Gender, Race and Globally Networked White Supremacy

June 29, 2021, 11:00 – 13:00 BST

The event will be held at the Moore Auditorium at Royal Holloway Egham campus, and also on Teams.

Abstract

The 2010s saw a rise in violence inspired by globally networked advocates of white supremacist ideology. These assailants, almost all men, almost always white, find common cause with others through the social media platforms like Facebook or YouTube, as well as on more obscure platforms, such as Gab. Although misogyny and misogynoir are key elements of this ideology, there are white women and some men of colour who champion the cause of white supremacy. How can we make sense of all this? How have tech and media helped fuel this? What can we do about it now? In this engaging talk, Jessie Daniels draws on 25 years of research to explore these questions and point us toward a new understanding of globally networked white supremacy.

Bio

Jessie Daniels, PhD is an internationally recognized expert in Internet manifestations of gender and racism. She is the author of 6 books, including White Lies (Routledge, 1997) and Cyber Racism (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009), along with dozens of scholarly articles. Her latest book, Nice White Ladies (Oct. 12/Seal Press), has been described as an ‘important book’ for the current moment of racial reckoning. Forbes named her ‘one of 20 inspiring women to follow on twitter’. You can find her there as @Jessie NYC. She is a professor of sociology at Hunter College and the Graduate Centre, CUNY in New York City. And she is also affiliated at the Harvard Berkman Klein Centre (Faculty Associate) and the Oxford Internet Institute (Research Associate).

Video of the talk

Labour in China’s Digital Economy

June 22, 2021, 11:00 – 13:00

We invite you to join us in this live webinar on ‘Labour in China’s Digital Economy’. The programme includes presentations and discussions on the following topics:

11.00 – 11.05 INTRODUCTION

11.05 – 11.45 PART I: DISABLED WORKERS IN CHINA’S DATA LABELLING INDUSTRY

  • Enabled Technology and Disabled Workers (15m)
    HUANG Dan, PhD student, Department of Sociology, The University of Hong Kong
    Chris Smith, School of Business Management, RHUL

  • Disposable or Disabled Workers? (15m)
    XIA Bingqing, School of Communication, East China Normal University
    WU Tongyu, Department of Sociology, Zhejiang University

  • Commentaries and Discussion (10m)

11.45-12.25 PART II: COMMODIFICATION OF FREEDOM AND DEATH IN THE DIGITAL ECONOMY

  • How Do Gig workers Perceive Freedom? (15m)
    ZHOU Yang, Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept of Sociology, The University of Hong Kong
    WANG Ziyan, PhD graduate, Dept of Media and Communications, LSE

  • The Dead Labour of Post Life (15m)
    ZHANG Gehao, Faculty of Humanities and Art, Macau University of Science and Technology

  • Commentaries and Discussion (10m)

12.25 – 13.00 PART III: Open Discussion

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Panel Discussion: Artificial Intelligence and Ethics

May 25, 2021, 14:00 – 16:00

Joint event between DOS (Royal Holloway UoL) and IRC (Henley Business School)

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Prof Bernd Carsten Stahl, De Montfort University.

Intelligence for a Better Future – An Ecosystem Perspective on the Ethics of AI and Emerging Digital Technologies.

Smart information systems (SIS), those systems that incorporate artificial intelligence techniques, in particular machine learning and big data analytics, are widely expected to have a significant impact on our world. They raise significant hopes, as well as many ethical and social concerns, ranging from worries about biases and resulting discrimination to the distribution of socio-economic and political power and their impact on democracy. The presentation will suggest the metaphor of an ecosystem to understand these concerns, and discuss the implications of this metaphor for the evaluation of ethical issues of smart information systems and how these can inform recommendations for policymakers and other stakeholders.

The presentation is based on the material developed in a book with the same title, which is freely available from: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-3-030-69978-9

Panellists

Dr Mona Ashok (Henley Business School, Reading University): Ethical Framework for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies

Dr Robert Carolina (Information Security Group, RHUL): Responsibilities for AI actions

Dr Anabel Gutierrez (School of Business and Management, RHUL): The ethical narrative for AI adoption: An example from the food industry

Bios

Prof Susan Scott
Prof Bernd Carsten Stahl

Prof Bernd Carsten Stahl is Professor of Critical Research in Technology and Director of the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK (www.dmu.ac.uk/ccsr). His interests cover philosophical issues arising from the intersections of business, technology, and information. This includes ethical questions of current and emerging of ICTs, critical approaches to information systems and issues related to responsible research and innovation. He serves as Ethics Director of the EU Flagship Human Brain Project (www.humanbrainproject.eu), Coordinator of the EU project Shaping the ethical dimensions of information technologies – a European perspective (SHERPA; http://www.project-sherpa.eu) and is Co-PI (with Marina Jirotka, Oxford) and Director of the Observatory for Responsible Research and Innovation in ICT (www.orbit-rri.org).

