Two new projects this semester:
1. To Catch a Predator? MySpace Moral Panics
I’m looking at rhetoric around “child protection” and the internet, tracing it through the CDA, to CIPA, COPA, and DOPA. I get to read lots of awesome history/sociology literature on moral panics and the construction of child abuse (see the Satanic daycare center witchhunts of the 80′s, etc.), and I get to weed through thousands of articles on how MySpace is sooo terrifying.
Note: has anyone noticed how all the moral panic discourse is rilly, rilly sexist? It’s always people freaking out about girls taking pix of themselves in bikinis, never about boys posting shirtless pictures online. That New York Magazine cover story last week, which for the most part I thought was pretty good, surveyed like 8 girls and one guy. I’m stoked on the recent barrage of stories about the oversexualization of young girls because I do think it’s a real problem, but I think this is very different from the MySpace moral panic discourse, which usually paints teen girls as wanton temptresses who turn on the wrong guy and then get hacked to death. Anyway. More on this as this project progresses.
2. Untitled project on Manhunt (potentially NSFW)
I’m beginning some ethnographic work on the gay hookup site Manhunt, so right now I’m basically just talking to people. I need ethnographic subjects! If you live in the NYC area and you use Manhunt to meet guys, email me. Likewise, if anyone else is working on this site, let me know. I know John Edward Campbell’s work on gay chat rooms, but any other citations would be really helpful.
Right now I’m finishing up a paper for the JCMC special issue on social networks. Once that’s done, I’m planning on a) putting a lot of my older work online in PDF form so people can use it, b) rewriting my ID2.0 paper in light of current situations and submitting that to a journal, maybe First Monday and c) getting ready for SXSW, which is going to be a blast. I’m speaking on “Combinatorial Media”, which is the creation of tactical media to be mashed up (see: Yahoo Feeds, etc.). If you’ll be around lemme know! I might also be going to Women, Action and the Media again since it was so much fun last year.
(Here’s my panel description. )