Mirko Tobias Schäfer / Assistant Professor
University of Utrecht Department for Media and Culture Studies


Featured Blog Entries

Date October 2014 / Category News

I have been asked by the editors of the Journal of Computer Supported and Cooperative Work to edit a special issue on the the transformation of civic life through social media platforms, datafication and big data analysis.

Tags CfP

Date September 2014 / Category News

The Utrecht Data School has been awarded a KIEM grant from the NWO's exact science program. The grant funds a research project which develops a database for open data projects and possibilities for comparative evaluation of the projects and their social impact.

More Blog Entries


Date December 2014

The latest edition of the Journal of Mobile Media revolves around forecasting, prediciting and imaganing the future. This edition features an afterword by the esteemed historian of technology David Nye.


Date December 2014

My Utrecht Data School colleagues Karin van Es, Daniela van Geenen and Thomas Boeschoten analysed the Facebook posts related to the Black Pete debate. They found significant differences in the ways various Facebook pages channeled a debate which was widely a catalyst for open racism. Their findings are published in the latest edition of First Monday.


Date December 2014

Media artist Benjamin Grosser investigates the role of metrics in social media. These platforms thrive on the possibility to collect data on every single action users execute and to monetize the information for market analysis and targeted advertising. Grosser's work reveals that metrics implemented into the user interface do not only measure activity but drive activity.


Date November 2014

Contemporary digital culture critic Evgeny Morozov reads the current notion of big data through a historic account of the Chilean Cybersin project. The cybernetics synergy machine was as much a bureaucrats wet dram as the the promise for governmentality through big data is. Morozov reminds us of the uncanny presence of the cybernetic dark ages within the current hype for big data.


Date November 2014

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange describes in this chapter from his recent book When Google Met Wikileaks, how Google CEO Eric Schmidt wove tight ties with the political establishment at Washington. Next to other idustry giants in energy or manufacturing, Google emerged as yet a new actor whose commodities became assets in political policy making. As Assange reveals, Schmidt and his Google head of ideas, Jared Cohen promote their companies objectives through aligning with and actively shaping US foreign and domestic policy.


Date November 2014

Hyperallergic has an interview with cultural analytics pioneer Lev Manovich who sees his work with data analysis tools in a line with artistic practices from the 20th century. This conversation discusses the scholarly value and the practice of analysing cultural phenomena through yet another cultural phenomenon: big data and tools to make sense of them.


Date October 2014

In het meest recente magazine Nationale veiligheid en crisisbeheersing schrijf ik over ‘het onzinnige sociale mediabeleid in de integrale aanpak van Jijadisme’. In haar reactie op mijn kritiek gaat de programmadirectie Contraterrorisme bij de Nationale coördinator voor terrorismebestrijding en veiligheid met geen woord in op de mogelijke schade voor demoactie en burgerrechten maar benadrukt een vage bedreigingssituatie die dit beleid noodzakelijk maakt.


Date October 2014

Social media platforms are painstakingly monitored in order to prevent inappropriate content. Little is known about the workers who actually sift through the flagged and reported material. This informative Wired article sheds some light on the co-creation process of user generated content.



Mirko Tobias Schaefer is a researcher in the field of digital culture.

This website provides information on his research interests and teaching activities.




Mirko Tobias Schaefer

Department for Media and Culture Studies

Utrecht University

Kromme Nieuwegr. 20
NL-3512 HH Utrecht

2000 - 2014 Mirko Tobias Schäfer

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