Dr Mona Ashok

Dr Mona Ashok is a Lecturer in Operations Management at Henley Business School, UK. She has extensive industry experience, having worked at senior management level in global IT and BPO organisations, and Accounting firm. She has worked with customers in Asia, Australia, Europe and Northern America. Mona’s experience in Higher Education includes working with doctoral, post-experienced postgraduate and undergraduate programme members. Her professional and academic projects cover topics such as: process improvement, programme management, knowledge management, financial management, organisational transformation, and management consulting. She is a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (FHEA), member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, and a Certified Software Quality Analyst. She has successfully secured research funding, including for Knowledge Transfer Partnership projects, funded by InnovateUK.

Dr Robert Carolina

Dr Robert Carolina (B.A. Political Science, University of Dayton; Juris Doctor, Georgetown University; LL.M International Business Law, London School of Economics) is a Senior Fellow with the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway University of London. He has taught legal and regulatory aspects of cyber security for more than two decades. He is the author of the “Law and regulation knowledge area” in CyBOK: the Cybersecurity Body of Knowledge (www.cybok.org) a project sponsored by the UK government to draw together a baseline description of subjects for study by cybersecurity practitioners.

Robert is a lawyer (Solicitor, Senior Courts of England & Wales; Bar of the US Supreme Court) with long practice experience. Throughout his career he has focussed entirely on the application of law and regulation to emerging information and communications technologies. Robert currently acts as General Counsel to Internet Systems Consortium (operator of the Internet’s F-Root) and maintains a private practice with Origin Ltd in London.

Dr Anabel Gutierrez

Dr Anabel Gutierrez is a Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Royal Holloway University of London. Her research focuses on innovation and adoption of emerging technologies for the digital economy with a particular interest in data privacy concerns, use of data to understand consumer behaviour and how to improve data-driven decision-making. She is researching ethical considerations for digital collaboration and the use of cutting-edge technologies in the food sector as part of a working group at The Internet of Food Things Network Plus (https://www.foodchain.ac.uk). Anabel’s has collaborated in various initiatives with the industry to bring together research, teaching and practice. Currently, she is a member of the SAS UK & Ireland Academic Advisory Board, Co-Chair of the Digital Marketing and Analytics SIG at the Academy of Marketing and member of the International Editorial Review Board (IERB) of International Journal of Information Management (IJIM).

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Digital Displacement: How Digitalization Affects Industry Standards

18 March 2021 DOS Distinguished Speaker Lecture

Speaker: Prof Susan Scott, London School of Economics and Political Science

Prof. Susan Scott from LSE presents her recent work on how digitization affects the industry standards of the book publishing industry.

The development and deployment of digital initiatives is generating significant change within industries. Yet, we know little about what ongoing digitalization means for the primary (ISO) industry standards regulating core products. This motivates our field study which examines a well-established and much-used standard in the book publishing industry. We find that regular maintenance and systematic revisions to the standard do not suffice when the product that a standard regulates is digitized, generating challenges and tensions that significantly threaten its continued global robustness. This produces what we theorize as digital displacement, a process undermining the material capacity of a standard to effectively coordinate and regulate industry operations in the digital era.

About

Prof Susan Scott
Prof Susan Scott

Susan Scott is a Professor of Information Systems and Innovation in the Department of Management at The London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research on the digital transformation of work has three core themes: developing theoretical approaches that make a critical difference to our understanding of digital work; valuation practices and evaluative apparatus; information infrastructures, standards and the nature of data flows. Susan is currently Group Lead for the Information Systems and Innovation Faculty at the LSE. Her Masters teaching focuses on digital infrastructures and digital business strategy. On the PhD programme, she teaches core traditions and paradigms in information systems and organization studies. She has served on editorial boards including MISQ and ISR. Her background includes a BA in History and Politics (SOAS), an MSc in Analysis, Design and Management of Information Systems (LSE), and a PhD in Management Studies (University of Cambridge).

Professor Scott’s LSE web profile: https://www.lse.ac.uk/management/people/academic-staff/sscott

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What the online hate-sphere in India can teach us

25 February 2021 DOS Distinguished Speaker Lecture

Speaker: Prof Shakuntala Banaji, London School of Economics and Political Science

Is ‘social media hate’ something technology or tech policy can fix? Prof Banaji discusses violent misinformation and those who forward it.

