Dr. Arora invited to give Keynote talk at University of Salzburg

University of Salzburg

Dr. Payal Arora will deliver a keynote address for the “Democracy and (Des-) Information Society: On the Function and Dissemination of Big Data, Fake News and Conspiracy Theories” Conference to be held at the University of Salzburg on April 26th, 2018. This conference investigates "fake news" and the growing influence of social media and search engine technologies on political life.

Dr. Arora will speak about the major fault lines in worldviews between groups of people to a point where entire publics have become incomprehensible to one another. By going beyond the usual Western examples and worldviews, she situates common conversations on hate speech, fake information, trolling and other hostile activities within the Global South. This talk will examine closely the “fringe,” “authentic,” and “safe” digital cultures, drawing on contemporary examples like the media circulation on Rohingas by Buddhist extremists in Myanmar, lynching by cow digital vigilantes in India, favela rebranding and the pacification campaign in Brazil to the building and global circulation of the “Nigerian” romance scammer.

Other invited talks are for the Symposium on Digital Politics in Millennial India organized by IIITDelhi and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. This talk will be on datafication and bots in the political life of low-income communities in India. Dr. Arora will also deliver a talk for the EHESS seminar "Etudier les cultures du numérique" (Studying Digital Cultures) in Paris on 'mobilizing the ludic underclass in the digital age.' This is based on her upcoming book with Harvard University Press, titled “Poor@play: digital life beyond the West.” Lastly, in Manchester, she will talk about crowdsourcing as a potential tool to reorganize and reformulate global unions and transparent communicative practices between laborers and brands. This is organized by the Development Implications of Digital Economies (DIODE) Strategic Research Network, led by Richard Heeks.