant to “enhance privacy” for end-users and “to support publishers.”So, with the end of third-party...
“U can’t touch this!” – Does sense of touch is needed in online shopping experience?

“U can’t touch this!” – Does sense of touch is needed in online shopping experience?

In the last decade, consumer purchases behaviour has changed. The explosive growth of e-commerce generates the tendency to design immersive shopping environment. The most advanced interactive technology focuses on the visual improvement of cybershopping, such as creating a 3D...
“Encrypt your face”: protestors Signal digital data privacy fears with new face-blurring feature

“Encrypt your face”: protestors Signal digital data privacy fears with new face-blurring feature

In the wake of George Floyd’s death, protestors flocked to encrypted messaging application (“app”) Signal to plan events and share content. In response, a new tool was quickly released that allows faces to be blurred in photos. These events...