Historically, mainstream media has been used to embed propaganda and ideological contentions that have led to pogroms, genocide and even the holocaust. As the spread of visual and verbal hate propaganda around Muslims and migrants and the domestication of new technologies is implicated in events such as discriminatory misinformation, lynching, mobs, the acquittal of guilty police murderers, mass shootings and movements against democracy, questions abound about the ways in which social media imaginaries of hate for the “other” form, circulate and proliferate. Is ‘social media hate’ something that technology alone can fix? Is it something that tech policies on acceptable speech can fix? Some scholars are content to assume that a few malign non-state actors are shaping a generally pro-democratic media and social media sphere. Others go further and accuse less digitally literate rural users and profit-oriented platforms of doing most damage. In examining assumptions about the role of platform technologies and media literacy in discrimination and violence targeted at minoritized groups, I will attempt to present a typology of contextually based social media misinformation circulating in India, and use examples from my recent research on cultures of Hindutva fascism to examine the kinds of conclusions that can be drawn about the psychosocial profile and milieu of those who make up, receive and forward violent and hateful misinformation and disinformation on and offline. The talk will close with policy and political suggestions aimed at intervention and prevention.

About

Shakuntala Banaji

Shakuntala Banaji is Professor of Media Culture and Social Change in the department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her current research addresses the intersection between socio-political contexts, media, identities and participation. She has led several large multi-country projects on young people, media, new technologies, schooling and democratic participation. She received one of the WhatsApp Misinformation and Social Science Research Awards for investigating the spread of mediated misinformation amongst publics in India (2018-2020). Her co-edited book Youth Active Citizenship Across Europe: Ethnographies of Participation was out with Palgrave in 2020, and she is co-authoring a new book on Social Media and Hate which is under contract with Routledge for publication in 2022.

Professor Banaji’s LSE web profile: https://www.lse.ac.uk/media-and-communications/people/academic-staff/shakuntala-banaji

Launch event of a new research cluster: Cybersecurity, Design and Human Behaviour

On 6 Nov 2020.

We are pleased to invite you to the launch of the new interdisciplinary research cluster as part of the Digital Organisation and Society research centre at Royal Holloway, University of London. Dr. Nisreen Ameen and Dr. Elizabeth Quaglia will be co-leading this new cluster, which seeks to link researchers across departments and schools. It will cover topics such as technology design and human interaction, security and privacy in the digital society, design narratives and narratives of security, user experience and advanced digital technologies, and accountability and ethics in the digital experience.

Programme

2pm Welcome by Dr. Nisreen Ameen, Dr. Elizabeth Quaglia and Prof. Gillian Symon

2.15pm Keynote by Prof. Jason Bennett Thatcher‬

Protecting a whale in a sea of fish: cybersecurity and top executives

2.45pm Keynote by Prof. Ivan Visconti

Blockchain Technology and Decentralized Contact Tracing: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

3:15pm-3:30pm Discussion and celebrations

Keynote Speakers

Professor Jason Bennett Thatcher

Professor Thatcher holds the Milton F. Stauffer Professorship in the Department of Management Information Systems at the Fox School of Business of Temple University. He also holds faculty appointments at the Technical University of Munich and the Information Technology University-Copenhagen. Jason studies individual decision-making, strategic alignment, and workforce issues as they relate to the effective and secure application of information technologies in organizations. His more recent projects direct attention to cybersecurity and social media. Jason’s work appears in journals such as MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Journal of Applied Psychology, and other outlets. Jason has published (or forthcoming) 20 papers in Financial Times 50 listed journals (about once a year) since earning his PhD and 10 in MISQ, placing him in the top 35 or so active researchers in the Information Systems discipline

Professor Ivan Visconti

Ivan Visconti is a full professor of Computer Science in the Computer and Electrical Engineering and Applied Mathematics Department of the University of Salerno. His research interests focus mainly on designing provably secure and private cryptographic protocols and securing blockchains and their applications. He is the scientific coordinator at the University of Salerno for the H2020 European project “PRIViLEDGE” (Privacy-Enhancing Cryptography in Distributed Ledgers). Very recently, motivated by the Covid-19 pandemic, he has shown how to use blockchain technology both to secure and to attack digital contact tracing systems. Currently he is serving as Senior Area Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security journal. Several of his results have been published in the most competitive conferences in cryptography and theoretical computer science (i.e., STOC, FOCS, CRYPTO, EUROCRYPT, TCC).

