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How is racist propaganda changing with the development of digital media technologies?
The following two speakers will be presenting their latest work on this issue:
  • Professor of Sociology, Jessie Daniels, Hunter College, NYC.
  • Research Assistant, Johan Farkas, ITU/University of Bergen.

Everyone is welcome, so please feel free to invite students. No registration required.
15 May 2017 // 13:00-14:00 // IT University Copenhagen - AUD 3 // Facebook event
Tweet Storm: The Rise of Trump, the Mainstreaming of White Nationalism & the Threat to Democracy (Jessie Daniels)
The election of Donald Trump as
President of the US followed an unprecedented campaign in which savvy white nationalists and members of the “alt-right” movement use culture jamming tactics on Facebook and Twitter to inject racist memes like #WhiteGenocide into popular political and cultural discussions. And, @realDonaldTrump retweets them all to his 24 million-plus followers. In response to this increased visibility and amplification of white nationalism in the mainstream of US political culture, white liberals express shock at what they perceive is a new development. While the Women’s March the day after Trump’s inauguration offered some hope for charting a different path, the fact remains that 53% of white women voted for him. In this engaging talk, Jessie Daniels draws on 20 years of research into the ways racism spreads on and offline to demonstrate that white supremacy is a real, and persistent, threat to democratic societies.

Disguised racist propaganda in digital media in Denmark (Johan Farkas)
Digital media platforms provide powerful new means of communication, also for those promoting racist worlviews. In this talk, Johan Farkas presents the results of his research on disguised racist propaganda in digital media. The presentation focuses on how cloaked Facebook pages as well as readers’ letters disguised as journalism have been tactically mobilised to strengthen and amplify existing racist discourses in Denmark.

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Latest DECIDIS research


#RIPINSTAGRAM: Examining user's counter-narratives opposing the introduction of algorithmic personalization on Instagram (Martina Skrubbeltrang Mahnke, IT University, together with Josefine Grunnert and Nicolai Traasdahl Tarp)
When Instagram announced the implementation of algorithmic personalization on their platform a heated debate arose. Several users expressed instantly their strong discontent under the hashtag #RIPINSTAGRAM. In this paper, we examine how users commented on the announcement of Instagram implementing algorithmic personalization. Drawing on the conceptual starting point of framing user comments as “counter-narratives” (Andrews, 2004), which oppose Instagram’s organizational narrative of improving the user experience, the study explores the main concerns users bring forth in greater detail. The two-step analysis draws on altogether 8,645 comments collected from Twitter and Instagram. The collected Twitter data were used to develop preliminary inductive categories describing users’ counter-narratives. Thereafter, we coded all Instagram data extracted from Instagram systematically in order to enhance, adjust and revise the preliminary categories. This inductive coding approach (Mayring, 2000) combined with an in-depth qualitative analysis resulted in the identification of the following four counter-narratives brought forth by users: 1) algorithmic hegemony; 2) violation of user autonomy; 3) prevalence of commercial interests; and 4) deification of mainstream. All of these counter-narratives are related to ongoing public debates regarding the social implications of algorithmic personalization. In conclusion, the paper suggests that the identified counter-narratives tell a story of resistance. While technological advancement is generally welcomed and celebrated, the findings of this study point towards a growing user resistance to algorithmic personalization.
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