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    Book Review: This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality by Peter Pomerantsev

Book Review: This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality by Peter Pomerantsev

In This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality, Peter Pomerantsev takes readers on a gripping journey through the disinformation age, drawing on his own family history as well as encounters with numerous figures positioned on both sides of the information spectrum: those working to manipulate our perceptions and those engaged in the struggle for a more facts-based public sphere. Ignas […]

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    Tale of the converted: how complex social problems have made me question the use of data in driving impact

Tale of the converted: how complex social problems have made me question the use of data in driving impact

In practice the way in which research impacts and influences policy and society is often thought to be a rational, ordered and linear process. Whilst this might represent a ‘common sense’ understanding of research impact, in this cross-post John Burgoyne reflects on how upending the primacy of data and embracing complexity can lead to a more nuanced and effective […]

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    Book Review: Re-Engineering Humanity by Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger

Book Review: Re-Engineering Humanity by Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger

In Re-Engineering Humanity, Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger explore how the rise of new technologies and datafication grounded in machinic rationality risk conditioning humans to become more machinic-like in turn. As the book seeks to consider how the value of the human can be protected from the consequences of data creep, it will prompt readers to look at otherwise taken-for-granted technology practices differently, writes Ignas […]

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Is openness in AI research always the answer?

As research into AI has become more developed, so too has the understanding that AI research might be misused. Discussing OpenAI’s recent decision to withhold the source code for an algorithm designed to replicate handwriting, citing concerns for the public good, Gabrielle Samuel argues that blanket commitments to openness are insufficient to protect against the potential ‘dual-use’ of AI […]

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    Do social media companies undervalue the expertise of online communities?

Do social media companies undervalue the expertise of online communities?

Type vaccines into twitter and under a new initiative you will be prompted towards information supplied by expert institutions such as the NHS or US Department of Health and Human Services. However, by directing audiences to these sources, do social media companies overlook the important role played by online communities of lay experts? In this post Stefania Vicari explores […]

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    As schools become suffused with ed-tech, is the only response to constant surveillance the right to remain silent?

As schools become suffused with ed-tech, is the only response to constant surveillance the right to remain silent?

The growing prevalence of ed-tech in schools has prompted concerns over the ability of students (and parents) to develop informed decisions towards how, why, when and who uses school data. As technologies increasingly make record of students’ every word and move, Velislava Hillman asks whether the constant monitoring, micromanagement and data collection of students can guarantee a safe environment […]

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    Book Review: Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Umoja Noble

Book Review: Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Umoja Noble

In Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism, Safiya Umoja Noble draws on her research into algorithms and bias to show how online search results are far from neutral, but instead replicate and reinforce racist and sexist beliefs that reverberate in the societies in which search engines operate. This timely and important book sheds light on the ways that […]

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Rethinking the rights of children for the Internet Age

The internet is now 30 years old, making it the same age as the key formulation of children’s rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In the intervening years, our understanding of the transformative effects of the internet on both society and children have developed in tandem. In this post Sonia Livingstone outlines some of the […]

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    Our Profile(d) Selves: How social media platforms use data to tell us who we should be

Our Profile(d) Selves: How social media platforms use data to tell us who we should be

Social media platforms have become an everyday feature of modern life. One feature common to these platforms is the creation of a user profile. These profiles are vital for social media companies to make money from data analytics and targeted advertising. In this post, Lukasz Szulc explores how social media platforms translate this data-driven business model into the design […]

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This work by LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.