Now available: New Publications on CCM; Google Glass, Race and Class; LIS, Diversity as Social Justice and Calls to Action;Digital Literacy

Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svgIn the spirit of making academic work, so often cloistered in esoteric journals or inaccessible behind paywalls, accessible to all and in a timely fashion, I have begun the process of creating pre-production files of my upcoming publication. I have deposited these files in our open access institutional repository, Scholarship@Western. I intend to negotiate for these rights in any subsequent publications and will continue on with this process, which, if the number of downloads is any indication, is quite important and key to circulating work.  Here are links to four upcoming publications that you can now access:

Commercial Content Moderation: Digital Laborers’ Dirty Work: In this chapter from the forthcoming Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Class and Culture Online (Noble and Tynes, Eds., 2016), I introduce both the concept of commercial content moderation (CCM) work and workers, as well as the ways in which this unseen work affects how users experience the Internet of social media and user-generated content (UGC). I tie it to issues of race and gender by describing specific cases of viral videos that transgressed norms and by providing examples from my interviews with CCM workers. The interventions of CCM workers on behalf of the platforms for which they labor directly contradict myths of the Internet as a site for free, unmediated expression, and highlight the complexities of how and why racist, homophobic, violent, and sexist content exists, and persists, in a social media landscape that often purports to disallow it.
Book chapter forthcoming in The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Class and Culture Online, edited by S. U. Noble & B. Tynes, and published by Peter Lang Publishing.

Through Google-Colored Glass(es): Design, Emotion, Class, and Wearables as Commodity and Control: This chapter discusses the implications of wearable technologies like Google Glass that function as a tool for occupying, commodifying, and profiting from the biological, psychological, and emotional data of its wearers and those who fall within its gaze. We argue that Google Glass privileges an imaginary of unbridled exploration and intrusion into the physical and emotional space of others. Glass’s recognizable esthetic and outward-facing camera has elicited intense emotional response, particularly when “exploration” has taken place in areas of San Francisco occupied by residents who were finding themselves priced out or evicted from their homes to make way for the techno-elite. We find that very few trade and popular press articles have focused on the failure of Glass along these dimensions, while the surveillance and class-based aspects of Google Glass are fundamental to an accurate rendering of the product’s trajectory and the public’s emotional response to this product. The goal of this chapter is to foreground dimensions of surveillance and economics, class and resistance, in the face of unending rollouts of new wearable products designed to integrate seamlessly with everyday life—for those, of course, who can afford them. Ultimately, we believe more nuanced, intersectional analyses of power along race, class, and gender must be at the forefront of future research on wearable technologies. Our goal is to raise important critiques of the commodification of emotions, and the expansion of the surveillance state vis-à-vis Google’s increasing and unrivaled information empire, the longstanding social costs of which have yet to be fully articulated.

Book chapter forthcoming in Emotions, Technology and Design, edited by S. Tettegah, and published by Elsevier.

Empowered to Name, Inspired to Act: Social Responsibility and Diversity as Calls to Action in the LIS Context: Social responsibility and diversity are two principle tenets of the field of library and information science (LIS), as defined by the American Library Association’s Core Values of Librarianship document, yet often remain on the margins of LIS education, leading to limited student engagement with these concepts and to limited faculty modeling of socially responsible interventions. In this paper, we take up the need to increase the role of both in articulating the values of diversity and social responsibility in LIS education, and argue the field should broaden to put LIS students and faculty in dialog with contemporary social issues of social inequality and injustice whenever possible. We also examine two specific cases of socially responsible activism spearheaded by LIS faculty and how these experiences shape, and are shaped by, curricular commitments to addressing the values of social responsibility and diversity in LIS in the classroom and through research. The development of a social responsibility orientation and skillset, along with literacies of diversity, we argue, leads to better-prepared practitioners and an LIS community that is more actively engaged with its environment. The impetus for students to act can be empowered by faculty modeling a commitment to social responsibility and diversity in their own professional lives.
Article forthcoming in Library Trends, 2016.

Enhancing Key Digital Literacy Skills: Information Privacy, Information Security, and Copyright/Intellectual Property: A Knowledge synthesis report submitted to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada


  • Knowledge and skills in the areas of information security, information privacy, and copyright/intellectual property rights and protection are of key importance for organizational and individual success in an evolving society and labour market in which information is a core resource.
  • Organizations require skilled and knowledgeable professionals who understand risks and responsibilities related to the management of information privacy, information security, and copyright/intellectual property.
  • Professionals with this expertise can assist organizations to ensure that they and their employees meet requirements for the privacy and security of information in their care and control, and in order to ensure that neither the organization nor its employees contravene copyright provisions in their use of information.
  • Failure to meet any of these responsibilities can expose the organization to reputational harm, legal action and/or financial loss.


  • Inadequate or inappropriate information management practices of individual employees are at the root of organizational vulnerabilities with respect to information privacy, information security, and information ownership issues. Users demonstrate inadequate skills and knowledge coupled with inappropriate practices in these areas, and similar gaps at the organizational level are also widely documented.
  • National and international regulatory frameworks governing information privacy, information security, and copyright/intellectual property are complex and in constant flux, placing additional burden on organizations to keep abreast of relevant regulatory and legal responsibilities.
  • Governance and risk management related to information privacy, security, and ownership are critical to many job categories, including the emerging areas of information and knowledge management. There is an increasing need for skilled and knowledgeable individuals to fill organizational roles related to information management, with particular growth in these areas within the past 10 years. Our analysis of current job postings in Ontario supports the demand for skills and knowledge in these areas.

Key Competencies

  • We have developed a set of key competencies across a range of areas that responds to these needs by providing a blueprint for the training of information managers prepared for leadership and strategic positions. These competencies are identified in the full report.
  • Competency areas include:
    • conceptual foundations
    • risk assessment
    • tools and techniques for threat responses
    • communications
    • contract negotiation and compliance
    • evaluation and assessment
    • human resources management
    • organizational knowledge management
    • planning; policy awareness and compliance
    • policy development
    • project management