“Kamal Shaqi”: Islamophobia, online bots, and 
Twitter’s focused attack on the left

ABSTRACT

In the summer of 2014, renowned American Indian studies professor Steven Salaita had his appointment to a tenured professorship revoked by the board of trustees of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Salaita’s employment was terminated in response to his public tweets criticizing the Israeli government’s summer assault on Gaza.
 ——Haymarket Books, publicity blurb for Uncivil Rites

This article explores themes that date back to my Master’s degree work completed at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU. The divide inherent then between projects in the public interest—based on notions of public access and democratic control of the media, as compared to projects that were useful more in terms of corporate sponsorship and donations—reveals a stark political and class chasm that persists within the digital realm to this day.

As digital media consolidate more in fewer hands, and as individual privacy concerns serve as a blind to obfuscate issues of communal control and content, the need for the conversation to shift in a literally radical way grows more pressing. In the example put forward here, that of a Twitter bot that I programmed to call out right-wing and reactionary accounts (which itself got shut down), I hope to elucidate what should be a major concern of all truly progressive forces concerning the media and their sources, the technologies of conveyance and their private owners, as well as the distances imposed on audiences in terms of the ability to be heard, to organize, to protest, and to resist.

The full article, with illustrative examples, can be found at the following link:

https://www.academia.edu/38810089/_Kamal_Shaqi_Islamophobia_online_bots_and_Twitters_focused_attack_on_the_left

You can use a Facebook or Google ID to download it.

Advertisements

About Daniel Drennan ElAwar

Adoptee, rematriated.
This entry was posted in Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Your thoughts, comments, remarks, additions....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s