AoIR Flashpoint Symposia

The Association of Internet Researchers announces our first one-day Symposium, 24 June 2019, Urbino, Italy.  Registration for the symposium is now open!

Below the Radar:
Private Groups, Locked Platforms and Ephemeral Content

Permanence, replicability, scalability and searchability: these four affordances properties of networked publics have become foundational to how scholars think about internet content (boyd 2008).

Ten years later, these affordances still apply to much of the content produced and circulated within social media. However, online spaces seem to be heading towards a more circumscribed and unsteady form of publicness, as materials are less permanent, less searchable, and, for researchers, more difficult to scale and replicate (e.g.: closed Facebook groups, Whatsapp group chats, Telegram channels, and the ephemeral contents of Snapchat and Instagram Stories). Along with recent platform “lockdowns” that have led some authors to talk about a “post API era”, this trend toward reduced access to online materials points out the need to discuss the impacts of these transformations on the future of internet studies.

The first AoIR Flashpoint Symposium seeks to investigate platform-driven changes and emergent practices of everyday-life content production occurring “below the radar”, or outside of previous standards of visibility and accessibility, thus calling into question theoretical, methodological and ethical developments in internet studies.

The #AoIR Flashpoint Symposium 2019 welcomes contributions that address these themes, including but not limited to the following questions:

  • How do ethnographic and qualitative methods allow us to study such spaces?
  • How have quantitative methods been utilized to study these environments – and with the closure of APIs, what new methods have emerged?
  • To what extent, and for whom, is scraping viable in a “post-API era”?
  • What ethical questions arise in relation to inclusion in semi-private spheres?
  • How do these spheres specify and connect to public discourse?
  • How might we approach questions of data validity and representativeness even as it becomes increasingly difficult to define the target universe of these conversations?

Submissions are due by 20 February 2019

Proposals for papers and/or posters should be in the form of a title and 500 word abstract. Please include information on authors, institutions, and titles (these will be removed for the blind review process). Submissions are due by 20 February 2019.

All submissions should be emailed to:
symposiasubmissions @ aoir [dot ] org

Registration for the symposium is now open!

Please visit this Urbino Symposium webpage for the most current information. 

Please email symposia @ aoir [dot] org with any questions.

Location
Università di Urbino Carlo Bo
Room D1 – Palazzo Volponi
Via Saffi 15 – 61029
URBINO (PU)
Italy

Key Dates
20 February 2019 – Submissions Due
10 March 2019 – Notification of Acceptances
1 April 2019 – Full Symposia Program Available
24 June 2019 – AoIR Symposium