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The Problems with Gathering Data from Weibo

The second speaker on this AoIR 2015 session is QUT DMRC PhD researcher Jing Zeng, whose focus is on the challenges associated with accessing data from popular Chinese social media platform Weibo. Weibo, meaning 'micro-blog' in Chinese, is a Chinese take on social media services such as Twitter. Sina Weibo is now the most successful of such services in China, with several hundred million users now present on the site.

Using VPNs to Access the Internet from China

The next AoIR 2015 session I'm in has only two papers, as one speaker has dropped out at the last minute; the first speaker therefore is Fan Mai, whose focus is on the use of Virtual Private Networks and anonymising proxy servers in China. Some such servers are used especially by expatriates living in China, trying to access western media sites that are otherwise blocked.

Theorising Twitter Block Bots

The final speaker in this AoIR 2015 session is Stuart Geiger, whose interest is in the collective block lists on Twitter that are developed by anti-harassment communities. This bypasses or sits alongside Twitter's own, 'official' anti-harassment (and anti-spam, etc.) efforts.

Tweeting Styles of Candidate Accounts in US Gubernatorial Contests

The next speaker at AoIR 2015 is Sikana Tanupabrungsun, whose focus is on the use of Twitter by gubernatorial candidates in 36 state elections across the United States in 2014. The focus here is on @mentioning between candidates, and the analysis was conducted using automated content analysis approaches. This found that the most frequent mode of address was to attack other candidates.

What Twitter Fights Reveal about White Myopia

The next speaker in this AoIR 2015 session is Michael Humphrey, whose interest is in life stories in digital spaces. Today's talk is focussed on the idea of white privilege, however: this can also be understood through the language we use, which colours how we see the world around us. We look at life through many filters, and tell our story through these filters; some of us take an agentic approach to telling our stories (we are at the centre), while others take a more communal approach (we are part of a group).

#JeNeSuisPasCharlie: Critical Responses to the Charlie Hebdo Shooting

The first presenter at AoIR 2015 this morning is Fabio Giglietto, whose interest is in the Twitter response to the Charlie Hebdo attack. Very quickly, the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie emerged to express sympathy and support for the magazine; a negative #JeNeSuisPasCharlie also emerged, however, to critique the magazine's actions. Fabio's interest here is in how this hashtag was discursively positioned.

Understanding How Researchers Are Envisaging Big Data

The final presenter at AoIR 2015 today is Anissa Tanweer, whose interest is in the shift towards big data. This has been a major buzzword, and has enabled the rise of data science; her team has conducted an ethnography of the data science environment.

Defining Digital Humanities Scholarship

The next speaker at AoIR 2015 is Smiljana Antonijević, whose interest is in the emerging field of the digital humanities. How did this field come to be imagined? It's founding story is generally associated with the Jesuit priest Roberto Busa and his interest in using digital technologies for information management; this gradually developed into humanities computing or linguistic computing. The arrival of personal computing further broadened this, and the term digital humanities finally emerged in the mid-1990s.

Twitter and the Philae Comet Landing

Up next at AoIR 2015 is the fabulous Luca Rossi, whose interest is in how scientific media events are now mediated via Twitter. His focus here is on the Rosetta mission and the Philae probe's landing on comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The mission was launched before Twitter was, but the approach and landing of the probe was covered closely by dedicated Twitter accounts and in widely promoted hashtags like #WakeUpRosetta.

Scientists' Attitudes towards Data Sharing

The next session at AoIR 2015 is starting with Catherine Brooks, whose interest is in scientific collaboration: how do scientists organise themselves and manage their data? This is an increasingly crucial question in (big) data-enabled science. One problem is that of dark data – unused, overlooked, rejected data from past research projects, which could be placed on cloud-based storage platforms to make them useful again.

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