Originally written for The Fletcher School’s Gender Theory & Praxis course, published on Gender Analysis blog as part of LEADS program, October 2020.

There are nearly 1,000 classified hate groups in America today, with an outsize distribution of white-supremacists nationwide. Men are typically considered its evangelists, an assumption aided by imagery like the Unite the Right’s torchlit Charlottesville rally and our collective awareness about online “incel” culture. …


Originally written for The Fletcher School’s Cyber in the Civilian Sector: Threats & Upheavals course, November 2020.

Prompt: Compare and contrast the online disinformation environment of the 2016 and 2020 U.S. presidential elections. Describe (1) the different factors contributing to disinformation during each election, (2) how regulators and content platforms changed their approaches to disinformation in the aftermath of the 2016 election and what impact, if any, those changes had in 2020, and (3) what lessons should be drawn from the 2020 election about online disinformation and how regulators and/or tech companies should act on those lessons.

Social media’s U.S…


Originally written for The Fletcher School’s Cyber in the Civilian Sector: Threats & Upheavals course, October 2020.

Prompt: Suppose you are a policy and communications adviser at Facebook. You are asked to draft a memo proposing changes to the existing content moderation strategy that will improve the company’s ability to respond to flagged content more quickly and effectively and minimize user dissatisfaction and negative publicity. Identify 2–3 specific content moderation decisions that have caused public outcry and propose how the company could have handled them better and what steps they should take to improve their approach moving forward.

Last week…


Originally written for The Fletcher School’s Cyber in the Civilian Sector: Threats & Upheavals course, September 2020.

Prompt: Choose any country and write a memo describing (1) what types of content that country’s government has tried to remove, censor or block online, (2) how that country has implemented its censorship or blocking efforts, and (3) how effective those efforts have been and what additional measures, if any, you anticipate that country’s government taking to strengthen its control over the Internet within its borders.

America is the land of the free and home of the brave, the saying goes. When it…


Originally written for Harvard Kennedy School Digital Platforms, Journalism & Information course, April 2020.

In amassing a vast user base and becoming the hub for modern communication, social media platforms have transformed into online town halls and defacto editors. At its inception, Web 2.0 peddled a utopian vision of a free flow of ideas and expression. But over time, the same companies proclaiming their service to the greater good began leveraging crowdsourced content and community building to collect private data and line advertiser pockets. Networks once centered around affinity devolved into oppositional mobs through the collapsing of identity and opinion…


Originally written for Harvard Kennedy School’s Digital Platforms, Journalism & Information course, March 2020.

Foer’s “World Without Mind” frames the advent of technology monopolies as a successful project to mold humanity and human nature through the “reordering of production and consumption of knowledge” then imposed upon us. The industry’s once idealistic aspiration to create and experience a “collective social existence” is fraught with moral conundrums: in automating what users see, is Big Tech automating free will? In sorting news, are entire schools of thought and viewpoints getting left out? …


Originally written for Harvard Kennedy School’s Digital Platforms, Journalism & Information course, February 2020.

The advent of the internet and digital media have introduced a new paradigm composed of a richer stream of information that travels quickly across time and space, and where the role of traditional news media has been casually co-opted by major social media platforms. An accompanying lack of constraints on user-generated content and its potential for monetization through algorithmic distribution models have ignited a crucial debate around how to tackle flourishing disinformation and hate speech campaigns without infringing upon freedom of speech.

While online communication networks…


Originally written for The Fletcher School’s International Communication course, November 2019.

The difficulties and lack of consensus in conversations about regulating content is due to its inherently close relationship to freedom of speech. There is more pressure on democracies than ever before to tackle events like domestic terrorist threats on fringe forums to quelling neo-nazi platforms from flourishing. Media and digital platforms play a big part in shaping our views and communities — and there is something to be said for protecting vulnerable users from racist or sexist inflammatory expression that can lead to and produce acts of discrimination, persecution…


Originally appeared on The Fletcher School’s Gender Analysis & Women’s Leadership blog, February 2020.

source

Introduction

France’s deeply sexist and misogynist society has caught up with it, as record femicide rates continue to creep up. Femicide is defined as the murder of a woman, and is often perpetrated by current or former partners.[1] Agence France Presse reports 116 femicides in 2019, though advocacy group Femicides by Companions or Ex estimates the figure is closer to 138.[2] If these numbers are accurate, that would mean that one woman is killed every three days. Importantly, women aged 65 and over make up about…


Originally written for The Fletcher School’s International Communication course, October 2019.

The internationalization of media has given way to a new group of powerful stakeholders: moneyed media owners fostering an ecosystem of “uneven” globalization. This has fundamentally transformed what news gets written, how it’s distributed, and understood by the masses. While I’d argue that media globalization and its inherent biases has decreased the ability of individuals to be presented with an accurate depiction of the world, emerging communication technologies have also given them curatorial agency to understand the world on their own terms. …

Adriana Lamirande

A place to gather research papers, academic projects, op-ed columns and creative musings. Interests include internet policy, human rights & video art.

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