Publications

Parsing the Me in #MeToo: Sexual Harassment, Social Media, and Justice Infrastructures

India’s

We Don't Give a Second Thought Before Providing Our Information: Understanding Users' Perceptions of Information Collection by Apps in Urban Bangladesh

With a rapid increase in the use of digital technologies, people in the Global South including Bangladesh are exposed to a wide-range of smartphone applications (termed as apps in this paper), which offer a variety of features and services. However, privacy leakage through apps has increasingly become a major concern in Bangladesh, where the app collecting users' sensitive information without their consent was reported in news media for privacy violation. Our study with 32 participants from varying age, literacy level, and profession in Dhaka, Bangladesh unveils the perceptions of people around data collection and sharing by the app reported in privacy leakage news. All of our participants were aware of information leakage through the app they use, where they possess varying perceptions around providing personal information, like a sense of benefit, necessity and contribution, indifference, fear, or (no) authority over data collection. Our analysis reveals the relation between users' privacy perceptions, local infrastructure, and social practices in Bangladesh, where we identify the situated challenges that interfere with people’s understanding of privacy notice. Our results lead to a discussion on how people’s privacy perceptions are influenced by rapid urbanization and the opportunities offered by digitization in Bangladesh. Based on our findings, we provide recommendations to develop situated and sustainable strategies to enhance privacy awareness and practices in the social setting of Bangladesh, and Global South.

Speaking their Mind: Populist Style and Antagonistic Messaging in the Tweets of Donald Trump, Narendra Modi, Nigel Farage, and Geert Wilders

The authors in this study examined the function and public reception of critical tweeting in online campaigns of four nationalist populist politicians during major national election campaigns. Using a mix of qualitative coding and case study inductive methods, we analyzed the tweets of Narendra Modi, Nigel Farage, Donald Trump, and Geert Wilders before the 2014 Indian general elections, the 2016 UK Brexit referendum, the 2016 US presidential election, and the 2017 Dutch general election, respectively. Our data show that Trump is a consistent outlier in terms of using critical language on Twitter when compared to Wilders, Farage, and Modi, but that all four leaders show significant investment in various forms of antagonistic messaging including personal insults, sarcasm, and labeling, and that these are rewarded online by higher retweet rates. Building on the work of Murray Edelman and his notion of a political spectacle, we examined Twitter as a performative space for critical rhetoric within the frame of nationalist politics. We found that cultural and political differences among the four settings also impact how each politician employs these tactics. Our work proposes that studies of social media spaces need to bring normative questions into traditional notions of collaboration. As we show here, political actors may benefit from in-group coalescence around antagonistic messaging, which while serving as a call to arms for online collaboration for those ideologically aligned, may on a societal level lead to greater polarization.

An Accessibility Infrastructure for the Global South

We propose an "accessibility infrastructure" view to understanding accessibility in real-world settings for people with visual impairments in the Global South. We study six cities — Blantyre, Freetown, Kigali, Mumbai, San Jose, and Seoul — all major cities from signatory nations of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Using mixed methods including a survey of 219 respondents and 59 in-depth interviews, we examine the gap between the policy promise of technological accessibility and existing social and economic infrastructure. We examine the idea of accessibility infrastructure and specifically focus on its social components through two factors — stigma related to disability, and the community around technology users — both of which emerge as important factors in enabling or excluding AT use. We propose that efforts around accessibility, particularly in the post-CRPD global awareness need to closely examine the reasons behind the gaps between the technological capabilities, and the real world possibilities for people with visual impairments where a social infrastructure provides a major barrier to meaningful accessibility.