Online Research Seminar

8th July, Joint event DOS and College of Economics and Management, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (NUAA), China

Speakers: Prof Lianlian Song, Dr Zhitao Xu , Dr Weishan He

Organisers: Dr Ling Xiao and Prof Hari Harindranath

Bringing together lectures and researchers from RHUL and NUAA to discuss topics of mutual interest including multiple media marketing, smart logistics and remote teaching.  This is the beginning of a  process of developing a research and teaching relationship with NUAA, with whom SBM has now agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).  

Notes on Digital Activism

Dr Vera Hoelscher|Lecturer in Marketing| Royal Holloway School of Business and Management

On 19 February 2020, the DOS Research Centre organised a half-day event on Digital Activism. The purpose of the day was to learn about the nature and impact of digitally enabled and enhanced mobilisation for political, economic and social change, and how research and practice can learn from and support each other in this process.  The event brought together artists, academics and practitioners who gave short talks on pertinent issues.  Below we pick out the main themes emerging from the day.

The Requirement to Combine Digital and Physical Activism

We heard first from Janet Gunter who is co-founder of the Restart Project.   The Restart Project aims to help people in repairing their electronic devices as a correction to our throwaway culture and campaigns for legislation to force businesses to produce longer lasting tech.  Janet explained how the Restart Project built its own on-line network of activists which has proven very effective for coalition building, as an organising tool for activist events and for interaction with the public. However greater visibility can have its problems and can create passive involvement so Janet argued a combination of on-line and off-line interaction is required.  Similarly, Vera Hoelscher, lecturer in Marketing at Royal Holloway, discussed her research with digital activist networks in London which noted that entirely online activism leads to a craving for physical action while entirely physical activism can be constraining and claustrophobic, therefore arguing for the qualitatively-distinct benefits of communicating in both physical and digital spaces for activist organizations.   

Innovative Ways of Giving Voice to the Invisible or Under-Represented

Kui Kihoro Mackay, PhD student in Politics at Royal Holloway, shared her experiences of #blacktwitterverse and #BlackJoy as spaces of radical resistance within the Twittersphere, demonstrating the potential for groups to appropriate the digital to counter oppression in their own terms.  Matthias Kispert, musician, artist and PhD student at the University of Westminster, demonstrated how he has used the accessibility of digital platforms to enable voice for casualised labour.  Matthias has co-produced videos with platform workers, and a number of other provocative art works that draw attention to workers’ labour conditions, demonstrating the power of the visual to bring home the activist message.  In a similar vein, Robbie Warrin discussed enabling creative ways for gigworkers to share their experiences and comment on their own lives.  Robbie and his colleagues are founders of the Invisible Worker Zine, which regularly asks for contributions from gig-economy workers that represent in narrative, poetical or visual form the everyday struggles of this fast-growing mode of working.   

Building Digital Picket Lines

This group of speakers sought to illustrate the role of the digital in supporting political action.  Torsten Geelan of the University of Leicester presented his research on the role of social media in the UCU pension debate in late 2019 (and still ongoing).  Drawing on their study which utilised data mining, Torsten argued that social media enabled mobilisation through “personalised collective action frames”, combining personal issues with collective action.  Relatedly, James Sloam, lecturer in Politics at Royal Holloway and author of Youthquake , discussed the distinctive features of online youth movements which work through authenticity rather than the bureaucratic control of traditional political parties.  Our final contributor, Mikko Laamanen, lecturer in Marketing at Royal Holloway, discussed the “F*ck off Google” (FOG) protest and its role in deterring the data giant from re-purposing an existing building in Kreuzberg, Germany, through online resistance, ‘noise events’ and local café-based actions.  On the basis of their investigations, Mikko and colleagues argue for a ‘cosmopolitan localism’ of activist movements, that is, a global networked sharing of knowledge and resources between place-based communities.

Overall, the day drew attention to the myriad approaches and concerns of digital activism, illustrating the many ways in which the digital can both enable activism and be a constraining factor.  An important discussion point that emerged from the day was how academics can best work with community activists, in particular through allowing their research to be guided by the needs of activist groups rather than seeking to impose their own research agendas.  Consequently, the DOS Research Centre will be organising further events that bring together practitioners, academics and members of the public to work on ways in which researchers can best support important social change in the digital sphere.


“Virtual PhD Conference”

5th May, 2020 DOS Conference

Organisers: Dr Nejmeh Hafezieh, Sarah Salahuddin, Shyam Krishna

An opportunity for PhD students to present a key aspect of their research to other students and academic staff and gain valuable feedback on their work.  Above all, during these unprecedented times, allows more active engagement with others in the PhD community at Royal Holloway for  community support.  Also an opportunity to learn new ways of engaging and using technologies that may soon become the new norm.  Mix of poster and seminar presentations from PhD students across all years of the PhD programme, feedback from diverse academic audience and a general question and answer session.