Technology and Social Change




Re-examining 3 Key Assumptions


           By Evgeny Morozov
         @ World Skoll Foru...
Assumptions
                Assumptions



1. Data Will Organize Itself
2. Technology Will Democratize Our Public Sphere
3...
Assumption #1:




Data Will Organize Itself
Semantic Health Search: CureHunter
CureHunter.com - II
Hakia: Curated/Verified Health Search
Aggregation is cheap; curation isn't
Growing availability of user-contributed data
Predicting Epidemics with Flu Trends
Tracking Crime with WikiCrimes
Tracking Crises with WikiMapAid
Tracking Conflict with Ushahidi
Can We Trust User-Submitted Data?
Determining “trusted” content
Assumption # 2




Technology will democratize our public sphere
I. Does Internet Breed Polarization?
Shared National Experiences
“Shared National Experience”? No, thanks
Blogs add more value




       Ashley Esarey, based on 2006 data/500 blogs
II. Does Deliberation Come at the Cost of
               Participation?
Pajamahadeen vs Movement Builders
There's less politics online than we think
Deliberation vs Participation in the US


   Blog-readers: as polarized as US senators
  


 (more polarized than TV news...
III. Is New Media More Participatory
           and Democratic?
Anyone can contribute but not everyone
               does...

     Wikipedia: 1% of users responsible for half of the
 
...
Gameabiliy and astroturfing; notable
             clients
Masses vs Elites
Top political bloggers vs top columnists

    elite education: 66% of columnists vs 73 % of



    bloggers
    doctoral ...
Assumption # 3




Civil Society Will Flourish on the Web
Does technology erode state power?


“The role of the nation state will change
  dramatically and there will be no more ro...
1. Nationalists
2. Anti-vaccination


 2007 study by U of Toronto: 153 YouTube
videos about vaccination and immunization.

 More than half...
3. Corporations




Aggressive SEO/Removing Complaints
Online Doesn't Always Mean Louder
Politics of Censorship are Global




Censorship campaigns in UK, Australia, Canada
  give extra legitimacy to campaigns i...
Thailand: Crowdsourcing Censorship
Democratization of “cyber-attacks”

“Digital Refugees”
Exiled media from Burma
Russian LGBT online community+US
Dictators Don't Necessarily Hate the Web
“Spinternet” of China, Russia, Iran
China's 50 Cent Party (wumaodang)




            ~280,000 members

     Regular National/Local Trainings

   “Priority” S...
Russia: “New Media Stars” start-up
Iran: Spinning Religious Discourse

“Bureau for the Development of Religious Web
  Logs” established at the Religious Scho...
Thank you!

Email: evgeny.morozov@gmail.com
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Technology and Social Change: Re-Examining Key Assumptions

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Presentation on technology and social change by Evgeny Morozov at one of the thematic sessions at the Skoll World Forum 2009 in Oxford

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Technology and Social Change: Re-Examining Key Assumptions

  1. 1. Technology and Social Change Re-examining 3 Key Assumptions By Evgeny Morozov @ World Skoll Forum 2009
  2. 2. Assumptions Assumptions 1. Data Will Organize Itself 2. Technology Will Democratize Our Public Sphere 3. Civil Society Will Flourish on the Web
  3. 3. Assumption #1: Data Will Organize Itself
  4. 4. Semantic Health Search: CureHunter
  5. 5. CureHunter.com - II
  6. 6. Hakia: Curated/Verified Health Search
  7. 7. Aggregation is cheap; curation isn't
  8. 8. Growing availability of user-contributed data
  9. 9. Predicting Epidemics with Flu Trends
  10. 10. Tracking Crime with WikiCrimes
  11. 11. Tracking Crises with WikiMapAid
  12. 12. Tracking Conflict with Ushahidi
  13. 13. Can We Trust User-Submitted Data?
  14. 14. Determining “trusted” content
  15. 15. Assumption # 2 Technology will democratize our public sphere
  16. 16. I. Does Internet Breed Polarization?
  17. 17. Shared National Experiences
  18. 18. “Shared National Experience”? No, thanks
  19. 19. Blogs add more value Ashley Esarey, based on 2006 data/500 blogs
  20. 20. II. Does Deliberation Come at the Cost of Participation?
  21. 21. Pajamahadeen vs Movement Builders
  22. 22. There's less politics online than we think
  23. 23. Deliberation vs Participation in the US Blog-readers: as polarized as US senators  (more polarized than TV news audiences/non- blog readers) Cross-cutting exposure to blogs with  different ideological positions doesn't lower participation (especially on the left) Farrell et al. (2008)
  24. 24. III. Is New Media More Participatory and Democratic?
  25. 25. Anyone can contribute but not everyone does... Wikipedia: 1% of users responsible for half of the  site's edits Digg: top 100 users responsible for half of the  site's top stories 98% chance your submission won't make the  Digg frontpage today
  26. 26. Gameabiliy and astroturfing; notable clients
  27. 27. Masses vs Elites
  28. 28. Top political bloggers vs top columnists elite education: 66% of columnists vs 73 % of  bloggers doctoral degrees: 20% of columnists vs more  than 50% of bloggers columnists score better on gender/ethnic balance  Top bloggers far better educated than CEOs of  American companies Matthew Hindman, Myth of Digital Democracy (2009)
  29. 29. Assumption # 3 Civil Society Will Flourish on the Web
  30. 30. Does technology erode state power? “The role of the nation state will change dramatically and there will be no more room for nationalism than there is for smallpox...many of the values of a nation-state will give way to those of both larger and smaller electronic communities...” Being Digital (1996), Nicolas Negroponte
  31. 31. 1. Nationalists
  32. 32. 2. Anti-vaccination 2007 study by U of Toronto: 153 YouTube videos about vaccination and immunization. More than half of the videos portrayed vaccinations negatively or ambiguously. Of those videos, almost half contained messages that contradict the 2006 Canadian Immunization Guide
  33. 33. 3. Corporations Aggressive SEO/Removing Complaints
  34. 34. Online Doesn't Always Mean Louder
  35. 35. Politics of Censorship are Global Censorship campaigns in UK, Australia, Canada give extra legitimacy to campaigns in China, Thailand, Vietnam...
  36. 36. Thailand: Crowdsourcing Censorship
  37. 37. Democratization of “cyber-attacks” 
  38. 38. “Digital Refugees”
  39. 39. Exiled media from Burma
  40. 40. Russian LGBT online community+US
  41. 41. Dictators Don't Necessarily Hate the Web
  42. 42. “Spinternet” of China, Russia, Iran
  43. 43. China's 50 Cent Party (wumaodang) ~280,000 members Regular National/Local Trainings “Priority” Sites Required to Cooperate
  44. 44. Russia: “New Media Stars” start-up
  45. 45. Iran: Spinning Religious Discourse “Bureau for the Development of Religious Web Logs” established at the Religious School of Qom in 2006 350 teachers and clergy in Qom were trained, with at least 800 students Particular concern: blogging women
  46. 46. Thank you! Email: evgeny.morozov@gmail.com
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