The Algorithmic Configurations of Sexuality
Algorithms have become significant shapers of the way sexuality is searched for and found on social media. In the online world, behavioral data speak for a person, instead of a person speaking for him/herself (Cheney-Lippold, 2017). This webinar examines how gendered content and sexual classifications on social media are algorithmically aggregated and processed to regulate the sexual “encounters” of users. Rebecca Saunders introduces the concept of sexual datafication in relation to digital pornographic culture, exploring how to conceptualize desire as data impact on dominant ideas of what sex should involve. Tianyang Zhou focuses on short videos featuring same-sex couples on Douyin/TikTok, arguing how a form of cruel optimism of gay visibility on being recognized in algorithmic systems emerges. Shuaishuai Wang examines HIV/AIDS-related content on the Chinese Q&A site Zhihu, shedding light on how recommendations by algorithms structure the media experience of gay men living with HIV.
Sharing Financial Intelligence Across Borders by FIUs
This webinar discusses how Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) coordinate their operations across distance and difference. FIUs play a pivotal role in financial surveillance. They receive transaction information from commercial actors, mediate this into intelligence, and disseminate it to other security actors. FIUs need to cooperate to follow money trails across borders. However, in practice, they are considerably different organizations adapted to their national environments. This webinar asks how FIUs negate their differences, coordinate their activities, and exchange financial intelligence across the globe. This webinar is the second webinar of the series Money as Security Data: Surveillance, Intelligence Evidence. The series explores ways in which ‘money’ has become security data in the practices of counter-terrorism financing. We show, discuss and critique the digital cultures of financial surveillance and ways in which mundane financial transactions are analyzed, identified, and shared. We discuss how mundane transaction data become understood as ‘intelligence’ that is shared internationally in the context of investigations. We explore how transaction data have the capacity to function as ‘evidence’ before a court of law.
Cultural Diversity Policy in the Age of Global Digital Media
How does the global digital media landscape, populated by multinational subscription video-on-demand providers (SVOD) such as Netflix, challenge local cultural policy regulators and content producers? In this webinar, we will take a close look at the Netherlands and its increasingly important role in the EU-wide regulation of video-on-demand providers in the context of the amended Audiovisual Media Services Directive. Through our speakers, we will get an understanding of the interplay of differing interests at a national and regional level from legal, policy, and production perspectives.
What impact does the changing labour market have on specialists?
What will car mechanics do once everyone is driving an electric vehicle? And how are watchmakers doing now that people mostly wear smartwatches? Social developments are changing the demand for labour. Sociologist Thijs Bol will be studying the impact this changing labour market has on people with specialist training. Will they be hit harder if their professions disappear or skill requirements change?
With these reforms the EU could rebuild public support
Through its Green Deal the EU seeks a transition towards sustainable agriculture. This includes measures to reduce the risk and use of pesticides by 50% by 2030. Public support for these measures is crucial, but has been damaged in the last decade. In a unique experiment in six European countries, researchers tested how decision-making procedures could be reformed to rebuild public support. The authors identify three promising reforms: post-authorisation monitoring and review, inclusion of all relevant scientific studies in risk assessments, and considering the effects on small and organic farmers.
P(R)OTESTAS: The Politics and Aesthetics of Digital Authoritarianism and Protest in the Global South
P(R)OTESTAS is a transdisciplinary, trans-Pacific comparative research of protest, power, and digital authoritarianism, focused on the recent massive anti-government protests and hard-handed repression in South-East Asia and Latin America. Addressing the increasing digitization of protest and policing across the Global South – and taking into account the shift from street manifestations of protest and authoritarian actions to the digital sphere – our research’s main scope is the cultural-political content produced and distributed in the latter realm. We trace how both activists and state actors produce, share, and re-use multi-mediated political messages on digital platforms. What kind of discursive and visual counternarratives arise, and what broader repertoires do they draw on? In addition, we investigate when and how the state seeks to intervene in or control the digital sphere. What are the consequences of such digital authoritarian measures for protest, and how do activists respond? In our roundtable, the project’s researchers – Julienne Weegels, Yatun Sastramidjaja, and Luisa González Valencia – will present the theoretical and empirical outlines and key objectives of the P(R)OTESTAS project. In doing so, Yatun will present the project's objectives and her analysis of cyber-troops and cyber-struggles in Indonesia. Luisa will then present her analysis of viral video's produced by and about the Colombian police in the context of the current Colombian protests, and Julienne Weegels will close the session by addressing the sensorial qualities of online co-presence and witnessing and its ramifications for the meme-ification and memorialization of Nicaragua's protests. Together these cases illustrate how the socio-technological affordances of the digital realm inflect the politics and aesthetics of authoritarianism and protest.
Fundamental change in financial power structures
Never before has the international network of global business been mapped out in such detail as it has been by researchers from the University of Amsterdam over the past 7 years. Their network analysis of 200 million companies gives us insight into how financial power has shifted in recent years. ‘There are two sides to the current structure. A lot of power is concentrated, but there also seems to be some momentum for sustainable change', says lead researcher Eelke Heemskerk.