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


Featured Blog Entries

Date November 2016 / Category News

The Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON) in cooperation with Utrecht Data School (UDS) is organizing a workshop on Research Ethics for Data and Digital Methods. The workshop will take place on 29 th of November 2016 in the Sweelinckzaal from 10a.m - 5p.m.

Date May 2016 / Category News

The Journal Computer Supported Cooperative Work approached me to put together a special issue on the impact of social media and big data on citizenship. The journal consists of five papers. Using different examples from medicine, urban space, journalism and blogs, these papers reflect on how social media and emerging data practices affect our understanding of citizenship. The fifth paper proposes a model for researching shared issues in the public sphere.

More Blog Entries


Date March 2017

As algorithms immerse deeper into more areas of everyday life this growing list is a great resource: Algorithm Tips is a great project by Daniel Trielli, Jennifer Stark and Nick Diakopoulos. They collect information about algorithms that are used by government organizations and provide information and description as far as available on this platform.


Date February 2017

Lee Rainie and Janna Anderson from the Pew Research Center have an excellent overview of perspectives on the social impact of algorithms. Their article summarizes findings from expert panels and the various views participants have concerning the role of algorithms in our knowledge economies.


Date December 2016

This is a very informative documentary that cuts excellently through the buzzwords and the hype shaping our understanding of 'big data'. The Joy of Data shows how data are captured, used for calculations and how results are applied for decision making, and to what extent data transform society.


Date December 2016

Hope Reese and Nick Heath have written an excellent article on the people who actually make a living from Amazaon's clickworker platform Mechanical Turk. They provide an insight into the transformation of labour and private space when automatically generated assignments dictate not only the labouror's life but also the lives of her family. The fascinating account also indicates how the distributed labour of a multitude of clickworkers is shaping the artificial intelligence applications that eventually will also start to carry out services.


Date September 2016

ProPublica runs an outstanding investigation into algorithmic injustice. In this article Julia Angwin makes a compelling case for making algorithms accountable.


Date September 2016

Metaphors shape our understanding of technology and the way we speak about technology reveals our understanding of it. Many politicians show an astonishing lack of understanding when speaking about the internet. But Donald Trump's use of "the cyber" expresses an astonishing amount of ignorance and incompetence. The Atlantic has read-worthy article on this issue.


Date August 2016

An unknown author has recently published a paper about the neo-reactionary movement. I stumbled upon this paper through a read-worthy review by Ethan Chiel who is also wondering who might be hiding behind the pseudonym Josephine Armistead, the alleged author of the piece. This paper discusses how the neo-reactionary movement is intertwined with technology development in Silicon Valley, popular culture and pseudo-science. However, there is an excellent post on Reddit criticizing the author's understanding of history and economy as well as their interpretation of some cultural references. Nevertheless, the racism, the misogyny and the open contempt for democracy of the neo-reactionary movement pose a challenge for students of new media and society at large.


Date July 2016

In this compelling article Kathrine Viner argues that the distinct qualities of social media contributed to the deterioration of public discourse. Where news are replaced by click-bait, where fact are not verified but simply don't matter and where emotions prevail over reason and argument, truth and reason are eroding. Katherine Viner presents a number of convincing examples and explains why this trend is not only affecting journalism but society at large.



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 - 2017 Mirko Tobias Schäfer

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