#海外讲座直播# Datafication: Asking Big Questions to Big Data

Datafication: Asking Big Questions to Big Data

Data and metadata have become a regular currency for citizens to pay for their communication services and security—a tradeoff that has nestled into the comfort zone of most people. "Datafication" seems like a new scientific paradigm that opens up new venues for research, but it also raises  profound ontological, epistemological, and practical questions. Users of social media trust their personal information to corporate platforms.  This notion of trust is extended to other public institutions (e.g. academic research and law enforcement) that handle their (meta)data. The interlocking of government, business, and academia in the adaptation of datafication as a leading paradigm makes us want to look more critically at the entire ecosystem of connective media.

Speaker: José van Dijck is Professor of Comparative Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam, where she also served as the Dean of Humanities. She has a PhD from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and previously taught at the Universities of Groningen and Maastricht. Her visiting appointments include MIT, UC Santa Cruz, Concordia University Montreal, and the University of Technology, Sydney. Her work covers a wide range of topics in media theory, media technologies and cultural memory, social media, science and media, popularization of science and public debates, television and culture. She is the author of six books, three co-edited volumes and some one hundred articles. Her latest book, titled The Culture of Connectivity. A Critical History of Social Media, is published by Oxford University Press (2013). For more information, see http://home.medewerker.uva.nl/j.f.t.m.vandijck/

 

Notes:

Datafication: The transformation of everything into quantified (meta)data, transmitted online through social media and communication platforms, allowing for real time tracking and predicative analysis.

(V. Mayer- Schönberger and K. Cukier  Big Data, 2013)

Dataism: A collective belief in the quantification and potential tracking of all kinds of human behavior and sociality through online  media technologies.

Dataveillance: A form of continuous surveillance through the analysis of online (Meta)data collected from social media and communication platforms for unstated preset purpose.

Point:

1. People are not data, and data are not people.

2. Data mining. (Meta)data are not "raw" resource, but are generated and processed in specific context.

3. Life mining. (Extracting useful knowledge from the combined digital trails left behind) may trail a slippery slope between measuring, interpreting, projecting and intervening in online human behavior.

4. People tend to trust (the independence of ) data processing institutions, as well as the objectivity and integrity of their methods.

5.Governments, corporations and scientists have shared yet different interests in datafication and dataveillance at stake is the credibility of the system.

6.Data analysis required critical interrogation from various scholarly perspectives (qualitative and quantitative).

 

 


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