I’m pleased to announce that the special issue of Information, Communication & Society that features research from the 2016 annual conference of the Association of Internet Research (AoIR) has been published. I was privileged to co-edit the special issue with Koen Leurs of Utrecht University. Here’s the abstract from our (open) introduction to the special issue:

Marking a decade of exciting interdisciplinary internet research, this is the 10th Information, Communication and Society special issue that features research generated by the annual Association of Internet Research (AoIR) conferences. This issue consists of eight provocative articles selected from #AoIR2016, the 17th annual conference, held at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany from 5–8 October 2016. The #AoIR2016 conference theme Internet Rules! invited participants to address the complex interplay of digital technologies, business models and user practices. For some, the Internet rules! Others are ruled by the internet. Reflecting the emergent focus during the conference, this special issue addresses the Internet as a set of connected platforms that have various technical, social, cultural, political and figurative meanings, and seeks to understand rules as a set of normative values. Offering a primer on platform values, the contributions share a commitment to social justice, offer innovative theoretical interventions and empirically ground the workings of platform values from various scholarly perspectives. They show how normative digitally networked technologies are mutually shaped by top-down decisions such as the profit-oriented workings of algorithms that differentially value some users over others and bottom-up user practices that both sustain and subvert value-laden mechanisms.

The issue includes 8 exceptional and provocative papers:

A river by any other name: Ganga/Ganges and the postcolonial politics of knowledge on Wikipedia
Sangeet Kumar

Making sense? The structure and meanings of digital memetic nonsense
Yuval Katz & Limor Shipman

Gender and self-enterprise in the social media age: a digital double bind
Brooke Erin Duffy & Urszula Pruchniewska

Neoliberal gremlins? How a scheme to help disadvantaged young people thrive online fell short of its ambitions
Huw C. Davies, Rebecca Eynon & Sarah Wilkin

The dark side of online participation: exploring non-, passive and negative participation
Christoph Lutz & Christian Pieter Hoffmann

Platform labor: on the gendered and racialized exploitation of low-income service work in the ‘on-demand’ economy
Niels van Doorn

Analytics in action: users and predictive data in the neonatal intensive care unit
Claire Maiers

Platformed racism: the mediation and circulation of an Australian race-based controversy on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube
Ariadna Matamoros-Fernández

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