natematias | MIT Center for Civic Media

Recent blog posts by natematias

Emoji Karaoke at the Boston Internet Research Party

Two weeks ago, Kate Miltner, Amy Johnson and I organized the first Boston Internet Researchers Party, hosted by the Center for Civic Media, Microsoft Research, and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Uncovering Algorithms: Looking Inside the Facebook News Feed

How can the public learn the role of algorithms in their daily lives, evaluating the law and ethicality of systems like the Facebook NewsFeed, search engines, or airline booking systems? Today, the Berkman Center hosted a conversation about the idea of social science audits of algorithms. Presenting were:

Media-Making Strategies to Support Community and Learning at Hackathons

Many of us who organise hack days and hackathons say that we value learning, community, and collaboration, but our media often highlights individuals and their projects. When organisers highlight a small number of winners, we open ourselves up to critiques that we're peddling shallow solutionism, token civic engagement, exploitative labor practices, and half-baked projects that never create impact. We need to ban the big cheque photo op.

This year, we're seeing wide experimentation with the hackathon format to make events more inclusive and community oriented. I especially love Laurenellen McCann's post on hybrid hackathon block parties. Whatever your format, how can organisers and journalists highlight communities and support learning? This post lists some of the best advice I've found.

Citizen Journalism as Counter to Censorship and Culture Wars: Zeynep Tufekci on 140journos

Can citizen journalism be an effective reaction to government censorship and political culture wars? Zeynep started asking these questions while researching Tunisia and Egypt during the Arab uprisings. Today she talks about the role of citizen media in Turkey.

(vizThink by Willow Brugh. This post was written with Rodrigo Davies and Dalia Othman)

Here at the MIT Knight Civic Media Conference, our second day is starting out with a talk by Zeynep Tufekci, assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill information school. Zeynep starts with the story of citizen journalism's beginnings in Turkey.

Why Does a Free Internet Matter? Alberto Ibarguen Explains

"How can we strengthen the Internet for free expression and innovation?" is the theme of the most recent Knight News Challenge, which received 704 submissions, supported 54 entries through a refinement process, and is announcing the winners today. Previous challenges have focused on health data, Open Government, Mobile News, Networks, and much more. Sands Fish and I were there to liveblog the announcement of grantees.