We Are Data

Small Assignment:

Issues with Data Driven Decision-Making & Content Moderation

Goal:

The goal of this assignment is to have you think about issues of moderation, policing, and subversion in relation to visual media and memetic behaviors.

Task:

Consider embedded politics from a meme on Know Your Meme: https://knowyourmeme.com.

 

Your task is to pick one meme which contains embedded politics. “Politics” can mean election politics, policy, subversive content, power dynamics, demographic issues, etc. Most things can be considered political. Your analysis first requires you justify the political aspects of the image. Then, you may analyze one of two things:

1. How the meme could be datafied, survielled, policed, and the ethical implications of doing so. You can do this from the perspective of a platform, a moderator, or a governing instituion.

2. Explaining the ethical implications of the meme itself through datafied references to the images. In doing this, explain the limitations to the way in which you have datafied the document. (e.g. are you using inductive generalizations? Who has agency in your argument? Are these known, or assumed?)

NOTICE: Do not pick Pepe! I want you to explore a meme you have not read an analysis on already.

 

Importantly, I am not asking you to pick an image; I am asking you to pick a meme (i.e. a set of images with observable similarities). Examine at least six images of the meme you have chosen. You may also draw on the historical and contextual information on the page. Drawing on concepts discussed in this module of the course consider the implications of data-driven decision-making l on the ways the candidate is communicating with voters (or not communicating with them). You may also include other concepts from previous modules such as We Are Data and Artificial Unintelligence, affordances, encoding/decoding, etc. In fact, your choice of “political” may require you do so. However your grade requires you to discuss content from this module.

Requirements:

l Maximum of 1000 words.

l There must be a brief introduction and conclusion.

l There must be a thesis statement at the end of the introduction.

l The body of the critical essay must support the thesis statement with examples and explanations.

l Briefly describe the the contents of the meme and how it is political.

l You must engage and reference articles from this module.

l Define and explain the concepts you use to make your argument. (Remember to cite them.)

l Use APA citation style and include a bibliography. You also should either cite the meme or include the URL to the Know Your Meme entry of which you are referring to.

l Include the 6 images you analyze either in the document or in an appendix at the end.

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