My Books

   

In Collections

Blogs

The Use of Open and Restricted VKontakte Groups by Russian Apartment Residents

The next speaker at Web Science 2016 is Ilya Musabirov, whose focus is on place-based communities online. The focus here is especially on VKontakte, the most popular social media platform in Russia, and on how residents in apartment buildings in St. Petersburg are using this platform. The main tool here are restricted-access groups, which require formal vetting by the group owner before access is granted (and during that process aspects like the applicant's apartment number may be checked).

What Twitter Can Tell Us about Attitudes towards Privacy in Qatar

Next in this Web Science 2016 session is Yelena Mejova, whose work examines how privacy is being discussed on social media in Qatar. Privacy has a number of definitions: the right to be left alone, right to intimacy, etc. But privacy is also defined differently in different regions of the world; the dominant western definitions of privacy may not align with definitions that are prevalent elsewhere, such as for example in the Gulf region.

Contradictions in U.K. and European eID Regulations

The next session at Web Science 2016 begins with Niko Tsakalakis, whose focus is on electronic identity. eIDs are a set of identifiers that set us apart from other people, and these can take a number of forms from software to hardware identifiers and biometric data. Such eIDs are now enshrined in a number of regulations at national levels, and also enable cross-border transactions across Europe.

Modelling Discrete Choice Problems

Post-lunch, the final day of Web Science 2016 continues with a keynote by Andrew Tomkins, whose focus is on the dynamics of choice in online environments. He begins by highlighting R. Duncan Luce's work, including his Axiom of Choice, but also points out the subsequent work that has further extended the methods for analysing discrete choice. Today, the most powerful models are mathematically complex and computationally intractable, as well as requiring sophisticated external representations of dependence.

From this work it has become clear that the Axiom of Choice holds only under relatively select conditions. Contextual data is of great importance here, and additional approaches to modelling general behaviour of discrete choice are required. The Randomised Utility Model, for instance, assigns a random utility value to each available choice, and in an ideal world users would then select the item with maximum utility; but because of existing preferences real-world users will deviate from such choices.

Factors Affecting the Success of Social Machines

The final speaker in this Web Science 2016 session is Clare Hooper, whose interest is in 'social machines' as defined by Tim Berners-Lee: systems were people do the creative work, and machines take care of the administration. Social machines will exist in the context of problems to be solved; they may be created by single stakeholders (as in the case of Galaxy Zoo), while others arise in a more emergent fashion (from online communities).

Modelling Convergent Social Tagging Processes

Next up at Web Science 2016 is Paul Seitlinger, whose interest is in social tagging practices. These provide a valuable insight into human cognition and offer an opportunity to validate lab-based models 'in the wild'. One key question in this is how semantic stabilisation, or consensual use of tags, comes into being. This is influenced by the interplay of both human and non-human actors.

Understanding Music Recommender Systems as Cultural Intermediaries

The next Web Science 2016 presenter is Jack Webster, who focusses on music recommender systems. Such recommender systems could generate filter bubbles, but that threat is nothing new; the cultural intermediaries described by Pierre Bourdieu fulfilled very similar roles and could have engendered very similar patterns.

Matching Diverse Web Taxonomies

The next session at Web Science 2016 starts with Natalia Boldyrev, whose focus is on Web taxonomies. There are a number of different approaches to taxonomies, from traditional librarian approaches to user-generated taxonomies, and from hierarchical catalogues of terms to unordered tag clouds. Such taxonomies are also culturally predicated: the taxonomy for football-related books in the German Amazon is much more detailed than it is in Amazon US, for instance.

Social Media from the Anthropologist's Perspective

The final day of Web Science 2016 starts with a keynote by Daniel Miller, who contributes an anthropologist's perspective to the conference. He notes that especially when it comes to the popular discussion of Web technologies such as social media, there are many spurious claims about how they change social interactions – and anthropologists are called upon to make sense of these claims. Anthropology, he notes, is in fact the study of people as social networks: we are all of us embedded in our social relations with others, and it is these relations that anthropology examines and analyses.

This enables a process of 'holistic contextualisation', which aims to examine comprehensively why people do what they do, online and offline. This studiously avoids any simplistic concentrations on online or offline activities, as people are almost always operating across both spaces. One core principle of this is the idea of 'polymedia', which builds on the fact that cost and access barriers to most media have decreased to the point that people no longer choose their media based on such factors, but instead on other – social and moral – considerations. (The moral judgment comes in as people assess others' uses of specific media: is it appropriate to break up a relationship via social media, for instance?)

How Facebook Uses Computational Processes to Police Its Ads

The final Web Science 2016 keynote for today is by Daniel Olmedilla, whose work at Facebook is to police the ads being posted on the site. Ads are the only part of Facebook where inherently unsolicited content is pushed to users, so the quality of those ads is crucial – users will want relevant and engaging content, while advertisers need to see a return on investment. Facebook itself must ensure that its business remains scalable and sustainable.

Key problem categories are legally prohibited content (e.g. ads for illegal drugs); shocking and scary content; sexually suggestive material; violent and confronting content; offensive before-and-after images; ads with inappropriate language; and images containing a large amount of text.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - blogs