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Power to the People (or not?): Twitter allows its users to hide responses

Power to the People (or not?): Twitter allows its users to hide responses

In 1996 John P. Barlow wrote his piece ‘A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace’. In this text Barlow refers to cyberspace as a whole new world without government regulations nor limitations. Barlow addresses a world in which anyone...
Forest at Fingertips – Making Every day an Earth Day!

Forest at Fingertips – Making Every day an Earth Day!

I can still remember that my high school teacher drives us to the suburb on Arbor Day to plant a tree, spending all day long to teach students a lesson of the importance of environmental protection. We couldn’t imagine...

What’s in the box? Kiwibot and the platform economy

Cute white boxes ride around trendy city streets. A bespectacled young man orders a nice burger with his iPhone, sitting behind his space grey Macbook air. The new-age delivery men ride along on four wheels, delivering anything and everything...
Substack: Against the advertising model

Substack: Against the advertising model

In a world filled with advertising, there are platforms moving towards subscriptions. Amongst them newsletter service Substack. But what is wrong with admodels? And can platforms like Substack do without ad models?
Human Programmability and Happiness

Human Programmability and Happiness

Perception pushing art from Dries Verhoeven talks about pharmaceuticals and makes us question our humanity.
Keep Calm and Carry on

Keep Calm and Carry on

Digital media has provided our society with endless amounts of information and previously unimaginable connectivity; however, this comes with the cost of constant distractions that have become overwhelming to the everyday user. From texts, to emails, to push notifications...
Amazon Prime Air – convenience, surveillance and more from your “friendly” ecosystem

Amazon Prime Air – convenience, surveillance and more from your “friendly” ecosystem

“The pleasure of consumerism is so widespread that it is has reached the status of a universal human right” (Lovink 4). But for a right like that to exist, others had to fall – such as individual and collective...
Neuralink – Are Brain-Computer Interfaces leading us into a technological utopia?

Neuralink – Are Brain-Computer Interfaces leading us into a technological utopia?

Elon Musk did it again. In July 2019, the Tesla and SpaceX founder held a detailed presentation about his newest project called “Neuralink”. This startup has been developing a system that allows linking human brains directly to computers with...
Free Trial Surfing or how to reshape affordances through institutional legitimization

Free Trial Surfing or how to reshape affordances through institutional legitimization

DoNotPay is a company that announced a new app called ‘Free Trial Surfing’ which generates fake credit card details that users can use to sign up for free trials of (web) services without risking having to pay after the...

Responsible Tagging: Trampled Flowers and the Commodification of Your Footprint

Location sharing or ‘Geotagging’ has become a popular way for social media users to share their experiences and it has enabled new forms of communication. However, is it worth damaging fragile ecosystems and sacrificing personal location data? We’ve all...
Me, myself and my Apple Watch: how wearable tech is becoming our health assistant.

Me, myself and my Apple Watch: how wearable tech is becoming our health assistant.

Wearable devices that monitor our health are not exciting anymore, and one could even say they are mainstream. In fact, according to the research by Business Insider, more than 80% of respondents are willing to wear one (Phaneuf). Yet,...
Terrorism in the Digital Era: The Dark Side of Livestreaming, Online Content and Internet Subcultures

Terrorism in the Digital Era: The Dark Side of Livestreaming, Online Content and Internet Subcultures

In the space of 26 minutes on March 15th, 2019 Brenton Tarrant, a radical right-wing extremist, opened fire on two mosques in the city of Christchurch in New Zealand killing 51 people during New Zealand’s worst mass shooting in...
Beware of Stalkerware

Beware of Stalkerware

In our modern age as internet users, our data is constantly being collected and used, location services can easily track us, and websites monitor our presence online. We make ourselves vulnerable to location tracking, information gathering, and privacy infringement...
Bluetooth and Its Mutation Into a Surveillance Tool

Bluetooth and Its Mutation Into a Surveillance Tool

The almighty Facebook corporation has announced its entrance into the dating industry using bluetooth, facilitating the social network with yet another facet of user-generated data. In the past, this repurposing of the Bluetooth technology as an actor within the...
The Worrisome Biometrics: Deepfakes, ZAO and Privacy Issue

The Worrisome Biometrics: Deepfakes, ZAO and Privacy Issue

In early September, a face-swapping app called ZAO attracted universal attention in China. Using the technology of “Deepfakes”, it allows users to swap their faces into famous characters’ in the film and TV show clips. ZAO prevailed like the...
The Illusion of Choice: On the Datafication of User Interactivity in AI Storytelling

The Illusion of Choice: On the Datafication of User Interactivity in AI Storytelling

AI technologies have found their way to yet another field in the media landscape: film & television. While some claim AI technologies are revolutionising storytelling, others are critical of the implications involving user participation and interactivity. “The fascination with...
Build your own community on Discord

Build your own community on Discord

Initially meant as a platform for online gaming, text and voice chat app Discord has become much more than that. It allows for communities to sprout and conversations to spark. But where do we draw the line on the...
Neurchi d’algorithmes

Neurchi d’algorithmes

In 2017 Mark Zuckerberg decided that he wanted to help Nigerian women and reinvigorate Facebook’s business model. Somehow it triggered a renaissance in French memes.
United States of Facebook: new methods of online governance

United States of Facebook: new methods of online governance

As of June 2019, Facebook boasts almost 2.5 billion monthly active users (Company Info | Facebook Newsroom). If it were a country, Facebook would be the biggest in the world by a large margin. However, everybody knows that it...
CAN MUSIIO BURST THE SPOTIFYBUBBLE?

CAN MUSIIO BURST THE SPOTIFYBUBBLE?

In the ever-changing music industry offering the best discovery tools is key. A small start-up from Singapore called Musiio could be a serious rival to big player Spotify.
Amicus Instagram, sed magis amica veritas?

Amicus Instagram, sed magis amica veritas?

Last November, Instagram introduced a new functionality to its app, the “close friends” list (Constine). This feature was a years-late response to the rise of finstas, aka “fake instas”, private alternative accounts intended for a smaller audience than the...
Are you watching Netflix (or is it watching you)?

Are you watching Netflix (or is it watching you)?

Bandersnatch (2018), is the first release of an interactive film for adults on a platform (Netflix) where the viewers make decisions for the main character, taking control of the storyline. The question is: do we really monitor the characters’...
A.I. Influencers: Preaching to the Choir?

A.I. Influencers: Preaching to the Choir?

As virtual influencers are gaining popularity on social media platforms such as Instagram, an increasing amount of money is being invested into the development of so-called A.I. influencers. Will such influencers cause a shift in the relationship between different...
“Hey, Siri…”  “I am listening…”: Apple, Privacy & Siri

“Hey, Siri…” “I am listening…”: Apple, Privacy & Siri

Summer 2019 was quite eventful for virtual assistants across platforms. The big five all got exposed for recording their virtual assistant users’ audio, Apple among them. Such revelations prompt the prior mentioned company to at first temporarily suspend the...