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The Strawberry Dress, a VIRAL cure for the pandemic?

The Strawberry Dress, a VIRAL cure for the pandemic?

Amidst a pandemic, worldwide lockdowns, in time of sweatpants and cancelled galas how did a sweet $490 strawberry dress become “the dress of the summer”? An examination of the prolific spread of the strawberry dress and how ‘viral’ objects...
You Can See Me Naked (After the Paywall): How OnlyFans Transforms the Online Sex Industry

You Can See Me Naked (After the Paywall): How OnlyFans Transforms the Online Sex Industry

Whereas most social media platforms ban nudity – Instagram’s User Guidelines forbid posting pictures of women’s nipples, for example – the emergent platform OnlyFans runs on nakedness. By paying a monthly subscription fee, people can now see their favourite...
Health Code, a tool to tackle COVID-19 or automatize social control?

Health Code, a tool to tackle COVID-19 or automatize social control?

“Please show your Health Code.” A few months since the COVID-19 pandemic started, almost all public places in China have posted such requests at the entrances. Health Code, a color-based application, is rolled out to control people’s movements and...

AI comment moderation: Perspective API – a case study

With the increasing relevance of online social networking practices, forums of discussion have come to play a significant role in shaping the public opinion. Emerging from the panorama of Artificial intelligence employed to moderate online conversations is Perspective API,...
“I identify as a unicorn”- queering your augmented reality

“I identify as a unicorn”- queering your augmented reality

Last month, Amsterdam’s new museum for digital art Nxt Museum opened. In one of their first offered activities, you could follow a workshop by Jeremy Bailey in which you were invited to make face filters within the application Lens Studio. ...
Designing identities with Memojis – Apple’s animated avatars

Designing identities with Memojis – Apple’s animated avatars

Apple's new feature - Memoji - allows its users to design animated versions of their digital characters, which can be later shared with other iOS device owners. What does an introduction of this affordance entail for human practices of...
Co-star: Personalized astrology as a form of communication

Co-star: Personalized astrology as a form of communication

Astrology, the study of cosmic objects, human patterns and seasonal shifts, has been practiced for decades, predominantly in three different cultures, Western, Hindu, and Chinese. For some, it exists as a coping mechanism to cushion uncertainty. However, for others,...
“‘Making bag on OnlyFans!’ Gen Z & the mainstreaming of porn”

“‘Making bag on OnlyFans!’ Gen Z & the mainstreaming of porn”

One million bucks in one day or the story of porn becoming a legitimate career  “I made 12K in a month with OnlyFans” is the proud opening line to one of ShanghaiShawty’s YouTube videos, where she lets the users...
Why Venezuelans are ganging up on Old School Runescape to combat the effects of an economic crisis

Why Venezuelans are ganging up on Old School Runescape to combat the effects of an economic crisis

As the economic crisis gets worse, some Venezuelans look online to play video games. By selling the in-game gold for real life currency, they make a living. Recently, the Venezuelan players of Old School RuneScape have formed a big...
Deplatforming and the rise of the alt-tech video hosting platform BitChute in 2020.

Deplatforming and the rise of the alt-tech video hosting platform BitChute in 2020.

Since YouTube is actively deplatforming creators whose content violates their community guidelines, these creators migrate to alternative platforms. Their harmful and hate speech filled content find a new home on the alt-tech platform BitChute. This essay explores the relationship...
Ecosia, the search engine for a sustainable future

Ecosia, the search engine for a sustainable future

What is it ? And why is this so cool ?  Ecosia is a search engine, created by the German entrepreneur Christian Kroll in 2009 and was subsequently nominated the first B Corporation of the country. As a corporation this status...
How One Browser Extension Raises a Sword Against Fake News

How One Browser Extension Raises a Sword Against Fake News

Identifying media biases as a corrosive influence on the consumer, the browser extension TrustedNews aims to fight it at the point of delivery.
Covid-19 Contact Tracing Apps: a Threat or a Solution?

