Satellite Events for #AoIR2023

We are excited to welcome AoIR conference attendees to Pennsylvania in October 2023. In conjunction with the conference there are satellite events happening in the area.


The Post-API Conference: Social media data acquisition after Twitter

Sunday, October 22, 2023 (the day after AOIR ends)
Annenberg Public Policy Center
202 S 36th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
8:30am – 4:30pm

Organizing committee
Deen Freelon, University of Pennsylvania
Josephine Lukito, University of Texas at Austin
Bree McEwan, University of Toronto Mississauga
Josh Pasek, University of Michigan

If you use social media data in your research, you’re going to want to listen up, because we’ve reached a crisis point. Digital data access has survived in an uncomfortable and unpredictable flux for years, but the most recent wave of policy changes may well be existential. Consider the following developments from the past 12 months:

  • Elon Musk has eliminated free access to Twitter’s API, and the only academically useful paid tiers far exceed most researchers’ budgets.
  • Musk has also demanded that Decahose users delete all Twitter data acquired under previous agreements–whether this demand will be extended to Academic API users is currently unknown.
  • Reddit has denied access to its API for Pushshift, a popular service used by researchers to collect Reddit data. Popular Reddit app Apollo is facing API charges of $1.7M per month to continue operating.
  • TikTok released a new API for researchers, which among other things requires them “to regularly refresh TikTok Research API Data at least every fifteen (15) days, and delete data that is not available from the TikTok Research API at the time of each refresh.”
  • Crowdtangle, Meta’s researcher tool for acquiring data from Facebook and Instagram, still exists as of this writing. But rumors of its imminent demise have been reported in multiple reputable outlets.

If your research pipeline has been caught in the crossfire of these and similar developments, this one-day Post-API Conference is for you. We’re looking to convene some of the brightest minds working on these issues across disciplines to help identify the most viable solutions and alternatives.

To encourage informal conversation between participants, the conference will adopt a nontraditional structure. Participants will be organized into four informal plenary panels–two in the morning and two in the afternoon–each of which will begin with a series of four 5-minute lightning talks. However, most of the time will be spent in large-scale moderated discussions between participants and panelists.

Each of the four panels will focus on one of the following topics:

Gaps. What tools/software/workflows/perspectives are missing from our research toolkits? How can we stay nimble and responsive to a constantly changing data ecosystem?
Education. What tools/software/workflows/perspectives have you developed or used that you’d like to showcase? What broad types of education do people in this area need (e.g. does everyone need to learn to code)?
Storage and access. How can we overcome challenges in post-acquisition data storage and access, especially across institutions?
Ethics. What ethical considerations should we bear in mind as we plow forward? Would it be worth the effort to create a broad, interdisciplinary ethical framework?

Please send any questions to


CARGC Symposium
Turning Points: The Long 1990s in Internet History

October 16 & 17, 2023
Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication
Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

Organizing Committee:
Aswin Punathambekar, University of Pennsylvania
Jing Wang, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Kinjal Dave, University of Pennsylvania
Ignatius Suglo, University of Pennsylvania
Devo Probol, University of Pennsylvania

Turning Points examines critical moments that shaped the development of media in various parts of the world, circumstances and histories leading to these moments, and their impact on media development in subsequent periods. Steering clear of Anglophone, north-Atlantic media histories, this symposium returns to the ‘long 1990s’, a period defined by major political-economic, social, and cultural transformations across Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, we ask: what new histories of the internet emerge into view if we think from the moment of ‘reform’ and ‘economic liberalization’ in varied regional contexts? In what ways would our understanding of Internet histories and digital futures shift if we were to draw insights from media histories, practices, and environments from varied Global South contexts that do not or will not follow an easily comprehensible, linear path toward a seemingly inevitable digital horizon?

Program and Schedule
Monday, October 16
Plenary: Belatedly Global Internet Histories
Venue: Slought, 4017 Walnut St

4:00-4:15 pm Welcome and Opening Remarks

4:15-5:30 pm Belatedly Global Internet Histories
Armond Towns, Carleton University, “CLR James and the State Capitalist History of the Internet”
Paromita Vohra, Parodevi Pictures, “90s girls, Hinglish, Cybersex: In through TV out to the World Wide Web”
Moderator: Jing Wang, University of Wisconsin-Madison

5:30-6:30 pm Reception

Tuesday, October 17
The Long 1990s in Internet History

Venue: Agora at the Annenberg Public Policy Center, 202 S. 36th St + Annenberg Plaza Lobby, 3620 Walnut St

8:30-9:00 am Breakfast and Registration
9:00-9:15 am Welcome and Opening Remarks: Aswin Punathambekar, University of Pennsylvania
9:30 am-11:00 am Panel 1: In Other Times and Places
Douglas Wade-Brunton, University of the West Indies, “WOW! – It happened here: Infrastructure and the Trinidadian internet”
Geeta Patel, University of Virginia, “Analogue Currencies: Insuring the Netizen Right”
Hatim El-Hibri, George Mason University, “The Gulf War that Did Take Place: Liveness and the Problem of Network Formalism”
Marc Steinberg, Concordia University, “Japanese Convenience Stores as the Internet of the 1990s”
Moderator: Devo Probol, University of Pennsylvania

11:30 am-1:00 pm Panel 2: Imagining Communities
Madhavi Mallapragada, University of Texas at Austin, “ Belonging and Indian American Network Cultures”
Guobin Yang, University of Pennsylvania, “BBS and the Refashioning of Cultural Style”
Shaohua Guo, Carleton College, “Wenxuecity: Literary Roots of the Early Chinese Internet”
Anikó Imre, University of Southern California, “Telecottage in the Village: Postsocialist e-utopias of community and education in 1990s Hungary”
Moderator: Kinjal Dave, University of Pennsylvania

*** 1:00-2:00 pm: Lunch ***

2:15-3:30 pm: Panel 3: Textual Relays
Kevin Driscoll, University of Virginia, “Who owns your inbox: Portability and the commercialization of internet email”
Sandeep Mertia, University of Pennsylvania, “Satellite Data Links and Software Parks: Spatializing Former Futures of Computing in India”
Sara Mourad, American University of Beirut, “Mama Told Me Not to Chat With Strangers: Cruising mIRC in Beirut”
Florence Madenga, University of Pennsylvania, “Dear Comrades: Surviving and Owning Robert Mugabe on the Internet”
Moderator: Eszter Zimanyi, University of Pennsylvania

3:45-5:15 pm Panel 4: Network Dreams and Political Futures
Angela Xiao Wu, New York University, “Golden Bridge, E-government, and the Politics of Platforms in China”.
Anita Say Chan, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, “Of Metrics, Merit & Myth: The Bell Curve, Cognitive Elites and Techno-Eugenics in the Knowledge Economy”
Natalie Fenton, Goldsmiths University, “Traces of hope or trails of hopelessness: the protest and politics of Indymedia and the anti-globalisation movement”
Seyram Avle, University of Massachusetts Amherst, “From ‘unbreakable’ to ‘not innovative’: Mapping materialities and geopolitics with the Nokia 3310”
Moderator: Ignatius Suglo, University of Pennsylvania

5:15-5:30 pm Closing: What Next?

*** 5:30-7:00 pm: Reception (Annenberg Plaza Lobby, 3620 Walnut St) ***

Co-sponsors at the University of Pennsylvania
Annenberg Center for Collaborative Communication
Center on Digital Culture and Society
Center for Advanced Study of India
Center for Africana Studies
Center for East Asian Studies
Center for Latin American and Latinx Studies
Middle East Center

Registration for the CARGC Symposium is here