Mediatized Politics

Platformization of political communication introduced a number of changes to the domain of politics. As legacy media get incapsulated within online ecosystems, the boundaries between identities, norms, and roles get increasingly blurred. Platforms structure, standardize, and radically simplify our online interactions, making the public sphere vulnerable to a variety of automated and orchestrated interventions, which may produce surrogate versions of ‘the social’. In the past few years, major national elections around the world saw external actors seeking to influence the course of election campaigning online. One of the main tools for interference that researchers have pointed to is the use of automated and semi-automated accounts – i.e., bots. [Read more]

Mediatized Warfare

Mediatization, defined as a deepening interrelationship between digital media and society, engenders higher-order processes of societal transformation. These processes predicate the emergence of hybrid social domains, reflexively connected through their reliance on digital technologies. Mediatized warfare is one such hybrid domain – present-day digital media inevitably shape individual and public perceptions of wartime realities, whereby civilian actors can participate in sociotechnical networks surrounding military conflicts, altering public perceptions of war. My research presents a social inquiry into mediatized warfare: setting digitally-networked activism against the backdrop of a military conflict, I explore people’s practices in mobilizing grassroots resistance against a military threat. [Read more]

Mediatized Migration

Digital media foster an emergence of a new type of connectivity that transcends geographic constraints and affords multi-territorial engagements.  Creating discursive spaces for grassroots activism, digital media have reconfigured the ways in which people connect with each other and with their communities near and far. Datafied traces of online behavior turn digital media into an empirical site of studying transnational actors – in my research, I systematically investigate the ways in which diasporas are mobilized to provide direct humanitarian aid to their country of origin. I also use infrastructure ethnography to study the role of digital media in the emergence of networked publics that drive maternity tourism to the United States. [Read more]

Data Colonialism

The abundance of trace data enables “back-end” construction and categorization of knowledge, predicating new power regimes that operate through digital instruments. In this line of research, I apply critical theory to understand the social implications of algorithmic governance. My specific interest lies in researching the emerging domain of data colonialism – particularly the processes that underlie the production of “calculated publics” aiming to manipulate the behavior of individuals and groups that leave datafied traces online. Following recent work from Couldry and Mejias (2018), Halavais (2018) and Noble (2018), I seek to illuminate the profound and disturbing implications of algorithmic personalization of search engine results in non-Western contexts. [Read more]