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Data, Digital Technologies and Citizenship

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Park 2.09

Park Building

Portsmouth

PO1 2BZ

United Kingdom

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The challenges and opportunities presented by the digital revolution continue to disrupt political activism. Data is now crucial to political campaigning. From the number of Facebook "Likes" on a status update to the median amount of time spent browsing a page, political groups capture a wide range of data to understand their audience’s preferences and behaviours.

This panel features contributions from both academics and practitioners on how data is used within political campaigning. Drawing on their experiences with organisations such as 38 Degrees, The Labour Party and Request Initiative, we will explore how and why data is used by political groups and examine the ethical problems of such practice.

The panel will feature presentations from the following speakers:

Jack Alexander (Request Initiative)

Jack Alexander is Head of Campaigns Research at Request Initiative. He specialises in the use of the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations. As Head of Campaigns Research he works with various charities and non profit organisations, ranging from Greenpeace to Sue Ryder, helping to supply information for investigative reporting and to supplement campaigns.

James Dennis (University of Portsmouth)

James Dennis is Senior Lecturer in Journalism at the University of Portsmouth. His research interests lie in political communication, with a particular focus on social media, political participation and citizenship, and digital news. His paper explores how the UK-based political activist movement, 38 Degrees, uses the seemingly mundane functionality of Facebook and Twitter to empower their membership. These findings raise new questions about what it means to be an ‘active citizen.’

Amber Macintyre (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Amber Macintyre is a current PhD at Royal Holloway. She is researching how personal data is used within member based organisations, and why different practices come about. In particular, she is interested in how role perceptions and organisational structure impact how data is used. Her research was inspired by her previous work on digital activism at Amnesty International and a general interest in the impact of technology on privacy and freedom of expression.

James Moulding (Crowdpac and Consensus)

James Moulding is a political analyst at Crowdpac and project manager at Consensus, the Labour Party’s experiment in digital democracy. He specialises in the development of political technology for enhancing participation, and the use of data for crowdfunding grassroots political campaigns. His recent work with the Labour Party was inspired by the uptake of digital democracy processes by the Taiwanese Government’s vTaiwan project leading to 100,000s taking part in policy design.

Chair: Dr Susana Sampaio-Dias (University of Portsmouth)

Susana Sampaio-Dias joined the University of Portsmouth in September 2014 as a Lecturer in Journalism. She holds a PhD from Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, where she has also worked as a Postdoc researcher. Prior to that she worked a news producer for RTP, the Portuguese public service broadcaster. Her research interests broadly concern the relationship between human rights issues and journalism.

This panel is being arranged as part of the "Citizenship, Race and Belonging" research network (http://crab.port.ac.uk/). CRaB’s mission is to promote social justice and investigate structural inequalities through rigorous research, innovation and public engagement.

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Park 2.09

Park Building

Portsmouth

PO1 2BZ

United Kingdom

View Map

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