Covid-19 Contact Tracing Apps: a Threat or a Solution?

In the last few months, we have witnessed a new wave of technological innovations with the goal to help contain the Covid-19 pandemic, including contact tracing applications developed by numerous countries to track the contamination cases and help identify...
No card, No Phone, No problem! Alipay: Pay with your face,  A balance between convenience, security and privacy

No card, No Phone, No problem! Alipay: Pay with your face, A balance between convenience, security and privacy

Can you imagine that you are able to pay without mobile phones, bank cards, and cash? Alipay made it happen in 2017, and it provides the facial recognition payment that lets people make payments by scanning their faces. In...
Picturing visual search technology

Picturing visual search technology

Visual Search affords searching with images instead of words. How is this computer vision kind of technology used? Applications range from marketing, to car parts and health care. Debate arises on security and privacy issues.
Doctor Who? How the automation of healthcare, through smartphone apps and digital biomarkers, is reshaping our understanding of ‘health’.

Doctor Who? How the automation of healthcare, through smartphone apps and digital biomarkers, is reshaping our understanding of ‘health’.

For almost a century, our desire for automation has shaped the way we communicate, operate, and manage our lives, and now, it is shaping our understanding and relationship with healthcare. ‘Digital biomarkers’ are the new wave of big user-generated...
OnlyFans: The Digital World is Changing Intimacy

OnlyFans: The Digital World is Changing Intimacy

We are all somewhat familiar with online intimacy; couples who met on Tinder, friends who get freaky on Facetime, loved ones who connect on Zoom from across the globe. However, in the age of COVID-19 where social distancing...
Spotify Playlists Are The New Genre

Spotify Playlists Are The New Genre

When thinking of streaming music, Spotify will probably come to your mind immediately. The platform allows its users to browse for new music as well as it suggests new songs based on their listening behaviour. However, it seems that...
High Fidelity: 3D audio space as an antidote for Zoom-fatigue and a medium for organic interactions

High Fidelity: 3D audio space as an antidote for Zoom-fatigue and a medium for organic interactions

A virtual 3D audio space opens up a whole host of questions regarding high-level affordances. Can media such as this space afford something resembling natural communication? Has corona crisis changed the way we view new media objects and why...
Online Activism meets Digital Gaming: Protesters are now taking to the virtual streets

Online Activism meets Digital Gaming: Protesters are now taking to the virtual streets

Online activism has allowed for many positive changes to occur within socio-political sectors via social media campaigns and online petitions; now, digital gamers have taken an interest in activism. The innovative form of online protesting has caused quite a...
The Music Industry’s Latest Anti Capital-ist Movement: A New Form of Communicating Vulnerability and Authenticity

The Music Industry’s Latest Anti Capital-ist Movement: A New Form of Communicating Vulnerability and Authenticity

Minimalist typography has been an ongoing trend in online communities for many years, however, as shown by the recent incline in female artists releasing all-lowercase song titles, it has also been adopted into the music industry. The reasons for...
Supercell’s Brawl Stars; a step towards an ethical Freemium design in Mobile Gaming?

Supercell’s Brawl Stars; a step towards an ethical Freemium design in Mobile Gaming?

Supercell released their newest game, Brawl Stars, in December 2018. Its' business model marks a shift towards a more ethical design of Freemium games.
Letterboxd: A transformation of film criticism culture in the digital age

Letterboxd: A transformation of film criticism culture in the digital age

It’s 22:30 PM on a Friday night and you have just come out of the latest blockbuster that has been released in the cinema. Do you have to wait until tomorrow’s newspaper to read your favorite critic’s take on...
Smoke Signals: A technical and ideological response to U.S. surveillance in 2020

Smoke Signals: A technical and ideological response to U.S. surveillance in 2020

Americans have a lot to say in 2020, and protests are the chosen platform of the year. With race-fueled police brutality reaching peak heights, people are occupying space physically and vocally to say their piece in the Black Lives...