Digital Methods Summer School 2020

Digital Methods Summer School 2020

29 June - 3 July 2020 

 

Online via Zoom

Summer school theme

Social media manipulation: from artificial amplification to inauthentic behaviour

Social media platform rationales for demonetising and deplatforming — terms for removing and downgrading an individual account or content — are evolving, as are the cultural debates, across North America and Europe, concerning their desirability and efficacy compared, for example, to ‘counter-speech’ or responding rather than banning. This year’s Summer School reflects upon what counts as artificial amplification, inauthentic behaviour, organised hate, a dangerous individual and other categories of accounts and content that have been put into play to justify take downs. It seeks to develop research protocols to study removals and the politics of deletion and delisting. Specifically, it strives to organise projects that critically assess content review and moderation across platform types that result in removal or down listing. It also examines alternatives to removal, such as Wikipedia's flame retardation strategy for dealing with trolls, and introduces means to study them, too.

Digital Methods Intiative

Information

For all details about this Summer Course, please visit the Digital Methods website below. 

Instructions, project descriptions and welcome package (as they become available)

Summer school philosophy

The Digital Methods Summer School is exploratory and experimental. It is not a setting for ‘just’ tool training or for principally tool-driven research. Substantive research projects are conceived and carried out. Participants are encouraged to ‘span time with their issue’ and the materials. In other words, we heed Alexander Galloway’s admonition about data and tool-driven work: “Those who were formerly scholars or experts in a certain area are now recast as mere tool users beholden to the affordances of the tool — while students spend ever more time mastering menus and buttons, becoming literate in a digital device rather than a literary corpus.”[1] We encourage device and corpus literacy! The device training we ask you to do prior to the Summer School through online tutorials, and at the Summer School itself, in a kind of flipped learning environment (if you'll excuse the overused phrase), we would like to believe that you have familiarised yourself already with the tools (and are driven, to complete the thought). During the Summer School we will discuss and tinker with the nitty-gritty, aim to invent new methods, techniques and heuristics and create the first iterations of compelling work to be shared.

[1] Alexander Galloway (2014)." The Cybernetic Hypothesis," Differences. 25(1):107-131. See page 127.


About the Summer School

The Digital Methods Summer School, founded in 2007 together with the Digital Methods Initiative, is directed by Professor Richard Rogers, Chair in New Media & Digital Culture and Department Chair at Media Studies, University of Amsterdam. The Summer School is one training opportunity provided by the Digital Methods Initiative (DMI). DMI also has a Winter School, held the first week of January. Both Schools have a technical staff as well as a design staff, drawn from the ranks of Density Design in Milan. The Schools also rely on a technical infrastructure of servers hosting tools and storing data. 

In a culture of experimentation and skill-sharing, participants bring or log on with their laptops, learn method, undertake research projects, make reports, tools and graphics and write them up on the Digital Methods wiki. The Summer School concludes with final presentations. Often there are subject matter experts from non-governmental or other organizations who present their analytical needs and issues at the outset and the projects seek to meet those needs, however indirectly.

Please see previous Digital Methods Summer Schools, 2007-2019, https://wiki.digitalmethods.net/Dmi/DmiSummerSchool. See also previous Digital Methods Winter Schools, 2009-2020, https://wiki.digitalmethods.net/Dmi/WinterSchool.

The Digital Methods Initiative was founded with a grant from the Piet Mondriaan Foundation, the public cultural funding organization. The Digital Methods Summer and Winter Schools are self-sustaining.

Credits and completion certificate

6 ECTS are granted to participants who follow the Summer School program, and complete a significant contribution to a Summer School project (evidenced by co-authorship of the project reports as well as final (joint) presentations.) Templates for the project report as well as for the presentation slides are supplied. Certificates of completion are also available to all participants.

Course information:

  • Dates: 29 June - 3 July 2020
  • Tuition fee: € 395
  • Registration deadline: 26 June 2020
  • Academic director: Richard Rogers
  • Organizers: Guillén Torres, Esther Weltevrede
  • Academic level: all graduate levels - Master's, PhD candidates and professionals/scholars
  • Credits: 6 ECTS 
  • Field of study: New Media and Digital Culture
  • Location: Online via Zoom. Faculty of Humanities, Media Studies, Turfdraagsterpad 9, 1012 XT Amsterdam, the Netherlands
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